Great accomplishments of Dakota Athletic Conference schools
By: Eric Peterson and Dustin Monke, Forum Communications Co.
Below is a glimpse of the top teams the Dakota Athletic Conference has produced in recent history. The league will likely disappear in name after this season.
The Valley City State women’s basketball team won a program-record 23 games and advanced to the NAIA Division II tournament for the first time in the history of the program. Vikings head coach Jill Devries, a former North Dakota State standout, guided her team to the national tournament, three seasons removed from a 23-loss season. Junior guard Kristin Bearstail lead a balanced attack with 12.5 points per game.
The Mayville State men’s basketball team finished second in the NAIA Division II national tournament and finished the season with a 27-9 record. Comets head coach Craig Smith was named NAIA Division II coach of the year and guard Monty Rogers was a first-team All-American selection.
The Dickinson State men’s track and field team won three consecutive NAIA national championships in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The 2005 team may have been head coach Pete Stanton’s best, winning five individual national championships. Future Olympians Derrick Atkins, Trevor Berry and Aaron Cleare – all of the Bahamas – won championships along with decathlete Ben Knight. Atkins won both the 100 and 200 meters. Berry won the long jump and Cleare won the 400 title.
The Jamestown College men’s basketball team advanced to the final eight at the NAIA Division II national tournament under head coach Brad Huse. Forward Brandon Wilkins was named NAIA player of the year as he averaged 16 points and nine rebounds per game.
The Dickinson State football team was winningest in head coach Hank Biesiot’s 36-year history with an 11-1 record and went undefeated until the NAIA quarterfinals, where is lost to Northwestern Oklahoma State. Jace Schillinger, DSU’s eventual all-time leading rusher, set DAC and school records with 19 rushing touchdowns that season.
The Mayville State baseball team finished in fifth place at the NAIA World Series and finished the season with a 35-15 record. That is the highest national tournament finish the Comets had under longtime coach Scott Berry. Right-handed pitcher/designated hitter Clark Andres was named region player of the year that season. Right-handed pitcher Jared Whitehouse was also a key player and finished his career as a three-time All-American.
The University of Mary women’s basketball team made a surprising run to the NAIA Division II national championship. Senior guard Lisa Maus scored 28 points in a 59-49 win against Northwestern of Iowa in the title game. Maus was named the national tournament MVP. Roger Haug was the head coach and the Marauders finished the season with a 25-9 overall record. The league was called the North Dakota College Athletic Conference at this point.
— Compiled by Eric Peterson and Dustin Monke, Forum Communications Co.