SD Mines' Dale ready for workload
By Jeff Budlong, Journal staff | Thursday, August 20, 2009
RAPID CITY --- With the way Jamie Dale took the Dakota Athletic Conference by storm last season, the biggest adjustment the sophomore from California had to make wasn’t on the football field at all. “I didn’t really like the first snowy days, but after awhile I got used to it and it has grown on me,” he said. “I was expecting it to be a lot tougher for me, but I think our freshmen class did a good job coming in and we got a lot of help from the seniors. They guided us a lot.”
Dale spent his summer in Rapid City working out and lifting weights trying to enable his body to withstand a full season of football at the college level. He is looking to build on a freshman campaign that displayed his all-around talents with 865 rushing yards, 263 yards receiving while leading the conference in all-purpose yards at 156 yards a game. “I know I have to get bigger and work on my blocking,” he said. “I got stronger and faster. Going up against (Everett) Brill I never used to be able to even get a stalemate and now at least I can get a stalemate.” The extra bulk, which came in the form of about six pounds of new muscle, will be needed because Mines plans to continue to feed him the ball. “The primary thing with Jamie is that he has to get so many touches a game so we are not going to change that,” Mines head coach Dan Kratzer said. “Nobody is going to be able to key on just him because we have some more resources to use now.” Kratzer gives his running back credit for identifying what he needed to work on and improve his game. He believes Dale is in line to have even bigger seasons on the horizon as he matures more physically even if Kratzer believes he is still “two years away from shaving.”
SD Mines running back Jamie Dale (left) breaks to the outside and attempts to turn the corner during practice Tuesday morning on Dunham Field at O’Harra Stadium in Rapid City. Photo by Brad Blume Now that Dale has one South Dakota winter under his belt, he is ready to help the Hardrockers take another step forward from last season’s 5-5 mark. “Our expectations are huge because we had a good year last year. But now we want to do better this year than we did last year,” Dale said. Success may be found in the backfield for the Hardrockers where Dale and sophomore quarterback Nick Russell have given Mines a strong foundation that combined for 27 touchdowns. Their statistics and determination proved they acted and played like anything but freshmen. Dale said the Hardrockers’ first game against Black Hills State, which ended in a loss for Mines, was his real introduction to the college game and motivated him coming into this season. “That game opened my eyes for sure ... I was like ‘this is college football’ and then we got rolling from there,” Dale said. Dale credits his high school experience in San Diego for allowing him to get his college career off to a strong start. “It seemed that I always had to go up against tough competition,” he said. “I always use the example of having to long jump against Nelson Rosario who ended up as the nation leader getting a full-ride scholarship to UCLA.” For Dale, this season is not about personal goals because he doesn’t set them with his only focus being to not fumble, win games and catch the ball. But he believes the Hardrockers still have a little something to prove to the doubters outside of O’Harra Stadium. “As a team, we have expectations that we should perform. But if you listen to some others, they say we are still too young,” said Dale with a look of distain on his face. “In my eyes, I expect us to do well and I know all of us want to win even if we don’t get a lot of respect from people on the outside.”
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.