NDHSAA YEAR IN REVIEW: 2020-21 School Year


June 14, 2021 11:00 am

By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – The 2020-21 school year provided many memorable moments in North Dakota High School Activities Association sponsored sports and activities.

Below is a list of top moments that highlighted the year and a list of teams that celebrated NDHSAA state championships this year. Enjoy!

RETURN TO PLAY: After a 5-month Hiatus High School Sports return!

The Jamestown Girls Golf Invite, held August 17, 2020, marked the first high school extra-curricular athletic event with NDHSAA member school participation since March 13, 2020 when the NDHSAA Class A boys and girls basketball tournaments were shut down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The weather cooperated and made for a nice day on the links for 80-plus student athletes being able to enjoy the benefits of participating in education-based athletics again.

Bismarck Century sophomore Hannah Herbel won individual medalist honors at the opening tournament with a 3-under 69. Century took home first-place team honors scoring a 336 total, just three strokes better than runner up Minot (339). 

In the coming weeks football, volleyball, girls swimming and diving, cross country, boys soccer and boys tennis all kicked off in-season competitions.

PRIME TIME: Bismarck Century vs. Bismarck Legacy football game televised on ESPN2

A nationally televised audience watched Bismarck Century play Bismarck Legacy in the Division AAA football season opener for both squads on August 29 at the MDU Resources Community Bowl in Bismarck.

The game was televised on ESPN-2 as part of the network’s High School Football Kickoff Weekend featuring games from across the country.

Century defeated Legacy 37-29.

Fargo Shanley senior Emmet Kenney kicks 58-yard field goal

Fargo Shanley senior kicker Emmet Kenney connected for a 58-yard field goal on September 18 in a 43-38 loss to West Fargo Sheyenne at West Fargo Sheyenne High School.

Video of Kenney’s kick was posted to social media after the game and quickly went viral including a view by Lawrence Tynes, a former kicker and two-time Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants, who responded to the video with a message of praise and congratulations.

The kick is believed to be an “unofficial” state record. The previous known field goal to be the unofficial state record holder was a 54-yard field goal kicked by Jeff Pederson of Grafton High School in 1977. Pederson was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section of its October 3, 1977 issue which mentions his kick.

Later in the fall, Kenney hit two 50-yard field goals in a single game during the Deacons’ win against Grand Forks Red River at Sid Cichy Stadium.

Hannah Herbel Three-Peats in Class A Girls Golf

Bismarck Century sophomore golfing standout Hannah Herbel successfully defended her NDHSAA Class A girls golf individual state championship on October 6.

Herbel won her third-consecutive NDHSAA Class A girls golf individual state championship shooting a two-day total of 145. She won the tournament by three strokes.

Herbel became the state’s first Class A girls golf player to win three straight individual state titles since Jamestown’s Laura Kraft won three in a row from 2008 to 2010.

Two prep football standouts commit to Power 5 NCAA Division I programs

Senior prep All-State football players – Andrew Leingang (Bismarck Century, OL/DL, 1st Team) and Emmet Kenney (Fargo Shanley, K, 2nd Team) – each committed to Power 5 Division I Football programs in the fall.

Leingang committed and later signed his letter of intent to play football at Kansas State, who plays in the Big 12 Conference.

Kenney committed and later signed his letter of intent to play football at Stanford, who plays in the Pac-12.

Several other North Dakota prep athletes make Power Five NCAA Division I commitments

Andrew Leingang and Emmet Kenney weren’t the only North Dakota prep athletes to commit/sign with Power 5 NCAA, Division I athletic programs. Below are additional athletes who made news with their commitments.

Brady Yoder, Senior at Dickinson High - Purdue University Cross Country/Track: Brady Yoder committed to Purdue University of the Big 10 in December. Yoder finished runner up in the 2020 NDHSAA Class A boys cross country individual race and was the 2019 Class A boys individual champion as a junior. Yoder was also a runner up in the Class A boys 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters races at the 2021 NDHSAA State Track and Field Meet.

Abby Duchscherer, Junior at Kindred HS - Alabama Softball: Duschcherer committed to the Crimson Tide in September. Alabama is a perennial national power in softball and has appeared in every NCAA, Division I women’s softball College World Series since 1999. Duschcherer has played for travelling softball teams in Minnesota and South Dakota the past two seasons in addition to her standout play on the basketball and volleyball courts for Kindred High School. 

