Bison Illustrated March 2015

Page 1

ABOVE AND BEYOND

THE MAT

IS THE BISON WRESTLING PROGRAM READY TO TAKE OVER THE NATIONAL SCENE?

MARCH 2015 | FREE





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CONTENTS

feature

24

LIFTING EXPECTATIONS

Senior Evan Knutson and sophomore Josh Rodriguez are establishing a new Bison wrestling culture by accepting nothing less than a trip to the NCAA Championships.

32

HISTORY ON THE MAT

The Bison wrestling program was among the elite in Division II. Since its transition to Division I, it has had to climb its way back to the national limelight.

58

DANCING TO THEIR OWN BEAT

The Bison men’s basketball team isn’t allowing the loss of former players to hurt its productivity. We take a deep dive into the team to see where the success is coming from.

AT A GLANCE 14 Tyler Jangula’s in Memoriam

82 Get to Know Keith Dickhudt

28 Julson and the Savage

88 Bison From Around the World

40 Signing for the Future

98 Anything but a Rebuilding Year

52 What’s Bubbling?

100 Jace’s Space

62 Unseen Professional

104 Swany Says

76 Where Are They Now?

106 Pop Quiz

CLOSING THE CURTAIN

FOLLOW US

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B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

66

We sit down with women’s athletic director Lynn Dorn before her retirement at the end of March. She reflects on her 38 years of service at NDSU and what has been accomplished for women’s athletics across the nation.





MARCH 2015 | VOLUME 9 ISSUE 8 Bison Illustrated is a free publication distributed monthly (12 times a year). Our mission is to help promote North Dakota State University Athletics, provide a quality and fun reading experience and to improve the way of life in our community. The publication is mailed to homes across the US and has newsstand distribution throughout North Dakota and Minnesota.

PUBLISHER Spotlight Media PRESIDENT Mike Dragosavich ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Paul Bougie EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Andrew Jason EDITOR Joe Kerlin DESIGN/LAYOUT Sarah Geiger, George Stack, Ryan Koehler, Billy Schnase CONTRIBUTORS Josh Swanson, Joe Kerlin, Paul Bougie, Jace Denman, Brian Shawn COPY EDITORS Lisa Marchand, Erica Rapp, Aubrey Schield GENERAL MANAGER Brent Tehven SALES MANAGER Craig Holmquist MARKETING/SALES Tracy Nicholson, Paul Hoefer, Paul Bougie, Alicia Stuvland, Tank McNamara SOCIAL MEDIA Kristen Killoran CIRCULATION MANAGER Codey Bernier PHOTOGRAPHY J. Alan Paul Photography, NDSU Athletics, Tiffany Swanson, Joseph Ravits, Kimberly Hill ADMINISTRATION Heather Hemingway SPECIAL THANKS Ryan Perreault, Wes Offerman, Ryan Anderson, Jeff Schwartz, Colle en Heimstead WEB DEVELOPER Lydia Gilbertson DELIVERY Chris Larson, Peyton Berger, Hal Ecker

FOR ADVERTISING CALL 701-478-SPOT (7768) or email info@spotlightmediafargo.com

Spotlightmedia Bison Illustrated is published monthly by Spotlight Media LLC. Print quantity exceeds 40,000 per issue. Printed in the U.S.A. Bison Illustrated does not necessarily endorse or agree with content of articles or advertising presented. Bison Illustrated assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Bison Illustrated is NOT an official publication of North Dakota State University. Send change of address information and other correspondence to: Spotlight Media LLC. 502 1st Ave N. First Floor Fargo ND, 58102 or info@spotlightmediafargo.com



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EDITOR’S NOTE

The Wrestling Blueprint

FROM THE EDITOR When the words “dynasty” and “Bison” are mentioned in the same breath, it’s usually in conjunction with the football team and four consecutive national championships. But what if we could see the next Bison dynasty coming?

Joe Kerlin Editor, Bison Illustrated

T

HE DYNASTY I’m mentioning is a resurrection more than the conception of a program.

The Bison wrestling team had its heydays in the 1980s, ‘90s and 2000s until the transition to Division I took place. The Bison were conference-less and its legendary coach Bucky Maughan sailed into the sunset for the smooth waters of retirement. But you knew all that. What I want to highlight is the process that’s happening on and off the mat at NDSU this very second.

1

Speaking to Bucky about building the program, he’s quick to mention the people behind the scenes that gave wrestling an avenue to success. He speaks about Darrell Mudra, who hired Bucky in 1964, and the administrators at NDSU who recognized the importance of athletics as the front porch of the university.

14

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@joebisonmag

That priority has stayed true today. Starting with Gene Taylor, who masterfully guided NDSU through its transitional period, to his successor Matt Larsen, the person everyone behind the walls at NDSU Athletics will vouch for.

2

The construction of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex is proof that the administrators are doing everything feasibly possible to help not only the wrestling program, but every other sport at NDSU. When the construction of the Bison Sports Arena took place, it was a giant step forward for the wrestling program. Bucky said it was one of the best facilities for wrestling across Division II, and its remodel inside the SHAC will surge it forward next to the elite programs at the Division I level.

3

But you need the man to helm the ship.

Bucky was brought in after eight forgetful years of wrestling at NDSU and he changed the direction of the program. Today,

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

the one making a Bucky-sized impact is head coach Roger Kish. He’s brought his AllAmerican pedigree with him to NDSU. He expects the same excellence in Fargo as he did during his time wrestling with the University of Minnesota, along with his teammates that he brought with him to NDSU.

4

The talent Kish has brought to NDSU gauges his leadership and hunger for success. Bucky didn’t have the talent when he took over in the ‘60s, saying he could’ve beat anyone on the team no matter how heavy, but then he went on to win four national championships. Now Kish has replicated the process of bringing in talent by introducing Top 25 recruiting classes over and over again.

5

Talent is nothing without development.

The progression of Bison wrestlers is seen in the backto-back All-Americans Kish and his staff have produced with Trent Sprenkle and

Steven Monk. These talented wrestlers were good coming into the program, but the staff undoubtedly pushed them to become better and that’s exactly what happened. A current example can be seen match after match with Bison heavyweight Evan Knutson. Bucky said he’s made a big jump since starting his freshman season. Call it experience or maturation, either way, Knutson is a viable contender to bring home another All-American plaque to NDSU. As this goes to print the Bison have cracked the Top 20 and are fresh off winning their second Western Wrestling Conference championship in three years. The foundation for a long run of success has been established at NDSU. Throw in better recruits and better facilities on the horizon, the sky is the limit for the Bison wrestling program.

Go Bison,

Joe Kerlin


Greater Than The Gridiron FROM paul bougie CONTACT ME

701-478-7768 paulbougie@spotlightmediafargo.com

T

ake it all in, Bison fans. Most of us have been to football games inside the FargoDome, and a good percentage of us have made it to a basketball game at Scheels Arena, but there’s much more to see. When was the last time you went to a Bison wrestling match? I was at the Bison/ University of Minnesota dual and I had an absolute blast watching the Bison wrestling team work together while taking their talents to the mat. Before we know it, the weather will change and spring will be in the air. Along with preferred temperatures coming to town, so are the Bison softball and baseball teams. They don’t play often or for too long at home so we have to make it count when they do. And let’s not forget the softball team will be going for back-to-back Summit League titles at the Shelly Ellig Sports Complex this May. And oh by the way, did you guys see the Bison woman’s track team just won the Summit league indoor championships

for the eighth time? Now THAT’S a run. (Pun intended) Bison Nation is about more than football. We have the honor and privilege of witnessing the most exciting student athletes across the collegiate landscape. And these athletes work just as hard, and have the same – if not more – Bison Pride than all of us. So I challenge you to get away from your spring cleaning and attend a baseball, softball or track event in the next couple months. Call some of your fellow Bison faithful and ask, “When was the last time you went to a Bison (insert sport here) game?” And do it. In fact, maybe we can even tailgate before a softball game, take in a day of sun at an outdoor track and field event or enjoy the best college baseball stadium from here to Omaha, Neb., at Newman Outdoor Field. Just remember, not all of the wonderful NDSU student athletes play on Saturdays in the fall.

Paul Bougie


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IN LOVING MEMORY OF

Tyler Jangula

1986-2015

The Jangs… What a guy, what a legend! Tyler Jangula was the most fun, most loving and driven person I have ever met. No, really. When I think about it, he was the essence of what being the perfect teammate was about. Every time I was with him he was doing something kind, something fun and crazy, or something with unfathomable passion. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about his attitude towards life and it’s very inspirational to me. We sometimes take for granted the people that radiate kindness and positive energy. I want to dedicate this issue of Bison Illustrated to my teammate and my friend, Tyler Jangula. I also want to dedicate this magazine to the awesome and humorous memories I have with him. Thanks, Tyler, for making us all better people and rest in peace. We will all miss you.

-Mike Dragosavich

Bison Illustrated Publisher

BROTHERHOOD. THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN AT TYLER’S FUNERAL SERVICE, WITH HIS FORMER TEAMMATES AND FRIENDS. THIS SHOWS YOU HOW MUCH HE TOUCHED THE LIVES OF EVERYONE AROUND HIM, ESPECIALLY HIS BISON BROTHERS!

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Tyler Jangula and Tyler Roehl are pictured on the cover of Bison Illustrated

18

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Here the two Tyler’s during our photoshoot for Bison Illustrated spread


What Tyler Jangula showed us and what we can reflect on is that he is the epitome of BISON PRIDE... He was a tough SOB that no one wanted to mess with, yet he would be there for any teammate, person, coach and student that was in need.�

Tyler Roehl Teammate, 2004-2008

LETTER FROM THE JANGULA FAMILY We would like to express our gratitude to everyone that has supported us during this difficult time. As we continue to read notes and cards, it makes us smile knowing how many people Tyler touched during his lifetime. He was extremely proud of his family, friends and his Bison family. We will never be able to thank his teammates and coaches enough for being with us during this very difficult time. This has truly made us realize how close and supportive our Bison Nation really is. Thank You All,

19


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B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015


BISON

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BISON SHOTS FOURTH DAKOTA STATE A triumphant Bison football team shows off its newest FCS Championship trophy to the Bison men’s basketball crowd a week after a fourth consecutive championship season. (From left to right) Jedre Cyr, Carey Woods, Jeff Illies and Cole Davis proudly hold the trophies before the basketball team went on to defeat Western Illinois, 64-62. Photo by Joseph Ravits

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Check out bisonillustrated.com 23




BY JOE KERLIN PHOTO BY J. ALAN PAUL PHOTOGRAPHY

EXPECTATIONS WITH THE PROGRESSION OF UPPERCLASSMEN LIKE EVAN KNUTSON, THE BISON WRESTLING PROGRAM IS READY TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS OF SUCCESS. FOR 125-POUND JOSH RODRIGUEZ AND 285-POUND KNUTSON, IT’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS OR BUST.

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EVAN KNUTSON

Third Time’s the Charm

EVAN KNUTSON Senior Wausau, Wis. 78-52 career record, 15 pins Two-time NCAA Championship participant Four-time WWC Wrestler of the Week 2014 First team all-Western Wrestling Conference performer

ison heavyweight Evan Knutson has come a long way since his days at his uncle’s dairy farm chucking hay with his cousin. “Me and my cousin get really competitive with it and we’d tell the people on the trailer to try and bury us in the mound and me and him would just be sweating, chugging water bottles between every load,” explained 285-pound Knutson. Knutson said it benefitted him athletically and made him strong enough to be the heavyweight Wisconsin state runner-up during his senior year at Wausau West High School.

was ready for it going in but I think it definitely benefitted my wrestling for my career in the end.” Head Coach Roger Kish would agree with Knutson’s sentiment after seeing his heavyweight qualify for the NCAA Championships the past two seasons. Knutson has also earned four Western Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Week awards while compiling a stunning 78 career wins. But the NCAAs remain a problem for the heavyweight, who has a 1-5 record in the national meet.

His strength was so overwhelming that he cracked the starting lineup his freshman season at NDSU.

Mowing through hay has done more than help Knutson as he prepares to enter the professional world after graduation.

