Connolly thrilled parents traveled 5,000 miles to see him play football, graduate

National Sports

Evan Connolly is the kicker for the Bismarck Bucks. And this past weekend, Evan received a special treat: His family traveled across the Atlantic to see him walk across the stage at U-Mary and play in a football game.

Evan Connolly never thought he would play American football.

“Absolutely not,” Evan said. “Not at one moment.”

Evan attended Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. In his final year, he decided to try his luck on the gridiron.

“One random day I was asked to go out and kick in front of the head football coach at Rocky Mountain College,” Evan said. “Ever since then, it just took off.”

Evan’s dad said he was shocked when learned about his son’s decision, but supported him.

“The only thing that I had a concern about was that it was American football as opposed to soccer,” Liam said. “So that was a challenge for him, but I knew that he would rise to the challenge.”

That decision helped lead Evan to Bismarck.

“I didn’t think that I would ever end up on a professional team,” Evan said. “It’s been a bit of a crazy ride.”

Evan’s parents stay in Ireland, and traveled close to 5,000 miles to see him graduate with a master’s from U-Mary.

“It took us 22 hours to get here,” Margaret said. “Three flights. Dublin to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Minneapolis and Minneapolis to Bismarck.”

Since they were in town they decided to see him play a game.

“Massively proud,” Liam said. “It’s huge journey for him.”

Evan says he is grateful for the support his family has given him and says he would not be successful without them.

“Thanks to my parents for coming out,” Evan said. “For taking the time out of there life to come out here and support me.”

Evan will be back on the field this weekend, when the Bucks take on the Omaha Beef.

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