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South Dakota Coyotes end spring football season at 1-3 after cancellations

Coyotes will open the 2021 fall season Sept. 4 at Kansas

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University of South Dakota football (Republic file photo)

VERMILLION — South Dakota’s football season has come to a close, following a cancellation with South Dakota State due to COVID-19 and Western Illinois’ decision to opt out of its remaining games.

USD athletic director David Herbster announced Tuesday that the team is no longer seeking a replacement game for April 17.

“We all knew this was going to be a different kind of season, but as we moved forward and games were canceled due to COVID-19, it became apparent that what our team needed was a degree of certainty moving forward,” Herbster said in a statement. “After the SDSU game being canceled and Western opting out, the only certainty we could offer our program at this time is the upcoming fall season.”

South Dakota’s spring slate was impacted perhaps more than any other inside the Missouri Valley Football Conference this season. COVID-19 postponed the scheduled home and season opener against Western Illinois on Feb. 19. The Coyotes played four games, but COVID-19 cases canceled the last three including this week’s scheduled game in Brookings.

“I am proud of our players for the way that they handled both the challenges and the frustrations of this spring season,” said USD head coach Bob Nielson. “We are excited to move forward and place our entire focus on the fall of 2021.”

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The Coyotes have an 11-game schedule set for this fall. It starts with a Big 12 matchup at Kansas on Sept. 4. The home opener is the following week against Northern Arizona on Sept. 11.

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