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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FARGO—Marquise Bridges was recruited out of DeLaSalle High School of Minneapolis in 2014 to be a wide receiver for North Dakota State. And for good reason. He had 66 catches for 1,317 yards and 21 touchdowns in his senior season with the Islanders. On Tuesday, in NDSU's 55-13 semifinal win over Sam Houston State, Bridges got the first and second interceptions of his collegiate career. Giving up the wide receiver role last season and moving to cornerback as a freshman was tough for Bridges, but he did it for a shot to play.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Moorhead senior forward Carter Randklev got a University of North Dakota hockey jersey for his ninth birthday. It was around that time people were telling him he was too small to play hockey. The 5-foot-8, 150-pound Randklev committed to play hockey for UND on Wednesday, Dec. 13. "UND has always been a part of my life," Randklev said. "It was only a dream to go there until it became a reality."
FARGO—North Dakota State men's basketball team has won three straight games, after a 94-58 win over Stetson on Saturday, Nov. 25, at the Sanford Health Athletic Center. Tyson Ward has been a difference-maker in all three. After scoring 15 points total in the first two games of the season, both losses for NDSU (3-2), Ward has scored 54 in his last three games. The sophomore had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Missouri State, 17 points and seven rebounds against Florida A&M and scored a career-high 26 against Stetson (4-3).
FARGO—Bismarck Century will defend its Class A volleyball crown. The Patriots used a 20-25, 25-14, 25-7, 25-19 win over Valley City in the state semifinals Friday, Nov. 17, at the Fargodome to set up a matchup with Jamestown for the state title. The only other volleyball team to win three straight state titles is Fargo North, completing the three-peat in 1997. Patriots will go for their third straight Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m.
FARGO—Central Cass freshman Rylee Goettle has one dig in her varsity volleyball career. That will be the only statistic she ever gets. On Thursday, Nov. 16, at the North Dakota Class B volleyball tournament at the Fargodome, Goettle was led out to the court during introductions by her older sister Dallas. With sunglasses in her hand, an eye patch over her left eye, and some blurry vision in her right eye, Goettle didn't have much depth perception. Her teammates held her hand in line as starters were introduced. She couldn't embrace the bright lights.
FARGO — Thursday, Nov. 16, was the first ever appearance at a state volleyball tournament for Valley City. The Hi-Liners showed no fear, sweeping Bismarck 25-22, 25-17, 25-20 in the North Dakota Class A quarterfinals at the Fargodome. "It's still like a dream right now. Somebody needs to pinch me," Valley City coach Jill Taylor said. "Just to see how the girls are playing it's amazing how they've come together. This has been their long dream for three years. We finally made it to state, and to win in the first round makes it even better."
FARGO — When Jamestown saw West Fargo, the top team from the East Region, get upset by West Region's four seed Mandan in the opening match of the North Dakota Class A state volleyball tournament, the Blue Jays weren't heartbroken. "I think we were a lot more excited because the West is our territory," Jamestown senior McKayla Kurtz said. "We've played (the West) all season, so I think we're excited we'll get to see them tomorrow."
LAMOURE, N.D.—There were 20 days separating the birth of LaMoure-Litchville-Marion senior Anna Holen and Jackie Meiklejohn. The two have been inseparable since, on and off the volleyball court. "We've basically been friends since birth," Holen said.
FARGO — It was an all too familiar sight for Fargo Shanley's football team on Friday, Nov. 10, at the Fargodome. The Deacons stood on the field watching as another team celebrated a North Dakota Class 2A state championship. For the third time in the last four seasons, the Deacons lost in the state championship game, falling to Bismarck St. Mary's 31-12.
FARGO — On Monday, Nov. 6, Wyndmere-Lidgerwood senior tight end Connor Barton was pulled out of his chemistry class and told to gather his things and go home. He thought he was in trouble, but he didn't know for what.