Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.
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FARGO — Blayne Smith twice mentioned in his classroom work at Roosevelt Elementary in Detroit Lakes, Minn., that he wanted to run a half-marathon with his mom. He wrote it on a to-do list before he's 12 and on a list for his goals for 2019. That's exactly what the 8-year-old did Saturday at the Sanford Fargo Marathon. "He's very motivated, not only in the classroom, but outside the classroom," Smith's second-grade teacher, Susan Jordan, said. "He loves challenges. He's just one of those kids that loves that kind of thing."
FARGO — If it weren't for a friend convincing Bonnie Jules to do a 50K marathon in Brighton, Colo., in 2017, she would have never met Edward Broadnax. On Saturday, before the Sanford Fargo Marathon, the two got married on a stage in front of the starting line. "I really owe her friend," Broadnax said.
FARGO -- The yearly drive to Willmar, Minn., for a cross country meet is not something Fargo North sophomore runner Josh Beck has ever done on the bus with the team. He drives separately with his parents because he needs a pillow to bury his face into when signs for Exit 55 or Exit 67 appear heading west on Interstate 94. There are five signs along the way that can send Beck into what his mother refers to as a meltdown. Beck readies his iPod to blast the band Imagine Dragons into his ears as the signs approach.
ST. PAUL -- The final players off the Xcel Energy Center Ice, after top-seeded Edina beat Moorhead 4-2 in the Minnesota Class 2A boys hockey quarterfinals Thursday, March 7, were Moorhead senior captains Kyler Kleven and Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe. They waited for goalie Hudson Hodges to leave the crease and come to the bench. Hodges made 32 saves, but it was as if he was searching for a few more after everyone left the ice. "Coming off there was tough. That's all you can really say about it," Henkemeyer-Howe said. "You want to play three games, but you only get one."
FARGO — Bismarck senior forward Jordyn Kisse was originally used as more of a defensive forward and on the penalty kill when she first started with the Blizzard. On Friday, Feb. 22, her offense sent the Blizzard to the championship game of the North Dakota state girls hockey tournament. The defending champs had their backs against the wall, as Fargo Davies tied Bismarck late in Friday's semifinal at Scheels Arena.
FARGO — The champions remain to defend its crown, as Bismarck topped Minot 1-0 in the North Dakota girls hockey quarterfinals Thursday, Feb. 21, at Farmers Union Insurance Center at Scheels Arena. The Blizzard will play in the semifinals at Scheels Arena. Bismarck has won the last four state titles and five of the last six. The Blizzard don't plan on giving up their run without a fight. "There's a lot of pressure because every team wants to beat us as bad as they want," Bismarck senior forward Kenley Anderson said. "We have to keep calm and take one day at a time."
FARGO — When Hillsboro-Central Valley senior Mark Hastings trailed after the first period of Saturday's North Dakota Class B state wrestling championship match at 182 pounds, he looked to his older brother, Luke, on the other side of the mat. Mark grew a mustache for the state tournament because his brother did when he was in high school. Mark was heartbroken when he didn't win a state title his sophomore season because it meant he couldn't win three state titles like his brother and he couldn't win a state title the same season as his brother.
MOORHEAD — Moorhead junior forward Cullen Gess began the season on the lower forward lines for the varsity boys hockey team. He was sent back to the junior varsity team midway through the season for a couple games before cementing his varsity spot on the second forward line. On Tuesday, four seconds after No. 12 Moorhead tied No. 20 Brainerd in the third period at Moorhead Sports Center, Gess was called for a tripping penalty, seemingly taking all momentum away from the Spuds. "I just felt for my teammates," Gess said. "I wanted to do my best to make it up."
FARGO — With one game remaining in the regular season, Fargo Davies' boys hockey coach Scott Petersen handed in his resignation Wednesday morning. The school announced in a press release Wednesday night that former Fargo South boys hockey coach Dean Wilson would serve as interim head coach for Davies.
PERHAM, Minn. — Bob Wilkowski took a second to try to remember how old he was when asked last week. The former Perham High School football player, coach and administrator turned to his wife, Carol, and asked if he was 72 or 73. The two met in 1967 when Bob was a punter and wide receiver for the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She was a freshman and he was on campus early for his fifth season of football. They've been together ever since. Carol reminded Bob he was 73.