Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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FARGO—The plan was for utility infielder Andy Young to finish the three-game minor league baseball series with the Peoria (Ill.) Chiefs and then drive to Midland, Mich., for the home run derby in the Midwest League All-Star game. Then he got the call. No home run derby and no All-Star game. He got something better. A promotion. "It was a surprise," Young said.
FARGO — In an era where facilities are a point of emphasis, Adrian Contreras has all he needs in his apartment garage in south Fargo. It's an old-school attitude for a 16-year-old boxer who has dreams of someday competing in the Olympics. A punching bag hangs from a rafter. A speed bag is bolted to the back wall. And the concrete surface of the garage acts as his ring when he works with his father and trainer Raul Contreras. It's a father-son team that is going all in on the USA Boxing Junior Olympic National Championships in Charleston, W. Va., that starts on June 25.
FARGO -- Two Scheels Fargo Marathons. Two convincing and dominating performances by the hometown kid. Fargo South graduate Semehar Tesfaye, now living and training in Boston, went wire-to-wire in taking the women's division Saturday, May 20, with a time of 2 hours, 38 minutes, 9 seconds.
FARGO -- For almost 20 miles, David Tuwei and Bernard Too were almost like buddies running around the streets and bike paths of Fargo-Moorhead. It was a different story the last six. Tuwei broke away to win his second men’s Scheels Fargo Marathon in three years finishing with a time of 2 hours, 28 minutes, 4 seconds.
FARGO—It was back in eighth grade in Detroit Lakes, Minn., when Rose Jackson left school during the day for an orthodontist appointment. Her mother Linda Jackson, in an oddity, told Rose to also bring some workout clothes. It puzzled the youngster, but she did it anyway. After the appointment, another oddity hit Rose: Her mom dropped her off at the high school and told her to go to track practice. It was part of what she said was a ploy to trick her into joining the team, which was also orchestrated by her brother, Eddie Taylor. "So that's how I got into it," she said.
FARGO—It's a story the North Dakota State football program has tapped into over the years when it comes to finding offensive and defensive linemen. Find some strong, under-recruited prospects from the region and develop them into Division I players. These days, the Bison men's and women's track and field programs are doing the same when it comes to finding national-elite throwers. In the shot put, hammer throw, discus and javelin, NDSU has become "Throwing University." At "Throwing U," they talk about hard work before anything else.
FARGO—Defeating Oral Roberts in one game of a weekend series is a pretty good accomplishment. Taking two from the perennial Summit League baseball leaders isn't something many teams have done. Sweeping the Golden Eagles is unheard of, literally. No conference team has ever done it and ORU maintained that streak Sunday afternoon, May 7, with a 4-0 victory over North Dakota State at Newman Outdoor Field.
FARGO — Nick Saban got a raise Tuesday morning, May 2, because, well, it had probably been awhile. The amounts are staggering. He received a $4 million signing bonus, meaning he was $4 million richer at lunch than when he woke up in the morning. His annual salary this season is $6.7 million and he gets another $400,000 simply by staying at the University of Alabama for the entire year. He'll get more just for not moving than most FCS coaches make in a season. ESPN is reporting his total yearly income for 2017 will be $11.2 million. For coaching college football.
FARGO—If athletics is the front porch of the university, a phrase echoed since the first shovel went in the ground on North Dakota State's Division I reclassification over a decade ago, then the front door on the north end of campus is getting bigger all the time. It's also moving a little east.
Sue Thompson was 14 years old when she lost her older sister, a cheerleading accident that turned the North Dakota State campus silent. It was more than 30 years ago and as the memory bank goes, she's looking to replenish the riches. If there's a photo of Janis Thompson out there, she would like to see it. "If there's any new fresh image, any story, it brings her back to us," Sue said. "It just makes us feel so good to relive our memory of her."