“I was really surprised but I was excited at the same time,” Knutson said. “I wouldn’t say I

Knutson fell in love with animals while working on his grandpa’s farm as a kid. From

feeding cows, to cleaning stalls and other random chores, Knutson was a prototypical farm hand. NDSU has allowed Knutson to stay involved with livestock; about 15 hours a week he helps out at the Animal Nutrition & Physiology Center. This acts as great experience for Knutson, who is waiting to hear back from the University of WisconsinMadison to see if he gets accepted into their veterinarian program. Knutson said he has a backup plan. If he isn’t accepted into Wisconsin, he will go to grad school for either muscle physiology or nutrition. “I’m trying to see which one I’m more passionate about,” Knutson said. “Then I’d reapply to vet school most likely, unless I find something I really like to do before that.” But before that happens, he has one more thing he’d like to do before ending his career. “Be an All-American,” Knutson said. “That’s the goal and I plan on it.”

27


JOSH RODRIGUEZ

young, talented and ready

JOSH RODRIGUEZ Sophomore Guadalupe, Calif. 37-22 career record, 3 pins Went 17-0 wrestling unattached last season One-time WWC Wrestler of the Week

28

osh Rodriguez is still waiting for his first opportunity to compete with the nation’s top talent at the NCAA Championships. He arrived at NDSU two years ago and wrestled unattached last season. “Freshman year was a big shock to me,” Rodriguez said. “Just the style of wrestling and the competitors, it was just a whole new level; there were no easy matches. But my redshirt year, it was more relaxing and laid back. I had no stress.” Rodriguez finished 22-15 his freshman season and went 17-0 last year. Expectations couldn’t have been higher for Rodriquez this season after his dominating performances during his first two seasons in college. But just

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

as the season was approaching, the 125-pounder had a setback. “I banged up my MCL,” Rodriguez said. “It was sprained or something so I was out for almost a month. … Then I injured it again two weeks before competition.” He missed his first eight matches of the season, but returned with vengeance when he beat Virginia’s nationally ranked lightweight Will Mason in his first match back from his injury. Rodriguez has caught the attention of his teammates, and fellow wrestler Kurtis Julson told reporters earlier this season he believes Rodriguez has the potential to be an All-American. The support and confidence from his teammates is

comforting, said Rodriguez, but the pressure is nothing new because he already puts it on himself. Rodriguez is 10-3 in duals this season and has positioned himself nicely to join Knutson at the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career this March.


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JULSON AND THE

SAVAGE

KURTIS JULSON Senior Inver Grove Heights, Minn. 69-42 career record, 7 pins 2014 NCAA Championship Participant One-time WWC Wrestler of the Week

AND 30

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JULSON AND THE

THE

SAVAGE

BY JOE KERLIN PHOTO BY J. ALAN PAUL PHOTOGRAPHY

THE STORY OF NORTH DAKOTA STATE’S JACK PINE SAVAGE DOESN’T BEGIN IN THE WOODS OR A FOREST. IT STARTS IN A SMALL MINING TOWN CALLED CROSBY, MINN.

HAYDEN ZILLMER Junior Crosby, Minn. 67-21 career record, 12 pins 2014 NCAA Championship Participant Two-time WWC Wrestler of the Week 2014 First team all-Western Wrestling Conference performer 31


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JULSON AND THE

efore the NCAA Championships and a massive growth spurt, Hayden Zillmer was a threetime state champion wrestler from Crosby-Ironton High School. Head coach of the Bison wrestling team, Roger Kish, thought he was bringing in an athletic 5-foot 10-inch, 141-pound machine, but the reward for landing Zillmer at NDSU quickly became sweeter. It’s nothing new for 18-year-old recruits to keep growing when they hit the college level. Early in Zillmer’s career it appeared he was going to fall into this category, but he kept growing and growing. During his redshirt year, he wrestled at 149, then 157 during his freshman season, and then jumped to 174 last season while developing into one of the best wrestlers on the team. Zillmer won the NCAA West Regional at 174 pounds and

SAVAGE

joined his teammates Steven Monk, Kurtis Julson and Evan Knutson at the NCAA Championships. After getting sick during his training for the NCAAs, Zillmer recovered but was quickly eliminated after two matches. Zillmer continued to grow this offseason and it became apparent to his teammate and fellow NCAA Championship qualifier – Julson – that Zillmer would have to wrestle in a higher class. “I guess you could just see it,” said Julson, who spent his junior year wrestling in the weight class above Zillmer. “So I dropped back down so the team was better if I was at 174 and he was up at 185.” Julson’s selfless act has spring boarded Zillmer this season. He is ranked eighth in the nation at the 185-weight class and his teammates have started calling

the man built like a tree, “a savage.” “I was told earlier this year I was a savage,” Zillmer explained. “And I said, ‘Oh yeah, the Jack Pine Savage’ and everybody started making fun of me about it.” As satirical as Zillmer and his teammates make it sound, the Jack Pine Savage name well represents the wrestler that is listed at 6 feet tall, but towers over his teammates in practice and his opponents on the mat. Never staying put in a weight class for more than a year would seem to be a disadvantage for the junior, but he believes it’s the opposite. “I think it’s gotten easier to tell you the truth,” Zillmer said. “I feel like I’m a lot quicker than the guys I wrestle. Muscle and power and stuff, I feel like that’s there too. Everything just clicks.” As for senior Julson, he is now back in the weight class he

wrestled at during his freshman and sophomore seasons. After winning his first tournament back in the 174-weight class, Julson has battled stiff competition this season and has compiled a record of 16-9. Coming off a victory against Minnesota’s Jordon Rothers, the senior is peaking at the appropriate time as the NCAA Championships approach and he said he’s more prepared than last season. “You get to that point (where) if I lose, my season is done and everything is over,” Julson said. “Just having that experience when you come back and step away from it and can say, ‘I know what’s important now and I’ve learned to compose myself.’” Zillmer and Julson are two names that helped the Bison achieve its goal of Western Wrestling Conference champions, but their seasons are far from over with the NCAA Championships around the corner. 33


WRESTLING HISTORY

Bucky Maughan was head coach of the Bison wrestling program for 46 years, won 17 conference championships and four national championships, and coached 171 AllAmerican.

By Joe Kerlin | Photos Courtesy of NDSU Athletics 34

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1957 Bucky Maughan was the head wrestling coach at NDSU for 46 years. Maughan is credited for lifting the wrestling program to new heights, accumulating

Bison wrestling begins and Tom Neuberger named coach

a record of 467-157-13 during his tenure. Maughan led the Bison to 17 conference championships and oversaw the program during its transitional period to Division I. Maughan was a two-time NAIA champion at Minnesota State-Moorhead and was inducted into

1964 Bucky Maughan becomes head coach

the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. 1966

Joe McCormick becomes the first Bison AllAmerican

YEARS OF EXISTENCE Football Wrestling RECORD Football Wrestling CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS Football Wrestling NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS Football Wrestling ALL-AMERICANS Football Wrestling

1970

Bison Sports Arena is built

1971

Bill Demaray and Bob Backlund become first Bison national champions

1971

Bill Demaray becomes first Division I placewinner (6th) in the Division II era

What's a Placewinner?

It took Bucky Maughan 24 years for the Bison to win its Division II Wrestling Championship. The program would go on to win three more over the next 13 years.

During the Division II era, if your wrestler finished high enough at the national level, he was eligible to wrestle in the Division I individual tournament. Contrary to popular belief, Trent Sprenkle wasn't the first Bison wrestler to be a Division I All-American; Bill Demaray was the first in 1971 when he finished sixth.


WRESTLING HISTORY

Realizing the lack of space and difficult environment, Mudra developed a plan. He worked

1972

with the university and implemented required

Bill Demaray becomes first three-time AllAmerican

physical education classes for incoming freshmen. Step 1 - Facility When Maughan took over the wrestling team in 1964, the program was hidden away in the

1979

Bison win its first North Central Conference Championship

1984

Mike Langlais becomes first fourtime All-American

basement of the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse. With less-than-ideal conditions to build a dominant program, Maughan worked with then athletic director, Darrell Mudra, to find a better facility. Maughan remembers the conditions in that old basement. "It was originally going to be a swimming pool, but they covered it up because they had no money. They sprayed this stucco-like material on the ceiling and then they shot on the stage above us, and every time the shot hit the

1988

Bison win Division II National Championship

floor, the stucco would fall on the mat and we’d have to sweep the mats off.�

Wayne Schwartz,

The growing interest in the athletic department and physical education program created a need for more space. That's when NDSU made plans to build the Bison Sports Arena so they could move most of the athletic department out of the BBF. The wrestling team moved its program inside the BSA and suddenly had one of the top wrestling facilities in the nation. "The first event in the building was the Bison Open in the fall of that year," Maughan said about the 1970-71 season. That year would also yield NDSU's first two individual Division II national champions, Bill Demaray and Bob Backlund.

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WRESTLING HISTORY

The program will move into the Sanford Health

Step 2 - Recruiting

Athletic Complex after the building’s completion

North Dakota high school wrestling was only 4

in 2016. It will be another giant step forward for

years old when Maughan arrived at NDSU. Today,

the program that will be housed in a state-of-the-

it remains in its infancy but has grown to house

art facility.

over 20 Class A schools.

1995

Brian Kapusta becomes first three-time Bison national champion

1998

Bison win Division II National Championship

2000

Bison win Division II National Championship

The Bison have won four Division II Championships, with back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.

2001

Bison win Division II National Championship

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WRESTLING HISTORY

2004

Bison go Division I

The first area Maughan would learn to recruit

The tournament draws the best of the best young

heavily was his home state of Pennsylvania,

talent to Fargo for one week to compete for

where six to 700 high schools compete in

national recognition.

wrestling. Minnesota was another area Maughan planted his stakes and where many of his All-

"Of course lately with GameDay and the national

Americans came from.

tournament, the perception of Fargo has changed," son of Bucky, Jack Maughan said. "But

2006

Bison join Western Wrestling Conference

Today, recruiting has been one of the strengths of

early on, 20 years ago, there were people that

Roger Kish's staff. The 2013 recruiting class was

maybe thought that Bison roamed the streets and

ranked fourth in the nation according to Intermat.

all they saw was 40 below. It’s nice that every good kid in the country has been to Fargo once so

Step 3 - USA Wrestling

it’s not the first time."

“Another thing that’s helped NDSU immensely is

2011

Bucky Maughan retires, Roger Kish becomes head coach

having the USA Wrestling tournament here in the

Many wrestlers that commit to NDSU have

summer," Maughan said. "Every good kid in the

competed in the national high school tournament

country that wants to get a scholarship is going to

in Fargo including Coach Kish, who was here two

be wrestling in that."

times before going to college at Minnesota.

For 20 years, the ASICS/Vaughan Cadet & Junior

With new facilities, better recruiting and the USA

Nationals have taken place during the summer

Wrestling tournament juxtaposed, the Bison have

inside the FargoDome.

put themselves in the driver's seat to becoming a national power among the college wrestling elite.

2013

Bison win its first Western Wrestling Conference Championship

2013

Trent Sprenkle becomes first All-American and first Division I placewinner (5th) in the Division I era

2014 Steven Monk becomes highest Division I placewinner (3rd) 38

Three Bison wrestlers pose for the 1960 wrestling poster. The 1960 team went 8-6 under the program's first coach, Tom Neuberger.

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

The 1997-98 wrestling team won the NCC Championship and the Division II National Championship. The championship team had eight All-Americans and two individual champions.


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By Joe Kerlin | Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography 40

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015


DID YOU KNOW? Joe Haeg walked on at NDSU and never signed a National Letter of Intent. We had him sign one for the first time, but don’t worry, it was never faxed.

41


JOE HAEG

Undersized and Undervalued Joe Haeg

W

hen Bison left tackle Joe Haeg was in eighth grade, he was an undersized offensive lineman fighting for playing time on his junior high’s B-Team. Haeg’s head high school football coach Ron Stolski describes Haeg as “smallish” during this point of his career, but that 42

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

didn’t mean Stolski wasn’t keeping an eye on him. “The first thing you always look for in any athlete is feet,” Stolski said. “Joe started to grow and grow length; you could see that Joe had that quick first step.” By Haeg’s sophomore season, he was growing at a rapid pace. The next important step Stolski

credits Haeg’s development to was his ability to work in the weight room. The ironwill of Haeg that Bison fans have grown accustomed to seeing out of the team’s best lineman first showed itself in the weight room at Brainerd High School. The work Haeg put into lifting weights quickly translated to domination on the prep gridiron. “You’re going to play like hell to beat Joe Haeg,” Stolski said. “He was a quiet player, quiet leader but with fierce determination.” Haeg could have all the determination in the world, but the three closest Division I football programs weren’t


2015 Recruiting Class 27

5 WISCONSIN

12

Jaxon Brown, DB Eau Claire, Wis. (Regis HS)

MINNESOTA

Matt Anderson, TE Lakeland, Minn. (Stillwater HS)

Marquise Bridges, WR

Joe Haeg has started against three FBS opponents in his career. Here he is turning around an Iowa State defender that didn’t stand a chance.

