Colton Pool / Forum News Service
FARGO—Paul Miller was already committed to play for the North Dakota State men's basketball program. Then he saw Lawrence Alexander's heroics as the Bison beat Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament in 2014. Miller wanted to play for the Bison even more. Miller watched and learned in his freshman season during Alexander's Summit League player of the year campaign in 2014-15. As he creeps up on Alexander in the school record books, Miller just wants to be next in line.
FARGO—Jared Franek was tired of finishing second place. He was runner-up in the USA Wrestling Junior Freestyle National Championship last summer, losing in the final seconds. He took runner-up at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament earlier this season, his only loss of his 27-1 season. His past two appearances at the Rumble on the Red wrestling tournament ended with him in second place after winning his freshman year. The three-time North Dakota state champion and North Dakota State senior commit of West Fargo knows how to win. He wouldn't be denied this time around.
MOORHEAD—Katlyn Brenna looked over at Minnesota Class 4A St. Francis warming up. She was intimidated. Brenna is one of the shortest players on the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton girls basketball team that already lacks height. St. Francis, a bigger school with plenty of bigger players, towered above the Rebels. Then the game tipped off. The Rebels didn't look intimidated for a minute.
WEST FARGO—Fargo Shanley girls basketball players are in the practice gym before head coach Steve Jacobson comes to practice. They're still in the gym long after Jacobson wants to go home. The Deacons won three straight Class A state championships and nearly won a fourth last season but lost to Bismarck Legacy in last year's title game. Jacobson doesn't even have to tell the Deacons to work hard. They want another shot at the state title.
WEST FARGO—West Fargo Sheyenne may have finally found its identity. After losing a handful of seniors last season that led Sheyenne to its first Class A boys basketball state tournament last season, the Mustangs were searching for the right style to play with a cast of new faces. The Mustangs like to push the pace and score as much as they can.
West Fargo football is no stranger to the state semifinals. Nor are the Packers strangers to heartbreak. In their previous two seasons, the Packers have gone into the North Dakota Class 3A state semifinals as the East Region's top seed with home-field advantage. Also in the previous two seasons, the Packers have fallen three points or less short of a state championship appearance.
WEST FARGO—Division I commits Kalli Hegerle and Darian Chwialkowski have lured defensive attention all season. On Thursday, Sept. 28, Tiana Pfaff was the one who demanded attention. Pfaff ended up with a match-high 16 kills as West Fargo defeated Valley City 19-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-21 in an Eastern Dakota Conference volleyball clash. "I was fired up tonight," Pfaff said. "Coach said give it to the hot hand so I got the ball a lot and just wanted to put it down."
WEST FARGO—Sabiti Morisho's goal felt so good he felt he could fly. His score certainly lifted the West Fargo boys soccer team. Morisho gave the Packers what would be their game-winning score to defeat Fargo Shanley—a rematch of last year's state championship—in a 1-0 Eastern Dakota Conference shutout on Thursday, Sept. 14, at Lodoen Center soccer field. "I just feel like I wanted to fly," Morisho said of scoring his goal. "That was really cool."
WEST FARGO—West Fargo Sheyenne junior Maggie Manson committed to play basketball at the University of North Dakota she announced on her Twitter account Saturday, Sept. 9. Manson is the first college commitment at any level for the Sheyenne girls basketball program. "Super excited to announce my commitment to continue my education and basketball career at the University of North Dakota #GoHawks" Manson wrote on her Twitter page.
WEST FARGO—Making all types of throws in the pocket and on the run, Andy Gravdahl played too well to break school records. Gravdahl threw for 306 yards to six different receivers on his way to 381 yards of offense after being pulled in the third quarter as No. 1-ranked West Fargo cruised to a 41-0 victory over No. 3-ranked Bismarck High in the Packers' home opener on Friday, Sept. 1, at West Fargo High School.