The NFL Draft is this week, meaning 254 amateur football players will hear their names called as they continue their dreams of playing football at the highest level ... for a group of local amateurs, their dreams of continuing their gridiron careers are also continuing in the Midwest Premier Football League ...
The Western Dakota War Eagles are looking to fulfill some gridiron dreams for local football players who are trying to have some fun and just possibly get noticed by a professional or college coaching staff. Rand Woelber said, "I'm stoked. We have a lot of athletes that I'm really excited to see the potential of. I mean, the sky's the limit for these guys. Everyone's here to have fun and we'll see what we've got."
The War Eagles are based in Rapid City and a first-year member of the Midwest Premier Football League, an amateur association in its eighth season with teams in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Colorado and South Dakota.
Russ said, "What we've got here is a bunch of grown-ups that want to play football. They're all 18 or older, we play adult full-contact football with NFL rules. We play teams from North Dakota, Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and we compete in an eight-game season, they are not getting paid. We have a lot of guys here that want to go to college, we have some that have finished college and want to go on to the indoor leagues, or a shot at the NFL which is everyone's dream, of course."
The War Eagles, owned by five different coaches and players, will open their season Saturday against the Fargo Invaders in the first game in franchise history on the road. Their home opener will be at O'Harra Stadium against Northern Colorado on May 4th at 6:30.
Woelber said, "I work out, I do what I can, and I know that a lot of our players have a .. there's a couple of guys out there that should be in that D-I category, so I know that we're going to be some competition for these other teams."
The team is learning on the fly, putting together a roster of part-time football players while gelling into a unit that the coaching staff will be able to put on a full-time show.
Russ said, "I think you're going to see a lot of points scored. We run a unique type of offense, I don't want to give it away in case our opponents are watching this week but we run a unique offense that is known for putting up a lot of points. We were lucky in that our quarterback played college ball down in Texas so he kind of took to the offense really quick and that's one of the major things we need to have."
All of the team's home games will be played at O'Harra Stadium this season. Admission is eight dollars for fans 12 and over ... fans 12 and under get in for free.
A GOOD CROWD ON HAND TO TAKE IN THE ACTION OUT AT SIOUX PARK for the Festival of Relays .... which sounds like Cosmo Kramer and Frank Costanza's favorite track meet. 1. LET'S START YOU OUT WITH THE GIRLS 100 METER HURDLES, STEVENS' ELIZABETH SCHAEFER IS OUT FRONT AND SHE CAPTURES THE VICTORY IN 14.94 SECONDS. 2. TO THE BOYS 110 METER HURDLES, STURGIS' GAVIN WEST HAS THE LEAD IN THE MIDDLE LANE, AND HE CROSSES THE LINE FIRST TO WIN IN 15.42 SECONDS. 3. TO THE BOYS TRIPLE JUMP, STURGIS' ALEC KEFFELER LOOKING GOOD AS HE DELIVERS WITH A STRONG LEAP OF 43 FEET, 10 AND A HALF INCHES. THAT WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN THE TRIPLE JUMP. 4. TO THE GIRLS TRIPLE JUMP, THIS IS STEVENS' HANNAH WATSON AND SHE TURNS IN THE STRONG JUMP OF 31 FEET, 8 INCHES. THE RAIDERS RYLIE STONECIPHER WON THE TRIPLE JUMP AT 34 FEET, 6 AND A HALF INCHES. THE FANS TREATED TO SOME GREAT ACTION OUT AT THE FESTIVAL RELAYS.
In high school baseball action tonight, the Stevens Raiders rallied from a 2-nothing deficit with three runs in the top of the sixth inning to knock off Rapid City Central 3-2 at McKeague Field. Jon DeRuyter had two RBIs for Central ... while Judge Hutto and Carter Thomas each knocked in a run for the Raiders. Isiah DuBray picked up the win on the mound for Stevens, going 3-2/3 innings in relief, striking out five and walking none while allowing no runs.
In high school girls golf action today at the Pierre Invitational at Hillsview Golf Course the Rapid City Stevens Raiders took third place behind Aberdeen Central and Pierre ... The Raiders finished with 351 team strokes as Emmy Sundby took second with a 78 and Taylor Wit shot an 86. Aberdeen Central's Cassidy Gough was the individual medalist after firing a 73. The Raiders will next be in action at the Spearfish Invitational next Tuesday.
At the Douglas Invitational at Prairie Ridge Golf Course in Box Elder, defending Class A state champ Payson Birkeland of Belle Fourche picked up another individual win with a 6-over par 78 ... Hot Springs won the team title with a score of 364 to top the Broncs by 21 shots. The Bison's Madilyn Palo, Aryona Watts, Malory Olstad and Jessi Schroeder took second through fifth, respectively.