Spring Grove's Tysen Grinde bucks family trend, will play college football

His father, mother and two older brothers all played college basketball, but Spring Grove senior Tysen Grinde will take his own path and play college football at Dakota State.

Spring Grove, Mountain Iron-Buhl State Football Championship
Spring Grove senior Tysen Grinde plans to play college football at Dakota State University. His father, mother and two older brothers all played college basketball.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

SPRING GROVE — When it came time to choose a college sport, Tysen Grinde decided to forge his own path.

Grinde is the youngest of three brothers, but he's always been competitive and a battler with his older siblings. That competitive spirit served him well as he tried to keep up with his older and talented brothers. Now a senior at Spring Grove, Tysen Grinde will join his brothers as a college athlete, but in a different sport.

Tysen’s father, Wade, and mother, Sarah, both played college basketball at Mayville (N.D.) State University. His oldest brother, Chase Grinde, is in his sixth and final season playing Division II basketball at the University of Sioux Falls, while Caden is a sophomore at Division II Upper Iowa University.

But Tysen? He decided to buck the family trend and will play football at NAIA Dakota State University in Madison, S.D.

"No, we weren’t surprised," said Wade Grinde, Tysen's father and the Spring Grove boys basketball coach. "Tysen just really developed as a wide receiver and a defensive back. He’s got a little bit more of an edge to him. He plays pretty physical so football was kind of a natural avenue for him."


Playing against his older brothers helped bring out that edge in Tysen. They all did, and still do, go all out against each other no matter what the sport they are taking part in.

"Having two older brothers made me compete a lot with them and against them," Tysen Grinde said. "All the (Spring Grove) records they set and how everybody looked up to them, I wanted them to look up to me the same way.

"They always pushed me when I was younger to go into practice and everything like that. They made me love sports more than anyone else."

Basketball might have been the college sport for the older Grindes, but football has always been a big part of the family, too.

Chase and Caden were both two-way starters for the Spring Grove football team, as was Tysen. All three brothers played wide receiver on offense. Tysen, who is 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, will be a wide receiver at Dakota State.

Wade was an assistant football coach at Spring Grove for 12 years and he also helped the elementary program when his boys played at that level. Now he currently does color announcing on the radio for Spring Grove football games.

Tysen said he really started to enjoy football as a youth player and that feeling has been strong ever since.

“We all grew up under the mindset that we liked all sports equally,” Tysen Grinde said. “Whatever the season it was that was our favorite sport at the time. So I never really had a favorite sport between basketball or football.”


And as it turns out, as good as Tysen is on the basketball court, he just happens to be better in football. As a senior, he helped Spring Grove place second in the state in Class Nine-Man and the Lions were just 25 seconds away from a championship. He finished the year with 933 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns.

“I had better opportunities to continue my football career over my basketball career,” Grinde said. “To be honest, at the point and time of my commitment, I was liking football more.”

He also turned down Division II football offers to sign with Dakota State. Dakota State is getting brand new facilities for football and the school may make a push to join the NCAA at the Division II level. It is also a strong school for technical academic programs, which appeals to Tysen, who plans to major in computer science.

“I like NAIA where they are right now, but I like the potential for them to switch divisions in the future,” Grinde said. “I don’t know if that will happen while I am there or not but it’s exciting for sure.”

Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or
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