Monke: A decade after Hettinger, Frank at helm of JimmiesShawn Frank is just like everyone else in the first year of a new job.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Shawn Frank is just like everyone else in the first year of a new job.
A decade ago, Frank was on the sidelines in his hometown, coaching the Hettinger Black Devils football team. At noon on Saturday, he takes part in his first homecoming game as Jamestown College’s head football coach when the Jimmies host against Dickinson State.
“It’s certainly been stressful at times, there’s no question,” Frank said. “But be careful what you wish for because someday you ultimately will get it. That something I’m learning to balance every day.
“I’d be a fool to say that I’m not learning something new on the job every day.”
Though the Jimmies have struggled to a 2-4 record this season, Frank is confident in the program he’s trying to build.
Frank has been at Jamestown since 2003 and served the team’s defensive coordinator the past five seasons before he was hired in January to replace retiring head coach Bud Etzold, a former DSU assistant.
His first win came Sept. 15 at the friendly confines of Rollie Greeno Field, a 17-14 overtime victory over former Dakota Athletic Conference foe South Dakota Mines on a 37-yard Ryan Benke field goal.
It was a memorable first win, but only the initial step in Frank’s long-term plans for a somewhat young team that starts just two seniors on offense.
“It’s a maturation process,” Frank said. “I’d be a fool to think we’re a finished project. We realize we’re not. We accept that and we acknowledge that. It’s our job as a coaching staff and as a program to find a way to be as close to a finished product as we hopefully can be.”
As they come off a bye week, Frank hopes the Jimmies can show their improvements against the Blue Hawks and a coaching staff he deeply respects.
“They’re guys who are icons out in that part of the state,” Frank said, referencing DSU head coach Hank Biesiot and defensive coordinator Arlan Hofland. “It’s a great opportunity for our institution, our program and our kids to once again play another football game and play against a team we certainly would love to emulate.”
For what appears to be the first time — thanks to the teams not being in the same league — this game doesn’t count for anything more than pride and a little bit of confidence
While Jamestown could get a bump in the NAIA independent standings, it’s not exactly in the playoff hunt. DSU is at the bottom of the Frontier Conference and looking for a mental boost after being routed in three consecutive league games.
While Frank respects DSU’s coaches, he sure would take a victory over them too.
“They’ve been very influential in things that I’ve done,” he said. “It’s a profession. We want to beat each other on Saturdays, but ultimately it’s a brotherhood too.”
Monke is the sports editor of The Dickinson Press. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, read his blog at www.areavoices.com/monke and follow him on Twitter at monkebusiness.