For the Minot High School football team's defense, Friday's game against Mandan should be another opportunity for the Magicians to flex their muscles.
Mandan has scored just 16 points per game and, according to the Braves' first-year coach Todd Sheldon, the squad features first-year starters at quarterback, tight end, tailback and each wide receiver position.
"We're an immature team in terms of varsity experience," Sheldon said. "Until we can work through some of those offensive immaturity issues we're going to struggle."
The Magician defense has been lights-out all season. Minot (3-0 overall, 1-0 region) has allowed just 20 points in its three victories and held Williston scoreless last week even without top linebacker Kolton Larson (broken foot).
Minot coach Barry Holmen said that despite the inexperience, Mandan - a team that beat the Magicians 28-7 last year - presents a challenge.
"What we're going to face is a team that knows how to beat us and certainly has no fear of Minot High," Holmen said. "They have a brand new coach, so they're going to bring some new elements to their game. That makes it a little more difficult to prepare for, so we have some concerns."
Senior defensive end Tanner Gust, who has four sacks this season, said he looks forward to playing Mandan (1-2, 0-1) because of the opportunities an inexperienced opponent may provide.
"I love competition, but when you have a bunch of younger guys in there, they tend to make more mistakes," Gust said. "Mistakes make a veteran look better. I mean, I'm always about that."
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at Duane Carlson Stadium.
Williston's Barke continues to impress
Kayla Barke is tough to beat.
Williston's senior golfer, who finished fifth in last year's state tournament, has won two tournaments this year and placed in the top five in all seven events she's played in.
Barke won the Dickinson Invitational on Sept. 6 and the Williston Invitational on Aug. 31, shooting 78 in each event.
In tournaments this week, Barke shot 78 to finish fourth in the Bismarck Invitational and 82 to finish third at the Mandan Invitational.