The game of football starts young for many excited boys and girls. Learning the ways of practicing and meeting with the team, getting used to running the same plays over and over again. The Bismarck Youth football league offers so much more than just competition, for most of these kids it will be their first opportunity to be part of a team, working with a coach who will be almost like a second father - teaching them fundamentals, picking them up when they trip and fall, building their morale and more importantly - how to deal with winning and losing. We all learn the hard way that not all of us are going to walk away at the end of a long season with a shiny trophy.

I was fortunate as a kid playing little league baseball to have my dad as the coach, I remember the times we all went down to the batting cages, trying to support one another, and the cool feeling of being part of a team. The summer swimming parties, birthdays, and pizza ( when we won or lost ). That's what being part of something special does, teaches you to love winning, and to somehow manage a tough loss. Many awesome things happen when you are together as one, and over the weekend, the Bengals were at the Dakota Zoo. No, not the animals - Bengals - but the youth football team were out and about - again working as a team, helping clean up. This is the 14th year that the Bengals have roamed the Zoo, coaches love it for the fact that it teaches the kids the value of hard work. KFYR captured a perfect quote from Bismarck Bengals linebacker Gavin Meidinger “I just like helping the community, being with my teammates especially when we can just talk and not have our helmets on and see their faces,”

Their season is fading quickly, the playoffs are just around the corner, life moves fast, and thanks to the Dakota Zoo and the Bismarck Youth football league, this will be a wonderful memory for all. For more on this story click here.