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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Moorhead At 2 years old, around the time Moorhead senior Cole O'Connell first started skating, in order to sleep, he needed about a dozen hockey pucks in bed with him. His mom remembers being forced to stand in the driveway playing hockey with him, while she was pregnant, when he was 2. At 3 years old, he was watching his older sister figure skate at Moorhead Sports Center and started crying. He wanted to be out on the ice. Someone told his parents maybe they should sign him up for hockey.
GLYNDON, Minn.—As the teams were shaking hands after Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's girls basketball team topped Ada-Borup-Norman County West 77-70 Tuesday, Cougars coach David Smart told D-G-F senior point guard Natalie Steichen he was looking forward to her graduating. "He's not the first coach to say that," D-G-F coach Tom Critchley said. The Cougars are 81-5 in the regular season the last four seasons. Three of those losses have come to D-G-F fueled by games like the one Steichen had Tuesday night.
MOORHEAD—The Moorhead boys hockey team has been looking for a spark this season. There's been no need to look for attention what with a Fox Sports North documentary, getting time on ESPN and getting to play Hockey Day Minnesota. The cameras surrounding the No. 10-ranked Spuds provide more light, but they don't provide a spark. The Spuds may have found one with a shakeup of the lines and a message sent from coaches that no spot is guaranteed. It showed in a dominating 3-1 win over No. 13 Andover on Monday.
MOORHEAD—Messages were sent without a word being said far before Moorhead's boys hockey team rolled Breck 13-1 on Saturday at Moorhead Sports Center. After getting shut out by section rival Brainerd on Thursday, the first time the Spuds had been shut out in 36 games, lines were changed, names were left off the line charts and there was a change in net for the Spuds.
FARGO—West Fargo Sheyenne boys basketball coach Tom Kirchoffner calls Mustangs big man Kemal Hajric the heart and soul of the team. It was only fitting, with the game already well in hand, the senior captain sprinted for a steal and saved the ball from going out bounds on the final possession for Fargo Davies. For the final 20 seconds, Hajric jumped around with pure joy before letting out one final scream, as the Mustangs handed the No. 1-ranked Eagles their first loss of the season 97-82.
BARNESVILLE, MINN.—Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School counselor Sarah Kjos walked up to D-G-F athletic director Joe O'Keefe on Tuesday to tell him she was going to Barnesville to help out because of a tragedy. O'Keefe asked what happened. Kjos told him a former student and volunteer coach had died in a car accident. "Please don't let it be Jaynie," O'Keefe thought to himself. It was Jaynie.
Ada, Minn. Ada-Borup sophomore center Mason Miller had to skip basketball season when he was in sixth grade. His knees hurt just running up and down the court. He pretty much knew the growing pains would pass, but there was still a part of him that felt he may never be able to play basketball again. "That definitely crossed my mind," Miller said. "I figured I'd be able to play, but I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to play."
GLYNDON, Minn.—Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's girls basketball team found itself up one point late on East Grand Forks on Saturday. The No. 2-ranked Rebels were teetering on the brink of their first loss of the season and loss of control of Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8. D-G-F seniors Natalie and Grace Steichen would not allow that, fueling a late run for a 56-47 win over the Green Wave.
FARGO—The Fargo Force are currently the best team in the United States Hockey League, but Scheels Arena has not been kind to them this season. They entered Friday with five of their seven losses in regulation coming at home. It took a Farmer to plant seeds for some home cooking, as Ty Farmer's goal from the left point with 6 minutes, 17 seconds remaining proved to be the winner in a 5-3 victory over Chicago. "That's huge," Farmer said. "Fans are a big part of us and our team and our culture, so it's huge to get a win in front of them."
MOORHEAD—Sam Haiby plans to take off her Moorhead basketball jersey for the final time when she's good and ready. She's not ready yet, even if a tear in the meniscus of her left knee nearly forced other plans. After knee surgery Thursday, the Moorhead senior guard, University of Nebraska commit and Miss Basketball candidate found out she will only miss a couple of weeks. She said she will be back this season. In the last couple of days, she's heard speculation ranging from a couple weeks to six months for her recovery. Thursday, she got the answer she wanted.