Brooklyn Park, Minn. (DeLaSalle HS)

Bryan Carlton, DT Chanhassen, Minn. (Minnetonka HS)

Jack Darnell, DT Champlin, Minn. (Champlin Park HS)

Ben Ellefson, TE Hawley, Minn. (Hawley HS)

Robbie Grimsley, DB

The closest Haeg came to a Division I scholarship offer was from UND to play for head coach Chris Mussman. “UND was telling me I was going to get a scholarship, but it was only going to be a half to a quarter,” Haeg said. “Then a week before my visit, the offensive line coach that liked me left and went to a different college.” Mussman told Haeg during his visit they had offered the scholarship to the bigger offensive lineman. Disappointed, Haeg figured he would end up walking on at UND, but then he received a phone call. Haeg was in a McDonald’s four

“They were always honest with me, which I really liked,” Haeg said about NDSU’s recruiting process. “There was never any hinting at a scholarship, but I knew that I liked the coaches here. Coach (Scott) Fuchs really liked my athleticism and my ability to get up to the weight to become better.” When signing day arrived, Haeg selected NDSU to become a preferred walk-on. As Stolski put it best, “The rest is pretty damn good history.” Haeg gained 40 pounds from the beginning of his senior year in high school to his second year at NDSU. In 2012, he was quickly inserted into the starting lineup in the first game against Robert Morris as a redshirt freshman. Haeg was named a 2014 firstteam All-American and has proved, not only to the coaches that didn’t recruit him, but to himself, that he belongs in the trenches with the best college football players in the country.

Demaris Purifoy, RB Wauwatosa, Wis. (Wauwatosa West HS)

Tyler Glass, FB Lancaster, Wis. (Lancaster HS)

Cam Pedersen, K Eau Claire, Wis. (Regis HS)

3 NORTH DAKOTA

Ty Brooks, DB

Laporte, Minn. (Bemidji HS)

Brock Robbins, FB

Connor Hubbs, DT

days before signing day when Bison offensive coordinator Brent Vigen gave him a call.

Germantown, Wis. (Germantown HS)

Hutchinson, Minn. (Hutchinson HS)

James Hendricks, QB

offering him a scholarship immediately out of high school. The University of North Dakota and North Dakota State showed modest interest as Haeg’s senior season progressed and the University of Minnesota didn’t bother catching a glimpse at what Haeg had to offer. This was a mistake Gopher head coach Jerry Kill would later tell Stolski he regrets.

Cole Karcz, DE

White Bear Lake, Minn. (White Bear Lake HS)

Zack J. Johnson, OL Blaine, Minn. (Spring Lake Park HS)

Braden Sikes, DB Excelsior, Minn. (Minnetonka HS)

Dimitri Williams, WR Lakeville, Minn. (Rosemount HS)

Michael Veldman, QB Becker, Minn. (Becker HS)

Fargo, N.D. (Fargo South HS) Cavalier, N.D. (Cavalier HS)

Tre Fort, DB

Moorhead, Minn. (Shanley HS)

2 ILLINOIS

Jack Albrecht, OL Rolling Meadows, Ill. (Fremd HS)

Dom Davis, DB

1

Millstadt, Ill. (Belleville West HS)

IOWA

Jake Brinkman, LB North Liberty, Iowa (Regina HS)

1 MISSOURI

1

Trent Mooney, OL

SOUTH DAKOTA

Lamar, Mo. (Lamar HS)

Derrek Tuszka, DE Warner, S.D. (Warner HS)

1

1

FLORIDA

CALIFORNIA

Ruskin, Fla. (Newsome HS)

Oakland, Calif. (Saint Mary’s College HS)

Bruce Anderson, RB

Aaron Mercadel, LB

43


CHRIS BOARD

saved through the cracks

Chris Board

I

n a day and age of countless college recruiting services, summer recruiting camps across every state and nationally televised Signing Day specials, it’s hard to believe an athlete with the size and speed of Bison safety Chris Board would fall through the cracks. But that’s exactly how Timber Creek High School head football 44

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

Before summer camp opened, Board went to Buckridge and explained his desire to play defense. Buckridge said he saw Board as a perfect fit at outside linebacker, but Board thought his skill set was best utilized at the safety position.

coach James Buckridge would explain the path Board almost fell into during his senior year.

“Your biggest concern is usually if the kid can tackle or not,” Buckridge said. “But from the first practice we knew we had a pretty special player.”

Board transferred to Timber Creek his senior year from East River High School just down the road in Orlando, Fla. Buckridge said Board was frustrated with the lack of playing time his junior year and how his skills were going unnoticed as a tight end.

The moment that ensured Buckridge had a great safety was during one of the first days of full contact drills. Timber Creek had a stud running back. He was a sophomore named Jacques Patrick and the nation’s largest recruiting services had



CHRIS BOARD

been following him since his freshman year. “Chris met him in the hole and they went smacking into each other, shoulder pad to shoulder pad,” Buckridge recalled. “Chris sent him straight to the ground and any doubt we had was gone.”

Chris Board built the reputation as a hard hitter on special teams last season. He also recovered second half opening kickoff during the FCS Championship to give the Bison the ball to start the half.

Patrick signed with Florida State this February as the 42ndranked prospect in the ESPN 300. He also had offers from the University of Alabama, Ohio State and Texas A&M. Board’s senior season came and went, but he only had a handful of offers from smaller FCS schools like Furman University,

Jacksonville State and BethuneCookman University.

commitment to NDSU and a few weeks later he would sign his Letter of National Intent to continue his football and academic career in Fargo.

A few weeks before signing day, Bison defensive ends coach AJ Cooper paid Timber Creek High School a visit, a school where NDSU had recruited before. Coach Buckridge gave Cooper the film of Board and immediately Cooper went to visit the athlete at his home.

“We thought he was all set to go to Jacksonville State,” said Buckridge. “It was kind of like a shock at the time. But I’m really glad it worked out.” With two national championships under Board’s belt, Buckridge said he couldn’t be more proud of his former player he could talk all day about.

The next week, head coach Craig Bohl came to visit. “For him to travel all week and to come down to Florida that was – that meant a lot to me,” Board said. “It showed how much they wanted me and how much they wanted me to come here. I wanted to go somewhere where they wanted me to be there.”

He explained how there are some players you don’t want to talk about, but then there are other players – like Board – that you love talking about, which makes his success that much sweeter for the Timber Creek head football coach.

Within a matter of two weeks, Board gave his verbal

where was the 2014 football roster from?

18

27 20

7 10 2

2 3

1

1

4 1

2

1 46

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

7

TOTAL 106 MINNESOTA 27 WISCONSIN 20 NORTH DAKOTA 18 NEBRASKA 10 SOUTH DAKOTA 7 FLORIDA 7 ILLINOIS 4 MISSOURI 3 ARIZONA 2 KANSAS 2 IOWA 2 MICHIGAN 1 PENNSYLVANIA 1 NORTH CAROLINA 1 HAWAII 1


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11/14/14 2:48 PM


JEREMY KELLY

he started at right tackle and was a two-time all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference honorable mention. As Kelly enjoyed individual success at Crookston, he yearned to play at the level he was originally recruited to play.

the long road to success

Jeremy Kelly

W

hen Jeremy Kelly was going through the recruiting process as a senior in high school, attending a Division II University in the small town of Crookston, Minn., was on the short list of schools he was most likely to attend. Kelly was a highly sought after offensive line recruit that was getting looks from nearly every school in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and a couple of FBS programs. When it came time for Kelly to make his decision, he accepted a scholarship to play for the Air Force Academy. 48

Attending a military school is unlike any other college football experience in the country, said Kelly. Kelly reported to the Air Force prep school like any other incoming recruit for a shortened “boot camp” for three and a half weeks. From there, the Air Force would redshirt Kelly for a season to use all five years of his eligibility. Then the Air Force would require five more years of military service out of Kelly after graduation. After prep school, Kelly decided that the Air Force wasn’t for him, which created another issue

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

for the 6-foot 6-inch offensive tackle out of Somerset, Wis. “I decided to leave and by that time it was a week or so before camp had started for all the schools,” Kelly said. “And by that time all the schools had their scholarships filled up and everything.” Kelly began reaching out to every school that showed him interest during his senior season, to see if any school out there had any scholarship money left. Minnesota-Crookston answered the bell and was able to offer Kelly a partial scholarship. Kelly had two successful seasons in Crookston, where

“I wanted to end my career better than that, because of how much football meant to me,” Kelly said. “I just wanted to be a part of something great and work my butt off. Hopefully, if I can play, great; but at least I know I can finish off my college career being a part of something great with this program and team.” Kelly said the success ultimately drew him to NDSU, and in 2013 he transferred. His career came fullcircle during this season’s championship game when Kelly started at right tackle against the team that first offered him a scholarship out of high school – Illinois State. Even though Kelly admits he almost committed to Illinois State out of high school, he’s glad his college football journey has brought him to the Bison football family. “I came in with the freshmen, but I wasn’t really with the juniors that had been here the whole time,” Kelly said, explaining the challenges of a transfer student-athlete. “But they accepted me as part of the family and that’s how it would be with any recruit coming in here. All the hard work pays off. You can see for yourself in what we’ve done here in the past years and the history. It’s all worth it.”


2015 missouri valley football conference recruiting hot beds NDSU

IOWA 18

MINNESOTA 17

SOUTH DAKOTA 9

NEBRASKA 9

FLORIDA 8 ILLINOIS 7

WISCONSIN 5 NORTH DAKOTA 3

MISSOURI 2 OKLAHOMA 2

COLORADO 2 KANSAS 1 CALIFORNIA 1 INDIANA 1

GEORGIA 1

TEXAS 1

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

SOUTH DAKOTA

NORTHERN IOWA


MJ STUMPF

swinging one way, too.” Stumpf said his father was going to support the decision he made no matter what, but one of his teammates at Harvey-Wells thought they were going to pick a school together. UND tight end Tucker Nordby had the intention of signing with his high school teammate Stumpf, but Nordby was taken by surprise when Stumpf made his verbal commitment to NDSU during the fall of their senior season without consulting his teammate.

domestic talent

“I told him I had to do what I had to do, but he understood,” Stumpf said. “We look back and laugh at it now.”

MJ Stumpf

L

ike many star high school football players in North Dakota, deciding which in-state school is the best fit can be a difficult decision. Just ask junior linebacker MJ Stumpf. Stumpf was a first team all-state quarterback for Class A’s HarveyWells County High School and was selected to play in the biggest all-star games the state had to offer: the Badlands Bowl and the Shrine All-Star game. Harvey-Wells County compiled a 22-6 record with Stumpf playing quarterback and safety. Before Stumpf’s immaculate senior season at Harvey-Wells, Craig Bohl took notice of 50

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

Stumpf’s talent and offered him an invitation to the summer Bison football camp. After his performance during the week of drills and competition, the recruiting attention picked up for Stumpf and suddenly UND and NDSU were within contention of landing the North Dakota high school star. Stumpf’s father, Michael Stumpf, attended NDSU for a semester and has grown close to individuals connected to the NDSU football program. “He’s really into the program and has always been about it,” MJ Stumpf said. “So we were NDSU fans. And he was

Stumpf made his unofficial commitment to NDSU Nov. 2 and the following week he came to Fargo for his official visit. The Bison were smart about this. To maximize Stumpf’s comfortability, they picked linebacker and fellow small-town kid Travis Beck as Stumpf’s host. “I’m a small school kid so I didn’t know what the heck to think,” Stumpf said. “But then I got here and they were all really cool and they took care of me. I spent most of my time with him (Beck) and (Kyle) Emanuel so it was pretty cool.” Although the Bison would lose to Youngstown State during Stumpf’s visit, he was convinced NDSU was the place for him to spend his college career. Stumpf is now closer than ever to cracking a spot in the starting lineup next season and is also pursuing his degree in natural resource management.


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SPORTS BUBBLE

By Joe Kerlin

|

Photos by Tiffany Swanson

T HE NEWEST ADDITION TO NDSU ATHLETICS' COLLECTION OF FACILITIES IS THE SPORTS BUBBLE, WHICH CAN BE SEEN JUST WEST OF THE SANFORD HEALTH ATHLETIC COMPLEX'S CONSTRUCTION ON TOP OF DACOTAH FIELD. THIS STATE-OF-THE-ART BUBBLE IS IN USE 24/7, ALLOWING ALL SPORTS A SPACE TO PRACTICE. FROM FOOTBALL WALK-THROUGHS TO DRIVING RANGE PRACTICE FOR THE GOLF TEAM, THE BUBBLE IS THE NEWEST FEATURE BISON ATHLETES CAN UTILIZE TO PERFECT THEIR CRAFT.

REVOLVING DOORS

REVOLVING DOORS

EMERGENCY EXIT

52

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EMERGENCY EXIT

TRANSPORT DOORS


CONSTRUCTION

SPORTS BUBBLE The 70-foot high Bubble became a part of the campus skyline during the first week of December, but the process for its construction started in September. The Bubble spans 390 feet long and 216 feet across the turf over Dacotah Field.

1

Master Construction Co. poured cement and placed steel reinforcement around the perimeter of Dacotah Field. The five-foot anchor in the field was poured in late September.

2

The week before the FCS playoffs began in the FargoDome, the three main entrances, five emergency exits and garage door were constructed by Air Structures American Technologies, Inc (ASATI). The all-aluminum doors allow for an air lock to prevent the dome’s air pressure from changing as people come and go.

STEP 1

STEP 2

3

The canvas was rolled out in six large pallets across Dacotah Field. The pallets were then connected by hundreds of foot-long steel plates that are bolted together to connect the pallets of fabric.

STEP 3

4  STEP

STEP 3

WEATHER RISKS •

The design of the Bubble allows snow to fall off in every direction. An exterior cable bungee system is also implemented on the Bubble’s canvas. The system works to distribute the wind’s energy when it hits the Bubble. According to ASATI, the cable system can handle wind up to 150 miles per hour.

The canvas is placed in the angle-iron to lockdown inside the perimeter of Dacotah Field. On Selection Sunday for the FCS playoffs, a crew of seven from ASATI inflated the bubble. Starting at 5 a.m., the process took four to five hours. Every door around the Bubble has a boot that is placed on its canvas once it is fully inflated so the doors are completely sealed.

5

ASATI brought two boom lifts to hang the lights around the Bubble. The north and south end have two rows of 50 lights each, for a total of 200 lights hanging from the Bubble’s roof. The DAFT HangLite system is made to reduce glare and can have a calming effect on athletes. The lights are also durable and can withstand the impact of a baseball or a softball.

INFLATORS •

Two computer-controlled inflators stay running inside the Bubble to prevent the roof from collapsing. The computer calculates the air pressure needed at any given moment inside the Bubble. There’s also a backup inflator hidden in the southeast corner of the facility. 53


SPORTS BUBBLE

bubble up SOFTBALL/BASEBALL

The baseball and softball team simulated games for the first time in February with the sports Bubble. There's room for batting cages, live hitting and pitchers to practice.

Several coaches emphasized the importance of having practices on campus. Baseball coach Tod Brown said the 84,240-square feet of space they’re given makes the players look forward to practice more.

Defensively, one thing we’ve talked about is getting our outfielders fly balls. We’ve spent so much time on infield things; it’s really for us to keep on adjusting our practices to make sure we’re getting the most out of our space and our practices.” - Head Coach Darren Mueller

“I think the most important thing is we can work more on our short games. We can put up targets and we can work on the pitching, chipping and the wedge shots, which is really probably the most important thing to be sharp with when we go out in the spring.”

Golf

The west side of the Bubble has a net covering the canvas. Although its canvas can withstand the impact from golf balls, baseballs and softballs, the net provides extra protection.

- Women’s Head Coach Matt Johnson

SOCCER

The NDSU women’s soccer team will host several scrimmages inside the Bubble this spring. For the first time, NDSU won’t have to travel

to simulate real games.

The biggest advantage is the size because the most you can do in the Metro Rec Center is five versus five. We can’t do any tactical coaching by any means and the height of the ceiling in there is about 10 feet so any balls hit in the air, you can’t do that either. For us, the ability to play the game the way it’s supposed to, our ball striking is something we can work on and things like that. The fact we can play 11 versus 11, which is the way the game should be played, is a huge advantage for us.” - Head Coach Mark Cook

EQUIPMENT •

The golf team purchased 3,000 driving range golf balls for the Bubble. The batting cages inside the dome are from InMotion Air and are inflatable so they’re extremely light. Also, they purchased an inflatable “turtle” so the teams could have a backstop for live hitting. 54

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

DID YOU KNOW? • In the original blueprint for the Bubble, NDSU was going to implement a suspension system to hang the batting cages and turtle from the roof when they’re weren’t in use. Their plan never came to fruition due to weight issues.


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CHEMISTRY QUIZ

Amanda

Grable? ld What wou a d n a m A say?

S

enior Amanda Grable has spent her career driving in base runners for the Bison softball team, and the runners she’s driving in are the speedy Cheyenne Garcia and Logan Moreland. We asked these ladies some questions to see how well they know the power-hitting Grable.

THE QUESTIONS 1. What’s your favorite genre of music? 2. What’s your favorite TV show? 3. Where in the world would you like to visit most?

4. What’s your dream job?

CHEYENNE GARCIA

LOGAN MORELAND

Country

Hip Hop/Pop

Pop

Friends or Grey’s Anatomy

Friends

The Voice

Glacier National Park

France

Working for the San Diego Padres, doing what Schwartz does.

+1

Any occupation at a baseball +1 stadium

Italy Sports Broadcaster

5. How old were you when you started playing softball?

4 years old

7 years old

7 years old

6. Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr)

Mark Wahlberg

Nick Jonas

7. What’s the last movie you saw in a movie theatre? 8. What’s your favorite sport other than softball?

56

AMANDA’S ANSWERS

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

American Sniper Watching football, but playing basketball

American Sniper +1 American Sniper +1

Baseball

Basketball

3-8

2-8

+1



DANCIN G

MEN’S BASKETBALL

THEIR OW

TO

N BEAT By Joe Kerlin | Photo by

Carlin Dupree’s numbers haven’t been gawk-worthy, but this “glue guy” has changed the pace of the Bison basketball program this season. 58

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D M A RC H 2 015

Joseph

Ravits


MEN’S BASKETBALL The remnants of a Bison team that advanced to the Round of 32 was a senior point guard as floor general, an experienced junior who is willing to lock down the most prolific of scorers and a slew of role players that have basked in the glory of players like Marshall Bjorkland, Taylor Braun and TrayVonn Wright. Kory Brown, the aforementioned defensive specialist, saw the disrespect given to his team by the coaches this preseason when the Bison were voted to finish fifth in a league they dominated a season prior. “We didn’t like it,” Brown said before a practice during pre-season. Brown said he’d like to show everybody in the conference that they are still a good basketball team and to no surprise, they’ve done exactly that. During the first two seasons of Brown’s career he has been given the task to guard the other team’s best perimeter players. Guards like Nate Wolters, Luis Jacobo and Garret Covington have been harassed by Brown’s athleticism, wingspan and will to never back down. But like many of his teammates, Brown has been asked to fill a new role this season.

Lawrence Alexander hosted both Carlin Dupree and Kory Brown on their visits to NDSU. Alexander’s importance to this year’s team can be summed up by his teammates reaction after his final home game.

A

fter NDSU made its first run to the NCAA Tournament in the spring of 2009, the program turned around the following fall and went on to perform at a level not seen in NDSU basketball history since 2002. With its stars tapped out of eligibility and inexperience thrown into the limelight, the 2009-10 Bison suffered a major set back, finishing the season with an 11-18 record.

“I think his energy is effective for us on the offensive end as well,” first year head coach Dave Richman said. “Between AJ (Jacobson) and Kory, they’re a unique matchup with who you’re going to guard your three or your four with.” It only took 18 games this season for Brown to reach his shot total from his freshman season and it only took 20 games to reach his shot total from his sophomore campaign. Photo by Kimberly Hill

With the memories fresh in the minds of fans, some wondered if the same thing would happen to this year’s team coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance. Bison Nation waited in anticipation for this year’s men’s Bison basketball team to see if they would endure another slip in program prestige as it said goodbye to three of its top four scorers and its fiery leader that decided to continue his coaching career in a more reputable conference.

Although Brown has battled a knee issue, he says his energy hasn’t been compromised on the defensive end with his new role on offense. “It’s a mentality thing for me to have the energy. If I can think it, I can do it,” said Brown, who has seen his points and rebounds per game spike this season. Brown has been a new fixture in the offense for the Bison, but the hands-down leader and nucleus of the team has been four-year starting point guard Lawrence Alexander. 59


MEN’S BASKETBALL

The Streak The Bison have continued its success at home this season. Carrying over from last season, the Bison have rattled off 25-straight home victories. The first season inside the Scheels Arena has been friendly for the Bison, and head coach Dave Richman can't explain the success. "We’ve had nine practices there this season before games. I don’t know what it is, if it’s where you slept the night before, but whatever it is we’ll take it and build on it.”

During a game against IUPUI this season, Dupree only scored six points on 3-of-8 shooting, but he managed to contribute in other ways. Dupree had five steals and five rebounds to go along with four assists.

The Bison have already proved the naysayers wrong this season by continuing to have one of the best records in the conference. With more players filling essential roles, the Bison aren’t done surprising people this season.

“I understand that I have a lot of shooters around me,” said Dupree, explaining his mentality while driving the lane. “When I get to the hole it’s going to clog up so we always tell our shooter to have their hands ready and all the person has to do is make that pass.” Photo by Joseph Ravits

Coming into the season, the Bison knew they would live and die by the play of Alexander. With the senior leading the Summit League in scoring with over 19 points a game and shooting 45 percent from three-point land, the Bison have remained at the top of the class in the Summit League. “Most of the time we run cutters with two out and three on the baseline and we get the three guys on the baseline a lot of penetration either in the middle (of the lane) or on the baseline,” Alexander said, explaining the fluidity of the Bison offense this season. “And that’s one thing Dave (Richman) tells us is ‘Shooters, get your feet and hands ready to shoot,’ and as you can see that’s mainly where our offense is coming from.”

Photo by Kimberly Hill Lawrence Alexander watches with his Dad, Lawrence Sr., as Lawrence III slaps hands with head coach Dave Richman during LA’s Senior Day ceremony.

The pace and space game of the Bison offense has paid dividends for the threepoint marksmen like Alexander, Jacobson and emerging true-freshman Paul Miller. Facilitating this style along with Alexander has been sophomore Carlin Dupree, who Bison fans remember as the savior during overtime against Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament. “He’s our glue guy,” Alexander said. “Sometimes his stats are eye-popping and sometimes they’re not. Sometimes he has five assists but sometimes he has two, but he always seems to make the right play when we need it.” Alexander is right. Dupree’s numbers, at times, have been funky this season. 60

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SUMMIT LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR SCHOOL:

NDSU

Oral Roberts

Omaha

South Dakota

PLAYER:

Lawrence Alexander

Obi Emegano

CJ Carter

Tyler Larson

PPG:

19.1

17.9

16.7

14.6

RPG:

4.5

4.7

2.2

7.9

FG%:

43.2

46.5

45.5

43.8


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LIZ KEENA

PROFESSIONAL

X

X

X

X

X Liz Keena is just one of the hundreds of North Dakota State athletes that will continue her career without a ball or a jersey. Instead, she’ll be in a conference room plotting the next great marketing strategy or interacting with a team of publicists to give clients what they need.

By Joe Kerlin | Photo By J. Alan Paul Photography 62

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LIZ KEENA

he most unnoticed part of Keena’s game is off the court. Just because she was an athlete, she refused to let that stop her in building a portfolio a communication department counselor would be proud of. In her four years playing basketball for the Bison, Keena interned for Sanford in their marketing department, became a social media specialist and event planner at Unseen Ministries and helped give clean water to underprivileged families in Africa through Wellspring for the World. She also didn’t forget to study. Keena has earned her way onto the Summit League Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence twice and was a three-time member of the Summit League Winter/Spring Academic Honor Roll. How does a student-athlete have the time for all this? “Sports teach you a different type of discipline,” Keena said last summer while interning at Sanford’s marketing department in Downtown Fargo. “It’s teamwork, it’s time management; it’s everything.” She was always a successful student-athlete growing up in the secluded suburb of Hastings, Minn. Keena attended the town’s high school, where she was a fouryear starter on the women’s basketball team and also played volleyball. She was a two-time captain of her basketball team, scored over 1,000 points and was a Ms. Basketball nominee her senior year.

Liz Keena was named NDSU’s MVP of the Tom Bergum Classic this season.. Photo courtesy of Richard Svaleson

PLAYER BIO LIZ KEENA Position: Forward Hometown: Hastings, Minn. Games Played: 98 Major: Public Relations & Advertising Work Experience: Sanford, Wellspring for the World and Unseen Ministries Accolades: Three-time Summit League Academic honor roll; two-time Summit League Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence

Photo by Kimberly Hill

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LIZ KEENA

“I have a couple of other family members who work in hospitals down in the Twin Cities,” Keena said. “What they got to do and just the people you get to meet are a different type of person than what you would meet at like a Sundog or something else.” Keena’s internship ended in August with her senior year on the horizon. After finding she had more time than she knew what to do with, she began working at Unseen Ministries. After promoting the second annual Hemophilia Foundation of Minnesota/Dakotas – Step Out for Bleeding Disorders while at Sanford, Keena had the experience to plan two banquets at Unseen Ministries during the fall semester. Today, Keena is looking for the next challenge after finishing her senior season for the Bison. A year that was highlighted with a career-high in starts (28), points (185) and rebounds (170). “A lot of it has been in advertising,” Keena said about where her resume is being sent. “But a lot of it has been for non-profit work because that’s what I have the most experience in.” Keena will earn her public relations and advertising bachelors degree this May. She doesn’t know where she’ll end up, but her focus has been Fargo, the Twin Cities and her dream, Seattle, Wash. Keena scored 22 points, had seven rebounds and five blocks against USD. Photo courtesy of Richard Svaleson

Wherever Keena ends up, her experience will carry her to success, whether it’s in a hospital, office or a nonprofit organization.

Keena also worked in the school’s mentoring program, looking after freshmen at Hastings High School. Perhaps this is where Keena got the urge to help those in need. She proceeded to get involved with two non-profit organizations when she went to college. Keena landed her first internship with Sanford last summer through family friends and a former Bison women’s basketball player, Erin Ahneman, who is also from Hastings. Science was never in Keena’s wheelhouse, but she found a different way to help. 64

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Liz Keena gives a speech last summer during the Sanford Health Athletic Complex groundbreaking. Photo by Tiffany Swanson



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The end of March will mark the end of an era at North Dakota State. Women's Director of Athletics Lynn Dorn will say goodbye to an institution she has been an influential part of over the last 38 years. Representing the plight of women's athletics has been one of the many undertakings Dorn has endured during her tenure. Through several transitional periods during Bison athletics' history, Dorn has stood tall as the figurehead for women's athletics and what's in the best interest for student-athletes, no matter the gender.

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Lynn Dorn speaks and introduces the volleyball team before the Power Welcome luncheon in 2007.

Bison Illustrated: Lynn Dorn:

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What was your objective when you arrived at NDSU?

BI:

“I think it really was about giving a sense of confidence to the women. They just didn’t perhaps have a sense of expectations quite yet about how good they could be and so to be able to have young women believe they could be good was probably the first objective that we had. We competed against smaller institutions and we could really envision a much higher profile coming from these kids so it probably was to instill a level of confidence that as a woman in athletics they could be very successful.”

LD:

BI:

And at that time was the landscape of women’s athletics vastly different than what it is today?

LD:

“We were in the AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women). It wasn’t affiliated with the NCAA. It was a stand-alone organization comprised of women that really valued sport. We were in the Minn-Kota Conference. … It was women administrators that had pioneered in many ways opportunities for girls and women in sports. They formalized it, structured it knowing full-well that the men’s organizations – the NAIA being very strong and the NCAA – were a separate organization and that’s who we belonged to as an institution.”

What opportunity led the women to joining the North Central Conference in 1979? “The North Central Conference was really, again, very much of a visionary conference in that the women’s program really became immersed within the entire philosophy of sport. It was really a point in time where, because of the quality of the leadership on the men’s side led by Dr. Ade Sponberg, Director of Athletics at NDSU, they really did embrace the women’s program. And I really don’t believe it was because of Title IX. I really believe that they valued opportunities for women in sport. Those of us at NDSU didn’t really feel the plight of not having equity or opportunities for women. We didn’t really understand what would be labeled as discrimination against women that wanted to be in sport. Contrary, our president Laurel D. Loftsgard and our athletic director Dr. Sponberg really welcomed women in sport.”

BI:

Judy Ray was the women’s athletic director when you arrived and was the tutelage you needed as a young administrator, correct?

LD:

“It was really a point in time when I was able to be here, it was perfect timing. They talk about timing, and my opportunity at NDSU was from a movement standpoint



to an opportunity to grow, to an opportunity to expand. It was really perfect and we were able to reach out to critical people that helped us. We were able to reach out to our male coaches, who were invaluable at the time. (Football) Coach (Don) Morton gave us his recruiting letters. We were all 23-24 years old and we didn’t really have a recruiting model and learning how to do the scholarships. So we spent a lot of time with Don in his office and he assisted us in the presentations to families and assisted us on how to really promote NDSU. Well, really we were the first generation of administrators that were even giving out scholarships so Coach Morton would be someone who was invaluable as well.”

Lynn Dorn and former Bison athletic director Bob Entzion watch a Bison basketball game during the 1990s.

BI:

LD:

BI:

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Some of the pushback to Title IX was that it compromised men’s athletics, so how did you avoid that tension? “What we really realized was that it didn’t do any good to rob from Peter to pay Paula. … What we did was work very hard and we supported the men and likewise they supported us and it’s always been a partnership at NDSU and that’s unique. It’s unique in that we’ve been able to blend it. It’s hard to imagine there would be programs that would actually not support the efforts of each other. For us it was really about wanting to be recognized as a part of NDSU, to be appropriately identified as a Bison. It was very intentional; this didn’t happen by chance. It all happened by design and to be able to create it and be able to move it, took some key people, but again the overall support from central administration at NDSU, to the men’s program to the current day where Matt Larsen is going to be a wonderful athletics administrator who values men and women alike.” How hard was that transition period from Division I to Division II even though you’ve built this certain culture and philosophy with the athletic department?

LD:

BI: LD:

“The true heroes of that transition were the coaches. … It was hard for highly-competitive and successful coaches like Darren Mueller to go to work every day knowing he wouldn’t have an opportunity to challenge his women for a conference championship or regional play. Every day you try to go to work and it took so much more energy for them to keep the athlete motivated to keep promoting that it’s a good thing to be at NDSU and the value of the experience and what it has done. … So I’m indebted to them and I’m indebted to the athletes, the athletes that stayed with us that first classes that we told the experiences are going to be here at NDSU and they stayed with us and those kids were just tremendous. I think we have a special place in our hearts for those kids that represented us with a lot of pride during that transitional time.” How do you prioritize the relationships you make with the student-athletes? “It’s the No. 1 priority. I think that the student-athlete is why we go to work every day. To be able to prioritize their needs is critical — a classroom teacher, a professor, a researcher, we all exist because of the students. If you can see the athletes come in young and eager and leave as accomplished and mature men and women that will go out and be difference makers, that’s really incredible. The reward is certainly to watch the victories. ... The memories are built on national championships, but to watch young people literally walk across a stage that you wouldn’t anticipate wouldn’t have been able to because of their plight and earn a degree, that’s a big deal. We have women that are doctors, moms, professional businesswomen, we have them all over the place and in large part because they were athletes at NDSU. There are women that got scholarships, there are women that competed that were members of a team. I mean how can you not


(from left to right) Amy Ruley, Kasey Morlock and Lynn Dorn are photographed after Morlock receives the Honda Award as the Division II Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year in 1997.

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celebrate a young person’s four or five years at NDSU and hope that the impact that we’ve provided for them are going to make them better citizens?”

BI:

LD:

“When I look back historically, I think the big thing that she did was help grow our women’s athletic program without it being conceived as antagonistic or that we would hurt the men’s program, but find a way to make women’s athletics a part of the university without it being a drag on our university, athletic department or men’s sports. That wasn’t happening everywhere. So schools had to cut some men’s sports in order to provide women opportunities and I think Lynn was really sensitive to not wanting to do that. She felt that the experience should be good for guys and gals; we don’t want to negatively impact our men’s program by trying to create opportunity for more women.” - Amy Ruley

Associate Athletic Director of Development

BI:

LD:

grandnieces and grandnephews and I dare say they’re going to be really good athletes. For me to be a part of the competitions and to go see them grow and hopefully become Bison at NDSU. My niece has a definite calling or definite goal to be a part of the basketball program at NDSU. She said, ‘Lynn, I want to play for the Bison.’ My grandnephew, I think he’s going to be a baseball player for NDSU. They’re 12 years old, but how fun to see that. So that’s part of what I’m going to do, and I think certainly there are work opportunities. I can’t imagine not going to work, whatever that means, whatever work is. Work might simply be whatever that day brings. I have an opportunity to teach a class so I’m still on campus two days a week during the spring so that’s where it’s really fun is to get back in the classroom with young and eager people wanting to be professionals in the sports management industry so how fun. It’s a great gig, right?”

What are some of the changes you have witnessed with the program since you came in nearly 40 years ago? “I think a couple of things. The notion of the business side of sport that really resonates every day and it is a multimillion dollar business and one has to recognize that, and one has to understand that but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise the fact that it’s still a part of higher education. I think that’s really the mission, that we have to make certain that we keep is that intercollegiate athletics is a component of higher education and the educational mission of a student athlete experience and I do believe the business is a significant part. The commercialization, the marketing, the branding, all the exposure, the technology right now and how it has changed the face of everything that we do.” What goes through your head when you think about retiring from an institution you’ve been involved with for 38 years? “I think what happens is, is you have such an opportunity you can hardly go to sleep at night because you can’t wait to get up and go to work in the morning. It’s a great place to work, and yet I think that everything has a time frame and I don’t know how we determine time frames except for an emotional feeling. So I think now it’s an opportunity to make that commitment to my family. There are many sacrifices that many people in athletics give. It’s 24/7. I have a wonderful family but at the same time, I can tell you that there is plenty that I didn’t share because of my opportunities at NDSU. … My father is 87; he’ll be 88 in March and to know that I can go home on weekends and to know that I can still be involved in his life. I have

BI:

LD:

We’ve talked so much about the people that have been here and helped you but let’s remember that you’re leaving a legacy here, too. What are people going to remember you by? “You hope not, you hope that isn’t what it’s all about. You really hope that somewhere in the background you’ve been able to make a difference, that’s what you hope for. To be an athletic administrator with an ego, I learned very early, is counterproductive. There is no room for that. That doesn’t mean that you’re not confident, that doesn’t mean you’re not intense, but it means that as an individual that you’ve never won a game, you’ve never scored a basket (laughs). When you think about it, there are other missions for you to do and that’s just to provide resources and educational opportunities for other people’s success. It’s bigger than an individual; it’s a culture, it’s an environment, they won’t miss a beat and it just flourishes. And it’s not in spite of you, but it is in some

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ways. … It’s tough to define or to quantify, but just think about what a privilege it has been to have a life that I have had at North Dakota State. I’ve been to places, I’ve seen things, I’ve traveled, I’ve watched championships. Just think about it.”

BI:

What are you going to miss the most about working at NDSU?

LD:

“The people. It’s all about the people. Ade Sponberg years ago said, ‘Lynn, it’s not about brick and mortar; it’s about the people.’ People make programs; that’s what you’re going to miss. You’re going to miss associating with the finest of coaches, the finest of athletic administrators, the finest of the student athletes, all the support staff. It’s really about the community at NDSU and in particular the athletic department that you’re going to miss. And certainly I’ll go to games and I’ll watch competitions but really, it’s the heart and soul of the athletic program, which is the people.”

BI:

Well Lynn, it’s been one hell of a ride.

LD:

“You talk about a full-ride student athlete; I had 38 years of being on a full ride, tuition fees, room and board, plus the cost of attendance. It’s the whole thing. I mean my goodness (laughs). How else could you frame it? So that’s my story.”

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(Left to Right) Lynn Dorn, Maren Walseth, Dave Richman and Gene Taylor at the introductory press conference for the new basketball coaches in April 2014. Dorn also had a hand in hiring Amy Ruley and Tim Miles.

The women’s athletics program became a staple at NDSU for years during Lynn Dorn’s tenure, but she doesn’t want the credit. Here are the three people she said helped her make it all happen.