Christian and Wilfried Tanefeu, Seniors at Bismarck High - Michigan Wrestling: The Tanefeu Twins have become household names in North Dakota high school wrestling over the past three seasons and the pair is taking their grappling talents to the University of Michigan. Christian and Wilfried committed to the Wolverines in September and capped off their prep wrestling careers with each winning a third individual state championship – Christian (113 pounds) and Wilfried (120 pounds) – while helping the Demons to team individual and team dual state championships.     

Lexi Duchsherer, Senior at Bismarck Century - University of Arizona Women’s Swimming: Lexi Duchsherer committed to the Wildcats in the spring of 2020 and wrapped up a stellar prep swimming career with the Patriots in the fall. Duchsherer won the 50 Yard Freestyle (22.54 seconds, state record), 100 Yard Freestyle (50.26 seconds) and also swam on the Patriots’ 200 Yard Medley and 400 Yard Freestyle relay teams that won state championships. The 400 Freestyle relay team of Duchscherer, Olivia Schuchard, Sarah Dorrheim and Erin Palmer broke a state record with a time of 3:29.58. Bismarck Century won its sixth consecutive NDHSAA girls swimming and diving team state championship.

Joe Hurlburt, Junior at Enderlin HS - University of Colorado Men’s Basketball: Entering his junior year, 6-foot-10 Enderlin basketball standout Joe Hurlburt had Division I men’s basketball scholarship offers piling up and by the end of March Hurlburt had an answer to the question of where he would play college basketball. Hurlburt gave his verbal commitment to the University of Colorado of the Pac-12. Hurlburt averaged 22.6 points, 14.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game as a junior for the Eagles. He was named to the NDAPSSA Class B All-State boys basketball team. As of his commitment in late March, Hurlburt was rated by 247sports as the No. 11 center in the nation in the class of 2022, the No. 70 player overall and the No. 1 player in North Dakota. The Enderlin center also had offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, Iowa, Iowa State, Virginia Tech, Oregon State, North Dakota State and North Dakota.

State Cross Country Meet pivots to two sites

The COVID-19 Pandemic led to several changes in the prep sports landscape and one of them was the need to split the 2020 NDHSAA Cross Country Meet.

Due to the size of the outdoor event the Class A races were held in Jamestown and the Class B races were held in Cooperstown, N.D.

In Class A girls competition Jamestown senior Meghan Ford locked up an individual state championship three-peat in convincing fashion racing to a time of 17 minutes, 58.83 seconds – 40 seconds faster than the next individual finisher. Ford committed to Division I Furman University for cross country and track and field in August. In the team competition, Williston edged Bismarck High by three points to win the program’s first ever Class A girls state championship. The Coyotes scored a team total of 75 points and were paced by Eleni Lovgren (4th, 18:57.23), Dru Zander (7th, 19:03.22) and Sierra Watterud (16th, 19:50.29).

In Class A boys competition, Bismarck High senior Sean Korsmo raced to a time of 15 minutes, 27.50 seconds to win the individual state title – the second of his prep career. In the team competition, Bismarck Century won its second consecutive NDHSAA Class A boys state championship scoring 75 points and getting four all-state finishers: Mason Kindel (5th, 15:53.88), Jacob Ersland (12th, 16:22.39), Ethan Bender (13th, 16:25.77) and Griffin House (18th, 16:30.79).

In Class B girls competition, the Rugby Panthers clinched a repeat as team champions scoring 80 points. Rugby had its five scoring runners all finish in the top 25 and of that group three earned all-state honors – Brooklyn Bartsch (3rd, 19:28.3), Hannah Senechal (13th, 20:20.0) and Quinn Neppl (19th, 20:29.5) – as finishing in the top 20. Kindred freshman Peyton Gette finished with a time of 19:08.7 to win individual medalist honors.

In Class B boys competition, Bowman County scored 56 points to win the team state championship. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was senior Brian Miller, who took home NDHSAA Class B individual state championship honors racing to a time of 16:14.7. The Bulldogs also got all-state finishes from Caleb Sarsland (7th, 17:05.2), Taylor Wanner (11, 17:13.1) and Austin Wanner (12, 17:18.2).   

