The Bismarck Demons enter this year with the mindset of making it back to another Dakota Bowl. But to get there, they have to overcome the loss of key contributors, as well as stay healthy.
Monday marks the first day of Class A football practice, the start of a three-week sprint for teams like the Bismarck Demons to find out who they are going to be in week one.
“It’s exciting,” says RB/LB Isaiah Huus “That summer with my rehab, I was just anxious to get back into it. Always looking forward to some football and I think it’s going to be a good year.”
Entering year 23, head coach Mark Gibson will have his challenges with his team. One that is younger, but brings back experience on the offensive side.
“I think we’re going to be okay offensively,” says head coach Mark Gibson. “We return our quarterback in Caden Fischer. Ethan Stotz has looked really good at wideout. Of course, we have Huus. We have a few full-backs, more than we’ve ever had. We graduated all of our offensive lines except for one, but we have a really good one in Conner Hedges to build around.”
One that will block for senior Isaiah Huus, who lead the WDA last year in rushing yards and touchdowns despite missing the final week of the season.
“Hitting the hole, getting the ball, and hitting the hole as hard as possible every play,” says Huus. “Not slowing down, not lowering the tempo. Just keeping that high energy and fast pace”
The defense will be a different story. Gibson says that they will have to find new starters at every level.
“But we have to find some depth,” says Gibson. “Our depth guys have to figure out the tempo that we need them to play at. I’ve always said that it’s kind of a mini step from freshman football to JV football. It’s a quantum leap from JV football to varsity.”
With the unusual year of 2020 in their rearview mirror, the Bismarck Demons are ready for a more normal season.
“Very excited to get out there again,” says WR/LB Ethan Stotz. “Last year, with the restrictions from COVID, just kind of shut us down mentally and physically, but this year we’re ready to attack it.”
“If you’re going to put this time into it, why be average?” says Gibson. “Why be mediocre? Why not work hard at it? And so those are things that you as a coach try to instill in these guys and hopefully they follow.”