SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Jefferson will play their first ever game on Friday, August 27 when they host Sioux Falls Washington at Howard Wood Field.
The Jefferson Cavaliers are preparing for their first ever football game on Friday, which will give the Cavs a chance to showcase their brand of football.
“We get to come out here, brand new and start something new. Having a fresh start is to come out there, no one knows what is going to be going on,” Jefferson junior Taylen Ashley said. “You have the sneak attack, I guess. No one knows what to expect.”
The excitement level is high at Jefferson High School as the team prepares for Friday.
“We’re so excited! We’ve been practicing, we know everyday it’s getting closer and closer to game day and I can tell by these guys already today that there are already some jitters and stuff, so they’re ready for gameday already,” Ashley said.
Jefferson will meet Washington in their first ever football game, a team that returns plenty of talent from last season.
“They definitely have strong senior leaders. I know they have a really big offensive line,” Jefferson head coach Vince Benedetto said. “They’re well coached and they’re disciplined. We respect those guys over there a lot and we’re looking forward to see how we stack against them.”
Washington’s 2020 season came to a close in the quarterfinal round of last year’s playoffs via a walk-off touchdown by Lincoln.
“This group of kids really took that last loss to heart, a lot of them anyway and into the offseason, they were hungry,” Washington head coach Ryan Evans said. “They got to work right away the next Monday and they’ve been working their tails off since then.”
The Warriors return plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but the skill they have coming back on defense could make them one of the best in the state.
“Our defense is, really good. It’s probably our strong suit if I was going to give you our strong suit right now. The kids are very aggressive and that’s fun to see,” Evans said. “So if we can use that aggression right away, then we’ll be sitting good on Friday’s.”
There are usually some unknowns early in the season, but this year, Washington will have even more unknowns to deal with as they open the season against a new team.
“Every year, the first game of the year has some unknown to it. Now this year, obviously there is a bunch of unknown when it comes to Sioux Falls Jefferson, but we can look with what some of the coaches have schemed up with in the past and then some of their players that they have coming from various schools and in the community. Then we just kind of do our best,” Evans said.
Only one team will walk away with a win on Friday, but both teams are looking to grow whether they win or lose.
“The goal is 1-0 this week and that’s our mantra each and every week, but this week in particular. You know, before it was how can we get better and now we’re trying to get better each and every day and prepare for the unknown opponent,” Evans said.
“We’ve got two tough games off the bat, but we’ve got to do our best to prepare for Washington and whatever the result is if we win or if we lose, we have to get better from week one to week two and throughout the whole season,” Benedetto said.
Jefferson and Washington will cross paths on Friday, August 27 at Howard Wood Field. Kick-off is set for 6:00 p.m. and you can stream the game on KELOLAND.com.