Jake Disterhaupt, son of Mark and Shirley Disterhaupt and Willow River graduate with a 3.3 cumulative grade point average, was a very strong and fast running back for the Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels football team that two years in a row finished at second place in the Class AA Prep Bowl.
Football was Disterhaupt’s favorite sport, though he also excelled in track and field as a sprinter and starter for the Rebels basketball team. “Football was my favorite sport,” said Disterhaupt. “I was a running back all four years; I started two years and I played a lot as a sophomore. I was a linebacker until my senior year and then I played cornerback. I was on the varsity all four years."
Disterhaupt is going to play football for the University of North Dakota (UND) Fighting Sioux as a safety and a kick return specialist. “It’s almost a full free-ride,” said the 6-foot 200-pounder who ran a 4.5 40, benched 325 pounds and was a member of the Rebels 1,100-Pound Club. Disterhaupt was second all-time to Rebel Matt Hillbrand in total yards. “I ran for over 5,000 yards and was just short of Hillbrand, who had 100 more carries,” he explained. “I had over 80 touchdowns in my career.”
Disterhaupt recalled an early memory playing football. “I was 4 years old and was in the back yard with my family and with my brothers and sisters, Cody Disterhaupt and Ben Wallace and sister Shelby." Disterhaupt had great things to say about his parents. "It was always anything, including sports; they always had my back 100 percent. They were always there for anything I needed.”
Disterhaupt shared a couple fond memories. “There was my freshman year, beating Hawley in overtime at the Fargodome and storming the field,” he recalled. “Other than that, there was the first time stepping onto the Metrodome field. I also remember storming that field when we’d win in the semi-finals; that was so crazy. There was being a captain my senior year and leading a team to second place that should have been a win. I remember tipping their first field goal, but having it still go through. Beating Pierz my junior year was also a highlight. Those are my fondest memories.”
The Rebel great talked about some of the other great players he played with and against. “That running back from Jackson County Central that we played in the first game in the Dome this year was very good. Among the toughest teammates is Jake Christopherson. Josh Cisar got a ton of blocks for me my junior year. Josh obviously helped me so much to get so many yards as I averaged 17.8 per touch that junior year. There was also Spencer Clough. Jake was physically on his game. He controlled the O-line and the D-line all the time. Spencer was the toughest because of his will. His heart was outrageous. There was the enthusiasm he played with. I remember playing with him in junior high and he was the kid you did not want to get hit by."
Disterhaupt used his 4.5 40 speed and 11.11 100-meter to get off to quite a start this past season as a kick returner. “I was 3-for-3 to start the season on kickoff returns, except one got called back on an unnecessary roughness flag,” he laughed. Disterhaupt reflected, “Getting second two out of four years was an accomplishment, but knowing that you should have won that second time causes it to lose some of it specialness for me. But then there’s the being part of something so big and setting the bar so high that is very important and very meaningful.”
It was hard to talk "Rebel football family" without including Disterhaupt's thoughts on beloved Head Coach Dave Louzek. “He’s the best coach you could play for,” stated Disterhaupt. “Being one of his players and the countless time you spend with him makes you aware of how appreciated he is. He spends countless hours after practice when some other coaches just go home. “He’s told us he stays up ‘til 1 and 2 a.m. working on football. But there are other things he sacrifices. like his son’s football games and his daughter’s volleyball matches. These family sacrifices he makes are no little things."
Disterhaupt talked about his scholarship offers. “I started getting some about halfway through my junior year,” he said. Right after the junior year, there were bunches of schools. Louzek helped me a lot with pointers and he and Kevin Sczyrbak, both those individuals helped me with things I do to stay in shape and go through the process of picking through schools. Both those guys and the entire Rebel foootball coaching staff are something we are really blessed to have. I’ve talked to other players from other teams and they are so impressed with what we have here. The University of North Dakota was always among my favorites. I got tons of letters and even some text messages from D2 and D3 schools. I'm really looking forward to playing safety and returning kicks for the Fighting Sioux.”
See next week’s issue for a review of Disterhaupt’s track and field and basketball career memories.