Fergus Falls Residents make impact on Fargo football team

By Zach Stich – Fergus Falls Daily Journal

While many are done playing football after high school or college, a select few decide to
put the pads back on and take the field for an opportunity to continue a sport they love
with several Fergus Falls residents traveling to Fargo as members of the Fargo Invaders
football team.

Jamus Neal, a Fergus Falls resident and former M State student-athlete, joined the
Invaders as a way to continue playing a sport he loves.
“The Invaders were a team that gave me a chance to get back on the field,” Neal said.
“Also, it was a great opportunity to play football at a higher level. Playing for the
Invaders really challenged me physically and mentally because of the league’s new rules.”
Last season, the Invaders saw 11 players that are from Fergus Falls or played for Minnesota
State Community College. In addition to players, a few coaches from Fergus Falls
have also made their mark with the team. This year, the Invaders sport 12 players from
the area and an additional four players that competed for the North Dakota College of
Science Wildcats in Wahpeton.

Although based in Fargo, the team is appreciative of the Fergus Falls players and others
that come from around the area. “I think it’s amazing the dedication we get from our
players,” Invaders’ President and Pelican Rapids native Matt Petznick said. “It’s a testamate
to our program and what we’ve built that we’re able to attract talented players that
are willing to drive an hour each way for practices and games every week.”

Petznick, along with Shane Stephenson, created the Invaders in 2013 after traveling to
play against the Minot Oilers. The team’s inaugural season was in 2014 and since then the
Fargo football team has won the Midwest Premier Football League title (2014), Northern
States Football League title (2016) and the I-29 Bowl (2016). The Invaders would join the
Northern Elite Football League in 2016 and compete against some of the top teams in the
upper Midwest.

The team practice’s once a week and will begin playing its season at the end of April. Although
the Invaders are a local semi-professional team, it doesn’t mean the commitment
level isn’t high.
“You have to be 100 percent committed to the team. You have to give your all and make it
to each practice and game,” Neal said of the expectations set forth by players and

The group isn’t all about touchdowns and tackles, the Invaders also make their presence
felt in the Fargo-Moorhead community through different fundraising events. The team
has participated in Giving Hearts Day, multiple area events including Professionally
Paired, Frostival and others, and volunteering their time to helping community members
with snow shoveling and lending a lift by moving heavy objects for Down Home.

While the team’s tryouts were in January and February, the Invaders are always open to
adding a few new players to their football fraternity. “If you would like to join, contact
the Invaders through Facebook, our website (fargoinvaders.org) or by email at [email protected]
fargoinvaders.org to get details about the next practice, and then come on out,”
Petznick said.