Jackrabbit play, Pride and upgrades made editor happy

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

Life was good for this sports editor when SDSU took on Youngstown State in the first-ever Missouri Valley Football Conference game.

Missouri Valley Football is full of class, and one of the conference’s unique rules is that both teams shake hands on the 50. What a way to showcase sportsmanship. Lord knows the younger generation needs more examples of the way sports should be played.

When the game did start, it was all SDSU, who beat the Penguins, 40-7. Not only are blow-out victories fun because the 11,000 plus fans get into it, but I also won’t hear ‘1-and-0’ every two minutes from head coach John Stiegelmeier at the post-game press conference. The coach was very proud of his football team after the game.

Avoiding being 0-3 for the third straight year made sure Stiegelmeier could answer questions that are worth his time, like, “How does a loss to Iowa State affect his ball club?”

A good-humored, joke-cracking Ryan Berry was great to see, as the Iowa State game on Aug. 28 was painful to watch. It seemed as though the five interceptions the starting quarterback threw to Iowa State were from a different player, and Berry came back with zero interceptions, along with a score from running and passing. Stiegelmeier acknowledged his quarterback’s reliance.

“Ryan Berry is so mature, and he understands his role and how important that is,” he said. “Combined with his maturity, he is tremendous.”

Kyle Minett delivered a solid game for the second straight game. The sophomore running back nearly out gained YSU by himself, 205-189. Tyler Duffy and Jordan Paula gave Minett breaks from time to time. These breaks will be crucial for Minett as the season goes along, due to the tough-natured Valley Football teams and the remaining non-conference schedule.

In all, the Jacks put the loss to Iowa State in the far rear view mirror and showcased a new team look/game-day experience.

Included in the new look were the trees to the north of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, which are no longer there, making the backyard visible to the masses. With no arrests related to tailgating, the game was the main focus of the night.

The ugly yellow visiting stands to the east are now reserved seats, which means the overflow student section/general admission seats will be standing room only or the overflow will need to go to the bleacher seating on the south and north.

The lack of fans on the other side gave the Pride of the Dakotas, with their more relaxed look, less targets when they took out their bow and arrows for “target practice.” This was my first time seeing the prime time noisemakers make their way into the stadium, and I must say I look forward to the next five games (more with the playoffs?). By the way, love those Blue Jeans; please keep ’em.

The Pride’s shirts were a classy touch, and I got to say thanks to the “King” for the cheeseburgers. Papa provided a ton of pizza, and Aramark gave cookies; what a spread.

I also had updated stats up top: it was like I was keeping track of the game on espn.com.

A standing student section, along with a Nick’s Hamburgers stand and a large B-B-Q pit, were welcome sites. The extra amenities made the stadium full of energy.

Miced referees and Mike Kern, associate commissioner of the Valley Football Conference, on campus gave the game a level of professionalism.

It was neat to see the cheerleagures (males) and cheerleaders, cheering so hard. The rightful place is below the students’ section, and I appreciate the flag running.

Next week it gets better, as before SDSU will take on Western Illinois, groundbreaking is planned for the new Dykhouse Student-Athlete Center. I just need to ask, “Is it Saturday night, yet?”