ROLLA, Mo. -- During the 2017 season, Tyler Swart (Dickinson, TX/Dickinson) used his arm to put his name into the Missouri S&T record books.
And while he has a chance to add more records to his resume in the upcoming 2018 campaign, Swart's sights – and that of his teammates – is on something bigger … reaching the top of the standings in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
"We came so close at times last season, so the next step for Tyler – and the rest of the team -- is getting over the top and winning some of those contests," said S&T head coach Tyler Fenwick. "We were right there in a couple of those games and if can cut down the mistakes that made the difference between winning and losing, we can certainly be in a position to clear that hurdle.
"Tyler's performance last year had a lot to do with us being in a position to compete for a championship and know he wants to take full advantage of his final season to make a run at it," Fenwick added.
Last year, Swart moved into the record books for career marks in passing yards and total offense as he completed nearly 63 percent of his passes for 3,165 yards and 22 touchdowns. Working with an offensive unit that had six other skill position players earn all-conference honors, Swart racked up the 12th-most passing yards in NCAA Division II with six of the 11 throwers in front of him getting a chance to play in the post-season.
While Swart enters the year as the returning starter, the Miners have two other returners at the position in sophomore Brennan Simms (Punta Gorda, FL/Charlotte) and redshirt freshman Luke Hertzler (St. Louis, MO/Parkway North). Both quarterbacks were impressive in the spring game, as they combined to throw for 322 yards and a pair of touchdowns in that contest.
Fenwick is expecting a spirited competition for the immediate backup role during the pre-season.
"Brennan has a little more experience, but Luke played more consistently throughout the spring and has put himself in a position to be the backup," Fenwick said. "Staton King is going to have an opportunity to work his way into the mix, based on what we feel he is capable of doing."
King is one of two incoming freshmen at Missouri S&T who will compete for reserve roles, with McKennan Starkey also in the mix for a spot.