Loboes’ Thielges shatters school rushing record
Sometimes records are simply broken. Other times they are completely shattered.
When the Loboes’ 2013 season came to end three weeks ago in Cavalier, Thielges had amassed a new school mark of 5,832 career rushing yards. Just as eye-popping, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound back rang up what amounts to approximately 3.31 miles on exactly 800 career carries, which averages out to 7.3 yards per touch.
Those are pretty solid numbers, no matter the level of football.
“I guess it was definitely always a goal of mine, but I never really saw it happening,” Thielges said. “The guy in front of me … I had a long ways to go to get this record.”
That guy was Dana Sandness, who set the previous record at 3,902 yards back in 2003. Thielges bested that total by a whopping 1,930 yards.
“I’ve been pretty luck. I’ve had good offensive linemen in front of me and they make it easy sometimes,” Thielges said. “Starting all four years definitely helped, but I’ve been lucky to have some good players around me.”
Having solid teammates certainly helped, but those types of numbers needed other ingredients added to the mix to become a reality. It started early for Thielges, who showed promise in the sport dating all the way back to his elementary school days.
He played from second through sixth grade for the LaMoure Wolfpack, and his coach saw the potential building. His coach was also his father, Darren Thielges.
“It’s been fun for me,” Darren Thielges said. “He was always that guy that was just hanging around and always had a ball in his hands. He has just always had a nose for football, and he never had any fear, especially when he was younger.
“Just looking at the numbers, the way he put them up is pretty amazing.”
Darren also held the career rushing record in LaMoure, posting 3,315 yards by the time he graduated in 1988. That was the mark bested by Sandness.
Darren has always been close to the sidelines during Brady’s high school career. He was the Loboes’ offensive coordinator during Brady’s freshman and sophomore seasons, and he’s also the Loboes’ current head boys basketball coach, a team Brady is an integral part of.
“It’s been pretty great having my dad right there with me all the way throughout my sports career. Every time I come home he has some advice for me that I try to use,” Brady said. “It’s pretty special that me and my dad are a couple of the better running backs to come through this high school. I’ve been pretty lucky to have a guy like him.”
During Brady’s four years, the Loboes put together a record of 25-14. The team has went 7-3 the past three seasons after moving from 11-man back to 9-man, but the team failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs in each of those three seasons.
Plain bad luck had a lot to do with that. The Loboes were defeated in the playoffs last year by eventual state champion New Rockford-Sheyenne.
Cavalier, the team that beat the Loboes three weeks ago, didn’t allow a single point to opponents during the regular season and are the favorites heading into Friday’s 9-man title game against Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn.
LaMoure-L-M was the team that finally put up points against the Tornadoes, falling 50-24. Brady played admirably, scoring a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown and also throwing for a TD.
Not too surprisingly, Brady also set a new Loboes’ career touchdown mark this season with 77 scores.
“It’s a credit to him. No. 1 his determination and No. 2 it’s a product of his work off the field and being in the weight room for four years,” LaMoure-L-M coach Andy DelaBarre said. “It was him putting his mind to being the best at what he was doing, and he certainly showed it this year.”
Brady rushed for 2,191 yards and 20 touchdowns on 321 carries this season. Touching the rock in access of 32 times per game is a testament to the running back’s toughness, especially since he rarely left the field.
Thielges is also a two-time all-state linebacker.
“There were a lot of Saturdays I woke up with just a lot of general soreness, but I loved being the guy every Friday night,” Brady said. “I wanted the ball pretty much every play. I love football, so it was fun for me.”
“He never left the field, and that’s just a credit to his ability and physicalness to be able to play both ways,” DelaBarre said. “We have some big shoes to fill next year. This year was a turning point for him in his leadership … When he spoke, guys listened.
“He’s a special person, and it’s a testament to what hard work will give you.”
Brady said he plans to play college football next season somewhere within the tri-state area, but he has yet to pick a school. He’s certainly received a few phone calls.
“I’ve been contacted by a few (schools). I want to have as many options as possible,” Brady said. “I definitely want to play football and wherever that ends up being I just want it to be a good fit.”
But right now he is back concentrating on basketball, as the Loboes will try to defend their Region 3 title. The team finished fourth at state last year with a record of 22-4.
“I’ve been talking to the guys and we’re all pretty excited. We’re all a little disappointed with the football season ending sooner than we wanted,” Brady said. “We’re fired up to get the season started.”
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at 701-952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org