I, like most, certainly had a few aspirations when I was 49, but one of them was certainly not playing college football with guys less than half my age.

Well Ray Ruschel 49, of Wahpeton, North Dakota, just across the Red River from Breckenridge, Minnesota, have higher aspirations than I did when I was 49.

103.7 The Loon logo
Get our free mobile app

According to the Washington Post, Rusche decided at the ripe old age of 49 to go back to school and get his business administration degree at North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton. When he found out that just by being a student he was technically eligible to try out for the school's football team.

“When I decided to get an associate’s degree and found out there was a football team, I got to thinking about it,” said Ruschel, a defensive lineman who wears number 94. “And I decided, ‘Why not?’ ”

Rusche called Coach Issendorf, who happens to be a year and a half younger than Ruschel, and asked if he could try out for the team. Coach Issendorf had a few reservations until Ruschel stopped by the coach's office to introduce himself. Coach Issendorf noticed Ruschel was in pretty good shape and said "why not?

Rusche was a bit worried about the other much younger players accepting him on the team but it turns out, he had no need to worry. “Was I nervous? Of course,” he said. “I was wondering if the guys would accept me. They’re young and have a lot of talent, and here comes this old guy.”

“On the first day of camp, we thought he was a new coach, so yeah, we were definitely surprised when he said, ‘No, I’m actually playing,’ ” said Preston Yohnke, 20.

“But when we saw what he could do, we were impressed,” he added. “To be 49 and competing pretty well on the defensive line? That’s crazy. Ray earned our respect.”

LOOK: Baby names that are illegal around the world

Stacker scoured hundreds of baby name databases and news releases to curate a list of baby names that are illegal somewhere in the world, along with explanations for why they’re banned.

103 iconic photos that capture 103 years of world history

Stacker gathered some of the most iconic images from the past 103 years, beginning in 1918 and leading up to 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

LOOK: The oldest cities in America

Though the United States doesn’t have as long of a history as some Old World countries, it still has plenty of historical charm. Stacker brings you a list of the 50 oldest cities in America.

More From 103.7 The Loon