Mines football players have spring in their steps
Hardrockers hopes to build on 2008 season
By Jeff Budlong, Journal staff | Thursday, August 13, 2009
RAPID CITY --- Dan Kratzer is running from one position drill to the next at O’Harra Stadium during the opening days of fall practice. It is hard to blame the South Dakota School of Mines head football coach if he is in a little bit of a hurry to get the new season started. Earning the school’s first non-losing season since 1995 and bringing back several key contributors off that squad seems to put a little extra spring in to Kratzer’s step.
“We have 55 guys back who have been in camp before which is the largest numbers I have ever had,” he said. “We feel with that kind of leadership gives us an opportunity to be more competitive and get the young freshmen indoctrinated one at a time instead of in groups as we have in the past.�� The different mentality at camp is not lost on the players either. “Everyone knows we have a chance to compete this year,” senior linebacker Tyrell Anderson said. “We had some close games last year, and now we just have to get over that hump and be able to compete with everybody.” The Hardrockers will be looking to build on an explosive offense and solid defense with the addition of new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Both offensive coordinator Dan Dieringer and defensive
A pair of SD Mines linemen square off Tuesday morning while new offensive coordinator Dan Dieringer gives instruction during practice at O’Harra Stadium. The Hardrockers started fall camp this past Sunday preparing for their first home game of the season Aug. 29 coordinator Charlie Giangrosso bring a lot of football experience to the Mines’ campus. “We have changed our scheme a little bit so we can be a little more aggressive on defense,” said Kratzer. “We are looking to be aggressive up front and in the second level. “Offensively, all we are doing is expanding on what we have done in the past. Last year, when it was gelling --- it was gelling pretty well.” The Hardrockers are setting a fast pace of their own with fall practice getting started this week with two-a-days that has already seen plenty of hard hitting in full pads. “You have to have that intensity and sense of urgency in practice,” Kratzer said of the up-tempo style. “If you don’t have it in practice it won’t carry over into the game. That is one thing that we felt we got instilled into our team at least the last half of last season and it has carried over and we are building on it.” Kratzer points to the linebackers and defensive secondary as strengths on that side of the ball for the Hardrockers going into the season. Anderson is the leader of that group and is aided by some fast and determined players like fellow linebacker Eric Yeash as well as Tom Lunzman and Dustin Meneley in the secondary. Offensively, Mines returns the California connection of Nick Russell at quarterback and Jamie Dale at running back with both players now benefiting from a year of college experience. “I feel as a team we have a lot more experience and I think we have a real good chance of winning the (Dakota Athletic Conference) and going a long way,” Russell said. Russell injured an ankle during the first day of practice, but Kratzer said Russell’s injury is a sprain. Kratzer hoped to have the signal-caller back in practice soon, but wanted him to be 100 percent. The Hardrockers also appear to have more than a few other offensive weapons in junior receiver Tony Ostheimer and senior tight end Jason Beilstein. “It is always great to have a connection with your wide receivers and running backs,” Russell said. With three DAC teams — Dickinson State, Minot State and Jamestown College — ranked in the preseason NAIA top 25, the road will not be easy, but these Hardrockers, maybe more than any other group in over a decade, seem ready to take on that challenge. “We have a real good chance to compete,” Anderson said. “There are a lot of real good teams in the DAC, and we have a real good chance to be up in the top tier of them. As long as we put forth the effort and get done what we need to get done, we can do it.”
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The work from which this copy was made did not include a formal copyright notice. This work may be protected by U. S. copyright law (Title 17, United States Code), which governs reproduction, distribution, public display, and other uses of protected works. Uses may be allowed with permission from the copyright holder, if the copyright on the work has expired, or if the use is fair use or within another legal exemption. The user of this work is responsible for compliance with the law.
Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.