Blue Hawks have All-Americans and leaders return to offense
Dickinson State has a number of players returning on offense from last season, eager to push for more success.
The Blue Hawks football offense can be credited as a main reason to their recent sustained success. This year will be no different as they return two All-Americans from a season ago, as well as their starting quarterback.
Wide receiver Tyger Frye and offensive lineman Matt Dey achieved All-American status after last year's undefeated season in conference play. The Dickinson State offense powered the Blue Hawks to victory last year, winning nine games by an average of 19 points. Their smallest margin of victory was by 12 points twice on two occasions, against Dakota State and Valley City State.
Despite last year's success and the years before it, the seniors know that this year is a new page and will have to continue to set goals that start in the training room and lead by example.
“I don't think there is so much pressure to be undefeated again this year, that is never our first goal. I think the only pressure we have is to be better than what we were the day before,” Frye said. “At this point in my career I just want to be the best teammate I can be. I will always have things to get better at in all assets of my game, but I am going to do my individual thing regardless and I just want to be the best leader and teammate this year.”
Frye led the Blue Hawks in receptions last year with 58 to go along with nine touchdowns. Though the Blue Hawks lost their first game of the 2021 season to Black Hills State, Frye was a standout performer with eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.
“On offense we have really been working on keeping our high tempo and limiting the mental mistake, because those will kill a drive,” Frye said. “Really we’re just trying to have that play book in the back of our head, not have to think about it when we are out on that field.”
Quarterback Drew Boedecker's season started with 272 passing yards, completing 16 out of 24 passes and a touchdown, but was also sacked five times. It is something that Boedecker refuses to allow affect his confidence going into the rest of the season.
“I'm pretty comfortable with this team. Being a starter last year was huge, being able to get that experience and then throughout the summer,” Boedecker said. “Now being my fifth year with this offense nothing has changed drastically, it's super familiar to me. It's almost like a second language.
Boedecker said that a loss leaves a bad taste in the mouth and that his concentration is to get his team ready, mentally and physically.
“Throughout the summer we changed our weight room culture. We got a new lifting coach, Coach (Sam) Herauf,” Boedecker said. “I am definitely trying to lead by example and be that vocal leader. Trying to get everything going.”
Frye added that the culture DSU has stapled goes a long way with the players. From the rookies to the upperclassman, they actively get together outside of practice.
“We alway preach that it is a family culture and all that, but with Covid last year we noticed it right away,” Frye said. “It always helps knowing you have family with your team instead of not knowing the 40 people who are not going to be playing this year. So I think we have done a really good job of bringing them in and making them feel like they are part of the team, even though they are going to be red shirts this year.”