Sam covers Dickinson State athletics for The Press. He is a native of Somerville, Massachusetts, where former President Barack Obama once lived, and is a 2015 graduate of Emerson College in Boston. He likes basketball, newspapers, Gil Scott Heron and sneakers, among a few other things. Before The Press, he worked as an assistant in the sports department at The Boston Globe.
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Nine-year-old Mickellyn Walker understands the importance of repetition. For her, it's a quick spin of the ball, followed by one, two, and three consecutive dribbles, then a nice and concentrated follow through. Thousands of times over. Sometimes six days a week.
Just a couple of hours before their second game of the day was underway, the Dickinson State Blue Hawks had fallen victim to something they didn't expect to have to reconcile with at their home Astoria Field this season—a walkoff loss. But unique circumstances—a whole heap of snow up north this weekend—brought North Star Athletic Association opponent University of Winnipeg (7-27, 5-12) to Dickinson for a Saturday and Sunday doubleheader, where UW—the home team, took that first game in dramatic fashion, a 7-6 victory.
Chris Walby was so taken aback that he had to ask again, just to make sure he wasn't dreaming. How much? The answer was the same. Two dollars for a glass of beer from the very large vat sitting in front of him, apparently called a kegger, the first he had seen. He was in heaven. Actually, he was in Dickinson in 1978. But still. "I'm from Canada," said Walby, now 60, a 2003 inductee into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame, "where beer cost a freakin' fortune. I was absolutely in heaven."
The Dickinson State rodeo team is currently experiencing the unlucky breaks of the game. The Blue Hawks' spring season, two rodeos old after traveling to Brookings, S.D., two weeks ago and Lincoln, Neb., last weekend, hasn't gone exactly the way coach Eudell Larsen had hoped. But that hasn't been for lack of effort, preparation, or anything like that. Largely, he said, it's been the unluck of the draw.
There were six runs on two hits with 10 batters sent to the plate, plus four wild pitches, two passed balls and an error all in the bottom of the first. Then, in the second frame, there were 14 batters, five hits and eight runs. Then it was over. In what was slated to be a five inning affair — the first leg of a doubleheader against Bismarck High School on Thursday at Astoria Field — the 10-run rule was put in effect after just three innings, and the final ended up being 14-0.
MEDORA — We were somewhere around hole No. 15 when the Bully Mary, complete with a Bully Pulpit souvenir cup, started to kick in. Or, more likely—and less Hunter S. Thompson-esque—it was probably just the 150-or-so-foot-ravine directly below us that had my knees wobbling. Evidently, the rumors were true.
Abby Honeyman appeared to be flying. So did Jose Chorro. Each hurdle less and less daunting, the two made quick work of their back-to-back events, Honeyman finishing the 100-meter hurdles in 15.30 seconds, Chorro the 110-meter hurdles in 14.57. For Honeyman, who had been injured for most of the last few months, it was her first time in the event this spring. For Chorro, it wasn't a whole lot different from his recent body of work. Maybe a little more special, though. His time was best mark this season, three meets in.
Of the 119 days between Dickinson State's first indoor meet on Jan. 13 and its last outdoor meet on May 12, only two times are the Blue Hawks scheduled to compete in Dickinson. The first is today, where DSU will host its annual Blue Hawk Games. Four teams will make their way to Dickinson—Minot State, University of Mary, Black Hills State and Valley City State, plus a few other add-ons from surrounding junior colleges. For head coach Nick Walker, there's practicing and going through the motions on a home track, and then there's actually competing.
Despite fighting tooth and nail throughout the duration of this year's spring football session, Dickinson State defensive back Matt VandeBossche entered the final week of the abbreviated offseason trailing his rival, quarterback Hayden Gibson, by a sizable 2-0 tally. He got one back earlier in the week, bringing with him an interesting storyline into Thursday's annual Blue Hawk spring game.
Karsten Mack Jr. can hardly hold in his happiness. Not because his edler mentor is out of eligibility or because his contemporary is headed west, but because his second season as a Blue Hawk is starting to look a lot like high school. At Trinity High School in Trinity, Texas, there weren't so many plays. There was a lot of deferring to Mack Jr. "I was the only running back in my school," he said, laughing. As a soon-to-be sophomore at Dickinson State, it won't be so drastic; the offense here is far more advanced and the difference in depth is discernable.