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.
- Member for
- 5 years 2 months
It was a tournament in August at the Clemens Field House on the campus of College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., where Pelican Rapids' girls basketball team saw something. "We competed with all the better teams that were there," Pelican Rapids senior forward Adriana Torres said Saturday after a 70-27 win over Battle Lake at Concordia's Memorial Auditorium. "We realized then we clicked and we had something special." The Vikings also saw something else.
When University of Minnesota long snapper Payton Jordahl was 3 years old, his daycare would tell his mother, Kim, they were going to have to start charging her extra because he kept bringing his imaginary football team with him.
The number of high school officials is dropping in Minnesota, while the number in North Dakota is increasing.
No one will ever know if Mahnomen-Waubun senior linebacker Jayden Heisler was supposed to blitz on BOLD's final drive of the MInnesota Class 1A state championship Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Heisler had a devious grin when he said that he blitzed after the game. He often blitzes on his own. M-W coach John Clark laughed when he said it was good coaching and Heisler was supposed to blitz.
Hallie Clark took a deep breath before answering the question. Most of her breaths are deep these days, as she spends 10 hours each day on dialysis, which she handles herself. Hallie was asked what she wants to do with her life.
Barnesville was exactly where it wanted to be Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium. It was within one score in the fourth quarter of the Minnesota Class 2A state championship against top-ranked Caledonia. The Trojans cared not about the 53 straight wins or three straight state titles the Warriors brought with them. They had their eyes set on their first ever state title.
Myron Branning had just found out he had a debilitating disease. As he left the hospital on that day in August 2017, he called Barnesville football coach Bryan Strand. The two had met and played football together at Mayville State University, Branning the center and Strand the fullback. He would eventually stand in Strand's wedding. Branning wanted his best friend to hear from his voice, a voice that is now nearly impossible to communicate, that he had ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that attacks cells that control the muscles.
When Mahnomen-Waubun senior linebacker and running back Izaiah Asher was in eighth grade, Mahnomen head coach John Clark could not use him late in games because he couldn't be stopped and it would appear Mahnomen was running up the score. That's when he was in eighth grade. "He's the most natural runner that I've seen," Clark said.
For another year, Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 football belongs to Barnesville. The Trojans won their third straight section title 34-23, beating rival Hawley in the title game for the third straight season. It was fitting that quarterback Adam Tonsfeldt put the finishing touches on the game, streaking for a 37-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter to push the lead to two scores. Tonsfeldt couldn't play quarterback for the first six weeks due to injury, but played on defense three of those weeks he was hurt.
Mahnomen-Waubun needed 5 yards for a victory and the co-op's first Minnesota Class 1A, Section 8 football championship Thursday at the Fargodome. The ball was at midfield, the Thunderbirds were holding on to an eight-point lead and they were looking at a fourth-and-5. M-W head coach John Clark called a timeout with a little over two minutes remaining. There's no way he was punting the ball.