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Raftevold's perseverance pays off for himself and the Cobbers

MOORHEAD-When Dallas Raftevold was a freshman in high school and pondering his football future, mother knew best.Raftevold weighed about 98 pounds, wasn't playing in games and also wasn't too involved in practices."I almost walked off the field m...

Concordia safety Dallas Raftevold is making the most of his senior season.David Samson / The Forum
Concordia safety Dallas Raftevold is making the most of his senior season.David Samson / The Forum

MOORHEAD-When Dallas Raftevold was a freshman in high school and pondering his football future, mother knew best.

Raftevold weighed about 98 pounds, wasn't playing in games and also wasn't too involved in practices.

"I almost walked off the field multiple times," said Raftevold, now a senior on the Concordia Cobbers football team.

Raftevold remembers a conversation he had with his mom, Laurie, during that season.

"She said 'You're going to regret this if you quit,' " Raftevold said. "That stuck with me ever since then and I thank her to this day."

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The Cobbers are also thankful. The 6-foot, 195-pound safety has been a three-year regular and two-year starter on the Concordia defense. Raftevold had an impressive performance last weekend in the team's upset victory against national power Wisconsin-Whitewater with 15 tackles, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and an interception.

"Dallas just makes plays," said Cobbers defensive backs coach Brian Mistro. "He's one of the best hitters, he's one of the smartest kids we have, he's one of the smartest football players I've ever coached."

The Cobbers (2-0) start Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play at 1 p.m. Saturday against Bethel at Jake Christiansen Stadium. Concordia is coming off a strong performance in the nonconference, including the 25-17 victory against Whitewater, which was then ranked No. 15 in Division III.

"Not taking anything away from that win, because it was a pretty special one, but we realize why we play," Cobbers head coach Terry Horan said. "We play for the MIAC."

Raftevold didn't feel like he wanted to play for anything when he was on the freshman team at Fargo South High School. He said his older brother, Austyn, and twin brother, Dylan, were giving him hard time for not getting playing time.

"I always took it to heart that I wasn't playing," Dallas said.

Dallas started playing football in elementary school and loved the game, Laurie said. He was used to getting playing time, so that freshman season was humbling, she added. Laurie told Dallas he at least needed to play until the end of the season to finish what he started.

She also had this advice for her son.

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"You only get this shot once. Once you give it up, you can't go back in time," Laurie said. "You've got to pay your dues, and your time will come and it did."

Dallas started at safety for the Bruins in his junior and senior seasons. He was on the South team that won the North Dakota Class 3A state championship in 2013.

"I would have never been a state champion if I would have quit my freshman year," Dallas said.

A three-sport athlete at South, Dallas had to decide on whether to play football or hockey in college. He ended up going to Concordia for football. One of the reasons was the chance to play with his two brothers. Austyn was a linebacker for the Cobbers whose senior season was in 2015. Dylan is a senior defensive back this fall.

"Playing college football with both my brothers is pretty cool," Dallas said.

Horan called Dallas a student of the game and a leader with instincts that a coach can't teach.

"If he had a Madden rating for field awareness, it would be 99," said Mistro, referring to the popular football video game. "He's always going to make plays for us when we need him to."

What: Bethel at Concordia

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When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Jake Christianson Stadium

Radio: 970-AM

Concordia safety Dallas Raftevold is making the most of his senior season.David Samson / The Forum
Concordia senior defensive back Dallas Raftevold, left, intercepts a pass last weekend against Wisconsin-Whitewater at Jake Christiansen Stadium. Sheldon Green / Cobbers Athletics

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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