Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins 2014. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occassional Sunday column, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff.
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MITCHELL, S.D. -- The Dickinson State wrestling team started its season on a high note, crowning four champions and placing 14 grapplers in the top eight at the Dakota Wesleyan tournament on Saturday. "I thought we came out and wrestled very aggressive and finished matches," Dickinson State coach Thadd O'Donnell said. Eli Zuniga (133), Shane Bennett (165), Justin Schlecht (197) and Clay Rogers (heavyweight) each took home top honors to start the season. All four wins came on decisions. Zuniga topped William Penn's Nick Cucciniello 14-8.
MANDAN -- Bailey Bolinske won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, 7.39 seconds and Williston took fourth place with 221 points at the North Dakota state swimming and diving meet Saturday at the Community Center. Alexis Klug, one of several Dickinson High students who compete for Williston, took sixth in the 100 breaststroke at 1:10.04. Klug also took sixth in the 200 individual medley (2:22.12). Minot star Dagny Knutson broke her own state record in the event with a time of 2:03.24.
MINOT -- Those who thought Dickinson High would come out slow Saturday after being upended in Friday's semifinal match were proven wrong early in Game 1. The Midgets took control of the first game and never looked back as they swept Mandan 25-15, 25-17, 28-26 in a state qualifier match at the West Region volleyball tournament at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. "As a coach, you always worry about something like that," Dickinson coach Jay Schobinger said.
It seemed simple enough, but Black Hills State couldn't figure out Elizabeth Castillo's serve. "I just tried to serve it hard," Castillo said. Dickinson State (26-7) earned its 11th consecutive conference championship after beating the Yellowjackets 30-25, 30-23, 30-21 in the Dakota Athletic Conference tournament championship match Saturday at Scott Gymnasium. The Blue Hawks first won the North Dakota Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1996. It hasn't lost a conference tournament title match since. "She (Castillo) had a great run," Dickinson State coach Dave Moody said.
GRAND FORKS -- Fred Fridley had a smile on his face from the time the clock expired until he left the Alerus Center floor. The longtime Watford City football coach won the eighth North Dakota state championship of his career Friday afternoon when the Wolves defeated Dickinson Trinity 20-14 in the Class AA title game. "Every one gets sweeter," Fridley said. "It feels good. But more than anything, I'm happy for my players." The Wolves intercepted three passes, returned one for a touchdown and kept Trinity's offense out of scoring position most of the game.
Ask any Dickinson Trinity football player why the Titans are in the Class AA state championship football game today and they'll all point to one group - the offensive line. It makes sense. The group of mostly seniors and some juniors came into the season with no starting experience and hardly any playing time under their belts. It showed in the Titans' first few games too. "At the beginning of the year we didn't really know what each other could do," senior left guard Evan Krebs said. "I think that led to a lack of trust in each other.
Thadd O'Donnell wants the Dickinson State wrestling team to have nothing left undone by the end of the season. "Don't have any regrets," said O'Donnell, who enters his 12th season as Blue Hawks coach. "I don't want to hear you say, 'I wish I would have.' " After piling up the accomplishments last season, O'Donnell has set the bar fairly high for a team that lost four All-Americans, took the maximum amount of wrestlers to the NAIA national tournament and placed fourth, finished the season ranked No.
Fred Fridley has coached in his fair share of big games. On Friday, Fridley will coach in his 15th state championship game in 35 years at Watford City. The coach has a 7-7 record in his previous 14. Maybe that's why he's not taking anything for granted when the Wolves play Dickinson Trinity on Friday for the Class AA state title. "We've definitely got our work cut out," Fridley said. "They're very athletic and they've got a lot of weapons they can go to." However, that's also true for the Wolves.
Dan Carr is humble. Carr is so down to earth that he insists he shouldn't take credit for leading the Dickinson Trinity football team in rushing. "I really don't think it's been me," Carr said, referencing Trinity's improved offensive line. However, the 5-10, 200-pound senior halfback admits his new, more relaxed attitude has helped him take charge of the Titans' ground game and rush for 1,162 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Carr and senior fullback Brian Marsh lead Trinity's dominant rushing game into Friday's Class AA state championship game against Watford City. Carr said this sea
With a relatively young, but talented group, coach Sonja Dutchuk can look forward to the swimmers of Dickinson High having success. With no seniors, one junior, four sophomores, four freshmen and a seventh-grader, it might not look like Dutchuk has a lot to work with.