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Homecoming Activities Lead to Record Crowd

Homecoming at Dickinson State University isn’t just about football, but football is a big part of homecoming at Dickinson State and has been for nearly 100 seasons. In fact, two years from now, the school will celebrate that centennial and former players, the community and fans are already making plans to recognize that an

Instead of waiting for that milestone year, DSU alumni, athletes and fans turned out in record numbers for Homecoming 2023. Events included tailgating, alumni honors, fellow alumni honor presentations, Hall of Fame recognition, class reunions and, of course, another football victory.

More than 4,000 people took part in three days of events that included the pregame tailgating, a record number of vendors on hand to serve food and beverages and record concessions sales.

Obviously, Dickinson State Homecoming extends well beyond campus borders and reaches into smaller communities in western North Dakota, eastern Montana and distant points. That was obvious in the turnout for the Touchdown Club’s pre-100th football anniversary kickoff. Many former players from out of state, former head coach Hank Biesiot and longtime defensive coordinator Arlan Hofland were on hand at the BAC. The Touchdown Club and DSU Heritage Foundation collaborates to support the Blue Hawks and raise money for scholarships.

“We’re doing this this year to build up for it,” Touchdown Club president and former player Eric Boettcher said. “When you have a foundation, you have a built-in database. We’re trying to get the word out now. We did well this weekend.”

The Touchdown Club was the brainchild of former Blue Hawk Jace Schillinger to bring alums back into the picture and raise some money for football.

“Almost everything we do is for football scholarships, but we do some team support. We take our fundraising activities for team support if needed and any individual or business donations we get go 100 percent to scholarships,” Boettcher said.

Hofland was on the 1975 team that won a conference championship and coached for 30 years at DSU. Biesiot guided the Hawks for 38 years. Approximately 100 of their players were on hand and recognized at halftime of the football game.

“I always thought the guys I helped coach and graduate were part of my family,” Hofland said.

That camaraderie extends beyond athletics and into the classroom. Those who have excelled in their career fields received alumni awards and honors at a luncheon hosted by the DSU Heritage Foundation at Theodore Roosevelt Grand Dakota Lodge. Recipients were interviewed and met with cheers, tears and laughs as they shared their experiences with friends and families.

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