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Four area players highlight DWU football commits

Coming off its most successful season in 20 years, Dakota Wesleyan University football team will need to reload to keep its recent trend of success going.

The Tigers won eight games last year for the first time since 1992.

Going into his third year as head coach of DWU, Ross Cimpl believes he has put together a class of newcomers that will help fill holes left by graduating seniors.

“This could be one of the best classes in the history of DWU football in my mind,” Cimpl said. “These guys are impact players.”

Four area high school seniors have given verbal commitments to DWU ahead of national signing day Feb. 5.

Brandon Kocmich of Avon has verbally committed to the Tigers, according to Cimpl. The star running back for the Class 9B state champion Pirates will continue his career in the DWU backfield.

Lane Fawcett from Colome, Turner Serr from Burke/South Central and Bon Homme’s Dakota Bodden are all verbally committed to play for the Tigers next fall.

Cimpl sees Bodden at safety in college, while Serr is projected to play outside linebacker and Fawcett will be on the defensive line.

The Tigers will have holes to fill, with the most obvious being the quarterback position, with four-year starter Jon Bane now gone.

Logan Massup, a junior college transfer from Minnesota West Community & Technical College, is already on campus and will compete for the starting position next fall. Massup will have the advantage of practicing with the team in the spring.

Cimpl has two true-freshmen quarterbacks verbally committed, including Quinn Frisell from Mankato, Minn., and Dillon Turner from Salem, Ark.

“We have told these kids that it is going to be an open competition at quarterback, and one thing is sure, we are going to have a new starter,” Cimpl said. “It very well could be a true freshman.”

At the wide receiver position, DWU will be without two-time All-American Anthony Muilenburg. Cimpl has secured a commitment from 6-foot-1, 175-pound Hayden Adams out of Villa Park, Ill., who will add depth to the Tiger receiving corps this fall.

Other commits from South Dakota include Cody Friese of Redfield/Doland as an offensive lineman, Sully Buttes’ Lewis Hofer, who could play receiver or linebacker, and linebacker Jaden Denison from Lake Preston.

Adding depth up front for the Tigers will be Alex Pietrzak and Damon MaCleary, both from Wyoming.

The Tiger recruiting class stood at 22 verbal commitments Sunday, but Cimpl would like to see the class grow to as many as 40-45.

“These next couple of days are going to be pretty big for us,”Cimpl said about the run up to signing day.

Cimpl still has offers out to a number of area recruits, including Sam Hazen of Burke/South Central and Tyler Myers of Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan.

Colome’s Terrance Kinzer has committed to play for reigning Great Plains Athletic Conference champion Morningside College.

NOTES: The Tigers lost a commitment from Madison’s Preston Nordling over the weekend. Nordling was recruited as a wide receiver.