PARK RIVER, N.D.—The rematch was a stalemate. A year ago, Park River/Fordville-Lankin beat Thompson 8-4 in the championship game of the North Dakota Class B high school baseball tournament. For the first time since that title game, the teams met Tuesday. The outcome was a split, with Park River/F-L winning the opener 6-2 to hand Thompson its first loss of the season, then the Tommies held off a fifth-inning Aggies rally to win 7-6.
Jackson Haagenson keeps it simple when he's on the pitching mound. "I throw fastballs and hope for strikes,'' the Grand Forks Red River High School sophomore said. "I don't throw a lot of off-speed stuff.'' The formula worked Monday. Haagenson threw the final three innings, allowing no runs and four hits, as the Roughriders rallied to a 6-5 baseball win at East Grand Forks Senior High and handed the Green Wave their first loss of the season.
After Sam Pulkrabek saw the last pin fall for a strike, he turned around, hands held high in celebration and all smiles. Pulkrabek ran through his area at East Grand Forks Liberty Lanes giving high fives to everyone—teammates, coaches, total strangers. That reaction isn't unusual for members of the East Grand Forks Senior High adapted bowling program. "That's pretty typical,'' coach Betty Benson said. "All the kids get excited when they get a strike or a high score. And they get discouraged when they don't. When that happens, you just have to encourage them.''
Two games into the fastpitch season, defending Minnesota Section 8A champion Red Lake Falls was winless and had scored a total of only five runs. Veteran Eagles coach Ben Hanson took the slow start in stride. "I wasn't concerned,'' Hanson said. "Those games were against two of the best teams (Norman County East/U-H and Thief River Falls) we'll play all year. And we hadn't practiced outside on our field yet and it showed.'' Red Lake Falls has bounced back from its slow start, improving to 7-4 with a 14-4 road win Thursday at East Grand Forks Sacred Heart.
LARIMORE, N.D.—It's not that Jason Farrell doesn't trust his baseball teammates. But the Larimore High School senior took care of things on his own earlier this week. In a 3-1 win against Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page, Farrell had a hand in every one of F-S/H-P's 21 outs, either by strikeout, assist or putout. "I've never seen that before,'' said veteran Larimore coach Ben Jacobson. "It was crazy. And it was pretty cool.''
Boys golf 6 West Fargo Invitational Wednesday, at Maple River Golf Cour. Team totals Fargo Davies 292, GF Central 301, GF Red River 302, West Fargo Sheyenne 316, West Fargo 317, Wahpeton 327, Fargo North 336, Fargo Shanley 338, Fargo South 346, Valley City 426 Top 5 individuals 1. Jack Olson, FD, 69; 2. Brandon McGarry, GFC, 72; 3. (tie) Seth Badolato, RR, and Alex Skarperud, FD, 73; 5. (tie) Adam Van Raden, RR, and Dylan Naylor, FD, 74 Other Red River scorers Matt Halvorson 77, Zach Hinschberger 78
Once Aleece Durbin had a fear of running the hurdles. She's conquered that emotion, and is making a habit of winning now. The Crookston High School senior captured the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles Tuesday at the Crookston KROX Invitational, which was held at East Grand Forks Senior High.
Jake Hjelle the pitcher has gotten a lot of support from Jake Hjelle the hitter. Hjelle pitched five innings to pick up the high school baseball win Tuesday as East Grand Forks Senior High defeated visiting Thief River Falls 9-3. The Green Wave finished the sweep with an 8-5 win in the nightcap. Hjelle is 2-0 on the mound this season. In both games, he drove in the go-ahead run.
Luke Vonesh has been the top thrower on the East Grand Forks Senior High boys track team this spring. But in every practice, being the best is a challenge. "Chase (Olderbak) will throw a big one and say, 'Farthest of the day,' '' Vonesh said. "Then Jhett (Pesch) and I will want to beat it.'' The trio of juniors is proving to be a big factor early in the track season. They combined for 41 points Thursday in the East Grand Forks Invitational, leading Senior High to the team title. The Green Wave scored 244 points to runner-up Crookston's 88.
GRAFTON, N.D.—When Joe Demers first got into organized baseball here, playing t-ball as a 6-year-old, Chad Kliniske was the Grafton High School baseball coach. When Demers graduated from Grafton High, Kliniske was his coach throughout his high school and American Legion baseball playing career. Demers went on to play baseball four seasons at Valley City State University. The 24-year-old is back in Grafton. And now Demers is the Spoilers' head baseball coach; Kliniske resigned from the position in January, but still is in the dugout as a volunteer assistant.