A New Year

And we’re running again.

Soccer, volleyball and football teams are hard at it.  The timeline has volleyball and soccer setting rosters early next week with competition for the volleyball team one week from today with the soccer and football teams getting scrimmages in before they open play over Labor Day weekend.

No surprises yet…..

Pre-season polls have been released for the upcoming seasons in women’s soccer, men’s soccer, football and volleyball.

Now, if you’re a careful follower of the polls, you’ll have some questions.

Namely, where are the GPAC teams in a pair of them?

Let’s start with the football poll, the first of the four released.

St. Xavier, a team out of the Chicago area, is the number one team, gathering all 11 first place votes.   Morningside is the top-GPAC team at eight and Northwestern starts the season at 10.  Doane is ranked 21st and Hastings is receiving votes,

In women’s soccer Lee (Tenn.) is the top team in the pre-season balloting with 20 first place votes.  Hastings is the only team from the GPAC in the top-25 poll at 12.

The men’s soccer poll would have had Hastings in top-five most assuredly, but due to a ballot going in after the set deadline the Broncos will need to wait until the first regular season poll on September 4.  Lindsey Wilson (Kentucky) holds the number one spot as they have a total of 37 times before.

The volleyball poll also is vacant of GPAC teams for the same reason listed above.  By the time the next poll is released on September 4 teams may have 8-12 matches played.  As it stands right now the Scorpions from Texas-Brownsville is number one.  Five teams in the first poll (Columbia, Taylor, Grand View, Kansas Wesleyan and Bellevue) are on the Dordt Defenders volleyball schedule.

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PreSeason Poll

Here it is.  More in depth release Friday morning.  Point totals with coaches not allowed to vote for themselves.  Ascending order.


Briar Cliff-16


Nebraska Wesleyan-38

Dakota Wesleyan-51


Midland- 51


Morningside-76 (4)

Northwestern-78 (6)


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Greg Youngblood-Dordt

Was shooting video so doing this from memory.

Wants to do things the right way and be known as a team that does that.  When questioned about identity he stated simply to do things the right way and gain respect.

Returners-David Griess, Jordan Huisman, Jon Luetchens, Owen Reinalda, Seth VAnde Voort.  Good players to build around.

Questioned about emotions of Waldorf game.  Said it will be very emotional.  All returnign Waldorf players are players he recruited.

On the mic at 3:10 and off at 3:15.  Video on youtube later tonight.

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Ross Cimpl-Dakota Wesleyan

New coach.  Was an assistant at DWU before spending last couple years at U of Sioux Falls.

Want to be an elite team.

Focus on South Dakota for recruiting.

Freshmen will play.

5-4 in GPAC and 6-4 overall.

“Terrible on special teams.”

Lost entire defensive line.

Really stressing that things are wide open for playing time on defense.

Offense will have Jon Bane back on offense at quarterback and three running backs are back.  Anthony Muilenburg back at wide receiver.

Very potent on offense.  Lost one offensive lineman but get one back that was injured last year.

48 new players this year.

Dordt lost to the Tigers 58-10 will travel to Mitchell this year on October 6.

Off the mic at 3:08

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Vance Winter-Concordia

ON the mic at 2:46.

3-6 in GPAC and 4-7 overall.

Entering his fourth year as head coach.

“Start of a new era”.

Have struggled to points on the board.  Hired a new offensive coordinator.

Changing scheme on offense which negates any importance on returners.

Talented but unproven tag is common.

Transitioning from option game and will throw the ball more.

Dordt lost to the Bulldogs in Sioux Center 21-7 last year in the fourth game of the season.  Will play on September 22 this fall in Seward, Nebraska.  Defenders were up 7-0 at halftime but allowed 21 points in the third quarter.

Have been solid on defense.  That has given them chances to win.

Lose some players on defense.

Returning punter and return units will have ‘big play” capabilities.

“Like roster.  Most talented overall roster we have had in three years.”

Looking for next step.  Have improved over last three years but need to make a jump.  (sounds similar to what Doane was saying about two years ago).

“Had to find a way to use athletes better.”

off mic at 2:58.

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Kyle Achterhoff-Northwestern

9-2 overall and 7-2 last year.

On the mic at 2:33.