MATTHEW NELSEN

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MATTHEW NELSEN

WHERE

ARE THEY

NOW?

DR. MATTHEW NELSEN: A LIFETIME BOND By Joe Kerlin | Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography

Walk into Dr. Matthew Nelsen’s office inside Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and you’ll see a gold mine of North Dakota State memorabilia. Upon opening the door, a 5-foot high shelf of Bison gear across the room awaits. Surrounded by certificates and achievements from years of medical school, two Bison statues proudly stand overlooking signs and a chunk of bleacher from the Bison Sports Arena. Below the two bronze statues is a football helmet signed by head coach Chris Klieman. “I was finally able to get my hands on one,” Nelsen laughs. “It’s good to know people.”

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MATTHEW NELSEN

A

round his desk sits a basketball, but this isn’t any ball. This basketball has been touched by every member of the 2009 men’s basketball team that escorted the Bison to its first NCAA tournament. “It’s never been out of the case before,” says Nelsen as he slides the glass off around the basketball that holds the John Hancock of three 1,000-point scorers and 12 others. Nelsen’s bond and compassion for the

“My dad and brothers are handy-men, jacksof-all-trades and can fix and make anything. I was never interested in that growing up. Now we do the same things; it’s just a different medium.”

Bison athletic program began when he first put on the basketball uniform in 1987. “I was recruited by NCC schools and a few other different places, military academies,” Nelsen said. He continued saying he felt a connection with head coach Erv Inniger, who back in 1987 was entering his 10th year at NDSU. But it was more than Inniger that the kid from Staples, Minn., had a connection to. “Guys like Joe Regnier and Juno Pintar, we just kind of clicked.”

STATS

• YEARS PLAYED: 1987-1991 • POSITION: Forward • RECORD: 68-43 • POINTS SCORED: 494 • GAMES PLAYED: 110

Nelsen committed to NDSU and would spend his first two seasons playing with Pintar and Regnier in a limited role. As his career progressed, so did Nelsen’s playing time and he logged 21 starts his senior year. “So my game was relatively slow,” Nelsen said with a grin. “I was a big man with no post moves, but I could shoot the three.” Nelsen shot only four three-pointers during his freshman season and 13 his sophomore year. By the time he was a

– Dr. Matthew Nelsen 79


MATTHEW NELSEN

senior, he raised his number of attempts from beyond the arc to 100. Nelsen would shoot 229 threes in his career and score 494 points. This leads him to explain his basketball career with one satirical comparison: “I was like Dirk Nowitzki, except I couldn’t dribble or pass,” he said. Nelsen decided to stay another year at NDSU after his basketball eligibility ran dry. He wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon to remain close to athletes and sports. Suddenly, the boy from a small family farm turned into a man attending the University of North Dakota’s medical school. “I think the other part of it was problem solving,” Nelsen said, explaining the gratification of becoming a surgeon. “It was just natural for me. My dad and brothers are handy-men, jacks-of-alltrades and can fix and make anything. I was never interested in that growing up. Now we do the same things; it’s just a different medium.” After completing his degree from UND and finishing his residency at Texas Tech University, Nelsen moved his family to Phoenix, Ariz., for a fellowship at Sports Medicine: Institute for Bone and Joint Disorders. Nelsen now practices out of Fargo and is also the medical director of the athletic training program at NDSU. Nelsen explains the position as a figurehead, but he consults with trainers about various injuries on the basketball team and won’t budge on doctor-patient confidentiality when asked about an injured player on the team. This position keeps him close to the NDSU program and makes his wife of 22 years, Kristin, happy to be back in 80

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the town she grew up in. It also gives him the chance to bring his four kids to Bison games as he sits near the bench during basketball games and the occasional football game. “I have (worked at football games) but with much trepidation, because then I can’t tailgate,” chuckles Nelsen. He’s a member of the Grillmasters tailgating group that has around 40 guys and is mostly made up of former Bison athletes; including Tony Satter, Chad Stark and former teammate Pintar.

MEDICAL JOURNEY

BACHELORS DEGREE: North Dakota State MEDICAL DEGREE: University of North Dakota RESIDENCY: Texas Tech University FELLOWSHIP: Sports Medicine: Institute for Bone & Joint Disorders

Nelsen rarely misses a game and has been to Frisco, Texas, for the football championship games three out of the four seasons. He said he was pleased to see the basketball team make noise last year in the NCAA Tournament, but he was unable to join the team on the road due to the short notice.

Being surgical, whether behind his surgeon mask or the three-point line, has kept Nelsen ingrained in Bison tradition. This Dr. Bison wouldn’t want it any other way.



KEITH DICKHUDT

GET TO

KNOW COACH KEITH DICKHUDT Amid the turnover within the Bison basketball program at the end of last spring, a few names remained constant. Dave Richman was promoted from associate head coach of the men’s team and Josh Vaughan and Freddy Coleman remained on staff, but you may not be as familiar with the name Keith Dickhudt. The former video coordinator is a soft spoken, humble man who has worked his way up the coaching ranks since his student manager days during the Tim Miles era. Dickhudt was named an assistant in 2012 for Carolyn DeHoff’s staff and his passion for NDSU caught Maren Walseth’s eye, which led him to be reattained by the new women’s basketball coach last spring. Interview by Joe Kerlin | Photo by Tiffany Swanson Interview took place Nov. 2014

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Q


Q& A Bison Illustrated:

Keith Dickhudt:

“Saul (Phillips) always called himself the victory cigar. Well, I was the bench warmer as well. I am 5’9’’ to 5’10’’, not very athletic and that was in high school as well. I was a great practice player, a great motivator, but we had so much talent on our team (Concordia Academy), they went onto great places and I think that’s where I got the love of sports and coaching was with that team. Seeing that athletically I couldn’t match with anybody, but I loved competing and I loved the strategy and I had to compete with people much better than me.” So you grew up in St. Paul, Minn., yet you came to college at NDSU in the mid-2000s. What drove you here?

KD:

“North Dakota State to me had an appeal. I knew they were going to Division I and that was something that attracted me. I wanted to be at a place that was going to do big and great things, but at the same time I wanted to get my hands and feet wet.”

KD:

But you were the sports editor for the student newspaper; how did they get you on the team?

KD:

“Honestly what happened was during the first interview, I was in his office – he’s such an informal guy – and I actually had interrupted a staff meeting between the coaches. He didn’t kick anybody out so I just sat down with him and we talked for about an hour and at the end he asked, ‘Why are you a reporter? You should be our manager.’ And then Dave and Saul chipped in and the rest was history.”

BI:

So you’re telling me you two were just talking basketball for an hour and he offered you the position to be a part of the team?

KD:

“Oh, it was nothing I said, it was absolutely nothing I said (laughs). What he saw was someone who was eager to be in the sport and was willing to work for and learn under such great mentors. I’m thankful that they had the foresight to say, ‘Hey, come do this, this is an opportunity for you.’ I’m so thankful that they had an opportunity and they gave me an opportunity because if not, I wouldn’t be here. I don’t know what I’d be doing.”

It seems to me that a lot of coaches have some sort of college basketball background, but you do not.

BI:

BI:

BI:

BI:

That sounds like something Miles would do. What were you able to take away from him before he left?

KD:

“All my mentors have taken away one common theme and it’s kind of cliché: genuine passion and love for your players and an honest desire for them to be successful in all aspects. If you don’t have that genuine care and honest care – and you have to demonstrate that honest care – you won’t get them to perform at all on the court.”

BI:

How does someone demonstrate genuine passion and honest care?

KD:

“I think what you see a lot here at NDSU and a lot of the coaches here is that you have to spend

How did you get involved with the basketball program? “I came here as a journalist and I covered Tim Miles for a game and two practices and instantly he converted me. He asked, ‘Would you rather write about it or be a part of it?’ So I came in and worked for him, learned under him with Dave Richman and Saul about Bison basketball and about what it takes to be successful here from the ground up.”


KEITH DICKHUDT

that. But this is home. It was time for me to come home. Easiest decision I’ve ever made was to come back here and work and be close to my wife.”

Photo by Kimberly Hill

time off the court with them (the student-athletes). ... We are transforming in so many ways. You can see it in the physical side, the stadium side, NDSU is still transforming into a powerhouse Division I. You have to spend so much time in developing relationships and developing cultures with our kids.” BI:

KD:

BI: KD:

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open forum for one day for about an hour, so the entire coaching staff can sit and talk with her. I think we spoke to her for 45 seconds. After she was hired I obviously had a great chance to work with her. I had a working interview for three to four weeks, it felt like four years, but in that time I had a chance to get a feel for what her personality is, what her vision is and along that same time I got to show her why I love North Dakota State. We had some great conversations about what it’s going to take for her vision to be successful here, and all it’s going to take is for her to act like who she is.”

So do you feel head coach Maren Walseth did that immediately with this basketball team by having a team dinner the night before her introductory press conference last spring? “Yeah, that’s just who Maren is. Maren is so personable. It’s important for her to have relationships as well. She’s so genuine and she can’t be disingenuous, so in order for her to do her job she has to know who you are. She can’t just show up and not have a true feeling for who you are and coach you. She wants to have that relationship and she wants to build that. That’s why when I first talked to her I knew she was going to be great for what the Bison culture is. Everything about her is open, honest and true.” When did you first meet her? “The first time I met her was during her interview here.”

BI:

How involved were you in the hiring process as a former assistant?

KD:

“No, I wasn’t at all. They had an

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

BI:

KD:

BI:

I feel like that’s a common theme between younger coaches that come here early in their careers or players from here that become assistants.

KD:

“And it’s crazy because you look outside and it’s crappy weather, it’s snowing and it’s going to be terrible for months, but there’s so much opportunity and so many great people here. I love the relationships you build here in recruiting, the players you have, the alumni you meet and the general people in Fargo. It’s cliché; like you said every coach says it, but it is true.”

BI:

KD:

“The future for the program is extremely bright and a theme we have going on right now is ascend the summit, and we do that day by day. Maren’s vision is that we need to improve every day. Literally, we need to improve every single day. There’s a certain tempo she wants to play at and it’s very obvious the tempo we want to get at and to get there we need to make gradual changes every day and sustain those. ... Where is this program going? It’s going in a great matter. When we get that SHAC open and we bring families, recruits and the public and that place gets rocking, North Dakota State is on a launching pad and I can’t wait for it to take off.”

BI:

So you plan on sticking around to see where this launching pad takes you?

KD:

“Like I said, I’ve scratched my itch. This is my home. I love the green and gold, I have been here in many capacities and it’s been so great to me and this is where my family is. I love North Dakota State.”

You went to Arkansas-Fort Smith for a season; what was that experience like? “I’m a Twin Cities kid, came here, I was here for six years and I needed to see something else. I needed to experience other coaches and get my feet wet a little more. Todd Koering had a great friend down in Fort Smith. They were transitioning from junior college to Division II. I’d come from this transition, and if you haven’t noticed a theme in my life has been transitions. ... It was a great experience for me. We won a conference championship, built phenomenal relationships, but I had a young lady up here I wanted to get married to so when an opportunity came for me to come back to my alma mater, and after I scratched that itch and gone away from the Twin Cities and upper-Midwest, I’ve done

What’s the future like for the women’s basketball program under Maren?


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INTERNATIONAL BISON

O S N I B m fro

By Joe Kerlin Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography

Not many star high school softball players leave PARADISE to play the game they love in Fargo, but that’s what this Bison senior did. Alex Sobrero grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the town of Paradise, Calif., a town of 26,000 approximately two hours north of Sacramento. Sobrero’s production is ascending, entering her senior season, even though her geographical location keeps her on a flat plain. 88

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015


INTERNATIONAL BISON

ANYTHING DIFFERENT IN YOUR APPROACH TO THE SEASON KNOWING IT’S YOUR LAST? “No, probably the same as all the rest of the years here. But I do have more knowledge now than I did three years before.”

WHAT HAPPENED IN BETWEEN YOUR SOPHOMORE AND JUNIOR SEASON TO MAKE YOUR NUMBERS JUMP LIKE THEY DID? “I think it’s just a part of growing up and developing your skill set as you get older and older because that helps. You learn how to focus better once you’re through a couple years, so I think that helped.”

WHY DO YOUR TEAMMATES VIEW YOU AS A LEADER? “I don’t know. I’m easy to get along with I guess and I’m pretty chill. A lot of people, we get along; I don’t really butt heads with a lot of people and if I do it’s nothing too detrimental.”

