The Century boys basketball team won the West Region tournament this past weekend.
Its been an emotional road this season for the Patriots family.
They have two losses this season.
Only one of them has come on the court, the other, the loss of assistant coach Nate Welstad's son Karson.
Tia Streeter tells us more.
Tia Streeter: Nate and Kari Welstad both played basketball at the University of Mary, they've been a part of the Bismarck basketball community for more than 15 years. Their son Karson was born December 31st, knowing of heart complications before his birth, the family spent months at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota battling for their little boy.
Nate Welstad: You don't realize how much you need that until you get in that situation, and it wasn't just from the Century community, it was the whole Bismarck community it felt like everyone was rallying around us
Darin Matter: we talked about it as a team coaches players anytime you see a part of your family hurting and struggling the best thing you can do is be there for support and I think the kids were exceptional in that area.
Alex Quist: its hard being isolated from what you're use to, I know there's no where he'd rather be than on the practice court with us so we wanted to make it feel like home, and give him a sense of security and home even though he was away
Tia Streeter: Karson passed away in February after 48 great days with his family. Being home has brought them comfort.
Nate Welstad: funeral, first five rows were filled up with players and coaches, that was the emotional part, when you get out to a game you go back to your old habits and you get into the moment, and basketball has been a great release to get back into normalcy
Darin Mattern: that particular day was very special for all of us there was no question that we were going to be there for Coach Welstad and his wife and his two little kids, and like I said that's just the way this group of kids is
Alex Quist: whether it was praying for him when he got back praying for him before practice, it really brought our team together a little bit that realized a lot of things are worse than playing basketball
Tia Streeter:The Patriots helped the Welstad's through some tough days. Its created a bond among the team, something they will remember forever.
Darin Matter: there's one little guy looking over us today and that's something we'll remember the rest of our lives
Nate Welstad: he lived 48 days, we always say 48 days in our arms, and forever in our hearts we are definitely happy the days that we got with him, and we cherish those forever and we keep living the strong life so we can represent how strong he was
Tia Streeter: The Patriots are the favorites to win the state championship, but whether they win it or not, this team already understands there's more to life than wins and losses.
You can donate to the Welstad fund at any Bismarck Wells Fargo.
The Century Patriots start their trip to a title, Thursday afternoon at 2 pm, they face Shanley in the opening round.
General information or questions:
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News Fax: 701-838-1050