Cotton is the sports editor at The Press, where he covers the area's high schools. He came to The Press as the Multimedia Editor in May 2015 after graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with his master's degree in Sociological Practice. He holds undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Sociology from UNC, as well.
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WILLISTON — The Dickinson High girls track and field team placed second with 102.50 team points on Tuesday at an indoor meet that opened the team’s season. The Midgets’ boys team placed fifth with 86.50 team points. Minot led all girls teams with 203.50 points. Williston led the boys teams with 133.50 points, Watford City was second with 109 and Minot was third with 93.
Dickinson High gymnasts Ayanna Fossum and Faith Beck each qualified for the USA Gymnastics Region 4 Championships after their showings this past weekend at the North Dakota USA Gymnastics Meet. The Region 4 Championships will be held in Sioux Falls, S.D., April 7-9. Fossum will be competing at Level 9, and Beck will be at Level 8. Region 4 is made up of gymnasts from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri and Wisconsin.
BELFIELD — The field was a little muddy, the lights weren't installed yet and it was a cool spring day, but it was beautiful. The newly formed Heart River baseball team held its first ever practice on Monday, giving the Cougars their first taste of a baseball diamond in the history of either school in the co-op.
On Monday, Dickinson High senior guard Aanen Moody, who was recently crowned as North Dakota's Mr. Basketball, was named the 2016-17 Gatorade North Dakota Player of the Year. The award recognizes athletic excellence as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character. Moody also earned the honor as a junior.
MINOT — Aanen Moody's stellar career came to a fitting end. The Dickinson High senior guard was named the 35th recipient of the Mr. Basketball award on Saturday evening, the grandest accomplishment in a career that has seen so many. Moody joins an elite fraternity of former players to win the award, given annually by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association to the top senior basketball player in the state.
MINOT — Kendall Jones hit just one shot during the three games at the Class B state tournament, but it was a big one. Minot Bishop Ryan made it clear on Saturday that it was not going away easily. Lions senior center Jacob Bohl hit a three-pointer with 5 minutes, 33 seconds to play in the fourth quarter Saturday, giving Bishop Ryan its first lead, at 40-38, since the opening minutes of the second quarter.
MINOT — Leaving nothing to chance, Dickinson Trinity took quick control of its game Friday. After losing at the buzzer to Ellendale in the quarterfinals of the Class B state boys basketball tournament on Thursday, the Titans opened a sizable lead early against Turtle Lake-Mercer-McClusky on Friday in the consolation semifinals, eventually coming away with a 47-26 victory. The Trojans shot just 2 of 26 from the field in the first half (7.7 percent) and went scoreless in the second quarter. Trinity led 18-4 after the first eight minutes and 29-4 at the break.
MINOT — Keeping in the spirit of March, Ellendale made sure to get the upset out of the way early. Brennen Vance, the Region 3 senior athlete of the year, overcame a 1 for 9 start to hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give his Cardinals a 41-39 victory over No. 2-seeded Dickinson Trinity on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Class B state boys basketball tournament at the Minot State Dome.
In the hours after Dickinson Trinity's boys basketball team lost to Fargo Oak Grove earlier this season, the Titans were brought together for a team meeting. A 7-2 record is nothing to sneeze at on Jan. 7 with the better part of two months still to play, but senior co-captains Shawn Stoltz and Lucas Jones took it upon themselves to address their teammates.
To earn the distinction of Region 3 champions, the Ellendale Cardinals had to do something they hadn't done all season: beat Carrington. Carrington — also the Cardinals, just a different shade of red — led District 5 all year, earning two wins against Ellendale during the regular season. Ellendale regrouped by the time its district tournament came around and defeated Carrington in the final game of the District 5 tournament 56-53. Just over a week later, the two teams met again in the Region 3 championship game, and Ellendale turned in a 53-40 victory.