Badlands Bowl Preview - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Badlands Bowl Preview

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Thirty- four of the most talented high school football players in North Dakota hit the gridiron this week ,preparing to represent their state in the Badlands Bowl where they will battle the all-stars of Montana.
I was able to catch up with them this week to talk about their experience so far.

Three practices a day,mentally and physically these players are getting pushed to the limit this week in Dickinson,but that doesn't bother them at all, because they are just excited to have been chosen for such an honor.

 "I you know practiced hard and played hard, and they told me I was going to get the chance to play in the game so, I was really excited at that point, and I said yeah I'll play in the game for sure," said Jacob Barth.

"It's a pretty big honor to be playing with these guys because all of these guys are the best in North Dakota, and it's hard to compete with them, but it's, it's a lot of fun, " said Austin Cieslak.

One of the toughest parts about playing with guys from all over the state is learning the same style of play.

Cieslak said, "It's tough trying to get every guy, how they go every play, and like where they're going to be, it's tough but, we're bonding pretty well, and we're adjusting, and it's going pretty good."

Another obstacle players have to overcome this week, is turning an old enemy into a teammate.

 "I didn't really think we would get along just for the fact that like a rivalry, we've been competing all of high school and now we're all hear together playing under on team one name represting North Dakota," said Jay Liggins.

Dylan Skabo also said, "It's weird, I mean I'm rooming with someone from Bismarck High and it's just four years hated them because they were our arch nemesis in football and, I think we're starting to become friends, just that whole team unity and playing for North Dakota."


This week can even be an eye opening experience for the coaches as well.

Head Coach Barry Holmen said, "Kids that we've played against, and they've always been the enemy, now it's fun to get to know them, you paint a picture of some kids as the bad guy and truly we have some neat kids here."

The players are still having some fun off the field, hanging out at the rec center when practice is over, but they don't let that fun get in the way of the ultimate goal, breaking North Dakota's three game losing streak.

Barth adds, "We kind of want to be known for the team to put one up on the board, one out of I think five, that we've won so, uh Montana wins a lot of them, and we want to put a stop to that this year, so we're working extra hard."

The team has just one more day to prepare, before they take on the Montana All-Stars on Saturday.



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