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS AS A TEAM THIS SEASON? “The ceiling for every team is the World Series but we just want to win one game at a time. We really want a championship.”

I GUESS THE CEILING FOR EVERY TEAM IS THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES, BUT REALISTICALLY THAT’S NOT ALWAYS THE CASE. DO YOU GUYS THINK IT’S REALISTIC? “The mind set is always to work championships backwards for every practice. We come in, work hard and then play our games. When that game’s over, it’s time for the next chapter, the next game.”

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INTERNATIONAL BISON

YOU’RE SNOWBOARDING IN YOUR TWITTER PICTURE. WHAT OTHER ACTIVITIES ARE YOU IN TO? “When I go home I snowboard a lot. That’s my other favorite thing to do and my sisters and I, we always do stuff outside. We’ll go fishing, hunting and stuff.”

INTERVIEW: Photo courtesy of the Town of Paradise

HOW DID NDSU STEAL YOU AWAY FROM CALIFORNIA AFTER HITTING OVER .500 YOUR SENIOR SEASON? “I was playing at Huntington Beach and I didn’t really know where I wanted to go at all. I was playing on two different teams in this tournament and Jamie (Trachsel) and Darren (Mueller) came up to me and actually asked me, ‘Would you like to come out and visit North Dakota?’ And the first question I asked was, ‘Do you guys have trees?’ And they said, ‘yeah,’ so I said, ‘sure I’ll come out’. And I came out and there were barely any trees (laughs).”

WHY DID YOU ASK IF THERE WERE TREES? “Because I’m from Northern California, so it’s like mountains and trees everywhere and that’s just what I’ve grown up with. So I came out here and it’s the polar opposite, but I still liked it a lot. Our team is like a family so that’s what I liked most.”

WHAT’S PARADISE, CALIF. LIKE? “We’re up in the bottom of the foothills and there are trees everywhere. It’s basically the opposite of here. All the roads aren’t straight; they’re curvy. There are hills, but it’s kind of a small town where everybody knows everybody.”

IS THERE A SKI RESORT NEAR WHERE YOU LIVE?

“Tahoe is like two hours away. In the other direction there are mountains that are two hours from us.”

Paradise, California WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT HOME? “Just the mountains and trees I guess. Everything is just flat here and you can see things forever. And probably less wind.”

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO AFTER SOFTBALL?

"I’m trying to get into radiology school right now. I’m waiting to hear back, so hopefully that goes over well. (I'll go to) schools around here.”

PLAYER BIO

“The movie. Every time they ask if I’ve seen the movie and ask if people get chopped up in wood chippers and I’m just like, ‘No, of course people don’t get chopped up in wood chippers.’ Every time I say I live in Fargo they always ask me if I’ve seen the movie. It’s always about the movie (laughs)”

GRADE SENIOR POSITION OUTFIELDER NUMBER #6 HITS LEFT THROWS RIGHT HIGH SCHOOL PARADISE HIGH SCHOOL

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT FARGO, OUTSIDE OF THE SOFTBALL TEAM AND THE UNIVERSITY?

2014 STATS

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION PEOPLE BACK HOME HAVE OF FARGO?

“Everybody is super nice. That’s really cool. I’m from Northern California but in Southern California the people aren’t very nice. Everyone here is nice and willing to hold the door open for you and say please and thank you and all that stuff.”

BATTING AVG. .390 RBI 34 HOME RUNS 5 RUNS SCORED 40 HITS 71 DOUBLES 16

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UPCOMING

MARCH 13 Softball vs Bowling Green

(Bloomington, Ind.) 12:45 p.m.

13 Softball at Indiana University (Bloomington, Ind.) 3 p.m.

13 Baseball at Oral Roberts (Tulsa, Okla.) 6:30 p.m.

13-14 Men’s Track and Field NCAA Indoor Championships (Fayetteville, Ark.)

13-14 Women’s Track and Field NCAA Indoor

Championships (Fayetteville, Ark.)

14 Baseball at Oral Roberts (Tulsa, Okla.) 2 p.m.

14 Softball vs Bowling Green (Bloomington, Ind.) 3:45 p.m.

15 Softball vs Wright State

MARCH/APRIL

SPORTING CALENDAR (Chicago, Ill.) 4 p.m.

19 Softball Northern Illinois

University (DeKalb, Ill.) 4:30 p.m.

19 Wrestling vs NCAA

Championships (St. Louis, Mo.)

Championships (St. Louis, Mo.)

16 Men’s Golf South Dakota

State Spring Invitational (Primm, Nev.) (Primm Valley)

17 Men’s Golf South Dakota

State Spring Invitational Primm, Nev. (Primm Valley)

17 Women’s Golf South

Dakota State Spring Invitational (Primm, Nev.) (Primm Valley)

18 Baseball at Missouri State (Springfield, Mo.) 3 p.m.

18 Softball at DePaul University

26-27 Women’s Track and Field UC Riverside Heptathlon (Riverside, Calif.) TBA (Macomb, Ill.) 3 p.m.

Field UC Riverside Spring Track Classic (Riverside, Calif.) TBA

28 Baseball at Western Illinois

20-21 Women’s Track and University (Macomb, Ill.) 12 p.m.

Dakota State Spring Invitational (Primm, Nev.) (Primm Valley)

Field UC Riverside Decathlon (Riverside, Calif.) TBA

Field Baldy Castillo Invitational (Tempe, Ariz.) TBA Shootout at Shingle Creek Orlando, Fla. (Shingle Creek)

Neb.) 11 a.m.

APRIL 3 Baseball at Fort Wayne (Fort

27-28 Men’s Track and

20 Women’s Golf Cincinnati

29 Softball at Omaha (Omaha,

26-27 Men’s Track and

All Day

20-21 Men’s Track and

Neb.) 2 p.m.

29 Baseball at Western Illinois

Jones Warhawk Intercollegiate (Delhi, La.) (Black Bear Resort)

27-28 Women’s Track and

20 Wrestling vs NCAA

28 Softball at Omaha (Omaha,

24 Men’s Golf 2015 Wallace

(Omaha, Neb.) 1 p.m.

20 Baseball at Omaha

15 Baseball at Oral Roberts 16 Women’s Golf South

Jones Warhawk Intercollegiate (Delhi, La.) (Black Bear Resort)

All Day

University (Bloomington, Ind.)

(Tulsa, Okla.) 1 p.m.

23 Men’s Golf 2015 Wallace

27 Baseball at Western Illinois

Field Baldy Castillo Invitational (Tempe, Ariz.) TBA

11:15 a.m.

Shootout at Shingle Creek (Orlando, Fla.) (Shingle Creek)

SEASON

Field UC Riverside Spring Track Classic (Riverside, Calif.) TBA

(Macomb, Ill.) 12 p.m.

Wayne, Ind.) 10 a.m.

3 Softball vs University of

South Dakota (Fargo) 12 p.m.

3 Softball vs University of

South Dakota (Fargo) 2:30 p.m.

3-4 Men’s Track and Field Stanford Invitational (Stanford, Calif.) TBA

3 Men’s Track and Field San Francisco State Distance Carnival (San Francisco, Calif.) TBA

(Macomb, Ill.) 12 p.m.

28 Softball at Omaha (Omaha, Neb.) 12 p.m.

21 Softball at Western Illinois

21 Baseball at Omaha (Omaha, Neb.) 1 p.m.

21 Softball at Western Illinois

University (Macomb, Ill.) 2 p.m.

21 Women’s Golf Cincinnati Shootout at Shingle Creek (Orlando, Fla.) (Shingle Creek)

21 Wrestling vs NCAA

Championships (St. Louis, Mo.)

All Day

22 Softball at Western Illinois

University (Macomb, Ill.) 11 a.m.

22 Baseball at Omaha (Omaha, Neb.) 1 p.m.

2014 Summit League Tournament MVP Krista Menke returns to the pitching mound for the Bison softball team this season.

22 Women’s Golf Cincinnati 93



KIDS

ONLY

WORD SEARCH

S WORD D TO FIN

MATTHEW NELSEN KEITH DICKHUDT ALEX SOBRERO LYNN DORN TYLER JANGULA

SPORTS BUBBLE BUCKY MAUGHAN EVAN KNUTSON MJ STUMPF CHRIS BOARD

JOE HAEG LAWRENCE ALEXANDER LIZ KEENA KURTIS JULSON ROGER KISH

95


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B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

ANSWERS: 1. “N” Missing from NDSU Singlet, 2. Knee Brace changed Color, 3. Numbers Missing from Scoreboard, 4. Logo on Bison Wrestler Singlet, 5. Announcer’s Headset Missing

SPOT THE 5 5 DIFFERENCES KIDS ONLY



BRIAN SHAWN

By Brian Shawn

T

here were a lot of question marks for NDSU men’s basketball at the beginning of the year and even the coaching staff wasn’t sure how quickly everything would come together. When you lose your head coach and six seniors who combined to play in over 660 career games, log over 13,300 minutes and score more than 5,500 points, the word “rebuild” comes to mind. But this season has seen new players step in and step up in various roles.

Here are five keys to the success:

BRIAN SHAWN is the play-by-play man for the NDSU men’s basketball team, and covers the football team for KVLY.

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2

1


BRIAN SHAWN

TRUE FRESHMEN DEVELOPMENT

Paul Miller has been the only true freshman to play a significant role on the court, but a walk-on named Brian Ishola has played some big minutes, while Evan Wesenberg has had to come on at times to face some tough big men in the post. Those who rarely take off their warm-ups still have an important role in practices. Don’t undervalue the importance of what they all bring.

DEFENDING WITHOUT FOULING

NDSU is one of the top teams in the country in fouls committed, but they are still an above average team on defense. When opponents can’t get to the line and are forced into tough shots, beating the Bison is extremely difficult, especially at Scheels Arena. NDSU does not have a lot of length, which makes this feat even more impressive.

NORTH DAKOTA KIDS STEPPING UP

Before this season, neither Dexter Werner of Bismarck, nor A.J. Jacobson of Fargo played any meaningful minutes for NDSU. The development and contributions from both have been invaluable. There have been times this season where each has hit clutch shots, made a big defensive play, or grabbed an important rebound. They have also had to play heavy minutes for long periods. The work in the off-season is showing.

COACHING GUYS UP

It just doesn’t feel like this is the first year Dave Richman has been the head coach and it doesn’t feel like it’s the first year on the bench for Jayden Olson and Eric Henderson. This coaching staff scouts well, prepares well and understands what their team does well. Rarely will you see the Bison out of position defensively, throw careless passes or take bad shots. NDSU plays good, hard, fundamental basketball and limits its mistakes. This coaching staff is getting everything out of the talent they have on the floor.

LAWRENCE ALEXANDER AKA ‘LA’, ‘ALEXANDER THE GREAT’, ‘THE ANSWER’

His development over his career has been tremendous, but what he has done in his senior season has been incredible. He plays over 38 minutes a game and there have been times he’s played all 40 with the opponent’s best defender right in his mug all night. In crunch time, you need big players to take over and will teams to victory. Alexander has done that time after time and will go down as one of the best players in history we have not talked about nearly enough.


Jace’s Space Honoring Cherished Memories

BY JACE DENMAN

W

hen we become fans of a certain team or university, we sometimes find ourselves rooting more for the laundry than the player. It’s not always the case, but occasionally when a player leaves our favorite team, we often feel disappointed or let down because we feel they left for greener pastures. Often times when it comes to former Bison, we need our time to vent and get over the initial emotions so we can truly be thankful for the time and memories we have made with that player or coach. Sometimes these players that leave our favorite team aren’t leaving us for a different team or a better situation; they sometimes just leave us.

the when of his passing. I like to think of it as though there was a football game in heaven and they needed a fullback. When we lose loved ones, it gives us time to reflect on that person’s life and what they meant to our family, our community or us. If you are lucky enough you will have an effect on all of them.

“I like to

think of it

Life is a funny thing. One day we may think we have it all figured out, the next we are consumed by life’s day-to-day hustle and bustle and we lose sight of what’s important. As we go through life we keep moving forward and trying to be better than we were the day before. We all have our own beliefs as to what lies beyond our time on earth; some believe that all we are is only what we accomplish during our lifetime, and others believe there is a life that lies beyond this one. I believe that there is more waiting for us after our time here is done. The sports world and Bison Nation both hope that to be true. Two coaching legends, Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian, and a North Dakota-bred Bison standout, Tyler Jangula, all left us this month, and that has left a large hole is many fans’ hearts all over Bison Nation.

as though there was a football game in heaven and they needed a fullback.”

