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The “Itch” To Coach Again When Arlin Likness retired as the head coach of the Yankton High School football team, he said that he “might get the itch to coach again.” That “itch” is being scratched in Beresford, as he joined the Watchdogs to help their program as an assistant coach. Likness is spending his 40th season of coaching with the Watchdogs, the first time since 1993 that he will be on a sideline other than Yankton’s. He was Yankton’s head coach from 1999-2017, leading the Bucks to four state titles (1999, 2002, 2014, 2015). He was also an assistant coach for the Bucks’ 1994 and 1995 championships, and took Hamlin High School to state titles in 1989, 1990 and 1991. former Yankton assistant coach Jason Oswald. Beresford athletic director Geoff Gross, who also works with the football program, dealt with Likness when he was the athletic director at Mitchell. Likness had other coaching connections to Beresford … knocking the Watchdogs out of the playoffs during his tenure at Hamlin. His Chargers eliminated Beresford from the post-season in 1982, 1989 and 1991. The connections, though, were not the only reason Likness chose Beresford. “I talked with three different schools, and Beresford seemed like the best fit. The other two will be fine. They will win a lot of games,” he said. “But that was not what I was looking for. I wanted to go where I would hopefully give the most help, and have fun. “I feel like there is potential there.” Becoming A Watchdog Meeting The Team vJames Cimburek Likness’ retirement from YHS was announced in February, after the Britton native took early retirement. “When I decided I wanted to retire, I put out some feelers,” he said. “With Yankton, if you retire from teaching, you retire from coaching. I felt like I might want to coach again.” Little did he know that the groundwork for his next coaching destination had been laid the previous season. “We had some offensive questions, and Arlin came over and met with our staff,” said Beresford head coach Scott Ebert. “He had made the comment, at the time, that he was probably in his last year of teaching and coaching in Yankton. One of us made the comment, ‘See you in a year.’ “I walked away, wondering if it would be an opportunity.” Likness’ connection to the Beresford staff, though, goes back further. Ebert is a longtime friend and former college teammate of 6vHISVOICEvSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 Likness boasts a 261-101 career record — the fourth-most victories in South Dakota football coaching history — and seven state titles. But for a Beresford team whose players were born after his tenure at Hamlin, Likness was an unknown commodity. “I don’t think any of us really knew him,” said Blake Peterson, a senior tight end and defensive end who has committed to Iowa State. “After we found out and heard about him, we thought it was awesome that he was coming to join our program.” The parents of the Watchdogs, though, had memories of the longtime coach. “One of the dads came up to Coach Likness on Tuesday at our athletic-parents meeting,” Ebert said. “He was on the 1982 team.” Learning To Work Together Because of Likness’ work with the Beresford coaching staff a year

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