Dixie State football: Expectations high for Red Storm
One of the problems with Dixie State’s entrance into NCAA Division II football has been lack of seniors. That has made the transition from junior college power to four-year program difficult.
That is slowly changing, however, a fact that has Red Storm coach Scott Brumfield excited about the coming season. He feels the team is poised to make a run at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title and a possible at-large berth.
"We’ve gotten better and better every year," said Brumfield. "We return most everybody on the defensive side. This is our biggest senior class and it helps the program with leadership. They show the younger guys how to practice. It’s nice to have that experience back."
Dixie State schedule
Sept. 6 at Colorado Mesa, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Central Wash., 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 Humboldt State, 6 p.m.
Sept. 27 Azusa Pacific, 6 p.m.
Oct. 4 Simon Fraser, 6 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Western Ore., 2 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Azusa Pacific, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 Menlo College, 6 p.m.
Nov. 1 SDSMT, 6 p.m.
Nov. 8 Central Wash., 6 p.m.
Nov. 15 at Humboldt St., 2 p.m.
Defense looks to be Dixie State’s strength this season with players such as Snow College transfer Zach Christian and defensive back Justin Ence leading the way. The entire secondary returns.
The offense, however, lost key players in all-America tight end Joe Don Duncan and veteran quarterback Griff Robles. While transfer receiver Aubrey Reed, former University of Utah player Jamal Smith and ex-basketball player Dalton Groskreutz look good at receiver, Brumfield still hasn’t settled on a starting quarterback.
Brody Garr, who backed up Robles, quick Hayden Baggett, transfer Ben Longshore and Tyler Newman, the Nevada State Player of the Year, are all in the mix.
The Red Storm open with two away games. The key contest of the year may be when GNAC defending champion Azusa Pacific comes to St. George on Sept. 27.
"Our expectations are high this year," said Brumfield. "Most of the guys stayed in St. George in the summer to work out and be together. We’re the best shape we’ve ever been in camp."