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With a broken wing: Injuries can’t get Blue Hawks down

When wide receiver Seth Ewoniuk went down against Valley City State on Saturday, Oct. 7, he clutched his shoulder and rolled in pain. He soon stood up, walked off the field and swung the apparently-injured shoulder, but he didn't return to the game.

Dickinson State senior wide receiver Seth Ewoniuk dislocated his shoulder in the game against Valley City State on Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Biesiot Activities Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State senior wide receiver Seth Ewoniuk dislocated his shoulder in the game against Valley City State on Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Biesiot Activities Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

When wide receiver Seth Ewoniuk went down against Valley City State on Saturday, Oct. 7, he clutched his shoulder and rolled in pain. He soon stood up, walked off the field and swung the apparently-injured shoulder, but he didn't return to the game.

As a senior and captain, Ewoniuk holds a big role on the Blue Hawk team, both on and off the field. An injury to such a player could potentially set back the team's morale and passing game.

The Blue Hawks didn't even flinch.

"One big thing we stress around here is, 'next man up.,'" junior wide receiver Chase Andersen said. "When someone goes down, you just got to step up. There's really nothing else about that."

Ewoniuk dislocated his shoulder against the Vikings. Once it was popped back in, the senior wanted to get back in the game, but he sat out the second half. He suited up, but barely saw the field the next week against Waldorf University (Iowa).

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Freshman receiver Tyger Frye stepped up against the Warriors, earning 104 receiving yards and one touchdown over eight catches.

"I knew those guys would have to step up but we were ready, just how we were practicing," Ewoniuk said. "Just watching these guys prepare I knew we weren't going to miss a beat just with me gone."

The Blue Hawks' (7-1, 6-0 NSAA) leading receiver was back on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Jamestown, and led Dickinson State with 135 yards and one touchdown over six receptions.

Ewoniuk isn't the only key player on the Blue Hawks to suffer a season-altering injury, though. Senior wide receiver Dylan Skabo sprained his knee against Waldorf University on Saturday, Oct. 14 and junior offensive tackle Kordell Cummins has been recovering from the same injury all season, appearing in just two games.

"Our offensive line has adjusted well," head coach Pete Stanton said. "Drew Heiser has been solid for us all year at center. We moved Devin (Schwanz) out to tackle and he's done a good job out there. I think our guys really haven't missed a beat."

Meanwhile, Skabo has only missed one game since injuring his knee in the second half of the 45-0 win over the Warriors.

"He's very key," Stanton said. "He's not only been a leader for us, but he's caught a lot of balls. He's been huge for us on special teams."

While the ample supply of wide receivers had no problem filling in Skabo's offensive absence, his position as kick and punt returner would be harder to fill, as most players aren't used to and able to catch a punt

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Andersen served as the "next man up."

While he asked Skabo for some advice, Andersen seemed to have no problems stepping into the role he once held in high school.

"He did a good job on kick return," Stanton said. "He had a nice return for a touchdown but it got called back. Our kick return game has been great all year. ... We hope to keep that up no matter who's back there."

The team's ability to quickly recover and not miss a beat when losing a player, comes down to one thing: depth.

"It's nice having the depth that we have," Ewoniuk said. "When one guy goes down, it really doesn't effect us that much like it would other teams, maybe. Because we know that, we're going to be able to execute and go out and win games even if a couple of our key guys go down."

Dickinson State senior wide receiver Seth Ewoniuk runs into the locker room with a smile on his face at halftime of the game against Waldorf University on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Biesiot Activities Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State senior wide receiver Seth Ewoniuk runs into the locker room with a smile on his face at halftime of the game against Waldorf University on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Biesiot Activities Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

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