August 28, 2014
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University football team (0-0 overall record, 0-0 North Star Athletic Association conference record) opens their 2014 season Saturday evening at the Trojan Field. The Trojans take on Mayville State (N.D.) (0-1, 0-1 NSAA) in the NSAA conference game. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. There will be a tailgate area east of the Trojan Football Field's parking lot.
NORTH STAR ATHLETIC ASSOCITAION SEASON OPENER: Saturday's game will make Dakota State's season opener in the North Star Athletic Association conference. Mayville State started their season last Saturday (Aug. 23) as they hosted Waldorf (Iowa), a newcomer to the NSAA conference. The NSAA conference is currently a seven-team conference, along with another new member Dickinson State (N.D.), with each team playing a 6-game schedule. The NSAA conference have an automatic bid only if a team that wins the conference championship and is ranked inside the 'Top 20' national rankings.
THE SERIES: Mayville State (N.D.) had won the last four meetings with Dakota State (S.D.) with each meeting decided by a touchdown or less. In the last meeting, Dakota State was competing for a potential NSAA's conference co-champions but fell by the score of 20-14 in Mayville, N.D. on Nov. 2, 2013. The Comets currently leads the all-time series 13-11. DSU had won 11 consecutive games in the series meeting from 2001-09.
ABOUT MAYVILLE STATE (N.D.): John Haines is in his first year as the head coach for Mayville State (N.D.). A 2000 graduate of Mayville State, Haines returns to his alma mater after spending last year as an offensive coordinator at Central Methodist (Mo.). The Comets were shut down by Waldorf (Iowa) in the season opener on Aug. 23 by the score of 48-0, with 28 points coming in the fourth quarter. Mayville State is starting their three-game road trip this Saturday and will visit Trinity Bible (N.D.) on Sept. 13 and Haskell (Kan.) on Sept. 20.
TROJANS IN NSAA PRESEASON COACHES' POLL: Valley City State (N.D.) is the league's coaches' pick to win the North Star Athletic Association conference for the second straight year. The Vikings collected 43 points with three first-place votes to the preseason coaches' poll. Jamestown finished second with 37 points. Dickinson State (N.D.) was third with 36 points. Teams from fourth to sixth places are separated by four points with Mayville State earning 26 points in the preseason poll, followed by Presentation (S.D.) fifth with 24 points and Dakota State (S.D.) sixth with 22 points. Waldorf (Iowa) was picked to finish last with nine points.
TWO DSU SENIORS ON NSAA PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Seniors Zach Ely and Zac Woods of Dakota State (S.D.) were selected to the 2014 NSAA Football Preseason All-Conference Team. Both Ely and Woods were named to the inaugural NSAA Football All-Conference First-Team last season. Ely was the Trojans' leader with 42 receptions for 801 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2013. Woods started in every game for the Trojans as the center on the offensive line. In 2013, he helped DSU accumulate a total of 3,037 offensive yards (1,631 passing yards and 1,406 rushing yards) and produced 204 points (20.4 points per game) and 170 first-downs.
HUBBARD ON FRED MITCHELL AWARD WATCH LIST: Dakota State's sophomore kicker Tanner Hubbard was selected as one of 36 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, III and National Association of Intercollege Athletics (NAIA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) collegiate place-kickers on the watch list for the 2014 season. The players were nominated by their colleges for excellence on the football field and in the community. The Fred Mitchell Award is provided annually to the nation's top collegiate place-kicker among more than 750 FCS, Division II, III, NAIA and NJCAA football teams. Hubbard scored 30 points in 2013 from converting two field goal attempts and 24-of-28 PAT extra point kicks.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: Dakota State have 82 players on its 2014 roster. The Trojans have five seniors on the team—Zach Ely, Matt Groff, Aaron Gronwald, Mitchell Trestrail and Zac Woods. DSU have 45 freshmen and 16 sophomores and juniors each on the team. Josh Anderson is entering his sixth season as Dakota State's head coach, assisted by Mike Collins, Steve Steele, Alex Glover and Jared Hottle.
2013 IN REVIEW: Dakota State finished the 2013 season with an overall record of 2-8 and 2-2 in North Star Athletic Association conference play. The Trojans played all of their NSAA conference games on the road, defeating Presentation and Jamestown. DSU lost to Valley City State and Mayville State and was just one game behind the NSAA conference co-leaders VCSU and UJ with a 3-1 record. Dakota State had five players on the 2013 NSAA Football All-Conference First-Team (Zach Ely, Josh Licht, Ronnie Jorgensen, Zac Woods and Perry King). Licht was nominated for the Cliff Harris Award Small College Defensive Player-of-the-Year.
TISCH ON AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM: Bobby Tisch, a junior tight end for the Trojans, is one of the a record 182 nominess from across the country nominated for the Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team. The nominees represent the sports finest in the areas of volunteerism and leadership among their peers. Tisch had been named to 2013 North Star Athletic Association Fall Sports Scholar-Athlete. He is a two-time All-Conference Honorable Mention.
FOOTBALL FORECAST: As of Thursday from weather.com, the weather forecast in Madison, S.D. calls for a partly cloudy skies with a high temperature of 80 degrees during the day. There is a potential for a thunderstorm late in the night with a low temperature in the lower's 60's.
DSU FOOTBALL HISTORY LESSON: Dakota State is in its 95th year of competition. The Trojans own an all-time record of 272-469-17. DSU opened their first year of competition in 1908 with an overall record of 4-1-1.
WATCH & LISTEN/LIVE STATS-PLAY-BY-PLAY: Dakota State will have a live video and audio available for the Mayville State-Dakota State football game. Go to http://streaming.dsu.edu/Athletics-Live to view the webcast. Jon Hunter, the voice of the Trojans, will be doing the live audio of the football game. There will be also a live stats/play-by-play during the game. The links will be available on www.dsuathletics.com.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State football and athletics all season long on www.dsuathletics.com. The Trojans are also on Twitter, just log onto www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics. The Dakota State University Athletics group page can be found on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/DSUTrojanAthletics.
UP NEXT: Dakota State heads on the road next Saturday (Sept. 6) as they visit Dordt (Iowa) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). The non-conference game is set for 6 p.m. at the Open Space Field in Sioux Center, Iowa.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director