The Dakota Indians sustained its continued run of success with head coach Joe Free in his first year, winning a playoff game and completing a seven-win season. They're back for more in 2017, hopeful to contend with the NUIC's other top teams.
The Indians have established themselves as a standard-bearer for the conference's style of football - hard-nosed, run-first, control the line of scrimmage. They did display some timely adjustments last year, going to the air and keeping teams honest. They hope to continue that trend, while also sticking to what they know.
"We better run the ball and we better stop the run," says Free, entering his second season at the helm of the Indians. "Last year, we had too much 4th & 1, 3rd & 3 situations and we couldn't get off the field. That's the one thing I told the kids, we may give up some pass plays because we'll be ultra-aggressive on trying to stop the run. That's our mantra this year."
Dakota has also installed new bleachers and a new scoreboard to their home field, which they'll break in for a Week 1 date with Galena.