Dakota Wesleyan University [1]

DWU Football Picked 4th by Coaches at Media Day

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:59 PM

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. – The 2015 Great Plains Athletic Conference football season is right around the corner and the GPAC hosted the 16th annual Football Media Day Thursday at the Marina Inn in South Sioux City, Neb.

The event provided Dakota Wesleyan University Head Coach Ross Cimpl a platform to discuss the upcoming season, his fourth campaign with the Tigers, who were picked to finish the 2015 GPAC schedule fourth (51 points) by the coaches and fifth (52 points) by the media after a fourth-place finish in 2014.

Morningside College was picked first in both polls, while Northwestern College took both second-pace nods. Doane College was picked third in both polls. The Mustangs and Red Raiders shared the 2014 GPAC title.

"I'm excited to compete and excited to be here," Cimpl said. "That word compete is one we throw around a lot with our team."

Cimpl opened by saying he is thrilled to be tied at the top of the conference at 0-0 heading into the year, as this always creates the opportunity for big things to happen. He added that with this being his fourth year, all of the players on the roster are his players that were brought in by Cimpl and his staff. He also highlighted that this class of seniors has the chance to be the winningest of any in program history with a successful year.

"Those guys (the 2015 senior class) came to DWU on a vision," Cimpl said. "I don't think they have accomplished all of their goals yet, but they have put us in a position to be talked about and to do great things."

The 2015 recruiting class is the largest for Cimpl in his tenure at DWU. The class stands at 48. Cimpl emphasized the push to recruit close to home, with the majority of the incoming freshman coming from South Dakota, Nebraska and other surrounding states.

"This is our backyard and we are going to win in our backyard with recruiting," Cimpl said of his 2015 class of newcomers.

The Tigers return seven starters on both sides of the ball and three players are coming back on special teams. DWU graduated just seven seniors after the 2014 season, but all left a hole that needs to be filled heading into the fall. The biggest loss for the Tigers comes in the running game, with the school's all-time leading rusher Francois Barnaud and three All-GPAC members of the offensive line graduating. Cimpl said he thinks highly of what sophomore running back John Fabrizius [3] can do and he will be pushed by five incoming freshmen in the backfield.

Cimpl is optimistic about the return of starting quarterback Dillon Turner [4], who started 10 games as a true freshman and progressed each week in 2014. The DWU wide receiving corps will be experienced with several leaders coming back, including tight end Trevor Schroeder [5] and Kodi Larson [6].

The defense will be led on the line by Brady Mudder [7] and Sam Kiger [8], while Brady Bonte [9] and Adam Bormann [10] are back to boost the linebacking corps. The defensive backfield sees the return of Tanner Munk [11] and Cody Bonte [12], while sophomore Trevin Island [13] comes back to DWU after a year apart from the program in 2014.

"For us it's our guys trusting what we are doing," Cimpl said. "We have some great players. Our guys move in Friday and we will find out Saturday morning after our conditioning test who is ready to go and who is not. I have a good feeling that a lot of those guys have prepared mentally, physically and hopefully some of them spiritually."

  1. Wesleyan University/