Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2000
Hardrocker’s to Kick off the Season with Game at Concordia
South Dakota Tech begins the fall football season on September 2 at Concordia ( St. Paul). First year Coach Darren Soucy welcomes 72 players including approximately 50 returning lettermen. Soucy replaces Ron Richards who left to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Montana. Soucy was the offensive coordinator at Mayville State ( ND) and is a graduate of Boston University. He coached the Hardrocker varsity to a 28- 14 victory over the alumni last April in the annual spring game.
Although the Hardrockers finished 2- 8 last season, they were a competitive team that scored 211 points, just one shy of the record 212 set in 1982. This will be the first year of the new Dakota Athletic Conference or DAC- 10. The new conference features former SDIC members Tech, Black Hills State, Huron University, and Dakota State, along with North Dakota schools Dickinson State, University of Mary, Jamestown College, Minot State, Valley City State, and Mayville State.
Leading returnees on offense include junior Mark Hoffman, who rushed for 1,005 yards and eight touchdowns last season and caught 28 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Also back are quarterback Nick Wald ( jr), 2,665 yards passing and 18 touchdowns, receiver Matt Fettig ( jr), 54 catches for 695 yards and five touchdowns, receiver Cory Hansen ( jr) 46 catches for 624 yards and four touchdowns, and tight end Dan Brinkman ( jr), 30 catches for 474 yards and three touchdowns. Seniors Kale Heibult, Jim Morgan, Anthony Caruana, and juniors Jake O’Harra, Pat Longseth, and Kyle Garstang anchor the offensive line. Defensively Tech returns seniors Jay Nopola ( 27 tackles) at defensive end, Bob Pentland 61 tackles, three interceptions at free safety, and Eric Skott 23 tackles, one sack at defensive tackle.
Juniors include kicker, punter, and cornerback Cody Stahl school record 26- 26 extra points and three field goals, Lukas Klemke at strong safety 49 tackles and two interceptions, linebacker Brian Pinon, 87 tackles), and Curt Haldeman at defensive tackle, 35 tackles. Kolbe Gravatt, 27 tackles and a team leading four quarterback sacks.
Sophomore returneees include linebacker Derek Colling ( 54 tackles), and cornerbacks Jon Pentland, John Harmon, Jake Erpenbach, and Chad Felderman.
About 25 freshmen will join the Hardrocker program this season, and will compete with returning veterans for playing time.
There have been changes in the coaching staff from last season. Former Rapid City Stevens head coach and Tech assistant Dick James has been promoted to Assistant Head Coach, George Browne is the new defensive coordinator, Eric Waldstein is the offensive coordinator, Brett Hanson will coach linebackers, Dan Maciejczak will coach the running backs, Chad McCarty the defensive backs, Tom Nelson wide receivers and tight ends, and Bear Jones will serve as administrative assistant.
Tech will hold a final scrimmage on Saturday, August 26, at O'Harra Stadium. It will include a barbecue and youth clinic hosted by the Tech players and coaches.
( I: univrel/ pressrel/ 0800 football kickoff )
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