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Wyndmere farmers cheer on Dakota Bowl athletes from afar

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WYNDMERE, N.D.—The "Dakota Bowl" is one of those traditions in the valley that signals we are about to settle in for the holidays and a long winter.

However, this year not all fans were able to make it to the games, not when there's work in the fields.

Where the Sandhills meet the southern valley, farmers near Wyndmere had their eyes on the cornfield, but their ears tuned to their much loved Warbirds playing the Championship game at the FargoDome.

"A lot to watch, a lot going on, watching the game at the same time," said Rick Bladow, Warbirds fan.

Rick Bladow would have been there, but the harvest had to get done, in fact, this crew with Mauch farms finished Friday night.

"Since harvest started, we have been harvesting 7 days a week," said Bladow.

So, listening and watching the Warbirds for these farmer fans, is the next best thing...from in a combine.

"Kids work hard, to have a local team make it this far is a big deal to the area," said Bladow.

Cody Heitkamp was driving the corn wagon alongside Rick and the combine.

The former Warbird player remembers winning state in 2010.

Friday, it was all about cheering them on, while wrapping up the harvest.

"The guy in the other grain cart is and the guy in the other combine is, listening to Wyndmere Lidgerwood," said Heitkamp.

The Warbirds and Skyhawks made it interesting the first half, but in the second half, the Wyndmere-Lidgerwood team's explosive offense and defense was too much for Shiloh Christian.

The good news, the corn was in Friday night.

The boys on the farm will celebrate that, and another Warbird win.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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