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North Dakota football player is proving he has what it takes at age 49

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A junior college in North Dakota has an elder statesman on its roster, a 49-year-old freshman. Ray Ruschel, 49, is a backup defensive lineman and the oldest member of the North Dakota State College of Science.

He's also one year older than his coach. Ruschel has been an important part of the team this season. When the team lost a game in September, Ruschel stepped in and provided his college football team with some motivational words.

Ray Ruschel, a 49-year-old freshman football player for the North Dakota State College of Science, takes his turn on the blocking sled Sept.

20, 2022, in Wahpeton, N.D.  (AP photo/Dave Kolpack) "There were just kind of emotions everywhere. Everybody did not handle it," The Associated Press reported wide receiver Marselio Mendez saying in reference to the loss to rival Minnesota State Community Technical College.  "Ray came up and said, ‘You know, it’s not really failing, right?’ He said we just have to put the emotion to the side, and we still got the rest of the season and playoffs to show who we are." Ruschel had a long path to the small school that often gets overlooked with North Dakota State nearby.

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