Kuntz & Sickler continue strong bond with the Blue Hawks
DICKINSON, N.D. (KFYR) - Noah Sickler and Kaden Kuntz were tearing it up at Trinity before heading off to college. Their careers circled back to the Queen City.
“We’ve been playing football together for 12 years, I think. So we’ve got a special bond that not a lot of athletes get to have,” said Noah Sickler, Dickinson State senior.
Sickler and Kuntz grew up together. They shared the same field, track and court at Trinity High School, before going off to rival FCS programs. The pair always knew DSU was in their back pocket.
“Just going through the process with him in high school, he was almost pushing me to go higher. You know, he said there’s always a home for you at DSU, but I want to see you strive for something higher. If it doesn’t work out, you can always come back,” said Kaden Kuntz, Dickinson State senior.
“I mean you have all the familiar faces from growing up. There was something special to it that I didn’t feel at a different place. Playing for your home has something more to it,” said Sickler.
Both Sickler and Kuntz transferred back to Dickinson State after time at UND and NDSU.
“Their competitive nature too, they wanted to be on the field and making a difference. That led them both back here to be together on the same team,” said Pete Stanton, Dickinson State head coach.
They’ve taken the North Star by storm. In their final year of football, they’re the first and second receiving option for the conference’s top offense.
“When I see him score a touchdown, it’s a lot more exciting for me because I’ve seen him and the build-up process to get to this point,” said Sickler.
“If the ball isn’t coming to me, then it’s probably going to Noah. Half the time he catches it, he’s scoring. So it’s super exciting when I see that ball going over my head, about 40 yards down the field, I just know it’s coming down,” said Kuntz.
Both have faced adversity around the game. It’s what’s created a bond that goes deeper than catches and touchdowns.
“They’ve supported each other, and coming back to Dickinson was just the right thing to do. I think it’s one thing that they’ve been able to support each other, and their families have supported that, and I think that’s been the big thing,” said Stanton.
Sickler and Kuntz are done with football after this fall. With eyes on the postseason, a decade of friendship is put in perspective.
“We have so much history going back. Like, I can refer to him not just in the last four to five years, but from back when I was in junior high and high school. There’s so much behind it that so many other athletes don’t have. It makes our connection a lot stronger,” said Sickler.
”I don’t think you see many guys, especially from the same position, being able to play with each other for 10+ years. It sucks that it’s coming to an end, but all great things come to an end. We’re just going to really enjoy these last few games together,” said Kuntz.
Dickinson State heads to Montana Tech on Saturday for the first round of the national playoffs.
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