DAKOTA BOWL XXVIII & STATE VOLLEYBALL PLAYED AT FARGODOME

Dakota Bowl XXVIII was held November 13, 2020 at the FARGODOME. A week later the Class A and Class B Volleyball State Tournaments were held at the same venue.

A total of six state champions were crowned in the final two sporting events of the fall:

9-MAN FOOTBALL & CLASS B VOLLEYBALL:

Linton/HMB defeated Cavalier 32-24 in the 2020 NDHSAA 9-man football state championship game. Senior quarterback Lucas Schumacher led the Lions with 123 yards rushing and two touchdowns to go along with a 7-for-10 passing performance for 100 yards and touchdown pass. A week later, the Linton/HMB volleyball team won the Class B volleyball championship – a 3-0 (27-25, 25-20, 26-24) win over Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich. The victory completed an undefeated season for the Lions (25-0) and also marked the program’s first ever state championship. Teegan Scherr led the way for the Lions with 20 kills, 18 digs and two ace serves.

DIVISION A FOOTBALL:

Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich completed a Division A football state championship three-peat with a 42-28 win over Lisbon.

Lisbon led 20-16 at halftime, however, the Cardinals rallied to secure their 38th consecutive win. Langdon Area/E/M opened the second half strong scoring 26 consecutive points – four touchdowns all scored by the Romfo Twins. Grant Romfo scored three of the four second half touchdowns (a pair of the 1-yard touchdown runs and a 4-yard touchdown catch from his brother Simon). Simon Romfo added a 51-yard touchdown run in the second half. Grant Romfo finished the game with 17 yard rushing (3 TDs) and 65 yards receiving (1 TD). Simon Romfo rushed for 135 yards (2 TDs) and passed for 130 yards (1 TD).

Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich also were runners up in Region 4 boys basketball and were Class B baseball state champions.

DIVISION AA FOOTBALL:

Bismarck St. Mary’s spent the entire 2020 season ranked No. 1 in the NDAPSSA Division AA Football Media Poll and completed an undefeated campaign at the Dakota Bowl by defeating Beulah 17-7 in the Division AA.

Locked at 7-7 much of the second half, St. Mary’s was able to execute a lengthy drive late in the fourth quarter that ended with Nick Schumacher kicking a 19-yard field goal for the go-ahead points with 15 seconds left to play.

St. Mary’s added a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff when Isaac Vandal recovered a fumbled kickoff return attempt by the Miners for a score. Cullen Curl finished the game with 93 yards rushing for the Saints.

DIVISION AAA FOOTBALL & CLASS A VOLLEYBALL:

Bismarck Century defeated West Fargo Sheyenne 34-0 in the 2020 NDHSAA Division AAA football state championship game and extended its winning streak to 22 games. The Patriots were led by Cade Garcia, who rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns.

A week later, Century’s volleyball team defeated West Fargo High 3-1 (16-25, 29-27, 25-17, 25-19) in the Class A volleyball state championship match at the FARGODOME. It was Century’s sixth state title in the previous 10 seasons and eighth in program history. The victory also capped off an undefeated season for Century (22-0).

Demons & Broncos sweep team awards at State Wrestling Tournament

The Bismarck High Demons and Lisbon Broncos each picked up big team victories at the 2021 NDHSAA wrestling state tournament.

Bismarck High defeated Valley City 70-6 in the Class A team dual state championship match scoring bonus points in all 13 matches they won in the dual. Bismarck High got pins from Kaden Renner (106), Brandt Kringlie (195), Isaiah Huus (220), Wilfried Tanefeu (120), LJ Araujo (126), Juan Flores (132), Tyrus Jangula (138), Parker Benz (145), Isaac Peterson (152).

The NDHSAA Class B team dual final between Lisbon and South Border came down to the wire. The Broncos and Mustangs tied 33-33 after all 14 matches in the dual were wrestled leaving the championship to come down to criteria, which Lisbon won via criteria of fewest forfeits in the match.

The Demons and Broncos also picked up individual team titles at state.

