College football starts in a couple of weeks. The tried and true method of scheduling is to play tough non-conference games to get ready for conference, but for small schools like Dickinson State they don’t always have that luxury.
For Dickinson State athletic director and head football coach Pete Stanton, setting the non-conference schedule can be both tricky and exciting.
“We have the opportunity to have two or three non-conference games,” said Stanton, “and of course they’ve got to fit into the building of your schedule.”
Those several non-conference games are notable, because it hasn’t always been possible in the past.
“We’d maybe schedule Valley City or Mayville and it’d be a non-conference game,” said Stanton, “and then play them a second time. But now, though, we’ll play two teams in our conference and they’ll be all conference games.”
But DSU football can’t travel too far for these non-conference opportunities because of the budget.
“At our level we just can’t–the budget is limited,” said Stanton. “So you just can’t go on long trips to play teams. And you certainly have to get some home games as a part of it, to have some income.”
But even with those limitations, great matchups are still possible.
“We try to keep it as local as possible as we can,” said Stanton, “and obviously the schedules have to match up. We want to be able to make sure that we’re playing the best. We want to make sure that we step up, and don’t just play anybody. We want to play good, solid programs, and that’s really been the goal. That’s the way the goal will continue to be.
Dickinson State kicks off their season with an out of conference game August 24 against Rocky Mountain College.