MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

August 8, 2015 

Return of student athletes marks the beginning of a new academic year


One of the first signs of the beginning of the fall semester is the return of athletes to campus. Returning football players reported on August 4, and the rest of the team will be on campus August 12. Pre-season camp for the volleyball team will begin August 9. We are happy to have the student athletes on campus and anxiously await the opportunity to watch them in action in their respective sports.

There are 20 players on the volleyball roster. They are led by eight-year Mayville State head coach and Mayville State graduate Lindsey Johnson. Coach Johnson will again be assisted by Mayville State graduate Ashley Nelson. Also helping out are part time assistant Michelle Warren, student assistants Josette Glatt and Katie Wangberg, and graduate assistant Sam Thielen. The volleyball team will conclude pre-season activities on August 21, when they head to a tournament at Ridgewater Community College in Willmar, Minn.

The football team’s first game for 2015 will be on Saturday, August 29, when the Comets will play St. Mary’s of Kansas in a home game beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Jerome Berg Field. One hundred twenty-five players are expected to report for camp. The football team is scheduled to play six home games and three road games this year.

Mayville State alumnus John Haines has started his second year as head coach for the Comets football team. Coach Haines is being assisted by David Pena, Denver Price, Nate Gill, Billy Tomblin, Weston McGill, Anton Anderson, and John Poppy.

Dennis Hutter is returning for his eleventh season as the head coach of the women’s basketball team. He will be assisted by 2009 Mayville State graduate Dave Moe, along with graduate assistant Lulu Seelye. The women’s basketball roster includes 20 players. The team’s first game is October 23, when they face Brandon University at the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse.

This will be the fourth season at Mayville State for head men’s basketball coach Dan DeWitt. His assistant is Mayville State alumnus Bryen Pyles, and graduate assistant Alex Herman will begin his work with the team January 16. Practice for the men will begin this fall, and the first game is scheduled for October 30, when the team will play against Dakota Wesleyan at home. Coach DeWitt expects to have about 29 players on the roster.

Mayville State alumna Ashley VandeVeen will return for her third year as head coach of the women’s fastpitch softball team. She is being assisted by Stephanie Graziani. Graduate assistant Sam Thielen will also help out, as will Courtney Priddie, on a part-time basis.. Coach VandeVeen is excited about the full roster of 24 players she’ll have. There will be no fall games this year, but there will be plenty of softball action next spring.

Head baseball coach Scott Berry will be returning for his thirty-third year as head coach. Coach Berry will be assisted by Peter Pratt, who was a pitching coach at St. Cloud State before joining the Comets coaching staff five years ago. Billy Tomblin and graduate assistant Sam Thielen will also help out. Coaches expect to have 60 players on the team this year. The team will have some fall games again this year, and their first game is September 13 at Scott Berry Field.

After three years of work toward the formation of a new conference that would replace the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC), the North Star Athletic Association was born in the spring of 2013. Four former DAC schools and a former NCAA III school joined forces to create the new league. Mayville State, Valley City State, Jamestown College, Dakota State, and Presentation College competed as a conference in 2013-14. Dickinson State joined in the 2014-15 academic year. Bellevue of Nebraska Viterbo University of LaCrosse, Wisc., and Waldorf College of Forest City, Iowa played football in the NSAA last year, and they are joining the conference in all sports for 2015-16. We are happy to be back to playing for a conference championship and playing host to various playoff games, as we did in the days of the DAC.

We’re looking forward to a promising year in Comet athletics. We invite you to attend Mayville State’s games whenever you can. The game schedules for the teams can be found on the Mayville State University Athletics website at Printed pocket schedules will be available soon at Mayville State’s main athletics office in the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse.