Lee family puts on thousands of miles to support Dakota Wesleyan football from Texas

Sep. 1—MITCHELL — There's not much that will keep the Lee family from enjoying Dakota Wesleyan University football games.

Especially not 1,000 one-way miles of driving.

But the Lee family, mom Brenna and dad William, make the trek north from San Antonio, Texas to Mitchell for every home game at Joe Quintal Field to watch their son, Austin, lead DWU at the quarterback position.

There's dedication and then there's 30-plus hours in the car and traveling through five states to take in the Tigers. The Lee family takes it to another level.

"It's awesome," Austin Lee said. "It's something that not every player gets to have, with their parents in the stands for them and making it to every game. I'm really grateful to have them on my side."

Of course, that's just the home games. And thankfully for the Lees, aside from a trip to Jamestown, North Dakota, the rest of the games in the Great Plains Athletic Conference are closer to Texas by a few hours.

"I have never missed a game since he was six years old," his mom Brenna Lee said. "So when he said he was going to South Dakota for college, I was thinking, 'You've got to be kidding me?' But you know what, it's been worth it."

Games like the Aug. 26 home victory over Dakota State make it worth it, with DWU winning 23-13. Lee played well and the offense found itself in a rhythm, with the quarterback throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Lee, who is still a sophomore in terms of eligibility, played in nine games last season as the quarterback, meaning he has more to build on for what will now be his fourth season in the program.

"Our guys, we put so much work in every day and we were really committed to show how much we've improved," he said after the win. "We ran into a little adversity in the second half and things slowed down but I think we bounced back."

There's also another change fans might notice this season with Lee awaiting for the snap. In the season opener, he crouched down while in the shotgun to take the snap from center Ethan Rogich.

"I kind of worked on that last year and Ethan likes to snap them low and I kind of like them there as well too, so we've gotten comfortable with that and it's worked for us."

At Joe Quintal Field, the Lee family makes sure they have some of the best views in the stadium, watching from last row in front of the press box, standing and cheering on the Tigers. Despite the distance, they're proud their son moved up north for college.

"He's surrounded with such great guys here," Brenna Lee said. "He's made great teammates, great friends. It was the best decision that he's made and he's really found his niche here."

Wins help make the drive worth it, too.

"It's totally worth the 17-hour drive," William Lee said after the DSU win. "It could do it blindfolded."