South Dakota School of Mines 63-28 in their home opener, highlighted by an impressive performance by Junior Justin Dvorak, throwing
for 555 yards and eight touchdown passes.
“We’ve had a lot of success in past years against South Dakota Mines and with the personnel we had back I feel like we would continue that success,” Dvorak said. “Personally, I was not expecting that much success, but they wanted to play man against us and we exploited some match ups.”
Before the game even started, there was already excitement in the air with the new stadium, an almost entirely new coaching staff,
new uniforms and a tailgating event.
“I think it is great that the football team has started to get more notoriety,” he said. “On Saturday, I think we showed just how exciting
this team can be to watch and I think the school should be able to take pride in athletics the way it does with academics.”
Head Coach Gregg Brandon felt the new stadium has many benefits.
“The biggest effects will be with the fan base,” Brandon said. “Former football players have donated huge amounts of money, proving a culture of giving surrounding this place.”
With all of the success and changes made from last season, expectation are high for the football team according to Head Coach Gregg
“We obviously want to repeat as RMAC champions, and ultimately play for a National Championship,” Senior offensive lineman Hasan
Shaar said. “We feel we have the talent to do so this year, and it’ll be just a matter of executing.”
Transition made easier with old schemes
The transition to a new coaching staff was made easier by adopting some of the same schemes the players were used to.
“We hired more coaches. We didn’t want to change a successful schematic that was in place, so we brought in more eyes to help us improve that scheme in place,” he said. “There was sure to be growing pains, but we haven’t changed the schematic that the older guys were used to. Overall, the player’s response to the new staff has been pretty good. We have 17 seniors that I meet with regularly, and are in charge of policing the younger men.”
According to Brandon, the decision to come to Mines was made easier by the community’s support and a steak of success.
“I didn’t want to come into a losing program,” said Brandon. “The [Mines] community showed its commitment to this program with the new stadium and facilities, so I wanted to take this program to the next level. I am here to attract great division two players that want engineering, can succeed at this school, and can ultimately be effective football players.”
Overall, the team’s goals this season is to repeat the same success enjoyed last season, but take it to the next level.
“We just have to take it one day at a time and stay focused,” Dvorak said. “We feel that the only team that can beat us is us.”
Coach Brandon felt the biggest test for the team in their regular season schedule will be agianst CSU Pueblo.