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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 15 2012

Back to business for Bison as winter workouts approach

FARGO – The victory celebrations have been constant since the minute North Dakota State got back from Frisco, Texas. It included an appearance at halftime of the Bison-University of South Dakota men’s basketball game on Saturday night.

In one sense, the party ends on Tuesday.

That’s when winter workouts for the football players begin and head strength and conditioning coach Jim Kramer admits his staff will be on the lookout for anybody still in victory coast mode.

“I’ll be watching for it,” he said. “We’re a young team and there’s some concern about it, but a lot of those guys were there last year and they went right back to work after the Eastern Washington game.”

NDSU’s 2010 season ended in the quarterfinals at Eastern. This season ended with the Division I Football Championship Subdivision title in Frisco. It was the latest the season has ever ended at NDSU and it forced some adjustments with the winter conditioning program.

Kramer said he spoke with strength coaches from both Eastern Washington and Delaware – the 2010 title game participants. He said NDSU is a little behind from previous years because of the late start, but will make it up later.

“Maybe at the most, one week behind,” Kramer said. “Delaware said winter workouts went fast. I knew that a month ago that we’ll have to figure out how to attack it.”

The redshirt players continued their strength program during the playoffs, even going to a local high school in Frisco and used its weight room for workouts. The program that started in September also continued in December and January.

“They know what a weight room is about,” Kramer said.

He said some players will have their strength programs altered until their injuries have healed, such as wide receiver Ryan Smith with his hamstring and linebacker Brandon Jemison with his hip.

“There are a handful of guys who have to train differently for the first few weeks or injuries will linger,” Kramer said.

But for the most part, it will be back to business.

“Our whole program has been built on hard work, not taking a day off or looking for a reason to take a day off,” he said. “What we did down (in Frisco) should reinforce to our players that this is the way we roll around here. We’re not going to take three weeks off.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia