A torn heart: Father watches son play school he loves

Mayville State quarterback Creighton Pfau is the son of a former Dickinson State football player. (Jake Wright / The Dickinson Press)
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Pete Stanton and Pete Pfau roamed the secondary in the late 1980s for the Dickinson State football team, but flash forward to today and Pete Pfau was in a totally different circumstance last Saturday.

His son, Creighton, quarterbacks the Mayville State Comets, and the Comets came to town looking to pull off an upset against none other than Pete’s secondary mate in Stanton who is now the head coach of the Blue Hawks.

Pete Pfau now lives in West Fargo, but the chance to watch his old teammate and son on the same field was a reunion, because not only did he go to Dickinson State — Dickinson is where he grew up.

“It had a different feel. I would never root against Dickinson State, but I would also never root against my son,” Pete Pfau said. “I was there watching a great football game with some great players and coaches. Being at that facility was an amazing time. Back in the day, you went to the stadium from everything from the Fourth of July to when the circus came to town. You went on Friday nights to watch the game and Saturdays to watch the game too. It was a special place back then, but they have really done it up now. The turf is beautiful and the track is beautiful too. The stadium is absolutely amazing.”

Over the course of four quarters, Creighton put on a show much to his father’s liking while driving Stanton a little crazy even though Dickinson State won 51-26.


He finished the day with 257 yards passing, two touchdowns and 58 yards rushing with two more scores.

“It was fun for me to watch. It is nice for me to go back to Dickinson State and see how well (Coach Stanton) has done coaching and carrying on that tradition,” Pete Pfau said. “To see my boy play too, it was a good time for everyone.”

Creighton Pfau celebrates after running for a touchdown against Dickinson State last Saturday on Sept. 19. (Jake Wright / The Dickinson Press)

The homecoming for the older Pfau was a welcome feeling as he got to see family, friends and his son do what he loves on his old stomping grounds.

Creighton’s grandparents still live in Dickinson, and the family has some other family members that live in Watford City, making it easy for everyone to congregate in one spot.

In addition to family, Pete Pfau, who graduated from Trinity, got to watch Blue Hawks wide receiver Jaret Lee have a big day with over 150 yards receiving. He went to high school at Trinity with Lee’s mom and the two are still friends from their time growing up together.

Watching Creighton play football for the Comets wasn’t always the plan though.


The senior initially went to Mayville State with no intentions of playing on the grass, but instead his mind was focused on the hardwood.

“He went to college and wasn’t planning on playing football. He got the opportunity to go to Mayville and he got offered a basketball scholarship,” Pete Pfau said. “He put in a lot of hard work and they had some really good successful years playing basketball. They won the conference two years in a row, but when it came to playing football, you look around the student body as a coach and say hey, there’s this guy that maybe can play for us. They went and asked him if he wanted to play and the rest is history.”

While the Comets are 0-2, they are lightyears more competitive than they have been in the past several seasons.

One big reason is Creighton’s success, but they have also brought in a lot of young talent that bodes well for the future and the elder Pfau hopes that Creighton influences underclassmen just the way he was influenced when he walked on the campus of Dickinson State.

“When you come in as a freshman, you are looking for guidance and someone to look up to. When I first stepped into the team meetings (at Dickinson State) it was not hard to see that Pete Stanton was that guy. He was a leader in the meetings, practices and games. He understood the game at a higher level than most and it seemed like he was almost a player coach. It was fun to have him as a mentor. ... I watched him a lot and tried to learn from him ...,” Pete Pfau said. “(As for Mayville) everybody is working hard to build a winning tradition there. It takes seniors and the veterans to do that. When the freshmen come in, you have to have someone to look up to. I had Pete Stanton to do that for me, and I hope my son is that guy. I hope he is the Pete Stanton at Mayville State.”

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