Jim Fellman, the father of Skyview senior Lukas Fellman, used to worry when he thought about his son playing football. Now, the father feels pride when he thinks of his son on the gridiron.
"He's really come a long way," Jim said. "When he was a freshman, I was against him playing football. He was so small I was afraid he was going to get hurt.
"Now, I couldn't be prouder."
As a senior, Fellman was named to the second team of the small-schools all-state team at defensive back. Fellman also was tabbed for the first team of the all-Northern Lights Conference team at defensive back.
Skyview football coach Wade Marcuson said the laurels were the result of years of hard work.
"Lukas Fellman is one of those guys who never misses a practice," Marcuson said. "He's a hard-working kid that leads by example.
"He didn't have all the physical attributes and he doesn't have all of the natural abilities. What he has, he earns by working for it."
One reason Jim may have been worried watching Lukas play football is that Lukas' older brother and sister did not play contact sports in high school.
Lukas' older sister, 1998 Skyview graduate Patricia, was a runner and skier. So was Lukas' older brother, 2001 Skyview graduate Jacob.
Like Jacob, Lukas played hockey growing up. Unlike Jacob, Lukas did not want to give up contact when he got to high school.
Lukas went right into football his freshman year. With some convincing from Jacob, Lukas then went out for skiing his freshman year.
That didn't last too long.
"I didn't like skiing because there wasn't any contact," Lukas said.
Sophomore year, Fellman went out for hockey, instead. By junior year, Fellman was back in the flow of things in hockey and made the second team of the all-North Star Conference team.
Hockey coach Pete Iverson likes Fellman for the same reasons Marcuson does.
"He was a team leader even as a junior," Iverson said. "He works hard all of the time. He never lets up.
"He has high expectations for himself and his teammates on the ice."
This year, Fellman has teamed up with Daniel Christianson and his younger brother, Gabe, to form Skyview's most potent line.
While Fellman's achievements on the gridiron and ice are impressive, his mother, Jane, said sports have done more for Lukas than simply give him all-conference accolades.
"Sports is a real important aspect of teaching kids to grow up," Jane said. "Lukas has always hung in there, even when his team wasn't the top-winning team.
"With all those challenges, his character has grown. That will help him go out into the world and face problems."
Fellman also has kept up in the classroom at Skyview, earning a 3.3 grade point average. He said he will attend college next year, but he is not sure which major he will pursue or which college he will attend.
The Fellmans also live on the Moose River, so Lukas also has grown to love the outdoors.
"He does a lot of hunting and fishing," Jim Fellman said. "He shot a trophy bull moose when he was 10 years old."
Last summer, Fellman was working at a gold mine in western Alaska so he missed the sockeye run.
"He's matured a lot, and I think working away from home last summer had something to do with that," Jim said. "He's grown a lot during his high school career.
"He's been fortunate that he's had good brothers and sisters to set a good example for him."
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