Ada-Borup’s Beau Fetting scores 5 TDs days after finding out brother has heart tumor

“I just said to myself, 'It’s gonna be a lot harder for them to bring me down' because I have motivation to run with now,” said Beau, a 6-foot, 195-pound two-way standout for the Cougars.

Ada-Borup-West's Beau Fetting carries against Mahnomen-Waubun during their football game Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Ada, Minnesota. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

ADA, Minn. — Days before one of the biggest games of the season, Ada-Borup senior running back Beau Fetting found out that his brother, Brennen, a sophomore on the team, had a tumor on his heart.

A physical in August detected a heart murmur in Brennen’s chest that kept him out of football until he could be seen by a specialist. The Fettings waited about five weeks for an opening. The tumor was discovered in his heart last Wednesday, Sept. 22, and required surgical removal.

Brennen broke the news to his team at practice the next day, which was the Thursday before Friday’s highly anticipated matchup against then-No. 1-ranked Mahnomen-Waubun. Twenty-four hours before they would attempt to pull off an upset over the Thunderbirds, tears filled the eyes of almost every AB player. From that moment, it was decided who the Cougars would be playing for this season.

Beau scored all five touchdowns that lifted Ada-Borup to a 33-12 upset victory over Mahnomen-Waubun (3-1) last Friday, the top-ranked team in the Associated Press’ Class A state rankings for the week of Sept. 22.

“I just said to myself, 'It’s gonna be a lot harder for them to bring me down' because I have motivation to run with now,” said Beau, a 6-foot, 195-pound two-way standout for the Cougars.


Ada-Borup senior Beau Fetting, left, scored five touchdowns to lift the Cougars to an upset win last Friday, days after finding out his brother, Brennen, right, would be undergoing open-heart surgery for a tumor. Submitted photo

Two days after his brother's heart tumor was found, Beau ran for 221 yards and four touchdowns and returned a punt 60 yards for a score.

“That goes a lot to my O-line,” Beau said of the five-touchdown performance. “They did super well against that team. They’re a bunch of physical guys up in the front ... our whole team just had that motivation to push hard for (Brennen). That definitely is what fueled us up.”

Brennen, who plays both running back and defensive back, scheduled open-heart surgery for Thursday, Sept. 30, at the University of Minnesota. Thursday's procedure will determine if the tumor is malignant or benign.

“I think they used that as a little bit of a rallying point,” said Ada-Borup head football coach Paul Tinjum. “It was homecoming week, it was a rival, and their buddy just found out he has a tumor in his heart. I think they kinda channeled everything into one and came out and they played one of the better games they’ve ever played.”

The Cougars, who went 1-3 during the pandemic-shortened season last fall, weren’t ranked heading into last Friday’s contest. They racked up 172 offensive yards in the first half over Mahnomen-Waubun, which held its first three opponents to less than 170 yards of total offense.

Brennen and his parents made the four-hour drive to the Twin Cities on Tuesday. The family has faced an agonizing wait this past week to find out if the tumor is cancerous.


Ada-Borup sophomore Brennen Fetting is undergoing open-heart surgery after a tumor was discovered last week. Submitted photo

“Hoping that everything goes well,” Beau said on Wednesday. “At least I get to hear the results right after his surgery.”

A GoFundMe set up for the Fettings last week said “Brennen and his family are optimistic as Brennen is young and strong and the doctors are confident they can remove the tumor. Once surgery is done they will know more about Brennen’s future medical needs.” The GoFundMe, created to help offset any medical costs, exceeded its goal of $8,000. As of 11 a.m. Thursday, more than $14,400 was raised.

While the community continues to rally around the family, the Cougars have been preparing for another big test this week. Ada-Borup is set to clash with Polk County West, ranked No. 7 in the latest AP poll, at 7 p.m. Friday in East Grand Forks in an 8A matchup with playoff implications.

“We’re happy to be 4-0 right now, but this week we play up at Polk County West, which is also a good team,” Tinjum said. “This game coming up really worries me because it’s a huge game for playoff seeding. Whoever wins this game is kind of in control of our section for playoffs if they can win out the rest of the year.”

Mahnomen-Waubun, Ada-Borup and Polk County West have been at the top of the section in recent years. The first installment of the QRF rankings released this week has A-B sitting 10th overall in Class A, one spot behind PCW.

“I’d say a lot of teams, I guess, didn’t put us in their top teams for the section,” Fetting said of his team's strong start. “We took that personal.”


In four games this season, Beau has amassed 593 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s averaging 148.3 yards on the ground and 3.3 scores per game. Tinjum, who coached three of Brennen and Beau’s four older brothers, knew the Cougars had a standout running back in Beau coming into this year.

Beau, a multisport athlete for Ada-Borup, proved he had the ability to make an impact last season, despite the shortened campaign. He tallied 349 yards and seven scores in four games as a junior.

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
Carissa Wigginton is a high school sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. A Fargo native, she graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Wigginton joined The Forum’s sports department in August 2019.
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