FCS Championship win a milestone for South Dakota State

FCS Championship win a milestone for South Dakota State
Published: Jan. 8, 2023 at 8:59 PM CST
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FRISCO, Texas (Dakota News Now) - It’s a moment that many at South Dakota State have been looking forward to for years. Finally, a national championship in Division I football, with the FCS Championship.

The wave of emotions from the win still making an impact on the university and it’s athletic program. For Athletics Director Justin Sell, it’s been a moment long in the works for the football program, and for Jackrabbit fans everywhere.

“It’s hard to describe. I think the combination of pride and love. Our fans, the former student-athletes that have played in this program, former coaches that have come back for this game. Not only sending a text that you won, they’re here.” Sell said.

None of this celebration came from work that happened overnight. Not only did SDSU fall just short only a year and a half ago, but there’s been plenty of setbacks along the way.

“It’s been years, and years, and years of work. We’ve found a way to get a little bit better, and a little bit better. It didn’t just come to us. Winning a national championship is hard. You have to have some things fall into place.” Sell said.

The coaching staff knows that too, but it’s almost a relief to know they’ve finally climbed the mountain.

“It’s surely been a blessing to work on this staff, and all of the guys who’ve put in a ton of work to get to this point. I tell them just to believe in themselves, and our coaches have always put us in the right situations to be successful.” SDSU Running Backs Coach Andre Crenshaw said.

Sell said he knows it’s more of a celebration with that last loss so close in the mirror. But now, he’s excited for more bright moments ahead at SDSU.

“I think that you go into these games, and you know the other side of it. Everything goes up, there’s a new energy, and it carries over for a long period of time.” Sell said.

Sell said he doesn’t quite know what they’re going to do or how they’re going to celebrate when they get back to Brookings. But he knows it’s going to be one party, one to remember for years to come.