From practice and games to the community, the Century Patriots are making an impact on the field.
“I’m just happy that I can give them the same emotions that they help and support us with on Friday nights too,” senior Patriots’ player Tate Erickson said. “I’d do anything for those guys, they’d probably do anything for us too. It’s just a mutual bond between both of us.”
A handful of Patriots players have been constants on Friday nights, and steady on Saturday mornings, getting up to help the Bismarck Public Schools Inclusive Sports program.
“Really the idea behind inclusive sports is you put students with and without disabilities on the same playing field and they actually participate together, they’re wearing patriot football jerseys and all that kind of stuff,” Century High School Inclusive Sports coordinator Sara Bohrer said. “It’s just like a regular sport, it’s just kind of done in a different manner to make sure all kids can be involved.”
The program operates three different sports throughout the year. Flag football is one of them with up to 40 participants all together, but it doesn’t work without volunteers. That’s where the Friday night Patriots step in.
“They’ve taken on that idea of we’re going to show up and we’re going to run chains, and we’re going to run lines and we’re going to do the scoreboard, and we’re going to announce and we’re going to cheer,” Bohrer said.
The most important thing to these athletes is giving back to the people that support them, their classmates that have quickly become friends.
“To see all those kids compete for something — a lot of them don’t get to come out for sports like we do, so to see them get their opportunity is really cool to see,” senior Patriots’ player Brayden Brosz said.
The lessons learned along the way for both sides are unmatched.
“It’s just special for them to look up to us,” senior Patriots’ player Mason Reigel said. “I mean we look up to them too. They teach us so many different lessons, different perspectives, and it’s just cool to see every week.”