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FD’s Bice ready to take the field

Dodgers’ academic all-stater excited for the opportunity after being cleared to play

Submitted photo Nick Bice was an academic all-stater for the Fort Dodge football team last fall.

Nick Bice waited patiently for definitive word on the baseball season.

Now that Bice and his Fort Dodge teammates have been given the green light, the Dodgers are ready to make the most of every opportunity they have to take the field.

Bice’s senior year of baseball officially starts with practice this coming Monday. FDSH is then scheduled to open what will amount to a whirlwind campaign two weeks later, on June 15.

When Gov. Kim Reynolds, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa High School Athletic Association cleared high school programs for play amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, Bice embraced the news with both guarded and respectful optimism.

“I think all of our guys are really excited to get back out there, especially the group of seniors,” said Bice, a starting outfielder. “Obviously not knowing whether we were going to have a season for months was tough on all of us, but once we found out, we were more excited than anything.

“I totally understand if one of our guys decides to sit this season out because of personal reasons, but (those who will play are) fully committed to each other and this season. We understand that we don’t have a lot of time before games start, so the intensity will definitely be there.”

The 6-foot-4 Bice was an academic all-state and honorable mention all-district football selection last fall after catching 15 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns. Bice will follow in the footsteps of his brother, Johnny, and attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. beginning this fall.

“As of now, I’m set to report in mid-August,” said Bice, who plans on following a pre-med path to the University of Iowa’s medical school. “I’m very excited … playing college football is something you dream of your whole life, and I’m just thankful to have the opportunity to continue that dream.

“Honestly, I was kind of skeptical at first about Macalester because I didn’t want to follow Johnny’s exact path. At the end of the day, though, it’s a great school in a great location and the opportunities are endless. Mac really emphasizes school over football which was something very important to me. Johnny’s been there to walk me through the whole process and encouraged me to look at other schools, but Macalester was just right for me.”

Bice is also hoping Fort Dodge will be able to hold its commencement ceremony, which has been moved to July 26. With a perfect 4.0 grade point average, Bice is one of the 2020 class valedictorians.

“My family has always emphasized school as the top priority,” said Bice, who has also been involved in National Honor Society, Little Dodger, HOSA (health career club), DECA (business club), and the Fort Dodge Mine student section. “While I’m proud of the things I’ve done on the field, I’m much more proud of my accomplishments off the field. I’ve always set my academic goals very high, and it feels really good to accomplish some of them. I feel like I’ve put myself in a really good position for life after sports.

“Being a valedictorian has been one of my goals since freshman year, so to achieve it is something that means a lot to me. I know how much work went into it, so I’m very proud of it. I was really glad to find out that the ceremony was rescheduled, I think it’s something that everybody should experience. Graduating is something to be very proud of, so I really hope we get to have (the ceremony).”

Bice will always remember his time in Fort Dodge with great reverence.

“My favorite memory was by far this season’s homecoming (football) game against Indianola,” Bice said. “The crowd and atmosphere in overtime was as good as I’ve ever seen. That’s the kind of game that sticks with you forever.

“I’ve always been really to proud to be a Dodger and embrace that underdog role. Knowing that we don’t have the most players or the best facilities has always been a motivator. I’m really glad that I grew up here over literally anywhere else in the state.”

TIMEOUT WITH NICK BICE

Vacation destination: Boston.

People I would like to have dinner with: Barack Obama, Kanye West, and Bryce Harper.

It would surprise people that I: really like art.

My sports role model: Tim Tebow.

My everyday role model: my brother, Johnny.

I can’t go a day without: listening to music.

Nickname: Biceman.

Superstition: I lick my gloves before every play to get them sticky.

Most heated rivalry: Southeast Polk.

Favorite road trip: Chicago.

What are you listening to right now? Lil Uzi Vert.

Favorites…

Team: Iowa Hawkeyes.

Class: Little Dodger.

Movie: The Benchwarmers.

Book or Magazine: “Toughness” by Jay Bilas.

Phone app: Twitter.

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