Article by Ian Grande
Moorhead – Abe Roehrich and his Minnesota State Moorhead Dragon football teammates are hoping that their convincing 51-19 victory of the University of Mary is a sign of things to come.
Roehrich who is a senior captain and starting linebacker was excellent in the game (7 tackles), as he has been all season. He currently leads the Dragons with 56 tackles.
The road to this point has been a long but rewarding one for Roehrich. The talented linebacker came to Minnesota State Moorhead after an incredible prep career in Stanley.
Roehrich has shown steady improvement throughout his career and that journey has left him with some incredible memories and lasting friendships. It has also provided him with a future.
Finding new ways to grow each year can sometimes be a struggle, but Roehrich has managed to do that every season during his career, “As player I have been able to grow in many ways,” said Roehrich. “The first couple seasons the growth was mostly in technique and learning the flow of the games. In the last two years the growth has been more on the mental side of the game. Learning the game at a deeper level allows you as a player to see much more and I think that just comes with being exposed to the game longer and more.”
Roehrich’s strong season has earned him some recognition. Earlier this season Roehrich picked up a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery for touchdown during the Dragons 38-7 win over Augustana. Roehrich’s was named MSUM/Courtyard Athlete of the Week for his effort in that game.
The talented senior was also featured in a story by legendary Fargo sports broadcaster Dom Izzo earlier this season. The story can be viewed here: “WDAY story: Roehrich experienced highs and lows with Dragon football”
Despite his success on the field, Roehrich is quick to point out that this season has been a little up and down for the Dragons. “As a team the season has not gone the way we expected or hoped in regards to the win column, but there are still a couple games to go. Football seasons are always a roller coaster and this season has been one for sure.”
Despite the turbulence that the team has experienced this season, Roehrich is optimistic that the team can finish strong, “The last few games will not bring us to playoffs or anything like that but as a senior you always want to leave the program on a high note and at this point we all are playing more for the future of the program,” said Roehrich. “We are also playing for the people that are our best friends and the people we have trained with for a couple years now.”
It has been a quite a ride for Roehrich during his career at Minnesota State Moorhead. He has been able to experience his fair share of memorable plays during his tenure. The most memorable was when the Dragons pulled out a “miracle” to beat Concordia St. Paul. The final drive was featured on ESPN’s “SportsCenter”. See link: MSUM Miracle Finish
The plays on the field will certainly be cherished but it is the life lessons and time spent with his teammates that Roehrich will remember most fondly. “From workouts, to practice, games, really anything with those guys is what I’ll remember,” said Roehrich.
As for life lessons… “The life lessons I have learned are almost as numerous as the memories,” said Roehrich. “The coaching staff at MSUM is all about preparing us for life after football. We have meetings almost every week that pertain to leadership skills or some sort of thing that will not only help us grow as teammates but that will help us to become good employees, husbands, dads, and etc. Two specific lessons come to mind: First is “control the controllables”. Don’t worry about things outside of your control such as a ref’s call, a bad driver that cuts you off, or a controlling boss. You can apply that lesson to any area of life. Focus on the things you can control. The second lesson would be “first things first”, you should do what will make you happy a year from now not a day from now.”
These valuable lessons that Roehrich learned have spurred him to enter the coaching ranks after graduation. “My plans after school are to move into coaching college football but I am not sure where at yet,” said Roehrich.
Roehrich will undoubtedly find success wherever he lands next, thanks to his work ethic and desire to constantly improve.
While Roehrich still has some time left with the Dragons, it is pretty safe to say that their relationship over the past four years was mutually beneficial.
*Ian Grande is the Editor of the Stanley Gazette. If you have any comments or concerns please email StanleyGazette@gmail.com