Spearfish, S.D. - Growth. The Black Hills State football team has experienced tremendous growth over the past three seasons and is now receiving much deserved respect. The recent success of the Yellow Jacket football program can be correlated with the arrival of head coach John Scott.

Scott, now entering his fourth season at the reigns of a once struggling football program, is leading Black Hills State into a 2006 campaign full of expectations. The Yellow Jackets are coming off of a 7-3 (5-2 DAC) season and a third place finish in the Dakota Athletic Conference.

Prior to the arrival of Scott, Black Hills State had not experienced a winning season since 1994 when Ed Neibauer guided the Yellow Jackets to a 6-4 record. In the three years previous to Scott, the Yellow Jackets had a combined record of 8-22. Since John Scott has taken change of the program Black Hills State is 16-13 and enters the season ranked 17th in the Victory Sports Network Preseason Poll.

“The preseason ranking really does show how far this program has come,” said Scott. “Our goal now is to move up in those rankings and reach the playoffs when the season ends.”

The Yellow Jackets will not have an easy road ahead in 2006. Black Hills State opens the season with the four-time defending national champions, Carroll College.

“It will be an awesome chance for us to play the No. 1 team at home. We must come ready to play and be confident that we can win. Carroll (College) is an outstanding team and has shown what they are capable of by winning four straight national titles. They know how to expose a team’s weakness and attack it without any hesitation,” said Scott.

The Yellow Jackets will be looking to replace a large piece of the puzzle at tight end. The exit of Zach Alcorn to the Green Bay Packers leaves a large hole in the Yellow Jackets’ offensive attack. Alcorn led the team in receptions (43), receiving yards (689), and receiving touchdowns (7).

“Losing Zach will have a huge impact on the offensive side of the ball,” said Scott. “He was a tremendous player for us. We will need somebody to step up and become our new go-to guy. I believe that we have a couple of players that are ready to do just that.”

Under Scott’s guidance, the Black Hills State football program is continuing to grow.

“When I first got here our team had two goals,” said Scott. “We wanted to finish the season with a .500 record or better and be playing for more than just respect at the end of the season. Those are still important goals for us, however, we now have our sights on being the first football team in the history of Black Hills State to reach the post-season playoffs. We want to be the team that got it done.”
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