Nafziger is junior high math and science teacher at Sully Buttes in Onida. Nafziger’s son, Tate Nafziger, is playing in the State B boys’ basketball tournament for Potter County this weekend at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen.
The Nafzigers live in Gettysburg, which is one of the two towns that makes up Potter County (Hoven is the other).
“It is very challenging,” Nafziger said about being in the middle of the rivalry. “I get kind of emotional when your kid is a part of that. It is tough not to be emotional. I get to see the good side of people in Onida because I teach their kids. The kids are great to me. They have always been supportive.”
The Battlers qualified for the state tournament this season by beating Sully Buttes, a perennial State B qualifier, in the region championship. Deb said that experience was nerve racking because of her commitment to both schools.
“I’m standing up for Sully Buttes, too,” said Nafziger, who is originally from Gettysburg, “so obviously I’m the only one in our student section doing that. I supported both sides.”
Deb said the day after the region game, some of the Sully Buttes players sought her out to wish her and the Battlers good luck at the state tournament.
“That is so cool,” she said. “That meant more than anything. Just good kids. . . . Good kids.”
Deb said that other community members from Sully Buttes were supportive of Nafziger, despite seeing a rival school beat them to get to state.
“The rivalry, I wish it wasn’t there sometimes,” she said. “It would make my life easier, but I realize it goes back a long ways, but they are great. They are great to me. They are great people.”
Deb, whose maiden name is Ryman, is a Northern State graduate. Tate has signed to play football for the NSU football team.
Sports writer Ryan Deal
Langford to Alabama
So what do the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Langford Area Lions have in common?
Not much, except for a similar slogan.
Alabama, the defending national champion in college football, is known for its famous cheer of Roll Tide.
On Thursday, fans of the Langford basketball team wore shirts that said Roll Pride.
Langford athletic director Toni Brown said the idea came from some of the starters on the team.
“Some of them like Alabama, so that’s where they got the Roll Pride from,” Brown explained.
The words were preceded by the hashtag or pound symbol which accompanies so many Twitter responses on social media.