Opinion

Eye on southwest ND sports

Dickinson Trinity downed Heart River in three sets to advance to the State Volleyball Tournament at Fargo, Nov. 16-18.  They will face Our Redeemers out of Minot in their first match.  Our Redeemers comes in with an overall record of 36-7 and a 6-foot-2 middle hitter in Makiah Frederick.

By Sheldon Christenson

The Warbirds of Wyndmere-Lidgerwood defeated Shiloh Christian 60-26 to win the state 9-Man football championship.  They were led by Luke Foertsch who tied a Dakota Bowl record with six touchdowns.  It didn’t take long for Warbirds to establish their strength as Foertsch ran the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.  Shiloh hurt themselves with two interceptions and two fumbles.  The Warbirds finished their season with a 12-0 record.

The Warbirds are an experienced team with 13 seniors on the roster.  Two years ago on August 22 the Night Hawks played the Warbirds in the Bye Week Bowl at Shiloh.  Eleven of those seniors were sophomores at the time and the Night Hawks defeated them 34-12.

The Miss and Boys 2017-18 Hoopster publications are out and I selected a few items from them.  The Night Hawk girls basketball team is picked number four in Region 7 with Glen Ullin-Hebron   No. 1, Killdeer No. 2, and Bowman Co. No. 3.  These were the same four teams that advanced to the final four of the 2017 Region 7 tourney.  Those four teams were also selected in the Miss Hoopster 2017-18 Class B Preseason Top 40 Power Poll.  Glen-Ullin is No. 6, Killdeer No. 11, Bowman Co. No. 25 and Hettinger-Scranton No. 26.  Heart River is also in the poll at No. 33.  Langdon-Munich is the number one rated girl’s team.  They finished third in the 2017 Region 4 tourney and return four starters from last season.

In the Boys 2017-18 Hoopster the Night Hawk boy’s basketball team is picked number two in Region 7 with Beulah the top rated team, Trinity No. 3 and Heart River No. 4.  Those four teams were also selected in the Boys Hoopster 2017-18 Class B Preseason Top 40 Power Poll.  Beulah is No. 2,  Hettinger-Scranton No. 16, Trinity No. 18 and Heart River No. 27.  Bowman Co. is also in the poll atNo. 38.  Stanley is the number one rated boy’s team.  They finished seventh in the 2017 state tourney and return 6-foot-4 Wyatt Hanson who averaged 24 points a game and was second team all-state.    

Colton Pool, a reporter for the West Fargo Pioneer, had an interesting article in the Dickinson Press recently on low participation rates in ND high school football.  From the years 2000 to 2016, North Dakota’s high school football participation numbers went from 5,024 to 4,062, a 19 percent decline, according to the North Dakota High School Activities Association.

Some reasons for the decline may be students are less likely to join sports if they have to spend more time in buses just to get to practice every day as well as games in towns farther and farther away.  And as kids drop out of the sport, schools are more likely to form football co-ops, forcing kids to travel more, which causes further decline.  Student-athletes may also be participating less in football due to sports specialization, when a student commits himself to one sport year-round, and that sport may not be football. Fear of concussions may also contribute to the participation decline.











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