Colgrove, Doe making memories at Badlands Bowl

Denver Colgrove has one more game on offense left in him. The Richardton-Taylor-Hebron running back and linebacker will report to Minnesota State-Moorhead in the fall to play in the defensive backfield for the Dragons, but he's been utilized at t...

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Richardton-Taylor-Hebron running back Denver Colgrove carries the football during Badlands Bowl practice Wednesday at the Biesiot Activities Center. (Press Photo by Parker Cotton)

Denver Colgrove has one more game on offense left in him.
The Richardton-Taylor-Hebron running back and linebacker will report to Minnesota State-Moorhead in the fall to play in the defensive backfield for the Dragons, but he’s been utilized at tailback all week for Team North Dakota in preparation for this weekend’s Badlands Bowl.
“I’ve been trying to do more safety, defensive back drills to get myself ready to go to Moorhead and play that role,” Colgrove said, “but it’s real cool to come back here and play fullback, running back again and get in my element, so to speak, and be able to do what I’m most comfortable doing.”
North Dakota will face Montana in the 23rd annual Badlands Bowl at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Biesiot Activities Center, giving everybody on the team one last chance at playing high school football.
For Killdeer’s Zeb Doe, he’ll feel at home on the BAC’s turf, as he’s signed to play there for Dickinson State next season.
Throughout this week, Doe said he’s embraced the opportunity to get know future Blue Hawks teammates from North Dakota’s roster: Dickinson High’s Jake Weidner, Drew Heiser and Dual Keck; Dickinson Trinity’s Jaret Lee; and Mandan’s Gabe Meschke.
“For the most part, the Dickinson guys I haven’t gotten to know since this Mon-Dak thing,” Doe said, “and I’ve been getting along with all of them really great. I’ve been hanging out with them all week.
“It’s an awesome time. It’s fun to play with some future teammates and get a brief look at what it’s going to be like at the next level, because everyone out on the field is playing at a high level.”
Colgrove has also used this week to get learn more about future college teammates Carson Zarak, a defensive back from Wahpeton; Zach Sweep, a linebacker from Bismarck Century; and Grady Bresnahan, a wide receiver from Central Cass.
“Carson Zarak is going to be my roommate, and I get to play with him here,” Colgrove said. “Just knowing who you’re going to be around for the next four years is big to come in with some team chemistry, almost to say. … I hadn’t met Carson or Grady before this. They’re really awesome, and I’m excited to go play with them for the next couple years.”
Doe, who will play weakside middle linebacker on Saturday, said the talent on North Dakota’s roster - and what the team will see from Montana - has forced everybody to up their game in preparation.
“Every single play is competitive. There’s no lollygagging,” Doe said. “Everybody is here to prove a point and represent this great state of North Dakota.”
Doe competed in rodeo during the spring, and Colgrove didn’t participate in a spring sport, but both said it feels good to be back in football gear.
“To me, putting on pads symbolizes a new beginning,” Doe said. “I’m not going to be a Killdeer Cowboy anymore. I’m going to gladly miss where I came from, but it’s a new beginning and I’m ready to go.”
Final adjustments
Wednesday’s Badlands Bowl practices constituted the final day that North Dakota would add new plays.
Ron Wingenbach, the Bismarck Century and Team North Dakota head coach, said the team’s four remaining practices spanning today and Friday will serve as dress rehearsals.

“We’ve thrown an awful lot at them. I’m pleased at the way they’ve come together,” Wingenbach said. “Over the next two days, it’ll be a matter of subtraction, not addition. … Subtracting plays that don’t look good at this point in time. We want to be sure that what we put on the field Saturday night has the best chance at being successful.”
After having his eyes all over the field for three days, Wingenbach has come to be pretty excited over the depth he has at certain positions.
“When you get to an all-star game, it starts up front, with the offensive and defensive lines,” he said, “but one thing that will stick out a little bit is our playmaking on the perimeter. We have some receivers with some height, we go 6-foot-4, 6-foot-4 (with Century’s Adam Geiger and Jamestown’s Noah Wanzek). I would hope at some point in time we have some matchups that are favorable for us.”
Further, Wingenbach is appreciative of the efforts of his assistant coaches, who help prepare different positions on the team.
On Wingenbach’s staff are Jim Dooley, the head coach of last season’s 2A champion Beulah; John Freeman, head coach of 9-man champion Richland; and three assistants from his own staff at Century in Rod Breitbach, Cory Volk and Tim Fletcher.
“They have a lot of input to what we do in our team meetings,” Wingenbach said. “It helps that we have four coaches from a staff (Century) that can relay the message using the same context that we’ve used during the regular season. … It’s got to be a joint effort in a short week.”


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