Ready, set, it is time to hit the field
Are you ready for some football?
The United South Central Rebel football team and their head coach certainly are.
“It was a surprise when we heard football was back on for this fall,” head coach Brandon Neseth says. “But we are really excited to get going.”
Like many teams, the USC Rebels had been allowed to have some fall practices, but coach Neseth says they ran it as though they were staying ready for football in the spring.
“We were running some simple practices, some seven on sevens and things like that. We were having some fun,” Neseth says. “All of a sudden we were having to get ready for a season and had to get out the play book.”
There were some issues. Five of the football players were on the cross country team. Two dropped off cross country, but three are still competing.
“It feels a little rushed, too,” Neseth says. “Our first game is already Friday (Oct. 9) when we host Cleveland,” he says. “But, everyone else is in the same boat, and everyone will be ready to play in this quick season.”
There will be just six regular season games. Tickets are limited, the coach says, with each player getting four tickets for each home game, and two for each away game.
After two great seasons in a row, the Rebels are aiming to try and make it three in a row.
USC went 10-1 each of the last two seasons, and fell just one game last year from going to the State Tournament.
“We lost to GFW (Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop) in the Section championship game last year, and went to a game at state in 2018,” coach Neseth says. “So, of course, our goal this year is to go 6-0 in the regular season and then win the Section playoffs. There won’t be a State Tournament this season, but we still want to get as far as we can and have a good playoff run.”
The coach feels they have the players to do it. There are 31 students in grades 9-12 out this year.
“We always aim for 40, hope for 40 to come out,” he says. “But this is a great group so we are happy with that.”
There are six seniors, 11 juniors, 11 sophomores and three freshmen.
Leading the team at quarterback is senior Ethan Dallman.
“He has probably had 12 games playing at quarterback,” coach Neseth says. “Even as a freshman. That was because the starting quarterback was injured.”
Another leader will be Riley Staloch, a 6-foot-3, 180 pound tight end on offense and a defensive player as a linebacker.
Jacob Hendrickson is also a leader on defense. He had 12 1/2 sacks last year.
“Jacob always gets to the football,” coach Neseth says. “He has good moves and gets really excited to play.”
The coach adds that they have a great group of younger guys, all hungry to play varsity, and many have done so in the past seasons.
Neseth, who is in his fifth year of being the Rebels head football coach, says he also has a great group of assistant coaches. Those include Pat Frank, offensive line coach, Steve Bushlack, defensive coordinator and Todd Rasmussen, special teams, defensive backs and receivers coach. Ryan Koopman and Adam Rajtar are the junior high coaches.
“Even with a short preseason, we know our plays, we know what to do and we will be ready,” Neseth says. “And, we have some high expectations. Can’t wait for Friday.”