Bobcats Buddies

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 4:57 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Hockey can take an athlete all over the world, especially at the junior hockey level. It also gives you an outlet to meet lifelong friends. For two Bismarck Bobcats, they’ve made a buddy for life.

These two Bobcats are best friends.

Layne Sedevie, Bobcats Head Coach: “We don’t get (Atchison) is we don’t have (Reller). I mean they have the same tattoo.”

Brandon Reller and Erik Atchison first played together years ago with the Spokane Chiefs out of the Western Hockey League.

Erik Atchison: “So I played there for a year, and that’s when he came in.”

Brandon Reller: “We both started out at 16, and I was a year younger than him.”

After two seasons together in Washington, Brandon signed with the Bobcats in 2021. A year later, after being released from the Chiefs, Erik followed his best friend to Bismarck.

Reller: “For me I was comfortable coming here. I had some friends that were on the team. I decided it would be a great fit for me, and then...”

Atchison: “I knew I wanted to be here right when it happened. Like I walked out of the office and was already texting him, so it was pretty instant.”

It was Bismarck or bust, and the two were back in the same sweater again.

Sedevie: “Those two are peas in a pod. It’s been that way all year long. We don’t get Erik if they don’t have the friendship and relationship that obviously brought him here.”

They might be two peas in a pod now, but back in 2019, the relationship started as competition.

Atchison: “At first we weren’t really friends at all because I was kind of rattled that a new guy was coming in, but after that it was pretty good after we got to know each other.”

Reller is from Minnesota, and Atchison is from Nevada. Two opposite hockey scenes that developed two different play styles, and a relationship that’s been built on the game they love.

Atchison: “If he’s not having a good game or I’m not having a good game, he’s always there for me and I’m always there for him, and it just keeps building up.”

Reller: “You take hockey for granted sometimes, and the opportunities it brings you, the friendships you have, and it’s truly wonderful that we get to play it.”