Peterson realizes dream

Bowman County senior signs with Dickinson State

Everyone has dreams. Some are realistic, some probably aren’t. However, with hard work and dedication, anything’s possible. Of course, having talent to back up a strong work ethic doesn’t hurt either.

By Chris Slone
Twitter: @crslone

Tristen Peterson, a senior at Bowman County High School, as shown he has what it takes to play football at the collegiate level. And now, he’ll have the opportunity as the former Bulldog signed with Dickinson State Monday, Jan. 22.

“My heart’s just racing right now,” Peterson said. “I’m ready to go over there and just start playing football, just putting the pads on and learning who my new brothers are going to be.”

Peterson played a plethora of positions during his time at Bowman County. However, as he settled in to the fullback and middle linebacker positions his senior year, Peterson realized he enjoyed playing fullback.

As he transitions from high school to college, Peterson said he was recruited to play fullback and he couldn’t be happier.

“I grew fond of playing fullback,” Peterson said. “I like it the most.”

Peterson is also going into his freshman year without any sense of entitlement or pre-conceived notions about his role next season.

“I’m expecting it’s going to be hard (playing as a freshman),” Peterson said. “Everyone’s telling me it’s going to be tough. I just want to put my best foot forward and see where I stand with all those guys that are ahead of me. I’m just going to try my hardest out there with them.”

Peterson said he chose Dickinson state because of the proximity to home, which gives his parents the ability to watch him play collegiate football.

Peterson had narrowed his choices to Valley City State and Dickinson. Both had good football programs and elementary education, which is a goal of Petersons.

However, according to Dan Peterson, Tristen’s father, there are a few reasons why Dickinson State was the obvious choice in the end. Tristen has a lot of lineage at Dickinson State. Tristen’s mother, Chris Peterson, attended the school. Tristen also had an aunt and two grandparents attend Dickinson State. The final piece to the puzzle was Isaiah Kludt.

Once Kludt had announced he was going to play football at Dickinson State, a couple of text messages sealed the deal for Peterson.

“We’re excited” Dan Peterson said. “He’s been struggling for a while. He’s had a couple of schools looking at him. In the end, it was kind of a tossup between Valley City State and Dickinson State.

“I couldn’t be prouder. I am almost prouder of the person he’s become. He’s very humble. He’s wanted to play college football bad. We’re super proud that he’s getting to do what he wanted to do.

Todd Free, head coach at Bowman County, wasn’t surprised Peterson

“He’s been a leader for us both years,” Free said. “On and off the field, he’s a leader for the younger kids. He has an addictive personality is what we call it, kids just flock to him.”

Free has coached Peterson the last two years and it’s surprised he’s gotten offers to play collegiately.

“No surprises. He had a few choices and had to narrow his selection down. I’m happy he decided to go where he did. It’ll be nice to continue to follow his career,” free said.

Peterson is the first football player to sign with a collegiate team since 2007. As far as is father is concerned, Peterson is the of many players who will have an opportunity in the future.

“What I’m really proud of, is I think he set a good example for the underclassman,” Peterson said. “I want to see a table full of kids signing next year. I think he’s the first step to having more of these and I’m really proud of him for that.”

Free echoed those sentiments.

“We have an outstanding junior class. I really anticipate there being a handful of college players in that group,” Free said. “But this should be exciting for them to be able to see this, a guy they looked up to, now is fulfilling his dream of playing. I know some of the other guys have the same feelings about what they want to do and it’s a good stepping stone for us as a program as well.”