By Steve Peterson
With a new year comes new goals for the West Sioux High School football squad.
“We have never hosted a playoff game. To do that you have to be in the top two of your district. The district will be tough again but I think that we will be right in the hunt,” said second year coach Ryan Schwiesow.
“We’re working real hard at getting better each day and we have done that the first three days,” added the coach.
West Sioux is preparing for its season opener against Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn in a non-district game at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29 at home.
Numbers of players is not a concern in 2014 as it was in 2013 as 34 Falcons suited up. That’s 12 more than last year. The Class of 2018 seniors has 13 of that number.
“You want to see kids pushing each other to work even harder,” said the head coach. “I’m very excited about the freshmen if they can stick together. They did not win a game in junior high but have worked hard in the weight room.”
West Sioux was 4-6 overall last year, losing to Bishop Garrigan in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs. The Falcons had a 4-3 record in district games.
Junior Porter Hummel gets the call at quarterback for WS. Schwiesow praised Hummel’s football IQ, saying if the coach calls a wrong play, then Hummel can change it.
“He has stepped up,” said Schwiesow.
Senior Trevor Ericson is one of the leaders of the interior as well as Andrew Renken, a senior center.
Wide receiver senior Mason Ericson “provides match-up problems for anyone at 6-3, 190,” said the coach.
Junior Kezden Blankenship is the “shut down” guy in the defensive backfield at corner back and also as a running back.
Junior Justin Negaard is back in the backfield as a running back and linebacker.
“We were joking on the first day of pads that you can’t get Justin hurt. We have to tone him down so he does not hurt anyone. He runs like he is mad at everything in the world,” said Schwiesow.
“We changed our offense completely last year and the kids did a great job of picking it up,” said Schwiesow.
As for the kicking game, senior Alberto Ocampo has been filling in so far in punts, field goals and kickoffs.
“He is working very hard. I’m sure if I need to, I can ask him to kick a 35-yard field goal,” said Schwiesow.
“We lost West Lyon and Hinton (in the district) but picked up a couple of tough teams in South O’Brien and Gehlen Catholic,” said Schwiesow.
The coaching staff consists of Jose Garcia, Jerome Hoegh, Jared Vlotho, Clint McKee, Tom Salker and Scott Metzler.
“We have a great staff who just loves to be around football and loves the kids,” said Schwiesow.