FALL CAMP CRANKED UP TODAY FOR THE BLACK HILLS STATE AND SCHOOL OF MINES FOOTBALL TEAMS. THE YELLOW JACKETS AND HARDROCKERS BOTH OPEN THE SEASON SEPTEMBER 7TH. B-H HOSTS CHADRON STATE WHILE the Hardrockers ENTERTAIN COLORADO MESA.
THE HARDROCKERS ARE SET TO ENTER THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR WITH A NEW ASSOCIATE Athletic Director. AS CASSIE KOSIBA TAKES OVER THE ROLE. KOSIBA REPLACES TIFFANY MCCAMPBELL WHO TOOK A SIMILAR POSITION AT COLORADO MINES. KOSIBA COMES TO RAPID CITY AFTER SPENDING NINE YEARS AS THE HEAD WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACH AT CARLETON COLLEGE IN MINNESOTA. AND SHE IS READY TO use those experiences to help improve the Hardrocker athletic department.
"And in supporting coaches having been through it myself can only help. And having been in coaching since the day I graduated and even as a student assistant my last year at Carleton has helped me and will help me in this transition from coaching to administration to better support them. Anticipate what their needs might be because I've been through it as a head coach myself."
And while Kosiba gets acclimated, the School of Mines football team opened practice for the 2019 season today and while the Hardrockers have some big holes to fill at their skill positions, the coaching staff is excited about the overall depth this year.
The Hardrockers open the season at home against Mesa on September 7th. This season's Black Hills Brawl against Black Hills State will be October 12th in Spearfish. Mines has to replace all-conference performers in quarterback Jake Sullivan, wide receiver Isiah Manley, running back Connor Silveria and offensive lineman Robert Schrock but head coach Zach Tinker feels the depth on both sides of the ball this season is as good as it has ever been at O'Harra Stadium.
Tinker said, "I think we're excited about the group that's coming in, it's a talented group that's going to meet some specific needs at certain positions.
We think we got a couple of pretty good defensive linemen coming in, a couple of players who can help us immediately defensively, and then excited to see this running back position, we're bringing in a couple of running backs and we're excited to see what those guys look like and we've got a really talented freshman quarterback coming in in Orlando Westbrook-Sanchez and we're excited to see what he can do as well.
It's a five-six horse race for quarterback, it really is, but that's kind of the way I like it too because we have a lot of guys walking around that want to be the starting quarterback and they want to do the things that the starting quarterback does so there's a lot of energy around that."
South Dakota Mines was picked to finish sixth in this year's preseason Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference poll. The Hardrockers also finished sixth last season, going 5-6 overall and 4-6 in conference play.