Jordan Sours (170 pounds) and Boeden Greenley (152 pounds) won individual titles for the Broncos. Sours’ technical fall win at 170 pounds was his fourth individual state championship win of his prep career and wrapped a 31-0 undefeated season. Greenley won his third individual state championship of his career.

Kaden Renner (160 pounds), Brock Fettig (170 pounds), Brandt Kringlie (182 pounds), Isaiah Huus (195 pounds), Christian Tanefeu (113 pounds), Wilfried Tanefeu (120 pounds), LJ Araujo (126 pounds) won individual state titles for the Demons.

All Fargo Final in girls hockey state title game & All Grand Forks Final in boys hockey state title game 

Both hockey state championship games at Ralph Engelstad Arena featured cross-town rival matchups decided by one goal.

In the girls title game, Fargo Davies defeated Fargo North/Fargo South/Shanley 3-2. It was the Eagles’ first state championship in program history. Davies’ junior defenseman Kaylie Zimmerman scored the game-winning goal on a powerplay 14:37 into the third period.

Grand Forks Central and Grand Forks Red River locked up in the boys championship game. The Knights won the All-Grand Forks Final 3-2 in overtime. Central senior forward Chase Spicer scored the game-winning goal seven minutes, 19 seconds into the eight-minute overtime period with the assist coming from senior forward Braden Panzer.

It was the first time since 2005 where Central and Red River had met in a NDHSAA boys hockey state championship game.

Grafton Spoilers win Class B Girls Basketball state championship, kicking off March Madness

Grafton defeated Central Cass 64-50 during the 2021 NDHSAA Class B girls basketball state championship game played at the Minot State Dome.

The championship is Grafton’s second Class B state title in program history. The Spoilers won the 2012 Class B state championship and finished runner up to Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich in 2020.

Walker Demers led the Spoilers with 20 points.

Super A Basketball Tournament culminates with two state champions crowned

March 13, 2020 will be remembered by many as a day in which the Class A Basketball State Tournament was stopped in its tracks. The 2020 Super A and Class B boys basketball tournaments along with the entire 2020 spring sports season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

In 2021, the Super A Basketball Tournament was a culminating event with two state champions crowned.

Bismarck Century defeated Fargo Davies 58-47 in the Class A girls basketball state title game at the Bismarck Events Center to complete an undefeated 26-0 season. The championship was Century’s seventh in program history and sixth since 2010 – a 12 season stretch that has seen the Patriots play in the state title game eight times during that span.

The Patriots were powered by the play of their sophomore guard Logan Nissley who finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for Century. Nissley was 4-for-8 from 3-point range which was her strength the entire tournament. Nissley was a combined 13-for-27 from 3-point range during the tournament finishing with a three-day total of 67 points. Senior forward Ashton Kinnebrew added 12 points for the Patriots.

The Class A boys championship game was a thriller.

West Fargo High and Minot High met on the hardwood and gave the championship session crowd of 2,469 fans a performance that won’t soon be forgotten. West Fargo High ultimately emerged victorious, grabbing a 65-60 win over the Magicians.

The second half provided plenty of theatrics on both baskets, but the first 17 minutes of the game favored the Packers. West Fargo High shot 55 percent (18 of 33) from the field and led 40-25 at halftime.

The Magicians rallied in the second half. Minot chipped away at the Packers’ lead and ultimately would tie and later take a lead.

Minot High senior Michael Ross hit a 3-pointer with five minutes, 56 seconds to play to tie the game 54-54. Less than a minute later RaShawn Wilcox gave the Magicians their first and only lead of the game, getting a layup to fall with 5:03 remaining.

Minot’s lead lasted less than a minute thanks to two free throws made by West Fargo High’s Caden Zepeda. An ensuing Magicians turnover led to a Carson Hegerle layup to restore the Packers’ lead and this time it stuck as West Fargo High held on for the victory.

West Fargo High senior Carter Birrenkott paced the Packers with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Brett Limke added 13 points for West Fargo High (22-4).

Minot was paced by senior guard Deonte’ Martinez who finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.

