College notebook: Blue Hawks' softball team claims early top 10 spot
Guy Fridley now knows what the rest of the coaches in the country think of the Dickinson State softball team. The Blue Hawks are ranked ninth in the NAIA preseason poll and have been picked by Dakota Athletic Conference coaches to take home the c...
Guy Fridley now knows what the rest of the coaches in the country think of the Dickinson State softball team.
The Blue Hawks are ranked ninth in the NAIA preseason poll and have been picked by Dakota Athletic Conference coaches to take home the conference title.
Fridley said the preseason honors are partially owed to DSU's Elite Eight finish at last season's national tournament.
"It's a great honor. It's just a reflection of what we've done," Fridley said. "... It's humbling in that sense too. It's a preseason poll. It partially comes off of what we accomplished last year and ... the fact that we have two All-Americans returning."
The Blue Hawks finished the 2007 campaign 32-8, won their first NAIA Region III tournament and their second straight DAC championship.
Despite losing eight standout players - including Region III most valuable player and All-American first baseman Dana Dunsmore - the Blue Hawks return All-Americans in pitcher Mehgan Shaw and outfielder Danielle Abrahamson.
They also received a boost from a strong recruiting class and a handful of transfers, including former DAC freshman of the year and two-time all-conference player Nicole Marcoux, who left Jamestown College for DSU.
"I don't want to say we're rebuilding because we brought in some talented kids," Fridley said.
The coach believes it will take the Blue Hawks some time to get back to the level they were at toward the end of the 2007 season. However, a 14-game spring break trip to the Tucson (Ariz.) Invitational could help alleviate some issues.
"We have the capability. We're not going to be that good right away - at the level we were last year," Fridley said. "But we can strive to be there at the end of the year and that's when we're going to be at our best."
DSU assistant coach Goldberg recalls missed buzzer-beater
Andre Goldberg's last memory as a player in Scott Gymnasium isn't a pretty one. But it's one that brings a smile to the faces of DSU men's basketball fans.
With Black Hills State trailing by one point, Goldberg drove the length of the court in the final seconds, only to miss a buzzer-beater to give the Blue Hawks a 73-72 victory.
Now, instead of wearing the green, gold and black of the Yellow Jackets, Goldberg will be wearing a suit shirt and tie on the Blue Hawks sidelines when his alma mater comes to town for a DAC game at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Goldberg said his perception of DSU's home court has changed since head coach Ty Orton brought him on board as an assistant last fall.
"It was a situation where I'd only had bad memories of Scott Gymnasium and this year, we have had good memories to replace those bad ones," Goldberg said. "It's been a whole different experience than I thought it would be and it's been positive so far."
Quick and easy
The DSU baseball team received four of six first-place votes in the preseason DAC coaches' poll and are projected to win the conference for the third straight year. ... Halliday native Allison Swenson was named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women's basketball player of the week after her Minnesota State Moorhead team handed second-ranked Concordia-St. Paul a 73-62 defeat, its first of the season, last Saturday. Swenson had 22 points and eight rebounds in the win. ... Dickinson High graduate Derik Brugger cleared 16 feet in the pole vault to win the Cobber Duals on Jan. 26. ... Logan Mossey, a first-team all-state wide receiver from Lewistown (Mont.) has signed a letter of intent to play football and compete in track and field for DSU. ... Dickinson High senior Shaunda Dvorak and Sidney (Mont.) senior Afton Garland are the first two players to sign letters of intent to play for the DSU volleyball team. Coach Dave Moody plans to announce the signing of several more recruits in the coming weeks.
Monke is the sports editor of The Dickinson Press. He covers Dickinson State and college athletics. Read his blog at areavoices.com/monke.