Parity in the conference.  Lot of quality football.

Excited with 10 starters back on offense and nine who started a game on defense.

New offensive coordinator.  Don’t expect big changes.

Four offensive linemen returning.

Davis Bloemendaal will be the starter.  8-0 as starter over the last two years.  Will also be in the running for punter.

Brandon Smith back at running back and Theo Bartman will get snaps as well as a junior.

Return men are back.

Report on August 12.  Open on Thursday, August 30 at home.

Won eight in a row to finish year.

Dordt lost to Northwestern 45-28 in the season finale.  Straight up game other than 31 points by Northwestern, 28 of them in the final 5:37 of the half.

Off the mic at 2:45.

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After the break. Tony Harper-Hastings

Coming back after a little breather.

Corey WEstra back on the mic.

Non-conference games.

Southwestern, Dakota STate, Graceland, Waldorf, Benedictine to face GPAC schools.

Kickoffs from the 35.  Kickoff touchbacks to the 25 not 20. Yard halo back in force for punts.

Tony Harper-Hastings on the mic at 2:22.

Special teams-lost returners and kicker.  Need to be more consistent.

Graduated top-six tacklers.

5-4 in the GPAC and 6-4 overall.

Secondary returns much experience.

Return top three quarterbacks.  Starter from last year John Dostal is the “clear cut starter”

Keenan Ballage is back with Dalton Sealey.  Remember both of those names from the 28-14 win for Hastings last year in Hastings.  This year Dordt will host Hastings on September 8 in the home opener.

Learned to “stay calm” last year.  Must hold players and coaches to a “higher standard”.  We know our quarterback and he knows us.

Off the podium at 2:32.


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Brian Keller-Nebraska Wesleyan

ON the mic at 1:55.

DEan of the coaches and has 88 wins.

4-5 GPAC and 5-5 overall.

Hit by injuries.

Had high expectations but went through a season that didn’t have the success they thought they’d have.

First five games are tough (St. Mary’s KS), Midland, Morningside, Northwestern, Doane.

REturn all-GPAC punter who will be junior.

Good punt and kick returner.

Hope to have everyone healthy to start the season.

STarting center has come back and has started every game of his career.  “Not big, but mobile” on offensive line.

“Had some players playing last year on SAturdays that should have been playing on Mondays (JV) because of injuries.”

Dordt lost to the Prairie Wolves on in Lincoln 45-19 .  STraight up game except for a 21 point explosion in the second quarter by Wesleyan.  Dordt will host Wesleyan on October 13.

Off the mic at 2:06.


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Matt Franzen-Doane

22-29 in five years in Crete.

On the mic at 1:44.

Big turnaround last year.

Experienced highs on the field with a 7-2 GPAC mark and 8-2.  Cody Fanning, defensive back, died in a car accident in April.

Lots of returners on defense.

Dunn and Saffold, quarterback and receiver graduated.  YOung receivers fighting for playing time.

Beat Dordt last year 63-26 in Crete in the second to last game of the season.  Will play in Sioux Center on November 3 in Dordt’s final home game.

Open August 12.

Hope to pick up where they left off.

Incentive after missing playoffs?

Starting to talk about conference championships and national playoffs.

Dunn was a 3.5 year starter.  Will miss his consistency.

Off the mic at 1:54

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Tom Ryan-Morningside

85 career wins at Morningside.

On the mic at 1:36.

“Great conference. Many good football teams.  Hopefully we can be competitive.”

Return “Talented” defensive backfield.

8-1 in GPAC.  9-2 overall.  Lost in NAIA playoffs first round.

Three way fight for quarterback spot.  Last year’s starter, Kyle Nikkel, not back.  Lehi Tonga (played at Briar CLiff a couple years ago) is one of the three in the mix.

Fred Jones back after rushing for over 1000 yards last year.

Close race.

“DAys of Sioux Falls being way out in front are over.”

Last year Northwestern and Doane both had 7-2 records.  Very close race.  Expects more of it this year.

Chiefs, er,  I mean Mustangs (old habits die hard) will host Dordt on October 27.  Beat the Defenders last year in Sioux Center 70-0.

“One heck of coach that Midland got.” talking about his former assistant.

Off the mic at 1:43.

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