The Return of “The B”: 2021 Class B Boys Basketball State Tournament with fans in attendance

One of North Dakota’s top prep sporting events – the Class B Boys Basketball State Tournament – was cancelled in 2020 and when NDHSAA Sports and Activities started back up for the 2020-21 school year, many hoped that ‘The B’ would not only be able to be played, but would also be played with fans being able to attend.

An attendance policy was put into place for winter state tournaments and ‘The B’ was once again able to be showcased as the “crown jewel” of North Dakota high school sports.

Kindred, Grafton, Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier, Four Winds/Minnewaukan, Shiloh Christian, Rugby, Dickinson Trinity and Powers Lake each qualified for the Class B boys  basketball state tournament held at the Minot State Dome.

In their program’s first ever appearance in a Class B boys basketball state championship game, the Kindred Vikings defeated Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier 40-34 in the championship game.

Kindred, seeded No. 5 prior to the tournament, was led by junior Paul Olson, who scored 23 points. Senior Alex Huber led the Rebels with 17 points.

Girls Wrestling gets Board approval to become an NDHSAA-sponsored sport starting in 2021-22 school year

The NDHSAA Board of Directors voted to approve the sanctioning of girls wrestling as a NDHSAA-sponsored sport starting in the 2021-22 school year at its March 30 meeting. Girls Wrestling regulations have started to take shape and first contests will take place in November of 2021.

Spring sports make a triumphant return

The 2020 spring sports season was cancelled due to COVID-19 and when the 2021 spring sports season rolled around the weather was great allowing teams to be able to hit the fields, track and tennis courts. Student Athletes and coaches took full advantage.

Culminating Postseason events for spring sports also returned in 2021.

At the Track and Field State Meet Bismarck Century (Class A Boys and Girls), Kindred (Class B Boys) and Oakes (Class B Girls) each won team state championships.

Kindred (Class B Girls Golf), Oak Grove (Class B Boys Golf) and West Fargo Sheyenne (Class A Boys Golf) took home state championship trophies on the links in early June.

Other teams to win state championships in the spring included: Central Cass (Class B Softball), Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich (Class B Baseball), Dickinson (Class A Softball), West Fargo Sheyenne (Class A Baseball), Mandan (Girls Tennis) and Minot (Girls Soccer). 

West Fargo Sheyenne's Mimi Gu defeated Mandan's Elizabeth Felderman 6-4, 6-4 in the NDHSAA girls tennis individual singles state championship match. Minot's Eden Olson and Sofia Egge defeated Mandan's Breanna Helbling and Sophia Felderman 6-4, 6-3 in the NDHSAA individual doubles state championship match.

Record Breaking Weekend at 2021 NDHSAA State Track and Field Meet

The 2021 NDHSAA State Track Meet was the first state tournament of the 2021 Spring Season and kicked things off marvellously.

Big crowds on Friday and Saturday saw a lot of great performances including some state records being set.

On Friday, Bismarck High senior Sean Korsmo won the NDHSAA Class A Boys 1,600 meters in a new overall boys and Class A boys state meet record time of 4:12.16. Hillsboro/Central Valley  senior Kaden Pastian won Class B Boys Discus state championship with a throw of 192 feet, which set a new Class B boys state meet record.

On Saturday the following state records were set or tied:

  • Sean Korsmo, Sr., Bismarck High won Class A Boys 3,200 Meters state championship in a time of 8:57.82 (New Overall Boys and Class A Boys Record).

  • Cece Deebom, Soph., Fargo Davies won Class A Girls 100 Meters state championship in a time of 11.97 seconds (Tied a Overall Girls and Class A Girls State Record).

  • Elise Wisnewski, Fr., Central Cass won NDHSAA Class B Girls 100 Meters state championship in a time of 12.24 seconds (New Class B Girls State Record).

  • Calob Larson, Sr., Bismarck Legacy won NDHSAA Boys 200 Meters state championship in a time of 21.36 seconds (New Overall Boys and Class A Boys State Record).

  • Bismarck Century (Autumn Ketterling, Emily Goldade, Ashton Kinnebrew, Erin Palmer) won NDHSAA Class A Girls 4x400 Meter Relay state championship with a time of 3:58.32 (New Overall Girls and Class A Girls State Record).