The two coaches had hall of fame careers. Smith has a coaching tree lined with many successful coaches that once studied under him. Both coaches lived into their early 80s and one could say they lived very full lives. Jangula, however, has left us far too soon at only 28 years old. We often ask ourselves, “Why?” Why must a young man so loved and in his prime leave us so soon? We will never know the why, just 10 0

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

Part of the reason I got into doing a podcast where I talk to whoever will listen is that I realized that this is what I am good at; it’s my gift. I learned it after the passing of my own maternal grandmother and knowing that I wanted and needed to speak at her funeral. I sat at my computer and through the tears I opened up and it all came gushing out, my first eulogy. When my paternal grandfather passed, it was the same, opening up and the words came flowing out into what would be my next eulogy. Do I think that when we lose a loved one it will cause us to realize our true calling or ignite a passion that we hadn’t known existed? No, but in a way my podcast helps me to remember my grandparents and a talent that I inherited from them. When we do something that reminds us of our lost loved ones, those memories are what keep them alive inside us for as long as we hold on to those memories. At the end of every PodBash I end it the same way as grandma ended her phone calls to us as a tribute to her. So to Jangula and others we have lost, we will talk to you soon, one day. Yup, you betcha. Mmm hmm, bye.

* Jace Denman is a South Dakota native that has found his way into the middle of Bison country. Denman co-hosts a weekly podcast called “The PodBash.” The podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and at podcastgarden.com.



TEAM MAKERS

TEAM MAKERS:

$3,285,000!

TOP 1

Three Million Two Hundred and Eighty-Five Thousand.

That is the amount of money that was raised by 2,600 NDSU Team Makers. For this I can thank all that have joined the Team and supported NDSU Athletics.

2

I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to tell the 2,600 Team Maker volunteers, thank you for all that you do. But do we need more Team Makers? Hell yeah. That is about as simple as I can make it. We put 18,000-plus fans in the FargoDome for football games and over 19,000 of you made the trip to Frisco for the 2014 national championship game. Clearly, we are all proud of the Bison and how they represent our community. Now we need to show our support and pride for all the Bison teams. You can accomplish this by joining the Team Makers. Now that the big check is safely deposited in the account, I would like to look back at 2014 from my perspective as Team Makers President. By Paul Bougie, 2014 Team Makers President

3 4 5

5

My trip to Frisco, Texas, for the 2013 national championship game. This was an experience, all of Bison Nation coming together from across the country to celebrate what it truly means to be a Bison. The honor of being on the selection committee for the new athletic director. From the moment I received the call from President Dean Bresciani, I was truly honored to be part of such a great group of people, all with different talents and backgrounds, but still coming together with one goal. I feel we did great with the selection of Matt Larsen as our new AD. The interaction with new potential donors to join Team Makers. I love to meet people, and spreading the word about the Bison is a good way to do just that. The SHAC ground breaking. It was thanks to a lot of hard work by so many people that this past summer we got to put shovels in the ground and begin the next exciting chapter with another quality facility for our student-athletes, and a really great place for us to watch basketball. The check. Finally, presenting to President Dean Bresciani and AD Matt Larsen a check for $3,285,000 for student athletic scholarships.

There it is, all tied up. Now, let me give you a little hint: There are going to be some new and exciting things on the horizon for those of you that are Team Makers. Shoot me an email at paulbougie@spotlightmediafargo.com if you have any questions or if you’d like to sign up. Next month President Terry Ludlum will tell you more about the new things coming to Team Makers for 2015. Join the Team today!

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13

REASONS

to choose Dakota Crossings

1. Ideal location 2. Heated underground parking 3. 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms 4. Several unique floorplans 5. Stainless steel appliances 6. Granite countertops 7. Guest rooms 8. Community room 9. Swimming pool with 2 hot tubs 10. State-of-the-art fitness center 11. Elevators 12. Pet free Community 13. $825 to $1425 / month

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Conveniently located on Veterans Boulevard!


swany says BY JOSHUA A. SWANSON

W

ho knew? Maybe the North Dakota State men’s hoops team had a chat with their buddies on the football team about how to turn that chip on your shoulder into high-octane fuel after everyone says your season is over before the first game even tips off. Or, maybe new head coach Dave Richman called another new head coach across campus that did pretty well, Chris Klieman, for some sage advice. Whatever happened, Bison hoops caught lightning in a bottle.

Actually, maybe the lightning was already in the bottle and we just didn’t see it. Before the season, It was easy to say this team was in rebuilding mode. NDSU lost program heavyweights like Taylor Braun, Marshall Bjorklund, TrayVonn Wright, and everyone’s favorite crazy uncle, Saul Phillips. The threeman firm of Braun, Bjorklund, and Wright accounted for 56 percent of the team’s scoring. Throw in the contributions from the other departed seniors and 69 percent of your scoring is gone. The same goes for the rest of the statistical categories and production. The symbolism of the new basketball arena under construction, the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, 10 4

WHO KNEW?

Bison Men Establishing Themselves as Perennial Contender

provided a rich irony to it all. The conventional wisdom said Richman was walking into a full-scale rebuilding project on the same scale. That’s exactly what folks covering the Summit League thought, too. They picked the defending league champs, the first team under the Summit League banner to win an NCAA Tournament game, to finish fifth in the conference. A familiar refrain – maybe the underlying theme for 2014– 2015 for Bison athletics – was that they simply lost too much. It was supposed to be a rebuild all over campus. New coaches and players, a new athletic director; In short, the Summit League poster boys, like their Missouri Valley Football brethren, were down and prone to a full-scale takeover. But here’s the funny thing about conventional wisdom. It produces conventional results. And if there is one thing you should know by now about NDSU, we’re not a university satisfied with conventional results; no, sir. Conventional results are for conventional universities. We’re about extraordinary results. No stage is too big, no task too impossible, no glass ceiling unbreakable. Here is what the conventional wisdom – which, if you think about it, by definition, isn’t

B I S O N I L L U S T R A T E D • M A RC H 2 015

“You can glean many valuable insights from data, hence the current love affair in sports and business with ‘big data.’ Let me tell you something. Data is nothing more than the culture behind it.” very wise at all – missed about this basketball team. Culture doesn’t leave, and this “program” has established a winning culture. A “program” is not a flash in the pan, oneand-done run. Remember when Ben Woodside and Brett Winkelman brought the Bison to our first NCAA Tournament in 2009? The conventional wisdom then said “enjoy the ride” because that was the greatest team we’d ever have and it would be years before the Bison returned to March Madness. Turns out that was just the start of something big – the start of a culture. Culture is both the cornerstone

and proverbial brick and mortar. It can, and does, withstand the storm. Apple has thrived without Steve Jobs. Coca-Cola survived “New Coke.” The United States weathered the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression and has notched 59 consecutive months of private sector job growth. Why? We can rehash the data forever, but behind all the data, is a culture. Culture doesn’t leave. What did the data tell us? NDSU lost a majority of its production in all statistical categories. Ergo, the team was not going to be good.


follow

@swany8

*Swanson is a native of Maddock, N.D., a proud NDSU alum and a life-long Bison fan.

Yet, here we are, on the brink of postseason basketball in March. That is why you can lose 69 percent of your scoring and 55 percent of your rebounding, and still be in position to return to the NCAA Tournament. Culture didn’t leave our football team, and we now know our men’s basketball team is building a similar, championship culture, i.e., we don’t rebuild, we reload. There was a winning foundation firmly established with two consecutive – three if you count this year – 20 win seasons. No matter what happens in Sioux Falls at the Summit League tournament, NDSU will be playing in its fourth straight postseason tournament. Lawrence Alexander had superstar capability, but was overshadowed by Braun, Bjorklund, and Wright. So much so, Alexander, known as “LA” to the Bison faithful, should win the Summit League Player of the Year award. We didn’t see that. His former coach, Phillips, knew LA was a superstar. Richman knew what LA was capable of. Yet, again, nobody outside of the Bison locker room saw it. Just like nobody outside of that locker room saw A.J. Jacobson developing this early into a double-digit scoring threat.

Same goes for Carlin Dupree, who has turned into one of the most athletic guards in the league. And what can you even say about Dexter Werner? The big man from Bismarck has become a fan favorite by tormenting opponents with his hustle and energy. Add in the veteran presence from Kory Brown and Chris Kading, this is a team that gets every ounce out of its parts. The data could never have told you that. But culture could have, and culture is all too often overlooked. There’s an old adage that says culture eats strategy for lunch. It does. Well, the same goes for data. You can glean many valuable insights from data, hence the current love affair in sports and business with “big data.” Let me tell you something. Data is nothing more than the culture behind it. Data doesn’t sustain itself, nor does it exist in a vacuum. Data doesn’t make someone push harder in the weight room, or spend their summer nights shooting threepointers or practicing post moves in a sweltering gym. Culture does that. The Bison have established themselves as a perennial contender because of their culture. Who knew? Everybody up for the tip off, the March Madness is on!


POP

QUIZ

EXPLAIN YOUR DREAM CHEAT MEAL.

WHO IS THE BEST TEAMMATE TO ROOM WITH ON THE ROAD AND WHY?

My dream cheat meal would be a buffet with an endless supply of Chinese food.

My javelin partner for life, Sierra Rosenau. We have so much in common, and over the years, we have made so many memories. It only seems right that I would room with her.

Honestly, I don’t have one unfortunately. Probably just keep it classy with a “Kiss me, I’m not even Irish” T-shirt or an NDSU T-shirt.

Considering my unbelievable love of food, it would have to consist of a couple heavy weight burritos, a cookie dough concrete mixer and some wings.

Easily Alex Neumiller because of our similar interests in running, working out, music and different foods. We always try to eat somewhere new on road trips. He always helps keep the trips exciting.

Socks. I love holiday socks.

Cheat meal... I know steak and potatoes aren’t necessarily bad for you, but they’re my favorite. Maybe it would be if you added a gallon of cookie dough to the meal? I have a weakness for that.

Unfortunately the past two years, I feel like I’ve only been rooming with Morgan (Milbrath), so I guess her. But I love her, so I guess it’s not unfortunate.

My green Bison golf pullover.

A double cheese burger at my favorite burger place.

I can’t go wrong with any of my teammates. They are all fun to room with!

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO GREEN ST. PATRICK’S DAY ARTICLE OF CLOTHING?

AMBER RIOPELLE The Mandan native is entering her junior year on the Bison track team. After not competing her first year in college, she joined the track and field team as a walkon and impressed last season finishing fourth in the conference meet for javelin.

St. Patrick’s Day is just another day to show my Bison pride, so my go-to clothing would have to be Bison attire.

TRACK & FIELD

JEROME BEGIN

TRACK & FIELD

The senior from Greenfield, Minn., won the multi-event championship during the 2014 Summit League Outdoor Championships last spring. Begin also anchored the Summit League champion 4x400 relay team. He specializes in long sprints and hurdles.

ASHLEY HEINZE Heinze was the third leg of the historic Bison 4x400 team that placed 11th at the NCAA Indoor Championships. She also ran the second fastest 400 meter hurdles in Bison history (58.90) last season at the Beach Invitational.

TRACK & FIELD

SARAH STORANDT Storandt had a career year last season finishing second in three different tournaments. Now a senior, she’s looking to lead the women’s golf team back to Summit League championship contention.

GOLF

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WHAT DO YOU CALL YOUR FAVORITE DANCE MOVE AND HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE IT?

If you saw my dance moves, you would understand why I do not have a favorite. They are all terrible, and they only come out on rare occasions.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND BE AN EXTRA IN ANY MOVIE EVER MADE, WHAT MOVIE WOULD IT BE?

I would go back and be an extra in the movie Space Jam so that I could play basketball with Michael Jordan.

Anything that doesn’t draw attention to my horrible dance skills. Honestly, I do not have a specific go-to but anything related to swing dancing is a good one since I love country music and swing dancing.

Any movie that includes Johnny Depp, or Robert Downey Jr., considering they are two of my favorite actors. But most likely one of the Fast and the Furious sequels because I am a bit of an adrenaline junky who loves going fast.

Whenever there’s music, I feel like I’m moving... so we’ll call it the Ashley.

I love to sing and dance, and I think I should’ve been born around the ‘50s... so I’d have to say Grease.

I can’t say I have one...

Happy Gilmore