Beach High School standout heads to Dickinson State University

Trey Swanson is headed for an NAIA football program on the heels of a multi-sport starring role with Buccaneers.

Trey Swanson(35) pump fakes to attack in the paint.
Josiah Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

DICKINSON – Athletes who participate in small-school programs tend towards being multi-talented and hard-working. There’s just no other way and the demands are abundant.

Well, it’s tough to find a harder-working and more-earnest contributor than Beach High School’s Trey Swanson, who just polished off a solid season with the Buccaneers basketball team as a Region 7 Class B Senior Athlete of the Year – and a quarterfinal berth in the hoops tourney – and is headed to Dickinson State University to play offensive line for the Blue Hawks.

But before summer workouts begin, you can find Swanson on the track & field team for BHS, contributing to the shot-put and discus field events, among other things he is certain to be doing around his father’s – Beach varsity basketball head coach Al Swanson – farm and ranch and he is sure to hitting the books as a standout 3.9-GPA student to complete his studies on the way to graduation with his classmates in May.

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Trey Swanson represented Beach in field events, participating in discus and shot put.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

That might sound like a lot, but Trey is accustomed to it. That said, he wished for a little more from his time at Beach High.

“Obviously, I wish I would have gone a little bit farther in any of my four years, playing high-school basketball in the region tournament, but I was pretty happy with how my whole career went – accolades and stuff – and I’m happy that I got to play with all my teammates and my brother for one year,” Trey said. “I kind of wish it could have ended with a region championship or something, that was always our goal going in every season, and that would have been a dream to do that, and going to play at State would have been awesome ….


“Other than that, I like my career and thought it was fun and it was a good year. But going into college I hope I can get onto the field within a couple years and get stronger and more athletic and hopefully I will have a good career at Dickinson State.”

Meanwhile, he feels like he is ready for the next step and this new stage of his athletic pursuits and said Dickinson is the perfect environment for it. Not only is Dickinson located less than an hour’s drive away from his hometown, but his brother, Gage – also a standout, multi-sport athlete in his own right – plays linebacker for DSU after a more-than-successful prep career at BHS.

“It will be nice to play with my brother for a couple years, that’ll be fun, and hopefully that goes well there without any injuries or anything,” Trey said. “I think it’s going to be a great adjustment, I love all the coaches at Dickinson, and my personal coach (Tobin) O’Brien (DSU offensive line coach) is over there and I’ve been in talks with them for two or three years now and just going to their camps every year,” Trey said. “I love Dickinson and I’m there a lot, and obviously it’s not too far from home.”

Senior running back Kaden Volk as the ball carrier battles from every inch with the help of his offense lineman Trey Swanson.

Home is Al Swanson’s farm, and while he coached Trey for most of his life – in a variety of sports and outside contributions to the ranch/homestead. In all those pursuits, Al is proud of his sons’ accomplishments – both Trey and Gage – and said Trey’s reaching 1,500-plus points to go along with 1,000-plus rebounds is one of the biggest. But having both sons so close to home will be a blessing for him, and he added that Trey’s multi-sport participation – not-to-mention playing 9-man football, which is a faster game – has served him well as he heads towards his future.

“It sounds like you’re bragging, because I guess I was his coach – Trey was super-super easy to coach and just did what I asked of him – but what he did on the floor he did a lot of that, himself,” Al said. “He’s kind of a leader on the floor and off the floor he’s kind of been the same way. As far as farming and ranching, he’s talented at that and is the kind of kid you can trust to go out and run a tractor and I don’t have to worry about it, he feed the cows and does all that kind of stuff.

But Trey always has been a multi-sport athlete, having been coached by his Dad in baseball, basketball and other pursuits along the way, and he always found something to keep him busy, otherwise, Al said.With his brother being a couple years older, it also was more efficient and cost-effective for the two to play together. That might have contributed to Trey’s acumen and ability in those sports, as well, and Al added that both sons have had great teammates that have contributed to the teams each played on over the years, and enriched his sons’ lives in athletics.

“He always played-up (in higher age divisions), and the thing was that we had to travel and so we took both of them,” Al said with a chuckle. “And they played in South Dakota and Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota in different tournaments,” Al said. “We loved it, and then once he got to football in fifth and sixth grade in peewee football they always liked that; he’s always been a four-sport athlete.”

That reality was not lost on Dickinson State University head coach Pete Stanton, who could tell right away that Trey Swanson would be a valuable contributor for the Blue Hawks as he grows in the game. While Trey was recruited by numerous regional universities, the 6’3” 270-pound Swanson will hopefully be a major part of the team for years to come.


“Trey is a tremendous athlete, and I think he’s going to have a great future ahead of him,” Stanton said. “He’s a guy – when you watch him in football – is capable of playing several positions: He can play the offensive line, defensive line and, I mean, he played tight end this year and has really good hands and skills and you can see that obviously carried onto the basketball court, having good feet and being able to move around really well.

“Obviously, that’s going to bode well for him in college football, and (being a multi-sport athlete) is one of the first things we look for in recruiting players to our football program..”

For more information about the Dickinson State University Blue Hawks football program, please visit or see the pages of The Dickinson Press. For any sports tips or story ideas, please call 701-456-1213.

Gaylon is a sportswriter from Jensen Beach, Fla., but has lived all over the world. Growing up with an athletic background gave him a love of sports that led to a journalism career in such places as Enid, Okla., Alamogordo, N.M., Pascagoula, Miss. and Viera, Fla. since 1998. His main passion is small-town community sports, particularly baseball and soccer.
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