Herder to Hardrocker: Arnold to continue football career at S.D. School of Mines

File photos
Ian Arnold stiff arms a Wheatland defender as he runs up field during a Glenrock win on the road this past season. On Feb. 6 Arnold signed his National Letter of Intent to play football at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. 

Eddie Poe eddie@glenrockind.com

With friends and family surrounding him as he signed his National Letter of Intent to play football at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Ian Arnold’s dream came true.
“You see yourself as so small and see those others guys as so big in your mind when you’re growing up,” Arnold recalled. “I saw kids going on to play football in college when I was in middle school and I always looked up to them. It was definitely a dream of mine.”
Arnold’s signing ceremony Feb. 6 at Glenrock Junior/Senior High School was different from what he ever expected, but it was special nonetheless.
With a smile on his face, he thanked everyone for coming out and supporting him and for the endless push they provided him over the years. Glenrock has always meant a lot to Arnold, and he’s more than grateful for the journey that has led him to this point in his life.
“Growing up here since 5th grade it’s always been a community and a team effort,” Arnold said about his hometown of Glenrock. “Just knowing that I’ve been playing here since then and to move on to the next level, it’s really special.”
This past season for the Herders, Arnold racked up a conference-best 1,425 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns. He averaged 142.5 yards per game on the ground and was a true force to be reckoned with out of the backfield for Glenrock, countering the breakneck speed of teammate Tucker Bopp.
On defense, where Arnold was just as dangerous, he recorded 106 tackles for an average of 10.6 per game. His unworldly production on both sides of the ball for Glenrock was the product of a relentless drive and commitment to his craft.
“Ian turned out to be an athlete that you can build a program around,” former Glenrock head coach Ray Kumpula said. “He came in as a freshman and was very coachable. He was willing to do what it took, he learned from the group in front of him and that’s what made our program so good over the years.”
Kumpula also raved about Arnold’s unique ability to put his team and others first, a trait that has always stood out during his time as a Glenrock athlete.
“He responded and did so in a way that put his teammates first,” Kumpula said. “It was the key to both his success and our success as a team.”
By signing to become a Hardrocker, Arnold will follow in the academic footsteps of his father, Rich. He studied Geological Engineering during his time at the School of Mines, while Ian intends to follow the path of Mining Engineering.
It’s the high-class academics at the School of Mines that sold Arnold.
“I had a couple of other offers but the School of Mines is where my dad went and playing football is second to that,” Arnold said. “They want you to succeed in the classroom first and then on the field. Everyone all around was great during my visit and I just fell in love with the school.”
Kumpula added: “What I like about Ian is that he understands why he’s going. He’s going to get an education and use football. It speaks volumes to how far he’s come and what he’ll get out of the experience.”
While on the football field, Arnold said he’ll mainly be used as a linebacker but could see some time in the backfield if needed. Nothing has been set in stone.
He knows the transition from high school football to the Division II level will require some adjustments. After all, he’ll be the new kid on the block.
“I’m going to be a freshman again so you basically have to work your way back up,” he said. “It’s a whole new level and it’s going to be much faster of a game.”
Arnold’s former head coach is more than confident that he’s up for the challenge.
“There’s two kinds of speed, physical and then being able to cover people in space,” Kumpula said. “I think his athleticism will allow him to translate well to the D-II level. He is going to work his hardest and I think based on that, he’s going to be very successful.”


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