Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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FARGO — The profile picture on Jacob Halverson’s Twitter page is a serene, sunset view of the family farm outside of Casselton, N.D. It’s a vintage rural North Dakota photograph of summer in the Red River Valley. Next fall, the senior wide receiver from Central Cass High School isn’t straying far from the homestead. He’ll be one of an expected 12 players on Wednesday, Feb. 6, to sign with the North Dakota State football program.
FARGO -- Now that it appears we survived nature’s latest attempt to permanently wipe out North Dakota and northern Minnesota with an arctic cold blast that was at times pretty intense (I’ll admit, for a lifelong local, even that one caught my attention), there’s a football game to play on Sunday, Feb. 3. The New England Patriots vs. the Los Angeles-St.Louis-Los Angeles Rams. Forgive me if I still think Merlin Olsen is playing defensive tackle for the Rams. The Los Angeles Rams. Then it was St. Louis and now it’s LA again.
FARGO — North Dakota State head football coach Matt Entz was in Lakeland, Fla., early Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 23. He wasn’t there for a winter vacation from the cold weather in North Dakota. Then again, recruiting in late January isn’t nearly the tension storm that it used to be thanks to December’s early-signing period. If Entz would have gotten the Bison job two years ago at about the same time, things would have been vastly different in advance of the traditional national signing day of the first Wednesday in February.
FARGO -- The old reliables were present on Saturday, Jan. 19, when North Dakota State hosted the University of North Dakota in men’s basketball. A festive crowd. The Fargo-Moorhead Acro Team at halftime. A recognition of a Bison national football title. And a fight to the finish. The Bison held on in the final 12 seconds to take a 67-65 win before 4,232 fans at Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex. NDSU remained almost invincible at home with its eighth win in nine games in Fargo. The Bison leveled their Summit League record at 3-3 and are 9-11 overall.
FARGO -- The intensity meter for the North Dakota State men’s basketball team is expected to take another step forward Saturday afternoon, Jan. 18. The University of North Dakota comes to town for the first conference matchup between the two schools since 2004. Make no mistake, Bison head coach Dave Richman said, anytime NDSU and UND hook up it’s a bigger game. It’s the type of game that is normally made for senior leaders. Problem for the Bison is they have no seniors.
FARGO — The 2019 LPGA season kicks off this week in Florida. One of the tour’s top players, however, was still in Fargo on Monday, Jan. 14, getting ready to grind her game into shape. It’s been an interesting winter break for Amy Olson, the North Dakota State graduate and Oxbow, N.D., native who is now a Fargo resident again. The naming of her husband, Grant Olson, as an assistant football coach at North Dakota State last week means both are back on familiar ground.
FARGO — Fifteen games. Fifteen victories. It doesn’t get much more in the way of perfection for the North Dakota State football team. The Bison completed their dream season last weekend with a 38-24 win over Eastern Washington in the Division I FCS national championship game.
FRISCO, Texas – At some point on Sunday, Jan. 6, the day after North Dakota State completed its seventh NCAA Division I FCS national title, Chris Klieman became the full-time head coach at Kansas State and Matt Entz likewise at NDSU. The Bison players may have leeway with their so-called 24-hour rule – one day to either celebrate a win or get over a loss -- but it’s on to next year for the coaches.
FRISCO, Texas -- It was perhaps the greatest drive in North Dakota State’s Division I FCS national championship history that didn't result in any points. Nonetheless, holding the ball for more than 10 minutes of the fourth quarter was a major reason the Bison on Saturday, Jan. 5, won their seventh title in eight years. The final over Eastern Washington was 38-24. The long march that started on their own 6-yard line with 13 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the game didn’t figure in the scoring, but it did figure in the outcome.
FRISCO, Texas -- The rain stopped, finally, and the green natural grass of Toyota Stadium was finally visible to the North Dakota State football players on Friday afternoon, Jan. 4. It’s showtime. The NCAA Division I FCS national title game against Eastern Washington on Saturday will also be NDSU’s first game on grass this season. It’s a question head coach Chris Klieman gets every time the Bison play here. Will that be a factor?