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Jeff Kolpack, Published July 27 2013

Dudzik a quick study in new role as summer intern

FARGO – It was in the 1990s when the sportscaster for KSNT-TV in Topeka, Kan., would go to Kansas State football games and get the story. Ken Dudzik put the microphone in front of a lot of great players and coaches.

By his side at times was his young son, Christian Dudzik. The kid grew up with Wildcats football as his sporting inspiration. He once painted his bedroom all purple.

In about a month from now, the Dudziks will return to Bill Snyder Stadium, only this time in different roles. Ken will be in the stands as a cheering parent.

Christian will be on the field as a starting safety for the North Dakota State football team.

“It’s a big game for my family and me,” he said.

There’s more to the family story. Christian’s sister, Kara Dudzik, will be a freshman at Kansas State this fall. That thought had Mary Dudzik, the mother of the two kids, thinking of wearing half purple and half green and yellow.

“First of all, I don’t think that would look very good,” Ken said with a laugh. “No, it’s going to be all green and gold.”

Ken turned in his sports TV hat for a managing editor position at KMTV in Omaha, Neb., in 2001. He’s currently the station manager at KIOS-FM, the National Public Radio station in Omaha.

There is no shortage of media experience with the family and that includes this summer with Christian. He’s the multimedia intern for the NDSU sports information office.

He’s progressed so fast that it’s hard to tell he’s an intern anymore.

“He’s just been tremendous,” said Kasey Byers, NDSU’s multimedia coordinator. “When you have journalism in your blood growing up, you just get it. You understand what your audience is and Christian has that. He has a way about him that is typical of his dad’s background.”

Dudzik has produced recruiting and fan videos using the latest technology. He’s getting a hands-on look at the marketing industry. He’s archived videos.

“The thing I love the most is making projects that people enjoy,” Christian said. “Especially for my teammates and the fans. I think if I love it, they will also love it. I really aspire to inspire other people. That’s my favorite thing about doing this.”

Like football, it includes a game plan such as how to frame certain video shots. Or what angle to take on a camera shot.

Just like what dad used to do.

“I got to see a lot of things that a lot of people didn’t have access to see,” Christian said. “It was a great time as a kid.”

The Topeka sports market treated Ken well, with geography being his friend. To the west was Kansas State. To the east was Kansas. The Kansas City market needed to be covered, so that meant going to Chiefs and Royals games.

He covered George Brett. He had a one-on-one interview with Bo Jackson. There was also minor league football and hockey.

“It was a sportscaster’s dream,” Ken said. “Topeka is similar in size to Fargo so you wouldn’t think that.”

And then there was Bill Snyder, the veteran head coach whose team will try and attack Christian and the Bison defense on Aug. 30. Christian, a standout at Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha, looked at going to Kansas State at one time.

“He’s a very straight-forward guy,” Ken said of Snyder. “He was really cordial and good to Christian on his visit. I think he remember me from my days in Topeka.”

The days in Fargo couldn’t have gone better for Christian. He’s started all 30 games in his career with both seasons ending with Division I Football Championship Subdivision national titles.

Year No. 3 starts in familiar territory.

“The family has had this circled since it’s been on the schedule,” Ken said.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia