Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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MOORHEAD, Minn.—Wyatt Gunkel showed up at Jim Gotta Stadium on Friday afternoon, June 29, in a Carson Wentz jersey and khaki cargo shorts, not expecting he would be catching passes from the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. Had he known: "I probably would have wore some more athletic clothes," said Gunkel, a junior-to-be for the Moorhead Spuds football team. His wardrobe choices didn't prevent, however, Gunkel from making a nice over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone at the end of a 70-yard heave from Wentz.
FARGO—North Dakota State softball used a dash of raw power to earn a spot in the NCAA Division I tournament for a fifth consecutive season. The Bison blasted two home runs to fuel a six-run third inning. That power play helped lift NDSU to a 6-1 victory against South Dakota State to win the Summit League tournament championship Saturday, May 12, at Ellig Sports Complex before 507 fans.
FARGO—South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert is going to be catching passes in the NFL from a former Missouri Valley Football Conference rival. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Goedert in the second round of the NFL Draft with the No. 49 pick overall Friday night. He joins the Super Bowl champions who have former North Dakota State star Carson Wentz at quarterback. "It's crazy," Goedert said. "It's going to be incredible, playing with Carson, the best quarterback in the league."
FARGO—Former Minnesota State Moorhead wide receiver Damon Gibson had to chuckle as he looked back at his path to North Dakota State's Pro Day: From 9-man quarterback in high school, to NCAA Division II receiver to NFL tight end prospect. His journey has been be so unlikely that even Gibson has a hard time believing it. "It's crazy," he said with a laugh. "It's kind of stupid when you think about it, I mean what the hell is this guy doing? Someone would probably tell me to give up."
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—Doubt started to creep into Northern State senior DJ Pollard's mind as the Wolves trailed Queens (N.C.) by five points with less than 30 seconds to play in overtime Thursday night. "I thought it was pretty close to being over," Pollard said Friday.
Gene Taylor had his share of memorable NCAA moments when he was the athletic director at North Dakota State. Taylor watched the Bison make the Division I men's basketball tournament in 2009 in the first season the program was eligible to make the Big Dance. In 2014, he watched NDSU upset Oklahoma in the first round for the program's first NCAA victory. Taylor is now the athletic director at Kansas State, which reached the Elite Eight with its dramatic 61-58 victory against Kentucky on Thursday night, March 22, in Atlanta.
FARGO—Bismarck Century sophomore Lauren Ware was nearly overcome with emotion moments after the North Dakota Class A state girls basketball game ended. "I almost passed out it was so awesome," Ware said with a smile. The 6-foot-4 Ware scored 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked five shots to help the Patriots rally for a 55-51 victory against the Mandan Braves in the state title game at North Dakota State's Scheels Center on Saturday, March 10.
FARGO—Mandan junior Megan Zander started to make shots in the second half Thursday, March 8, at the Fargodome. That proved too much for Devils Lake to overcome. Zander poured in 14 of her game-high 18 points in the second half as Mandan pulled away after halftime to earn a 68-46 victory in the North Dakota Class A girls basketball quarterfinals. "That's always great if she can feel the rhythm from behind the arc," Mandan head coach Abby Thomas said. "It's huge for us when she knocks down shots. Our team just thrives off of that."
FARGO—Bismarck St. Mary's sophomore Hallie Schweitzer hadn't attempted a 3-pointer all season. She picked a dramatic moment to attempt her first. Schweitzer sank a 3-pointer at the second-half buzzer to force overtime Thursday, March 8, at the Fargodome. That clutch shot helped vault the Saints to a 70-64 victory against Grand Forks Red River in the North Dakota Class A girls basketball state quarterfinals. "I had to get it up there just to give our team a chance, and so I took the shot," Schweitzer said.
FARGO—Grand Forks Red River head coach Kent Ripplinger knows what he's going to get from Roughriders junior guard Kenady Steffan. "With Kenady, you have a lot of fire," Ripplinger said. Steffan helped ignite her team Friday night. She scored a team-high 17 points to lead Red River to a 58-46 victory against Fargo Shanley in the East Region girls basketball semifinals at Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex.