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BHSU football team looks forward to 2002 season

By Mark Norby, University Communications

The BHSU football team begins their 2002 season Sept. 7 at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. The first home game is Sept. 14 when the Yellow Jackets take on Minot State University at Lyle Hare Stadium at 1:30 p.m.  The team is looking forward to an improved season.

This is the third year Black Hills State University has been a member of the DAC-10, and according to head football coach Bob Majeski, it’s a brutal conference. “It (DAC-10) is unbelievably tough. Every week you're playing a very good team,” said Majeski.

As head football coach, one of Majeski’s main objectives at BHSU last year was to make the team believe they could compete in such a tough conference. “I think we did that,” said Majeski. “This year we want to make them believe they can beat the other guy.”

Majeski has spent his off-season working toward that goal. Some people may think that when football season and spring training are over, a coach just kicks back and spends the summer working on his golf game. Talk to Majeski and you’ll get the real story.

Majeski has been to five football camps this summer and estimates that he has probably looked at over 2,000 players. “What most people don’t realize is a coach has to be looking at prospective players two years in advance,” said Majeski.

For the 2002 season the Yellow Jackets have signed 30 new recruits and Majeski believes 10 to 15 of them have a very good chance of seeing playing time this season.

It’s the nature of the game that you lose players when they graduate or transfer to different schools. Coach Majeski regrets the losses, especially of free-safety Kyle Smith, who was one of BH’s best defensive players last year, but Majeski says, “The cupboards are not bare.”

The 2002 Yellow Jackets will have 14 returning starters – seven each for the offense and defense. Moving into Smith’s spot will be #25, Chase Kistler, 6-4, 185 lbs., sophomore, Sheridan, Wyo. “He’s a good, tough, and intelligent young man,” said Majeski. “Chase will be able to step up and produce.”

Other key players returning to the Yellow Jacket defense are #11, senior Jeff Kelly, 6-3, 235 lbs., at linebacker from Douglas, Wyo. and #32 senior John Rounds, 6-0, 210 lbs., also at linebacker from Laramie, Wyo. The American Football Coaches Association voted Rounds an academic all-American last season and Kelly received honorable mention. Playing his second year for BH is sophomore Chris Albers, a 6-1, 161 lb. defensive back who will also be a key returner to the defense.

Two of last year’s quarterbacks, senior Josh Gerik, 6-5, 195 lbs., from Big Piney, Wyo., and #16 Kelly Meeker, 6-3, 205 lbs., a junior out of Sioux Falls, are both returning, and according to Majeski, either could be a starter.

Majeski is also looking forward to playing last year’s red shirts, Jeff Teasley, offensive lineman, 6-1, 250 lbs. sophomore, Cheyenne, Wyo., and running back Scott Muir, 5-1, 180 lbs., Rawlings, Wyo.

Since Beau Vinatieri graduated last year, Marcus Harvey, 6-4, 180 lbs., a sophomore, from Scottsbluff, Neb., will take over the kicking duties for the Yellow Jackets.

For the second season in a row, BH ended the year with a record of 3 wins and 7 losses, but if you look at last year’s game summaries the team played better than the record shows. According to Majeski, with just a break here or a play there, the Yellow Jackets could have finished the season 5 and 5 or even 6 and 4.

Majeski never tries to predict his team’s win/loss record. “I don’t even worry about wins and losses. Our goal is to get kids to graduate and to create the leaders of tomorrow,” said Majeski. “That’s what winning is.”

Other key returning players include: #3, Rob Mansheim, DB, 6-0, 171 lbs., junior, Gillette, Wyo.; # 11, Rob Sales DB, 6-1, 190 lbs., sophomore, Sheridan, Wyo.; # 19, Kirk McLaughlin, WR, 5-1, 175 lbs., senior, Sundance, Wyo.; # 39, Travis Whitt, RB, 6-0, 210 lbs., junior, Thermopolis, Wyo.; # 41  Mike Jones, WR, 6-0, 165 lbs., soph, Torrington, Wyo.; # 45, Brandon Mathern, LB, 6-1, 220 lbs., junior, Thermopolis, Wyo.; # 51,Justin Carr, OL, 6-4, 220 lbs., senior Newcastle, Wyo.; #55, John Neisner, OL, 6-2, 265 lbs., senior, Kadoka, S.D.; #60, Brandon Lowery, OL, 6-3, 282 lbs., senior, Pierre, S.D.; # 71, Matt Blair, DL, 6-4, 220lbs., junior, Jackson, Wyo.; # 75 Tait Helmey, OL, 6-4, 290 lbs., Buffalo, Wyo.; # 77, Chris Didier, DL, 6-2, 215 lbs., sophomore, Gillette, Wyo.; #99, Jamie Barnes, LB, 6-2, 220 lbs., junior, Cheyenne, Wyo.

See 2002 Schedule







Black Hills State University defensive line coach Joe Guttierez (left) puts his players through one more drill during the Yellow Jackets three-a-day workouts in preparation for the 2002 football season. BHSU’s first game is Sept. 7 against Dakota Wesleyan University at Mitchell.


BHSU football player named to preseason All American team - Top

By Mark Norby, University Communications

One Black Hills State University football player was recognized in Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette 2002 NAIA Preseason All-American Teams. Jeff Kelly, a senior linebacker from Douglas, Wyo., was named to the second team.

Kelly was one of six Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC-10) players recognized in the preseason publication. Players in the DAC-10 on the first team include senior, wide receiver, Steve Battle of Valley City State and junior, defensive lineman, Coly Rush of Dickinson State. Three other players were given honorable mentions. They are: Dickinson State sophomore, wide receiver Adam Eckert; Dickinson State senior, quarterback, Nick Walker and senior, running back , Mike Luther. 

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