Traveling to Texas
The decision was simple for many North Dakota State University football fans in Rugby and the surrounding area. A January trip to Frisco, Texas, was basically a formality as the Bison won the previous two NCAA FCS National Championships with the same core of players.
NDSU goes for the three-peat at 1 p.m. today against Towson University, a Colonial Athletic Association school in the Baltimore suburbs.
Rugby’s Gary Kraft made the trip with a group of 15 family members. Kraft was there in Texas two years ago, when the Bison dynasty started, and he said he kicked himself for not going last year.
“It was unbelievable,” Kraft said of the 2012 game. “It was awesome. Just seeing all the fans that made the trip that first year was hard to believe.”
Kraft and Jim Bauer own the Bison fan motorhome parked at the east edge of Rugby on Highway 2.
“I know it would make it, but I think it would take too long,” Kraft said. “It’s amazing how many people do bring their tailgating units down, though. We went down to the Kansas State game in Manhattan (Kansas) and I could not believe all the tailgating outfits that made that trip.”
Estimates around town had the number at 40 for Rugby area fans making the more than 1,000-mile trip to Frisco, which is about 30 minutes north of Dallas.
NDSU superfan Brian Olson will have to grit out a second straight title game without being in attendance. The 2006 NDSU graduate was at the first title game two years ago, but missed last year’s game because he’s an assistant coach with the Rugby High School boys basketball team. The Panthers played Des Lacs-Burlington the night before and in a bit of deja vu played the Lakers last night. But that’s not the main reason Olson couldn’t go to Texas this time around – his pregnant wife is due at the end of the month.
If you see Olson around town, leave him alone. He’ll be watching the game on delay.
“I actually have to DVR it because my wife and I have a pregnancy class,” he said. “I get to basically turn off all cellular communications in my life and outside sources for six or seven hours, so I can go home and watch it.”
Kraft is predicting a 35-10 win for the Bison. He said NDSU has a strong following in Rugby, but stopped short of declaring it a Bison town.
“I don’t know if it’s such a big Bison town,” Kraft said. “There’s just been such a big rivalry with UND, so it’s probably more defined around here because there’s big supporters of both schools.”
But not too many people in this part of the state will be bummed if the Bison complete the three-peat this afternoon.
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