Sports Spotlight: Austin Cieslak - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Sports Spotlight: Austin Cieslak

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The Hazen boys are on a pretty good roll. The Bison won back to back state football titles and the basketball team was a win away from playing in the "B." One of the main reasons for all of that success is Austin Cieslak.

"It's the greatest time of my life," says Austin Cieslak.

That is exactly how Austin Cieslak describes his athletic career at Hazen High School. And it is an accomplished one, especially on the gridiron.

"It means a lot," he says." Just winning back-to-back state championships. We weren't back there since 1996 and going in and winning the first year was incredible and then the second year. It was an unbelievable feeling winning it again."

And during that magical two year run the Bison players became more than just teammates.

"I love those guys, and the coaches are so nice and they guided me through these past years. I'm going to miss them," says Cieslak.

At 6"2, 255 pounds, Austin is a match up nightmare in any sport. He's the reigning Class-A Senior Athlete of the year in football and Region-7 Senior Player of the year in basketball. But as his childhood friend mentions, he wasn't always the biggest in the crowd.

"There was a couple kids who were taller than him," says Cieslak's friend Dominick Opp. "Not as pudgy but still taller."

Well that's certainly not the case now. But Austin knows he has to get even bigger if he wants to have a successful career at UND.

"I got to start lifting like right now, and there's really nothing that can prepare you for D1 football until you actually get there, but I'm going to try," Cieslak says.

"His best years are to come," says basketball coach Randy Johnson. "He's very young for his class. With a little bit more maturity and a lot of work in the weight room, his opportunities are endless."

And with UND just a few hours away, all of his Hazen family will get to see those opportunities unfold.

Austin averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds a game this winter.

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