A house divided: Bismarck family cheering for both NDSU and SDSU this weekend

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 2:59 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2023 at 11:00 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D - NDSU fans are some of the most loyal college football fans in the country.

But so are SDSU fans.

This weekend, fans of both teams will be cheering as loud as they can as NDSU and SDSU play for the FCS championship title.

North Dakota State is the defending national champion. But South Dakota State is currently the number one ranked team in the country.

One Bismarck family is split on who they’ll cheer for, and with good reason.

The Hettinger family is a football family. They’re big fans of the Bismarck Demons and the Minnesota Vikings… but when it comes to college football, they are a house divided.

Dad, Scott, and mom, Teresa, cheer for South Dakota State. It’s their alma mater.

“When we were in college if you weren’t at the football games, I’m not sure what you were doing because the whole school was there,” recalled Teresa.

Scott even played for the Jackrabbits for three years.

“It’s great to see the Jackrabbits do well,” said Scott, who played tight end for SDSU until an injury ended his career.

But while Scott and Teresa bleed blue and gold, their kids have green and gold flowing through their veins.

“Sorry parents!” said their daughter, Sam, who is a student at North Dakota State. She’s studying engineering and loving all things Bison football.

“I went to a bunch last year this year was a lot harder to get tickets everyone wanted to go. And so, I’ve been to the all the tailgates and a few games,” she said.

Their son, Jake, is a senior at Bismarck High and still unsure what he’ll do after high school. But much to his parents’ dismay, he’s leaning toward NDSU.

“Most people around here are Bison fans, so I guess I hopped on the train,” Jake admitted.

As the Hettingers prepare for Sunday’s FCS championship game, they’re rewatching the Dakota Marker game from last fall. The family saw that game in person and met up with two of Scott’s college roommates and teammates. The Jacks won that game. Scott and Teresa are quick to remind their kids of that. But Sam and Jake are confident this time their beloved Bison will get the W.

“I think it’s going to be close, but the Bison can dominate,” said Jake.

“I’m hoping that this time it won’t be the same outcome,” added Sam.

Of course, their parents disagree.

“It’s going to be a close game, but I’m going to predict Jacks will win by about 10,” said Scott.

But no matter who wins, Sunday’s game promises to be a fun one for this family divided.

Kickoff is Sunday at 1 p.m. in Frisco, Texas.

This will be the 114th meeting between the Bison and the Jacks, dating back to 1903. NDSU leads the all-time series, but SDSU has won the last three times the teams have played.