The Dickinson Trinity Titans made their first Dakota Bowl appearance since 2006, and for the head coach John Odermann, and his brother, Jacob, who is the team’s offensive coordinator, this game meant more than what’s on the surface.

“It’s everything. I mean, it’s the mountain top,” John Odermann said.

Dating back to their high school days in the red and white, the Odermann twins are familiar with the big stage, winning back-to-back state championships in 2000 and 2001 with the Titans. And Friday’s title game has a personal meaning for the family.

“The same people that were in the stands then cheering us on are going to be there Friday. When you think of a family, what we’ve been able to do here together, I think is a microcosm of what we want this program to be,” John Odermann said.

Football isn’t just a part of the Odermann’s lives, it’s what formed the bond that Jacob and John share. Despite having separate interests, football has been the one constant for both of them.

“It’s been very important. It’s been the thing that we’ve always shared because we do have very different interests and having that thread that we can pull on to bring each other back together every once and a while during the fall at least, it’s allowed us to continue developing a relationship into adulthood that might not be as strong if we didn’t have it,” Jacob Odermann said.

Football hasn’t only brought the twins together, but has also kept them close throughout the years.

“We probably spent 85 percent of our lives together until after high school. You know, you grow up, have a family and kids and stuff. This gives us an excuse five, six days a week during the fall to get to visit and see one another and it’s really special that way too,” Jacob Odermann said.

While the Odermann’s have won with a helmet on at the Dakota Bowl, winning on the biggest stage donning the headset would mean more.

“It’s special to give kids an opportunity to experience what we did. Trinity’s a big family. Generations of people that have sent their kids to school here. This is just our opportunity to give a little bit back to the school that’s really given a lot to people in this community,” Jacob Odermann said.

When John took over as the head coach in 2013, he and his brother said that they wanted to get Trinity back to where they belong, and that’s in a state championship game.