  • Jak Urlacher, Sr., Grand Forks Central won NDHSAA Class A Boys Pole Vault state championship with a vault of 15 feet, 7½ inches (New Overall Boys and Class A Boys State Record).

Spring golf medalists make headlines

Three golfers won individual medalist honors this spring and did so in standout fashion.

In Class B girls competition, Kindred freshman Avery Bartels finished the two-day tournament with an even-par 142 to win individual medalist honors. Entering the final round, Bartels held a one-shot lead over four-time defending Class B girls golf individual champion Emily St. Aubin of South Border. Bartels fired a two-under 69 on Tuesday and followed that up with a two-over 73 to maintain the lead.

In Class B boys competition, individual medalist honors went to Bottineau senior standout Jaden McCloud, who scored a seven-under 137 to become the school’s first ever boys golfer to win an individual state title. McCloud entered the final round one-shot behind Day 1 leader Cody Card of Oak Grove who carded a three-under 69 on Tuesday. McCloud started Wednesday on a torrid pace scoring birdies on his six holes. A bogey on Hole 7 snapped the string of birdies, but he more than made up for it with an eagle on Hole 9. Through nine holes, McCloud was sitting at seven-under for the round and nine-under for the tournament. The back-nine was less eventful for McCloud, but he did get one more birdie on Hole 13 that took the sting out of a double bogey on Hole 11.

In Class A boys competition, two golfers – Minot senior Gavin Argent and Grand Forks Red River senior Zach Hinschberger – needed to play an additional two playoff holes on top of their 27 regulation holes played on the final day of the tournament to determine individual medalist honors. Each golfer had 27 regulation holes to play on Day 2 because of a lightning delay on Day 1. Argent and Hinschberger finished their 36-hole rounds with 4-under 140s forcing extra holes. Both playoff holes were played on Hole 18.

Both golfers scored par-5’s on the first playoff hole, but Argent scored a birdie on the second hole to edge Hinschberger by a stroke winning individual medalist honors. Entering the final three holes of regulation play, Argent and Hinschberger were tied, but on Hole 16 Hinschberger separated with a birdie taking a lead. The lead was short lived as Hinschberger scored bogey on Hole 17, which opened the door for Argent who scored a birdie to take a one stroke lead heading into the final hole. Argent scored par on 18, but Hinschberger scored his eighth birdie of his second round to force the playoff, which drew a large gallery of fans. Both players checked in with 5-under 67’s for Round 2.

OTHER MOMENTS OF NOTE:

Jesse White climbs to No. 2 on state's unofficial boys basketball scoring list: Jesse White, senior at White Shield High School, put the finishing touches on a standout boys basketball career this winter. White, eclipsed 2,800 career points and finished No. 2 on the state's unofficial scoring list. White was named Class B Senior Athlete of the Year by the North Dakota High School Coaches Association and was also named Mr. Basketball by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Bismarck Century edges Bismarck High in boys soccer title match: The 2020 NDHSAA Boys soccer state championship match came down to a crosstown rivalry matchup between the Century Patriots and Bismarck High Demons. The title match was a see-saw, back and forth battle, but Century junior midfielder Chance Bowlinger scored the game-winning goal with eight minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the second half to give the Patriots their fifth state championship in program history.

Grand Forks Central boys tennis team goes undefeated, wins team dual: The 2020 NDHSAA boys tennis team dual state championship match between Grand Forks Central and Grand Forks Red River came down to the No. 3 singles match. Grand Forks Central edged the Roughriders 3-2 getting a come-from-behind win from eighth grader Cole Wilber at No. 3 singles giving the Knights their first team dual state title since 2018. In individual competition, Grand Forks Central junior Logan Sandberg defeated Bismarck Legacy senior Corby Svihovec for the NDHSAA boys tennis individual singles championship 7-5, 6-2. The Grand Forks Central doubles pairing of brothers Braden Panzer and Evan Panzer defeated Grand Forks Red River's Karsen Johnson and Ryan Muizelaar 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Bismarck St. Mary’s senior Reece Barnhardt wins fourth individual wrestling championship: Reece Barnhardt wrapped up his prep wrestling career with a pin over Minot’s Victor Garcia in the 132-pound state championship match. Barnhardt walked off the mat with a 22-0 season mark and a four-time individual state champion.

