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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The number of high school officials is dropping in Minnesota, while the number in North Dakota is increasing.
PERHAM, Minn. — Ron Berns has been taking stats for the Perham High School football team since he was a sophomore at Perham. That was 1977. Berns went to college for three years, coming back each weekend from the University of Minnesota-Morris for one year and Moorhead State (now Minnesota State Moorhead) for two years for Perham football games. He wasn't the main stat guy during his college years, but he helped. He's been the main guy ever since he decided to move back to Perham in 1982.
MINNEAPOLIS — Kale Griffeth's wish for his seventh birthday was to go to a Minnesota Vikings game with his mom and dad at U.S. Bank Stadium. That was supposed to happen Sunday, as West Fargo graduates Katy, 34, and Randall Griffeth, 35, paid more than $900 for flights from their Hawaii home and about $250 each for a ticket to Minnesota's home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
PERHAM, Minn.—Perham senior quarterback Jenson Beachy stood with fellow senior Quenten Schumacher just outside the football field last week. Schumacher had Perham's football field at the top of his wish list for places he'd like to take his senior pictures. Schumacher is not on the football team. He is confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy.
Frazee, Minn. Missy Carlson had just put her sons to bed on a summer day in 2001. Josh was a week away from turning 6 years old and Tanner was 1½ —a few months from putting on his first wrestling singlet. She went out to the garage of their Frazee home to talk with her husband, as she often did at the end of their day.
MOORHEAD—The last time Perham's boys basketball team played on Concordia's Memorial Auditorium floor the Yellowjackets watched as Breckenridge celebrated a Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 championship. The No. 4-ranked Yellowjackets are eyeing some new Concordia memories this season. "That left a real sour taste in my mouth," Perham senior guard Martin LaFond said. "We had to come back harder, and it made everyone in the younger grades step up and look forward to this year and work harder than ever before. That's what they did."
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School counselor Sarah Kjos walked up to D-G-F athletic director Joe O'Keefe on Tuesday to tell him she was going to Barnesville to help out because of a tragedy. O'Keefe asked what happend. Kjos told him a former student and volunteer coach had died in a car accident. "Please don't let it be Jaynie," O'Keefe thought to himself. It was Jaynie.
Perham 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive and defensive lineman Logan Richter sat in the back row with his sister, mom and dad, as University of Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck spoke at TCF Bank Stadium.
Last week, Frazee (Minn.) High School athletic director Nick Courneya, who used to coach varsity football, went out to football practice for the Hornets. He saw a sophomore quarterback handing the ball off and throwing to freshmen. On Tuesday, Aug. 22, nine days before Frazee is supposed to host Perham to open the football season, the Hornets had a team meeting in which Courneya explained to them why the decision was made to forfeit this season.
HALSTAD, Minn.—There is a chance Norman County West High School of Halstad, Minn., will be without girls basketball, boys basketball, football or volleyball next season, as the athletic department awaits a decision on what will become of the district. "Our school board is in the middle of deciding on what they will be doing in a long-term direction," NCW athletic director Nate Albrecht said. "There's some questions in the community about how long we will be a school district or if we should move toward consolidation of school districts with Ada-Borup."