Despite coaching change, Minot State football sees high player retention from last year

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 3:35 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. -- The Minot State Beavers are halfway through the first spring practices of the Ian Shields era.

The new head coach takes over a team that has won three games in its past two seasons.

“They’re drinking out of a firehose right now, there’s a lot coming at them. But they’re doing great. They’re making some adjustments. We’re eight practices down right now, so just a little past halfway, and we’ve made tremendous progress,” said Shields.

On offense, the Beavers return starting quarterback Dawson Macleary.

One omission is the absence of last year’s starting running back Ali Mohamed.

Mohamed broke the school’s Division II-era record for career rushing touchdowns (15) and transferred to Bemidji State in the offseason.

“All we got is all we need. I came in 2019 with 40-plus seniors and I know we’ve dropped off a couple, but the people who have stayed are making an impact here,” said Lafayette Bade, a senior defensive lineman.

The defense also sees leading tacklers Carson Cayko and Isaiah Bigby return to Minot.

Knylen Miller-Levi, who ranked second in the NSIC with six interceptions, will be a senior this year.

“I know we’ve lost some people, but the group that we still have, we’re best friends and we’re all brothers. We spend weights together, we spend meals together, we do everything together. I think that’s why we’ve stayed together,” said Bade.

Despite a near-complete overhaul of the coaching staff, the Beavers return a significant amount of the 2022 roster.

“The retention of Minot State University in general is excellent. I think there’s a 72 percent retention rate throughout the general student body and our athletic (department)’s is even higher than that... we’re excited about the direction we’re going. We’re not near where we want to be or where we’re going to be, but we’re going to get there and we’re going to have some fun,” said Shields.

Minot State will play its annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 22, at 7:00 a.m. in the Minot State Air-Supported Dome.