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Dickinson State accepting some changes will have to be made to have football this fall

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The Dickinson State offensive linemen meet during practice earlier this fall. (Jake Wright / The Dickinson Press)

In 2020, things have and will continue to look different due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This unfamiliar territory is no different for Dickinson State athletics and their football team.

They are playing this fall and they open up their season this Saturday on Sept. 12 at Dakota State, but there are going to be some noticeable changes from past seasons.

“I think our pre practice and post practice is where it is really different. We have separated ourselves in meeting rooms and we haven’t met as much in groups,” head football coach Pete Stanton said. “When practice is going on we have stretched and tried to do things in small groups. After practice, we haven’t showered and things like that at the facility. They drop off their gear and go. We have them out of here after practice in ten minutes.”

Their home opener is next Saturday on Sept. 19 vs. Mayville State and since Gov. Doug Burgum moved Stark County to yellow for risk of COVID-19, there will be some restrictions at home games.

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The Biesiot Activities Center has a capacity of 4,000 individuals outside, and 50% or 2,000 people will be allowed into games this fall.

Dickinson State is following all guidelines, and inside in the suite areas capacity will be limited as well.

Individuals will also have to wear masks inside, and outside of the stadium, tailgating will not be allowed.

“We won’t have tailgates for a while. The tailgating is a great atmosphere, and we have some of the best fans in small college football in America,” Stanton said. “They understand we can’t do that at this time and gather in a big group, so we will cut that out and we will limit the number of people that can be inside the stadium.”

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The Dickinson State offensive and defensive line get ready to go up against each other in a practice earlier this fall. (Jake Wright / The Dickinson Press)

On game days for the team, Dickinson State will take the same number of players on road trips, but they will take an extra vehicle with them this year.

They will have all food catered to their hotels, and they will not do walk-throughs at opponents stadiums before games.

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Instead, they will do their walk-throughs at the Biesiot Activities Center before they depart Dickinson.

Despite all the changes, uncertainty and craziness, Stanton and his team are happy to take the field at last.

They know that they are one of the team teams and conferences with the ability to put the pads on this fall.

“I don’t know if you are ever ready (for game one), but we are excited to get going and have the opportunity. There are not a lot of schools that have the chance to play,” Stanton said. “Our school and conference has been really smart about it, and there is excitement. There has been a lot to deal with in the spring, summer and fall. Our guys are ready to get out and see an opponent. We are all excited that they can do that.”

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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