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Eric Peterson, Published February 23 2011

Peterson: Another Forde hopes to finish strong

Evan Forde watched two of his family members end different stages of their wrestling careers in style over the weekend.

Eric Forde, his younger brother, capped a stellar prep career at Fargo South, winning his fourth North Dakota Class A state title Saturday. That coincided with Lynn Forde, his dad, coming to the end of a successful

33-year run as the head coach at South.

“So far it’s all ended really well,” Evan Forde said. “I’ve just got to finish it off and do my part.”

The Minnesota State Moorhead fifth-year senior hopes to keep the Forde mojo rolling for at least another week or so. MSUM is competing at the NCAA Division II Super Regional 3 Championship on Sunday in Sioux Falls, S.D.

If Evan Forde can finish in the top four in his 133-pound weight class, he would qualify for the Division II national championships for the first time in his career.

“I think I’ve kind of put everything I’ve got into the sport right now,” Forde said. “I’m going to do my best to be peaking at the region.”

Forde, who is 15-12 this season, seems to be gaining momentum at the right time. He has won his past four matches heading into the regional.

That win streak includes a 3-1 overtime victory against Upper Iowa’s Kyle Pedretti last Thursday. Pedretti is ranked fourth in D-II at 133 pounds.

“If Evan continues to wrestle like he did the other night, he is going to have a great shot to do something at the regional tournament and make it to the national tournament,” Dragons head coach Kris Nelson said.

Dragons junior 125-pounder Corey Ulmer (who is 21-4 this season) has been Forde’s training partner for four seasons. Ulmer said Forde has been a team leader, always willing to put in the extra work to become a better wrestler.

Ulmer would like to see that translate into a trip to nationals for Forde.

“He’s deserved it,” said Ulmer. “I would be super happy for him. … He’s coming in and getting extra workouts in all the time. You can walk in the locker room at any time during the day and normally see him there, either getting ready to work out or just getting down from working out.”

Nelson said Forde’s teammates sometimes affectionately call him “Grandpa Forde” because he has been around the program so long and his mature demeanor.

“I think they always see me drinking coffee and reading the paper, it’s kind of a joke I guess,” Forde said.

All kidding aside, Evan wants to end his college career with a flurry, just like Eric ended his high school career and Lynn ended his coaching career last weekend.

“This is what I’ve been working for my whole career, to get to nationals,” said Evan, who feels MSUM was the right choice for him. “I wanted to find a place where I could contribute and be a big part of the team. Things have really worked out well for me here.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com