WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 29, 2009, 09:49 AM

Sports moments to remember from 2009

(WDAY Sports) - Some we'd known for years, others became household names overnight, but 2009 gave us plenty of unforgettable moments.

By: Dom Izzo, WDAY

(WDAY Sports) - Some we'd known for years, others became household names overnight, but 2009 gave us plenty of unforgettable moments.

It seemed we had been watching them for years, but the Bison men's basketball team finally gave the fans what they had been waiting for, a trip to the NCAA Tournament. What followed was a ten day period of national attention, from the selection show to a packed Metrodome with Bison fans and a near upset of powerhouse Kansas. What a way to go out.

As the Bison said farewell, another group of seniors finished in style as the Pelican Rapids boys basketball team made up of 12 seniors won the school's first State Championship in 25 years.

After the community came together to battle record flood waters, they packed the UP Center in April with American flags to cheer on the under 18 U-S team to an upset win over Canada and then a 5-0 shellacking of Russia to win the gold medal.

Those same folks came back in May to see the first year Force storm the Clark Cup playoffs and sweep its first two opponents before being knocked out in the cup final.

Later that month, we witnessed something we may never see again. A bison finish 2nd in the NCAA 800 meter final, but that's just what Laura Hermanson did, shattering her own school record twice in the process.

As the weather began to warm, so did the Bison softball team. They won the Summit League tournament in it's first appearance, then stunned the softball world by beating powers Oklahoma and Tulsa in advancing to the sweet 16. Some said those wins were bigger than the football team's victory over the Gophers.

Golf fans in the area knew how good Oxbow's Amy Anderson was. The entire nation got to find out in July when she stunned the field to win the U-S girls junior amateur. She returned home a hero, and a local legend as fans packed the Pine to Palm tourney, where she became the first woman to qualify for the championship flight, then won her first five matches, before losing in the semis. The train didn't stop there as she won her first three college tourneys at NDSU.

As the weather started to cool, one team warmed up the field. The Concordia women's soccer team blazed a trail to the D-3 sweet sixteen. They lost once all year in regulation.

On the local gridiron, it was a return to glory for two teams. Hankinson won it's first state title in 18 years, while Shanley gave us the ride of the fall after the death of a teammate, the Deacons rallied to make the state title game and then beat Devils Lake in a game for the ages for their first state title since 1983.

We can only hope for a year like this in 2010.