Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.
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MOORHEAD – Sophomore Tony Ukkelberg had waited over a year for his chance to get to the Minnesota Class 1A state track and field meet. As a freshman with the Ottertail Central track team, Ukkelberg found out five days before the beginning of the track postseason he had a stress fracture in his back. No conference meet, no sub-section meet, no section meet, no state meet.
FARGO – The South Dakota High School Activities Association is considering a proposal that would allow transgender students to participate in extra-curricular activities according to their self-identified gender rather than the gender listed on their records. Meanwhile, the Minnesota State High School League is about to begin the same discussion. “Our legal counsel is in the process of drafting a transgender policy,” said MSHSL director of information Howard Voigt.
Fargo - The high school football game between Breckenridge (Minn.) and Wahpeton (N.D.) is more than just a football game. “The furthest I can date the game back is 1920. It is a bigger deal now than it ever has been,” Breckenridge coach Chad Fredericksen said. “We call it the Harvest Bowl now and it’s sponsored by Cargill, who gives each school a healthy check for the sponsorship.
Pelican Rapids, Minn. - Steven Honrud’s goal for rehab after undergoing radiation for swelling in his brain was to see his son, Tyler, play his first varsity basketball game last November. Tyler, 17, had the best game of his career that night, scoring 17 points in an 89-46 win for Pelican Rapids. He did it hours after his father’s funeral. Steven passed away on Nov. 19 at 47 years old, three days before his goal, but Tyler knows his dad reached it. “I kind of felt like he was there,” said Tyler, a junior.
MINNEAPOLIS – When Marshall forward Callie Graff stepped to the foul line with 3.7 seconds left in the Minnesota Class 3A girls basketball semifinal and her Tigers trailing Fergus Falls by one point, she just thought of all the free throws the Tigers shot in practice. More importantly, she thought about what happens when they miss. “I was thinking about practice and how many times we shoot them,” Graff said. “We run when we miss.” Graff will be excused from sprints after draining both free throws to put Marshall up 52-51.
Fergus Falls senior power forward Anna Monke does not remember the first 18 months of her life in which senior point guard Brianna Rasmusson was not part of it. She can’t imagine life without her. “Our parents were best friends since I moved to Fergus when I was about 18 months,” Monke said. “Me and Brianna have known each other since birth pretty much, and we’ve been the best of friends since.”
MOORHEAD – Last season, the Fergus Falls girls basketball team was ranked No. 1 throughout the entire season, taking an undefeated record into the Minnesota Class 3A state tournament. The Otters were rewarded with a No. 3 seed. Friday, the No. 1-ranked Otters made a statement as to what seed they believe they deserve at the state tournament this season with an 80-53 win over No. 3-ranked Albany at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse for their third straight Class 3A, Section 8 title. “We’ll see what the coaches think,” Fergus Falls coach Brad Strand said.
MOORHEAD – Hawley junior guard Brittany Laddusaw had her 3-point license taken away from head coach Bill Gottenborg in recent weeks. “She was on red alert,” Gottenborg said. “No 3s.
FARGO – A kick to the groin of a 13-year-old last month, along with a verbal lashing, prompted school officials to suspend Frazee-Vergas Public Schools wrestling coach and physical education...
MOORHEAD – Hawley shooting guard Olivia Olson’s dad is a pastor in Hawley, Minn. Olson wasn’t sure how her 3-pointer slammed against the backboard and fell through the net in Hawley’s 49-38 win over Perham in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 South sub-section semifinals on Saturday. She figured having a pastor for a dad certainly didn’t hurt. “That could have helped,” Olson said. “I definitely could see God helping on that shot.