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Dakota State kicks off 2011 with a bang
January 6, 2011
by Ariy-El Boynton - Madison Daily Leader Sports Editor
Dakota State athletic director Gene Wockenfuss and football coach Josh Anderson are very excited about the Trojans' 2011 football schedule. They aren't the only people who are excited about their slate.
Great Plains Athletic Conference Commissioner Corey Westra commends Wockenfuss and Anderson's efforts.
"What Gene and the football staff put together is great for Dakota State's fans and their team as they go independent," said Westra. "I don't think they could have asked for a better schedule."
In the school's first schedule outside of the Dakota Athletic Conference, the Trojans will play 11 games and eight of them will be against GPAC foes.
"We're really excited what Josh was able to do," said Wockenfuss.
Due to the University of Sioux Falls leaving to NCAA (in 2011) and Dana College no in longer instance, DSU was able to step in and offer (home and away) games to GPAC schools.
"It's great that DSU was able to secure games with many of the GPAC schools. The schools needed games, and Dakota State filled in a void. It worked out well," said Westra.
The season will start on the road against Midland University, a GPAC foe on Aug. 27. In 2010, Midland came to Madison and came away with a 38-7 victory.
Anderson is looking forward to another chance against the Warriors. "I'm really eager for Aug. 27," he said.
After that, DSU will host in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan University on Sept. 3. DSU officials said there might be a golf tournament for alumni and/or other events before the game.
"Our first home is going to be a great event. We hope to have the stands full of people," said Anderson.
The Trojans will take on another GPAC foe in Doane College on Sept. 10 at Trojan Field. On Sept. 17, DSU will take on Valley City State in North Dakota.
The Trojans will host Northwestern College in the homecoming game on Sept. 24. "I gave Gene a lot of grief about playing Northwestern in their homecoming, but DSU did a great job of scheduling," said Westra.
DSU will take on the GPAC's Concordia University and Hastings on Oct. 1 and 8 in Nebraska. The Trojans will have their last two scheduled games against Briar Cliff and Dordt on Oct. 15 and 22.
"It will be great to play a lot of teams from one conference," said Anderson.
The last two games will be against former DAC foes. DSU will take South Dakota School of Mines on Oct. 29 in Rapid City. In DSU's last scheduled game, DSU will take on Mayville State on Nov. 5. The game's location is not set. Anderson said they might play the Comets in the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D. Both DSU and MSU played their last game of the 2009 in the DAC Bowl in the Fargodome.
"We like playing in the DAC Bowl, and we hope to play in the Fargodome again," said Anderson, a North Dakota State graduate.
DSU has agreed upon two-year contracts with the most of the schools of their schedule.
Just because DSU has been able to schedule the majority of their games against GPAC schools, doesn't mean they are a shoe-in to became a part of the conference, but DSU is still hoping. Wockenfuss and Anderson have said DSU would like to become a GPAC school.
"Down the road, you never know what the future will hold," said Westra.
The Trojans went 0-10 last year. Despite the winless season, Anderson indicates that the program is getting better.
"Guys aren't keeping their head downs, they're asking 'What can I do to help," said Anderson. "As a coach, that's all you can ask for."
No times have been announced for any games, but DSU would like to have most home games in the mid-afternoon. Dordt, DWU and Northwestern were in the South Dakota-Iowa Conference, which ended in 2000.