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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FARGO—The consistency of excellence of Amy Olson's record-setting college golf career was remarkable. She won five tournaments per year and left North Dakota State in 2013 as the all-time wins leader in NCAA women's golf history with 20. It was a breakthrough period of Bison golf—NDSU won the Summit League tournament title in 2013 and advanced to the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time in program history. Olson, who was Amy Anderson in college, was certainly the biggest reason why.
FARGO—For a while, it was looking more like rec league slowpitch softball than Division I college baseball on the Newman Outdoor Field scoreboard. North Dakota State came back from a deficit twice in the early innings, but the Bison couldn't do it a third time. Oral Roberts got the big inning and the Golden Eagles went on to take an 11-8 victory in Summit League baseball Friday night.
FARGO—Perhaps the first decision Odell Wilson IV had to make was what sport he was going to play in college. Basketball won out over football and North Dakota State won out over everybody else. Wilson made it official with his letter of intent on Thursday afternoon at a ceremony at his Minneapolis North High School. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound interior player could bring reminders of former Bison center Dexter Werner, said NDSU head coach Dave Richman. "He's not as long or as active as Dexter but he's more skilled at this stage than Dexter was," Richman said.
FARGO—Like some college kids are tempted to do, Steffan Stroh put a personal touch on his yellow moped that he uses to get around the North Dakota State campus. It has large Bison logos on it. Like some other students, he's plowed through his biotechnology major for the last four-plus years. Like a lot of athletes from small towns around the region, Stroh came to NDSU from Underwood, Minn., unsure if he could compete at the Division I level in track and field.
Fargo All Steve Kennedy wanted for Christmas so to speak was an NCAA Selection Show. Those events have been common over the years in several sports since North Dakota State moved to Division I athletics a decade ago. They've been so common in softball that they're no longer an event, but more of an expectation. CBS was here in 2009 when the NDSU men's basketball team made the NCAA tournament in its first year of eligibility. The various selection shows have been at local restaurants, memorial unions, domes and basketball arenas.
When it comes to rallies, North Dakota State will not soon forget the final nine holes in the Summit League Men's Golf Championship. The Bison overcame a three-shot deficit to claim a historic win for the program. Two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior played like seniors when it counted Tuesday afternoon at Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton, Kan., and the Bison edged the University of Denver for its first-ever Division I conference title.
FARGO—The recruiting season for the North Dakota State football program is at full throttle. And when it comes to this year's high school juniors, the Bison have their eyes on three local players. Fargo South's Dawson Weisenberger, Fargo Davies' Jaden Klabo and West Fargo's Luke Lennon all have a similar look to them in terms of size and speed. All are tight ends in the 6-foot-4 to 6-5 range, although that doesn't necessarily mean that's the position NDSU is targeting for them.
FARGO—The University of Nebraska-Omaha had more trouble scoring against North Dakota State than just about anybody else this season. That changed in a big way on Saturday afternoon. The Bison left Newman Outdoor Field on the wrong end of a 13-2 baseball loss, their worst defeat of the year. It was one of those days when it was probably best to forget about it the minute the game was over. "This was a classic buttkicking," said Bison head coach Tod Brown. "No idea. We looked like a team that really didn't want to play. I just didn't like how we came out and competed."
FARGO—Senior Bre Beatty won't soon forget her recruiting visit to North Dakota State four years ago, a tour that included all the cool amenities the athletic program had to offer. But when it came time to see where the Bison softball program played, that detail was just sort of glossed over. She never saw it. Then again, there wasn't much to show.
FARGO—The process started a day after the Division I FCS national title game in early January. At some point this weekend, Nick DeLuca will find out what city he hopes to make his next home. The former North Dakota State linebacker has been slotted anywhere from a middle- to late-round NFL draft pick to a free agent signing. CBS Sports, for instance, has him ranked the 15th-best available inside linebacker. But mock drafts are just that: educated guesses. The three-day NFL Draft begins Thursday with the first round and lasts through Saturday.