Hawks will soon fly Frontier

Dickinson State safety Trevor Willis sacks Rocky Mountain quarterback Mark Desin in the end zone for a safety during DSU's 25-21 win on Aug. 26. Blue Hawk fans might want to familiarize themselves with Rocky Mountain and the other Montana schools. DSU appears headed to the Frontier Conference sooner rather than later.

Dickinson State appears to be waving goodbye to the Dakota Athletic Conference.

This news really shouldn’t shock anyone. It’s been brewing for months now. As soon as DSU officials concluded that the school’s athletics should remain in the NAIA and the DAC began crumbling around them, the Frontier appeared to be the Blue Hawks’ only safe haven.

DSU interim athletic director Tim Daniel said Thursday that the first step in the school’s inevitable move to the Frontier was taken this week when the Montana-based conference sent a letter to DSU and six other interested schools requesting applications for membership before Oct. 29.

Daniel said he only received the packet from the Frontier on Wednesday, but has not explored it in depth. He added that steps must be taken before DSU submits its application.

“I’m pretty sure we’re going to make an application, but we haven’t done that yet,” Daniel said.

Naturally, DAC institutions Jamestown College, Mayville State and Valley City State all got the letter, too. As did California schools Azusa Pacific and Menlo College and Southern Oregon, which has been making googly eyes at the Frontier — and vice versa –— for some time now.

Below you can find a list of sports with the teams that participate in them, as well as the schools and the cities that are in the Frontier and could potentially be in the conference.

While Jamestown, Mayville State and Valley City State are all dragging their feet as to whether or not they want to make the move — and for good reason — DSU knows migrating west is its only option.

“Everybody has different things that effect them and different concerns,” Daniel said. “You’ve still got to take into account what options you have. Right now, the only option we have to be in a conference is to go to the Frontier. We have no other options.”

It is unclear whether or not DSU would be eligible to be a member of the Frontier as early as the 2011-12 school year, should the Frontier approve its membership application (it will). 0

All we know is the DAC is a dead conference walking. And no school in this area knows it better than DSU, which has tried to hope for the longest time that it wouldn’t be a rock and a hard place when the DAC bubble finally burst.

Despite many of its long-time rivals getting out of the NAIA and moving to Division II, DSU’s administration remains adamant about maintaining a place at the highest possible level in the NAIA. Daniel said being an independent isn’t going to do that for them, but going to the Frontier Conference will.

For those of you who know Daniel, you know he’s a man of few words. This sentence, which he said a couple times to me on Thursday, pretty much sums up DSU’s situation with the imminent death of the DAC and the Blue Hawks’ departure to the Frontier:

“We have no other options,” Daniel said.

Potential Frontier Conference Breakdown

Schools by state and city

** denotes current Frontier Conference school

Montana

**Carroll College – Helena

**Montana State University-Northern – Havre

**Montana Tech – Butte

**Montana Western – Dillon

**Rocky Mountain College – Billings

**University of Great Falls

North Dakota

Dickinson State University

Jamestown College

Mayville State University

Valley City State University

California

Azusa Pacific University – Azusa in Los Angeles County

Menlo College – Atherton, San Francisco/San Jose area

Oregon

**Eastern Oregon University – LaGrande (football only)

Southern Oregon University – Ashland

Idaho

**Lewis-Clark State College – Lewistown

Utah

**Westminster College – Salt Lake City

Participating schools by sport, broken down by former conferences

Football (13)

Frontier

Carroll College

Eastern Oregon

Montana State-Northern

Montana Tech

Montana Western

Rocky Mountain College

DAC

Dickinson State

Jamestown College

Mayville State

Valley City State

Others

Azusa Pacific

Menlo College

Southern Oregon

Men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball (15)

Frontier

Carroll College

Lewis-Clark State College

Montana State-Northern

Montana Tech

Montana Western

Rocky Mountain College

University of Great Falls

Westminster College

DAC

Dickinson State

Jamestown College

Mayville State

Valley City State

Others

Azusa Pacific

Menlo College

Southern Oregon

Cross country (13) and Track and field (11)

Frontier

Carroll College

Lewis-Clark State College

Montana Tech (XC only)

Montana Western

Rocky Mountain College

University of Great Falls

Westminster College

DAC

Dickinson State

Jamestown College

Valley City State

Others

Azusa Pacific

Menlo College (XC only)

Southern Oregon

Men’s golf (13) and women’s golf (12)

Frontier

Carroll College

Lewis-Clark State College

Montana State-Northern

Montana Tech

Montana Western

Rocky Mountain College

University of Great Falls

Westminster College

DAC

Dickinson State

Jamestown College

Mayville State

Valley City State

Others

Menlo College (Men only)

Women’s soccer (8)

Frontier

Carroll College

Rocky Mountain College

University of Great Falls

Westminster College

DAC

Jamestown College

Others

Azusa Pacific

Menlo College

Southern Oregon

Softball (8)

Frontier

University of Great Falls.

DAC

Dickinson State

Jamestown College

Mayville State

Valley City State

Others

Azusa Pacific

Menlo College

Southern Oregon

Baseball (7)

Frontier

Lewis-Clark State College

DAC

Dickinson State

Jamestown College

Mayville State

Valley City State

Others

Azusa Pacific

Menlo College

Men’s soccer (6)

Frontier

Rocky Mountain College

University of Great Falls

Westminster College

DAC

Jamestown College

Others

Azusa Pacific

Menlo College

Wrestling (6)

Frontier

Montana State-Northern

University of Great Falls

DAC

Dickinson State

Jamestown College

Others

Menlo College

Southern Oregon

1-team sports

Men’s and women tennis

Women’s swimming and diving

Acrobatics and tumbling

Azusa Pacific

Women’s wrestling

Jamestown College.

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