Odds and ends

— Dakota Athletic Conference commissioner Lavern Jessen said Thursday that the presidents and athletic directors from DAC and Frontier Conference schools will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at the Badlands Activities Center to discuss the future of their conferences and whether or not the two can combine forces in some way. Jessen said Jim Carr, the NAIA President and CEO will be at the meeting. Look for a story on this in Friday’s Dickinson Press.

— It appears that Michael Cooper has left the Dickinson State football team. Cooper has not been at practice the past two days and was not at Thursday’s pre-scrimmage walk-through. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior quarterback/receiver from Westhope was a heralded recruit when he arrived at DSU but struggled to catch on at QB. He lost the battle for the starting spot to Cody Holland in last fall’s preseason and has rarely seen the field at his natural position. Coaches said early in the preseason that they’d hoped to move Cooper to wideout this season and use his size and speed to help alleviate a thin receiving corps. When I asked one coach if he knew for a fact that Cooper had left the team, he said, “Your guess is as good as mine.”

— South Dakota Mines men’s basketball coach Jason Henry announced Thursday that the team has added Division I transfer James Dean (awesome name, by the way) to its roster for the upcoming season. Dean, a 6-2 guard from Las Vegas, spent the past two seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and University of Wyoming, respectively. James is heading to S.D. Mines to pursue a degree in civil engineering.

— New Dickinson High football coach Dennis Morris is our cover story for the 2010 edition of Kickoff, our annual football preview. The story revolves around how Morris hopes to revitalize the program through improved offseason training and in-season work ethic and how well the players have bought into this change.

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