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Tinker 2019 spring practice

South Dakota School of Mines head coach Zach Tiinker high fives some players after a recent spring football practice. The Hardrockers will hold their annual Spring Showcase either tonight, Saturday or Sunday, depending on the weather.

Apparently, it is football weather for the South Dakota School of Mines, Black Hills State University and Chadron State College football teams as they prepare for their respective annual spring games this weekend.

South Dakota School of Mines is tentatively scheduled to compete in its Spring Showcase tonight at 5 p.m. at Dunham Field at O'Harra Stadium, while Black Hills State will host is Spring Game Saturday at 10 a.m. at Lyle hare Stadium in spearfish.

Chadron State is scheduled to hold its Spring Game Saturday at 10:20 a.m. at Elliott Field at Don Beebe Stadium.

Everything as of late is weather permitting, of course.

Mines coach Zach Zinker said if the Hardrockers can't go Friday night, they'll get the Showcase in possibly Saturday afternoon or Sunday. Mines has a few days left in its 15-practice spring season to get the action in.

When the Hardrockers do compete, Tinker said it will be similar to past Showcases.

"We'll scrimmage a good amount," Tinker said. "We'll split the teams up so we have one group to play against each other a little bit. We've been doing this in practice some where the coordinators split up and we pick teams. The first team offense will pair up with the second team defense, and the second team offense will be with the first team defense. It's been good for us because we get some good, competitive situations."

Just when the Showcase will be held depends on when they can get Dunham Field cleared up. The game was originally set for Sioux Park, but will move back to O'Harra Stadium for the better chance of snow removal.

Tinker said they will play it by ear, meeting with the school's field maintenance personnel Friday morning.

"I think it turned out to be a little more snow that we anticipated," Tinker said.

Next week Tinker said that after their Showcase, they'll try to hammer down some systems in their last couple of practices.

"We won't do as much evaluation there as now with Coach (Damaro) Wheeler on board in order to get our special teams systems further along, because we haven't done anything with that this spring," he said.

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BHSU coach John Reiners is fairly confident that the Jackets will get in some kind of workout Saturday. He said if their maintenance staff can clear the entire field, their will go forward with their Spring Game. If they can only do half of a field, they just do some situational scrimmaging.

If they play a game, the format will be much of the same in the past with a White team facing a Green team with live action other than in special teams. 

"The quarterbacks will be live, everything else is live. We'll also have a handful of players who will play for both teams, based on some depth," Reiners said. 

The coaches picked the team rather than going with a players' draft.

"A lot of times when you draft it doesn't always work the best because you have one's playing with three's, so that doesn't always work together," he said. "It will basically be the one's against the one's and two's against the two's most of the time."

As always in these scrimmage situations, when the offense does well, the defensive isn't happy and vice versa. But that's part of the game, Reiners said.

"I want to see some good stuff on offense, but I want to see some good stuff on defense," he said. 

Like Mines, Chadron State coach Jay Long will have a couple of practices after Saturday's Spring Game.

The sixth of the 15 practices that are allowed took place Monday.  The spring game is set for April 13. Two more  practices are slated after the game has been played. 

The CSC football coaches will make a determination Friday by afternoon about the Spring Game, pending the campus's snow removal efforts.

 Earlier last week, Long was pleased with how his spring was going.

 "Our practices have been good ones," Long said in a release. "We're on track. A lot of learning has been happening. We need to keep making progress and still have some areas we need to address, but I'm happy with what we've accomplished so far."

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Sports Editor

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.