Dickinson High keeps rolling in Gymnastics: The Midgets won their sixth straight team state title and were led by sophomore Amy Fridley, who won individual state championships in the all-around, bars, floor exercise and vault.

Minot High boys dominate in the swimming pool: Minot’s boys swimming and diving team four-peated as NDHSAA team state champions this winter. The Magicians scored 433 points at the meet. Fargo Davies finished second with 224 points. Minot has won 29 team state titles in program history. The Magicians won seven of the 12 final events scored at the meet. The trio of senior Dominic Yoder, junior Grant Schaeffer and sophomore Alex King came up big for the Magicians. Individually, Yoder won the 200 Yard Individual Medley, and 100 Yard Backstroke while Schaeffer (200 Yard Freestyle) and King (500 Yard Freestyle) each picked up an individual state title. Yoder, Schaeffer, King and Josh Boen won the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay state title. Yoder also swam on Minot’s state record setting 200 Yard Medley Relay team of Boen, Peyton Bartsch and Jaxon Reinke (1:36.40). King, Schaeffer, Bartsch and Reinke also took first in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay.    

Fargo South/Shanley’s Eric Anderson wraps up decorated prep swimming career, performs big on national stage: Fargo South/Shanley boys swimming standout Eric Anderson added two more individual freestyle state championships to his career accolades. Anderson won the 50 and 100 Yard Freestyle events and his time in the 100 Freestyle (44.86 seconds) was a new state record. Anderson finished his prep career with seven individual state championships. In early May, Anderson qualified for the first wave of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in the 50 Yard freestyle and in June he advanced to the second wave of the trials when he finished in a time of 22.57 seconds, which cleared the Wave II standard by .14 seconds. The time was a personal best in the event. The Wave II part of the Trials is set for June 13-20 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Minot girls soccer completes an impressive undefeated season: Minot’s girls soccer team finished its 2021 season with a 6-0 win over Fargo Davies in the state championship match. Senior forward Lainey Sandberg and freshman midfielder Maicee Burke each scored two goals to lead the Magicians. Minot outscored its opponents 94-2 during the season and finished the year 16-0-0. 

Four other teams celebrate a “program first” state championship this spring: The Minot High girls soccer team wasn’t the only team to celebrate a program first in regards to winning a state championship. Other teams to celebrate a program first state championship were: West Fargo Sheyenne (Baseball), Mandan (Girls Tennis), Dickinson (Softball) and West Fargo Sheyenne (Boys Golf). 

Central Cass Squirrels softball team picks up where they left off: A year hiatus due to the COVID-19 Pandemic didn’t slow down the Central Cass softball team. The Squirrels three-peated as Class B state champions defeating Thompson 4-1 in the championship game securing the program’s fifth state championship. In the championship game, Central Cass was led by senior pitcher Aubree Lindstrom who struckout seven batters in a complete game effort and junior Peyton Nelson who was 2-for-2 with a walk and three RBI.

Trio of former Bismarck standouts play in NCAA Division I national title games: North Dakota prep athletes continue to excel in collegiate athletics and three former Bismarck area prep athletes played in NCAA Division I national championship games. Lauren Ware, a 2020 Bismarck Century graduate, helped the University of Arizona reach the NCAA Division I women’s basketball national championship game. Ware played 10 minutes in the championship game and grabbed one rebound in Arizona’s 54-53 loss to Stanford. Former Bismarck Blizzard girls hockey standouts Britta Curl and Kennedy Blair helped the University of Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team to a 2-1 overtime win over Northeastern in the 2021 NCAA Division I women’s hockey national championship game. Blair made 24 saves in goal for the Badgers in the title game.

Pair of former West Fargo High Packers baseball standouts share special moment in Major League Baseball game

Andy Young’s first week in major league baseball playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks ended with a bang … or a blast rather.

