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Fenelon pulling off double duty for Mustangs football, boys soccer

Sean Fenelon of West Fargo Sheyenne kicks the ball down the field on Tuesday, Sept. 12, against West Fargo at the Lodoen Center Soccer Field. Dave Wallis / The Pioneer1 / 2
Sean Fenelon of West Fargo Sheyenne makes a point-after kick against Fargo North during their football game Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, at North High School. Michael Vosburg / The Pioneer2 / 2

Depending on the language, "football" can refer to either American football or soccer as Americans call it. Both sports are Sean Fenelon's language.

The West Fargo Sheyenne senior is a defender for the Mustangs boys soccer team and the kicker for Sheyenne's football team this season which are sports both happening during the fall. He started playing both sports as a junior and felt he couldn't choose one over the other.

"It's just been going really well," Fenelon said. "Learning how to kick at a young age really kept things going for (me)."

Fenelon has connected on 12 of 13 extra points through Sheyenne's first five games and hit a 21-yard field goal in the Mustangs' 16-14 victory over two-time defending state champion Bismarck Century. Fenelon said he grew up loving football and dreams of playing in the NFL one day.

"I wanna kick somewhere (in college), even if it's just as a walk on," Fenelon said. "I've always loved football growing up and always played it in my friends' back yard. It would be a dream come true if I could go to college and then the NFL as well."

However, Fenelon said he prefers soccer right now. He's been a central piece for the Mustangs' defense in the first two years of the varsity boys soccer program.

Mustangs head coach Jon Melendez said he's dealt with a similar dual-sport athlete in the same season in the past and learned how to manage such a player. Organization and communication with the football coaches, Melendez said, are key.

"Sean and I, we have a clear understanding," Melendez said. "So far, Sean has been a really big leader on the soccer field and communicating with everybody."

Ever since Fenelon can remember, he could kick a ball far. Football has always been his sport, but he felt he could kick just as well in soccer. Fenelon learned football and soccer through repetition, Melendez said, which includes mastering the footwork for football and simply "kicking a lot of balls" in soccer.

"The strength this year that he brings in his legs and the endurance is better," Melendez said. "The distance of his kicks and his pace are better than last year."

Fenelon shows drive and sacrifice, Melendez said, when he goes from football to soccer practice every day.

"I've been busy pretty much my whole life so I was used to it right away," Fenelon said. "We just need to keep communicating."

So far, Fenelon said he hasn't needed to miss a match or game for either sport.

"Not yet," Fenelon said. "Hopefully it stays that way."

Colton Pool

Pool is a reporter for The West Fargo Pioneer covering city sports and community news. He was the sports editor for The Dickinson Press covering Dickinson State athletics, high school athletics and Southwest Speedway. He graduated from North Dakota State with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. You can reach him by phone at 701-451-5715 or tweet him @CPoolReporter. 

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