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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Hillsboro, N.D. The boxing gym is an old tire shop, with one garage door in front and another one in the rear where cars could enter and leave to get new treads. A large American flag hangs on one wall, below it several boxing photos including former world champion Virgil Hill.
Fargo Pick a poll, any poll, and you'll find something different about them then you did in the last few years. Like, where are those prognostications that are top-heavy with Missouri Valley Football Conference schools? North Dakota State is the unanimous No. 1 and we all get that. The Bison are the defending FCS champions with a good portion of their power back from last season. But after South Dakota State, which is a consensus top-five team, not so much.
Fargo We first saw Zach Vraa at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome as the long-haired wide receiver who couldn’t keep his collar bones intact. He broke both, one of them twice. Once that got figured out, thanks to titanium plates, he went on to a stellar career finishing with 195 receptions for 2,957 yards and 28 touchdowns.
FARGO—For his summer vacation, Deng Geu got on a plane in Fargo, flew to Dallas for a week, got on another plane and flew to Istanbul, Turkey. After spending two weeks there, he boarded a plane for Lagos, Nigeria. It was all part of the North Dakota State forward playing for his native Uganda in the FIBA World Cup qualifying men's basketball tournament.
Fargo The small plane took off from Hays, Kan., and Ed Schultz took his customary seat toward the back. He was quiet, legs crossed, looking out the window often and jotting a few things down on a piece of paper. He just finished broadcasting the NCAA Division II North Central Regional men's basketball tournament in Hays, where the Bison lost to South Dakota State in the 1996 title game. It was a high-scoring contest that probably tested even the most vociferous pitch of Eddie's voice. Something was up on the trip home, however.
FARGO—Fireworks came early on July 4th at the North Dakota State football office. Fargo Davies incoming-senior Jaden Klabo committed to the Bison, giving the home-town school the top two prospects in the area. Klabo follows Fargo South tight end/defensive end Dawson Weisenberger and becomes the 14th player who said they will be part of the 2019 recruiting class. The NCAA early-signing date is in mid-December. By then, it remains to be seen how much the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Klabo will have grown. He's projected as a tight end.
FARGO—Life has never been better on the LPGA Tour for Amy Olson. She's been in two major tournaments, has already notched a career-high in earnings by a long shot and has already secured full status for next season. So, on that note, when she returns to Fargo for a July speaking engagement and youth clinic, there will be plenty to talk about. "Honestly it just takes a lot of the pressure off the rest of the season," Olson said.
FARGO—Hayden Zillmer is addicted, but he doesn't need help. At least not until after the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. That's the goal for the former North Dakota State wrestler, who if not working out twice a day feels like he's missing something. Asked how he gets away from the sport, he says that's not in his vocabulary. "I can't," he said. "I feel like if you get away from it a little bit it mentally wears on you. It's always on your mind and I guess I'm looking at the big picture and the ultimate goal in the sport."
FARGO—North Dakota State landed its first offensive lineman for the football recruiting class of 2019. Hunter Poncius, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound senior-to-be at Buffalo High School (Minn.), gave the Bison a verbal commitment this week. He's the 11th high school player to commit to NDSU and the ninth this week. Poncius also held offers from North Dakota, South Dakota and South Dakota State, according to CBS' 247sports.com.
FARGO—Air Force One that carried President Donald Trump to Fargo on Wednesday night was on the ground at nearby Hector International Airport. A military helicopter presumably on guard was flying by Newman Outdoor Field.