Chase Dockter couldn’t have asked for a better senior year, athletically.
The recent Bismarck High School graduate was a two-way starting lineman for a Bismarck High football team that captured the 2018 Class AAA state championship last November. In February, he won the Class A 285-pound state championship in wrestling, while helping the Demons to a team title in the individual tournament. It was his second state championship in as many years.
To top it off, Dockter placed third in the Class A boys shot put in May.
The 5-foot-11, 245-pound Dockter will take his gridiron talents to Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.) this fall, but first, he’ll play in the Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl, the annual North Dakota vs. Montana high school all-star game. This year’s contest is set for today at Connor’s Stadium in Miles City, Mont. Kickoff is at 7 p.m., Central time.
Dockter, who will play on the defensive line, views the game as a prelude to college football.
“Some of the best football players in North Dakota and Montana are going to be playing in that game, and most of them will be playing college football somewhere. It'll be kind of like a college game,” he said. “I know college ball is way different than high school, but I think this game will give us a little bit of a preview of what it's like."
“It’s an honor to be here with all these guys," Dockter continued. "I had a great senior year ... I couldn't have asked for more, and being here just adds to it.”
Dockter said he received scholarship offers from colleges for both football and wrestling, but football was always his No. 1 choice.
“To me, football is the most fun … I grew up around it and I enjoy every aspect of it,” he said. “I enjoyed wrestling, too, and I know I’m going to miss it, but I always knew that football would be my choice for college.”
Dockter was a starter for the Demons for three seasons and twice earned all-state honors. Bismarck advanced to the state championship game in 2016 and 2018, defeating Century 21-16 last November for its first state title since 2012.
“Closing out your high school career with a state championship is what every athlete dreams about,” he said. “It was a great game against our biggest rival, and I feel real fortunate to have been a part of it. It was really cool seeing all the hard work me and my teammates put in pay off.”
The Dockter family has a rich history in football. Chase’s father Jeff, and uncles Tim, Kevin, Cameron and Joel Dockter were standout players at Zeeland High School and went on to play college football. All five are coaches or former coaches.
Dockter plans to major in business management and minor in communications at Concordia, but he might carry on the family tradition and try his hand at coaching down the road.
“I want to stay involved in sports as much as I can,” he said. “I’ve had so many great coaches who have impacted my life. I’d like to do the same for other kids.”
Montana has dominated the Badlands Bowl series, winning 19 of 25 games including the last four. Dockter said the North Dakotans hope to end the losing streak tonight, but added that there are other things that are as important as winning.
“We want to win, but at the end of the day, we want to be the best representatives for our state,” he said. “That’s the main thing. We had a great week leading up to the game, and we've made lots of great memories. It ends Saturday, and win or lose, we want to walk off the field knowing that we did the best we could for North Dakota."
Other Bismark-Mandan players on the North Dakota roster are quarterback Will Madler and wide receiver Joe Jahner of Bismarck High; running back-linebacker Noah Skalsky, lineman Tanner Thorsness, lineman Jacob Schweigert, and tight end-defensive lineman Mason Leingang of Century; running back-linebacker Diamonte Stugelmeyer and tight end-linebacker Jacob Hudson of Legacy, and running back-defensive back Canaan Fagerland of Shiloh Christian.