Looking ahead: Frank, Jimmies head into offseasonTwo weeks ago today, the Jimmies waxed Mayville State to head into the offseason with some momentum. The win concluded a second straight sub-.500 record for the program, which coach Shawn Frank knows isn’t good enough.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Two weeks ago today, the Jimmies waxed Mayville State to head into the offseason with some momentum.
The win concluded a second straight sub-.500 record for the program, which coach Shawn Frank knows isn’t good enough.
“This is a results-orientated business and you’re judged on your record,” he said. “Obviously, 4-6 is something that we’re not going to get comfortable with.”
It was a one-game improvement from the previous season, and included three losses by a field goal or less. On the other hand, they also had three losses by 16 points or more. Regardless of the size of defeat improvements remain needed.
“You could say in a few of those games six, seven or eight plays made the difference, and had we made those plays, or prevented mistakes, maybe we get a different result. But the point is we didn’t. … That’s the bottom line,” Frank said.
In Frank’s first full offseason as head coach hitting the weight room hard will be stressed.
“We have to become physically stronger per man. That’s a major point of emphasis we’ve identified. It’s not rocket science by any means, but it’s an area we have to improve across the board,” Frank said.
Filling the holes left by 14 seniors, including several key contributors, also will be critical. Plugging the gaps solely in recruiting is an unrealistic expectation. Frank said there are several promising in-house options, including a large redshirt freshman class.
“We have to create competition within our roster. All good programs have that, but we have some young men behind the scenes that I think can be good players,” Frank said.
The Jimmies graduate 14 seniors, including some horses on both sides of the ball.
Running backs Lance Johansen (8) and Matt Mithaugen (7) combined for 15 of the Jimmies’ 29 touchdowns this season. Johansen is a legitimate All-American candidate.
Defensively, safety C.J. Costello, cornerbacks A.J. Downs and Rob Gibson; linebackers Reid Haagenson and Kenny Allen; and D-Linemen Andrew Hammond and Logan Hord were all major contributors.
Replacing punter Craig Anderson, another All-American possibility, also will be tough.
Quarterback Beau Eriksson showed promise late in the season, going 2-1 in three starts. The sophomore-to-be completed 65 percent of his passes and had a 6-1 TD-to-INT ratio.
Michael Sena (32-343 3 TDs) and Trent Roemmich (15-204 4 TDs) are budding weapons on the perimeter.
Up front, none of the linemen on the 2-deep depth chart are seniors.
Safety J.T. Petsch led in tackles (83) as a junior, but the next seven leading tacklers are gone.
Frank said next year’s slate is “97.5 percent done.” The only tweak remaining is trying to secure a fifth home game. All 10 teams are set, the date and location of a game or two is still being finessed. Frank also said all traditional rivals are on the schedule.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com