Bison ready for SalukisThe first meeting between North Dakota State assistant football coach Tim Polasek and high school defensive lineman Brian Schaetz was all both of them needed to know.
By: By Jeff Kolpack, Forum Communications, The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — The first meeting between North Dakota State assistant football coach Tim Polasek and high school defensive lineman Brian Schaetz was all both of them needed to know.
Polasek shook the kid’s hand and then looked at both of them.
“He picks up my hands and says, ‘Do you work somewhere?’” Schaetz said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I work on a dairy farm.’ Then he’s like, ‘You have some tough-looking mitts on you.’”
Those tough-looking mitts have translated into a tough-playing defensive tackle. The freshman from Denmark, Wis., is playing a valuable backup role for the best scoring defense in Division I Football Championship Subdivision and the Bison will try to maintain that Saturday when they host Southern Illinois.
Nobody with the team is surprised at Schaetz’s contributions. He made an instant recruiting bond with Polasek, who like Schaetz, is a hard-working, tough-as-nails product of small-town Wisconsin football.
Denmark is a town of 2,200 people located in the northeast corner of the state.
“I shook Brian’s hand and instantly knew there might be a 270-pound body in there,” Polasek said. “He is a powerful, powerful kid. Brian is a farm kid from Denmark, and it doesn’t take long to realize that when you’re around him. The kid has a big heart.”
While the Bison have stars who grab the headlines, a team isn’t complete unless it has the guys in the trenches that don’t care about attention. Schaetz fits that role perfectly.
He received recruiting attention from Central Michigan and the University of Wisconsin, which got interested on Schaetz between his sophomore and junior seasons.
Wisconsin eventually went a direction other than Schaetz, which he said was probably fine with him anyway because he wasn’t much for the email and internet recruiting methods anyway. He did not have an email account.
Polasek was the only one to make his way to rural Denmark.
Kolpack is a sports writer for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead