Now that summer is almost here, the Dixie State University athletic teams are preparing for the fall season and are ready to play.
Soccer, football, cross-country and volleyball are all getting ready to fire back up after summer break.
Men’s soccer is starting the fall season with former professional soccer player Josh Pittman as its new head coach. The team has also brought on several new recruits. Pittman said he is excited about the new recruits he has coming in.
“The players we have coming in will create a lot of competition for us,” Pittman said.
Spring training has already started for the men. Pittman said he is working on creating a foundation for the team, especially defensively, working on all the different attacking options from the different areas on the field and the ability to finish and score goals.
“I definitely see good things for the team,” Pittman said. “I am very optimistic that we will be successful. The boys have been training hard and grasping a lot of the concepts that I am asking of them.”
Women’s soccer has also been practicing to be ready for fall. Thirteen new recruits have signed National Letters of Intent to begin playing soccer this Fall at DSU.
Men’s and women’s cross-country players are already running on their own now and through the summer to prepare for the season, head coach Justin Decker said.
“It is important for them to build up a strong base in their conditioning over the summer so that they will be ready for the start of team workouts,” Decker said.
Decker said he is excited for the upcoming season.
“In past years, we have had very young teams, but we will have a large group of upper classmen this season who will be very experienced and great leaders for our younger runners,” Decker said.
Football is in full swing after a rigorous spring schedule that included a few scrimmages. This offseason, Dixie State aggressively recruited to bring in local talent from St. George and the state of Utah and also California, head coach Scott Brumfield said.
Dixie State football only had one win last season. This year is the last year DSU will play in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference before switching to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference fall of 2016.
The football team has also brought on two new coaches, director of defense Shay McClure and director of offense Blaine Monkres.
Women’s volleyball has been recruiting for fall also. The team brings in three mid-year recruits and will get another seven in the fall. It will be a mix of junior college and high school talent to give the team athleticism, depth and leadership, head coach Robyn Felder said.
The 2014 team was the most successful in the school’s Division II history. With a record of 22-9 record, the team came one win shy of winning the West Region to advance to the National Championships.
“We want to be back at the NCAA tournament again and this time we want to go further,” Felder said. “I am a firm believer in finding good girls that work hard and get along. Great chemistry is a big key to a great team.”