The former West Fargo High School baseball standout hit his first MLB home run on August 9, 2020 at Petco Park in San Diego. Young, a 2012 graduate of West Fargo High School, homered in the top of the ninth inning off of Padres reliever Luis Patino. Young’s home run hit to left-center field was estimated at 419 feet. The announcer broadcasting the game on television said “There’s one for West Fargo!" VIDEO: ANDY YOUNG'S FIRST MLB HOME RUN

The moment was special enough on its own, but what really put it over the top was that the home run ball was retrieved by fellow West Fargo High School alum Matt Strahm, who is a pitcher with the Padres. Strahm presented the milestone ball to Young after the game. San Diego topped Arizona 9-5.

“I didn’t even know Matt had the ball until I was back in the locker room,” Young said. “I knew it was in the bullpen so I assumed one of my teammates would get it for me. They said they didn’t have it and said I should go back on the field to look for it. When I got back out there Matt was waiting for me and they really did a nice job with it. I mean what are the chances? You can’t make this stuff up. It was really cool how it all happened.”

Former MLB Umpire and ND native Gary Cederstrom returns to officiate HS football

Former Major League Baseball umpire and Minot native Gary Cederstrom found a nice retirement gig – officiating high school football in North Dakota.

In February of 2020, Cederstrom announced his retirement from umpiring MLB baseball. He served as crew chief of the 2019 MLB World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. The Nationals defeated the Astros 6-2 in Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on October 30 in Houston with Cederstrom serving as the second base umpire wrapping up a 31-year career as a big-league umpire.

The next assignment as an official for Cederstrom would be 10 months later in Towner, North Dakota for a 9-man, Region 3 football game between the TGU Titans and the Trenton Tigers on August 21.

“People have been reaching out to me and asking me if I’m crazy,” Cederstrom said after officiating the game.

Cederstrom served as the white hat official alongside fellow crew members Mike Elgie, Curt Zimbelman, Kevin Harmon and Jerry Eggert during the TGU-Trenton game. Between Cederstrom, Elgie and Zimbelman there is 100 years of high school football officiating experience. Cederstrom last registered as a football official in the 1993-94 school year and the fall of 2020 marked his 20th year of officiating the sport for the NDHSAA.

“I had heard through a couple people that locally they were in need of some officials so I mentioned to (Mike) Elgie that we should get the old timers together again, form a crew and work some games,” Cederstrom said. “Mike said that was a great idea so we all decided to register.” 

Later in the fall, Cederstrom was inducted into the North Dakota Officials Association (NDOA) Hall of Fame.

COMPLETE 2020-21 TEAM STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP

Class B Baseball: Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich
Class A Baseball: West Fargo Sheyenne
Class B Softball: Central Cass
Class A Softball: Dickinson
Class B Boys Basketball: Kindred
Class A Boys Basketball: West Fargo High
Class B Girls Basketball: Grafton
Class A Girls Basketball: Bismarck Century
Class A Boys Cross Country: Bismarck Century
Class B Boys Cross Country: Bowman County
Class A Girls Cross Country: Williston
Class B Girls Cross Country: Rugby
Division AAA Football: Bismarck Century
Division AA Football: Bismarck St. Mary’s
Division A Football: Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich
9-man Football: Linton/HMB
Class B Boys Golf: Fargo Oak Grove
Class A Boys Golf: West Fargo Sheyenne
Class B Girls Golf: Kindred
Class A Girls Golf: Fargo Shanley
Boys Hockey: Grand Forks Central
Girls Hockey: Fargo Davies
Boys Soccer: Bismarck Century
Girls Soccer: Minot High
Boys Swimming and Diving: Minot High
Girls Swimming and Diving: Bismarck Century
Boys Tennis: Grand Forks Central
Girls Tennis: Mandan
Class A Boys Track and Field: Bismarck Century
Class B Boys Track and Field: Kindred
Class A Girls Track and Field: Bismarck Century
Class B Girls Track and Field: Oakes
Class A Wrestling (Team Dual): Bismarck High
Class B Wrestling (Team Dual): Lisbon
Class A Wrestling (Team Individual): Bismarck High
Class B Wrestling (Team Individual): Lisbon
Gymnastics: Dickinson
Class A Volleyball: Bismarck Century
Class B Volleyball: Linton/HMB
Debate: Bismarck Public Schools
Class B Plays: Shiloh Christian
Class A Plays: Jamestown
Class B Speech: Enderlin/Maple Valley
Class A Speech: Valley City
Student Congress: West Fargo Sheyenne