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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 22 2010

Kolpack: CFL coach wishes he could watch his daughter play soccer at NDSU, but seasons conflict

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Calgary Stampeders battled for first place last Sunday in the West Division of the Canadian Football League. Meanwhile, the daughter of Saskatchewan assistant coach Bob Dyce was somewhere in Utah.

Brooklyn Dyce is the leading scorer for the North Dakota State soccer team, which was on a road trip to Southern Utah and Utah Valley State. In a perfect world, Bob Dyce would make a four-year exemption that the CFL play its games in the spring.

“The thing that bothers me is the fact I may not get to see her play a college game as long as I continue to do this,” he said. “That always weighs heavily on my mind.”

There’s a lot to see with Brooklyn, who has five goals and one assist despite playing with a sore knee.

NDSU is home for its last three games, starting Saturday with South Dakota State at noon.

Three hours later, the Bison football team plays Indiana State. When Brooklyn was a young girl growing up in Winnipeg, it’s possible her dream wavered between football and soccer.

She played tackle football in junior high and was featured in the “Faces in the Crowd” segment of the Oct. 23, 2003 Sports Illustrated issue. It read, “Brooklyn, a seventh-grader at St. Johns-Ravenscourt … finished the regular season with 831 yards on 49 carries and 14 touchdowns.”

The clip hangs in NDSU head coach Pete Cuadrado’s office.

Brooklyn still plays in a Winnipeg women’s flag football league when she goes home during the summer. It’s not the same, however.

“There’s no contact,” she said, “but it’s still a lot of fun to be out there.”

Bob is a former football coach at the University of Manitoba for seven years and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for seven years. He’s in his first year at Saskatchewan, where he makes the five-hour drive back to Winnipeg whenever possible.

The move to the Roughriders did not come without a loyalty battle within the family.

“Brooklyn said she didn’t ever think she could cheer for Saskatchewan,” Bob said. “I told her, ‘Just remember that the next time you ask for money.’ ”

He’s able to see some of her games on the NDSU website. At his Roughriders office, he has a work laptop set to CFL stuff and a personal laptop set to gobison.com.

It’s probably the next-best thing to being there. And it’s also the best he can do.

“Her mom is a trooper, she drives to any game she can,” Bob said. “I feel like I’m letting her down, but it’s just the nature of the two seasons. Hers is the same time as ours.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia