Detroit Lakes fourth graders sad to see native Adam Thielen leave Vikings

The news of Thielen leaving the Minnesota Vikings even made its way into elementary school classrooms in Detroit Lakes. Many young fans in his hometown are sad to see him go.

Students at Rossman Elementary in Detroit Lakes played football during recess on Friday, March 10. They were lamenting the Minnesota Vikings' decision to release town-native Adam Thielen.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — On a perfect winter noon recess at Rossman Elementary School in Detroit Lakes Friday, March 10, students with red cheeks, T-shirts and sweat-soaked snow pants played some playground football during recess.

"Huddle up, huddle up," said quarterback and fourth-grader Bennett Kuehn.

Some third and fourth graders were proudly wearing #19 jerseys. These are Adam Thielen fans. He went to elementary school while living in Detroit Lakes as a child and he left a mark.

News the Vikings released Thielen made it to these kids before lunch, and it was tough to hear.

"I was mind blown," Kuehn said. "He will always be a Laker and will love him."


There are some days that playground monitors in Detroit Lakes count 10 Thielen jerseys out on the playground. The big concern of the students is what color Thielen will wear next.

"I really don't want him to go to the Packers," said fourth-grader Peyton Busker.

"I'm still going to support him even if he went to the Packers," Kuehn said.

The kids know Thielen's story. After Detroit Lakes, he received a $500 football scholarship to Minnesota State Mankato, later becoming a Minnesota Viking. One of the best in their record books.

"It makes me want to push myself to be better and practice more," Busker said.

"He's always going to be a Laker," fourth grader Miles Moen said.

"He never gave up and if I try to never give up, maybe I can get to the big leagues like him," Kuehn said.

The good news is the playground football in Detroit Lakes goes on.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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