Post Published: September 10 2022 10:08 AM
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) – Football is a game of second chances. Whether it’s another down for a dropped pass, forcing a punt to get the ball back, or knowing there’s always next week, most players on the undefeated North Dakota College of Science Wildcats know this feeling well. Nose guard Ray Ruschel perhaps knows it the best.
“They’ve all been very receptive of me coming in and playing,” Ruschel said. “At first, they thought I was another football coach on our first day of camp. And whenever I got in line to get pads, they were like ‘wait a minute, you’re playing?’”
Ruschel is 49 years old, which for most prospective freshman student athletes, may pose too much a challenge. Not quite for the 17-year-long active duty member currently in the North Dakota Army National Guard.
“So, I’ve been surrounded by young people throughout my military career,” Ruschel said. “So on and off the field, these guys are really, truly tremendous, I try and instill being punctual, being awake, just doing my hardest. Working to strive to do my best every day at practice and also during games.”
Head Coach Eric Issendorf sees this too, the former 90s Wildcat player just a year younger than Ruschel.
“He’s always in a good mood, he’s always just Ray,” Coach Issendorf said. “He’s always in a good mood, just ready to work and do what he can for his teammates.”
“Overall, everybody’s been very welcoming and helpful in everything I ask,” Ruschel said.