Former Minot State University quarterback turned movie star Josh Duhamel had a warm welcome at Herb Parker Stadium Saturday.
Duhamel, most known for his starring roles in the Transformer movies, is married to singer Stacy Ferguson - better known as Fergie in the Black Eyed Peas - and is in Minot for a benefit concert later Saturday to help with the Minot flood recovery.
Duhamel was asked to do the coin toss with his father, Larry Duhamel, also a former MSU football player. Duhamel proved to be of some luck to the Beavers as MSU won the toss, and deferred.
Minot native Josh Duhamel, now a movie star, watches his coin flip before his alma mater’s game against Concordia-St. Paul Saturday at Herb Parker Stadium. Duhamel was in town to help raise money for flood victims.
The Minot State University marching band prepares to play the national anthem before the Beavers’ game against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday at Herb Parker?Stadium.
The former Beaver said things have changed since he was behind center.
"I guess I didn't even know they had this artificial turf," Duhamel said. "The conditions are a little bit better than when we played here."
The allure of the the game called to Duhamel as he was willing to suit up and call the shots.
"It's nice to be back on the field - I miss it" he said. "I couldn't hang with these guys anymore, but I miss it."
Duhamel's heart was with the flood situation in the area, as he is honorary chair person for the Minot Area Recovery Fund.
"It's tough to come back to see some of the conditions of parts of this town," Duhamel said. "But the spirit of this city remains. And I truly believe that they're going to bounce back from this quicker than people think. Because of the fabric of this city and the character of the people in this city is so strong."
MSU making changes
With all the action with the jump to NCAA Division II, it is easy to miss some of the small changes the Minot State University athletics department is making.
Those changes are coming with fans in mind, and some have to do with fan involvement.
Jake Carstensen, MSU Director of Athletics Marketing, is making sure fans are getting the optimal experience out of any MSU sporting event.
"Overall we're trying to improve the atmosphere and the environment for our fans," Carstensen said. "That's what it is going to take for us to be successful at the next level, better facilities lead to better environments, better environments lead to that better atmosphere."
One change was seen Saturday at halftime. It was the kick for cash. A fan was selected out of the stands to kick a 10 yard field goal, after converting three of five attempts the fan received a prize. Carstensen said he is lining up more sponsors for entertainment involving fans for the basketball, baseball and softball seasons.
The stands at Herb Parker Stadium were unusable for Saturday's tilt with Concordia-St. Paul. But Carstensen said all things are a go for homecoming Sept. 24 against the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.).
"As far as we know the stands will be ready for homecoming," he said. "Believe us, we want them done more than anyone. But the reality of it is, they weren't. It has been a hard year for a lot of people, with the weather, and how things have gone. When they're done, our facility is going to be second to none in our conference."
Band's short schedule
The marching band at Minot State, the Pride of Minot State, has already completed a third of its schedule.
With the abbreviated home schedule for the MSU football team, that means the marching band, who plays at only home games, will also have a shortened schedule.
MSU has only two more games remaining - Sept. 24 against the University of Sioux Falls, and Oct. 1 versus Black Hill State.
"It means a lot less field time in front of people than last year," said drum major, and on-field conductor Josh Stevens. "We had five or six home games last year. But it gives us more time to kind of work on the show in rehearsals too."
Stevens said he hasn't heard much either way whether the rest of the band likes the three home game schedule. But said this year's bunch is much younger.
"We had a lot of people that graduated out, or moved out," Stevens said. "We also have a lot of freshmen, so it's about the same number, maybe a little bit more, than we had last year."
The clash with the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears was certainly physical. Three Minot State players left the game with an injury and did not complete the game.
Center Sergio Magana left the contest in the first half with high left ankle sprain He said he will likely be playing next week.
Also in the second half junior linebacker Brian Sorensen fell to the ground after a hard hit. Sorensen was checked out by Dr. Dawn Mattern on the sidelines.
Mattern could not comment on whether the injury was a concussion. But she did say what she looks for in an athlete who might have a concussion.
"Signs are being confused, being dazed, not being able to focus or concentrate," she said. "A lot of time I'll get coaches or officials that will bring somebody over, because they don't know what they're doing."
Mattern also addressed the differences between prep football and college.
"NCAA does not have official rules on concussions; they have guidelines," Mattern said. "North Dakota has a state law for high school or adolescent children. They have a law that if anybody exhibits a sign they are removed from competition that day. Concussions are different in adolescents than they are in adults. Many concussions go differently Friday nights with high school, than Saturday afternoon here."
In the third quarter, defensive back Chris Compton was attended to on the field after a hard hit. He left the game on a stretcher and in an ambulance.
No word was given on Sorensen, or Compton's return.