Jefferson Cavaliers preparing for first ever Friday Night Lights


SIOUX FALLS, S.D — A brand new school and a brand new team. The kids at Jefferson High School have officially begun preparing for the first ever Cavalier football season.

“It’s a lot of prestige and it’s pretty crazy. I mean, I never thought that this would happen, it kind of took me by surprise but as it came like the coaches and everything, they welcomed us so perfectly. Like, everything went so well so, really it’s just been perfect,” said Kolb.

While there is a lot of excitement that comes with a fresh beginning, there’s also a lot of work that comes with building a first year program.

“What our break down areas, what we’re going to hang our hat on. The things that when I came into West Central, the tradition was already in place. Here we have to build the traditions and create the traditions,” said Benedetto.

And the kids have responded to Benedetto’s teachings.

“I love how he’s welcomed us, I love his coaching philosophies. I love everything about it, I’m just so pumped to be here and play,” Kolb said.

While the first few weeks has been used to establish a culture, it’s also been about learning 60 plus new faces.

“Coach Hopper was taking them through stretching lines and I’m like I don’t know any of these kids and I got to find a way to get to know every single one of them and that was kind of my a-ha moment like okay it’s football season. It’s time to get going and time to get to know these kids and get started,” Benedetto said.

“It’s an exciting experience but also crazy because we got a long ways to go. But yeah, it’s also been fun meeting new people and building chemistry with them too,” Smithmendez said.

Jefferson will open the 2021 season against Washington on August 22.

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