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Rodman still holds DSU rushing marks, cheers on stepsons in Maine
June 23, 2011
Thirty-five years after Jeff Rodman left Trojan Field for the last time, Dakota State running backs are still working at eclipsing the Randolph, Mass. native's football rushing records.
Rodman, however, doesn't mind seeing them mounting such assaults on his marks. He's been cheering on his stepson Jon Fields, 16, who is an incoming junior at Bineford (Maine) High School. As a sophomore, the starting goalie in ice hockey was named a second-team All-State selection.
He had been rooting for his other stepson, Jordan, 22, who had been a four-year defensive back in football at Endicott College. He recently graduated from Endicott with a degree in international finances.
Rodman still holds the university's career net yards rushing marks with 3,339 yards. Along the way, he also racked up 274 career points, which is still tops at Dakota State.
His senior 1976 season was especially memorable.
Rodman penetrated the oppositions' defensive lines for 15 school-record rushing touchdowns. He also caught six touchdowns strike that season, ending up with 21 touchdowns in that campaign.
In a win against the University of South Dakota-Springfield that year, Rodman notched a five-touchdown performance, which included a 95-yard dash to the end zone. Both are records at Dakota State, although Anthony Blanks tied the single-rush mark a few years later.
At the end of the '76 campaign, Rodman was named an NAIA All-American, and was named for a third time as an All-South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC) selection.
He and teammate Darwin Robinson later were named to the inaugural class of DSU Athletic Hall of Famers in 1995. Earlier this past June, Rodman had the privilege to introduce his quarterback, Terry Kasperbauer as the Carroll, Iowa, native entered the Hall of Fame.
Coming from the Boston area to a much-less populated South Dakota community wasn't easy, according to Rodman.
"It was hard making the adjustment," admitted Rodman. "I thought many times as a freshman about going back home and transferring to another college."
Kasperbauer doesn't see it quite that way.
"Jeff just fit in with everybody, not like some others who came from a long distance away," said Kasperbauer. "His work ethic was stronger than his talent. He turned up to play at practices and in games. He played every game like it was his last one. He was a great teammate."
Rodman felt the love from his teammates come into play his senior season, when in a late-season home game he injured himself. He was driven into a set of bleachers on a running play.
"After I was injured, teammates like Darwin, Nick Twiss and Terry, along with Coach (Joel) Swisher took care of me," he said. "I learned the true meaning of friendship, especially from Terry, who became my best friend."
After graduating from Dakota State, Rodman moved on to Ivanhoe, Minn., where he taught sixth-grade math and was an assistant football coach.
Later, he moved to Massachusetts where he both taught seventh-grade math and coached football, basketball and track at Mantapoisett's Old Rochester Region Junior High School. In 1994, he moved to Woodstock, Vt., where he became the high school's assistant principal.
In 1995, he moved to Maine to become principal at Wells High School. In 2004, he became principal at Salmouth Junior High School.
Three years ago in 2008, Rodman and his wife moved to Kennebuckport to become principal at The Middle School of the Kennebucks.
Dan Holsworth, Dakota State University Athletics Assistant
Edited by Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information