In recent years, the Dakota Wesleyan University football team has had a local flavor in its non-conference schedule.
And in 2018, the Tigers won't leave the South Dakota borders for the team's non-league games. For the eighth season in a row, DWU will open its season against in-state rival Dakota State University, and for the first time, the Tigers will play Presentation College on Sept. 1.
With the University of Jamestown joining the Great Plains Athletic Conference in 2018, the Tigers only have two non-GPAC games and both will come against North Star Athletic Association opponents.
For the third straight season, the Tigers and Trojans will play in a non-Saturday night game and for the second straight year, the two rivals will play on a Thursday night. That game is a 7 p.m. start at Joe Quintal Field. In 2018, DWU will have six home dates and five road games.
After starting the season against the Trojans, the Tigers will take on Presentation at Swisher Field in Aberdeen. The Saints have had a college football program since 2011 and the Tigers and Saints have never played.
After an open week on Sept. 8, GPAC play starts on Sept. 15 with DWU welcoming Morningside to Joe Quintal Field, as the Mustangs have won the last seven GPAC titles. The Tigers will host Northwestern College the following week in the team's second night game of the season at 7 p.m. on Sept. 22, before wrapping up September against Briar Cliff at the DakotaDome.
In October, DWU plays at Concordia on Oct. 6, before hosting Dordt on Oct. 13. The Tigers travel to face Midland on Oct. 20 in Fremont, Nebraska, and GPAC newcomer Jamestown on Oct. 27 in Jamestown, North Dakota.
The month of November starts with a game DWU will have circled on its calendar as the Tigers host Doane on Nov. 3. Last year, DWU and Doane battled in a 68-67 shootout that featured a furious comeback by Doane in the final minutes of the game.
The Tigers will close out the regular season with their final home game against Hastings on Nov. 10. Aside from the Northwestern game, all of DWU's Saturday home games will start at 1 p.m.
*This story has been updated to correct the status of DWU's series with Dakota State, which resumed with annual games in 2011.