SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Jefferson is just nine days away from playing in their first football game in school history.
Unlike every other team in class 11AAA, Jefferson will have a fresh start in 2021, which is allowing them to build their brand of football.
“It’s a blue collar mentality. Finish through the line, give great effort, compete everyday, no one is more important than their teammate, no matter what position they are,” Jefferson head coach Vince Benedetto said. “Those are what we are trying to instill.”
The Cavaliers are anxiously awaiting their first game as they will have a lot to prove in their first season.
“We’re so excited. We’ve been practicing and we know everyday that we’re getting closer and closer to game day and I can tell by these guys already today that they have a little jitters and stuff. They’re ready for game day already,” Jefferson junior Taylen Ashley said.
“For most of our kids, they haven’t played varsity football yet and they’re hungry and excited to get on the field and try to prove we can compete this year,” Benedetto said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but I think we’re going in the right direction as they keep giving effort and working hard.”
Jefferson has just two seniors on this year’s roster, which means they’ll be looking for leadership from any grade.
“Well, those two seniors made a choice to come over and we’re going to respect the decision they made. Obviously, they kind of took a risk on us by coming here and they’re going to be important to the leadership of our football team,” Benedetto said. “Like you said, the juniors have got to step up, the sophomores have got to step up and the freshman have to step up. You don’t have to be a certain grade to be a leader.”
“We really don’t have that senior experience, so anyone can step up and be a leader and I’m going to try my best to be one of those and step up and be a leader for this team,” Ashley said.
The Cavs will have a tough slate of games this season, however they’ll be keeping their focus on improving at every opportunity.
“It’s one game at a time. If you look ahead to teams in 11AAA, you’re going to lose. 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, whether we win or if we lose, we have to get better from week one to week two and throughout the whole season,” Benedetto said.
Sioux Falls Jefferson will meet Washington in their first football game ever. Kick-off is set for 6:00 on Friday, August 27.