The North Dakota State University football program has to deal with a number of issues that aren’t present at the high-profile programs in the south.
One of those is blizzards, including a recent one that temporary closed down parts of Fargo, including around the Fargodome, for more than a day last weekend.
The Bison plowed through it, although North Dakota State head coach Matt Entz adjusted the indoor practice schedule at the Fargodome.
“A lot of returning players understand this is the way Mother Nature can be in Fargo, North Dakota,” Entz said, according to inforum.com. “You take the good with the bad. Regardless, we need to get ready and we need to have every opportunity we can.”
At 15-0, the Bison are getting ready for the Division I Football Championship Subdivision national title game for the eighth time in the past nine years. North Dakota State has won seven titles this decade, in part because of the help they receive across the community. That support showed itself over the weekend, as the North Dakota State University Dining Center overcame the elements to supply the team with food while many public buildings were shut down.
“The people in the dining center – their commitment to not only North Dakota State football but NDSU athletics is off the charts,” Entz said.
The NDSU facilities department also cleared roads and parking lots for the dining staff, while the NDSU Department of Residence Life supplied on-campus rooms for workers who live too far off campus.
“The football team works with us,” NDSU director of dining Katie Tarter said. “Based on the weather, they made adjustments.”
One adjustment was a Monday continental breakfast that allowed the dining staff to stay home and not have to prepare hot food items.
“When you’re feeding a smaller group, like the football team now, you don’t need as many staff,” Tarter said. “The football team worries about our staff, too, to make sure we’re safe as well.”
Entz also worked to keep his team safe, holding a shortened Sunday practice, canceling Monday morning’s weightlifting session and moving Monday’s practice to later in the day in order to give more time to clear the roads.
“We’re trying to do the best we can to stay active,” Entz said. “What you don’t want is a couple of days of no practice, then you do feel like you’re behind.”
The top-ranked Bison still have time to work, as they’ll look to make it three straight FCS titles when they play No. 2 James Madison on Jan. 11 in Frisco, Texas.