Defending Champions Sioux Falls Lincoln Entering Season with New Look
The only team that the Class 11AAA Championship trophy has ever known is the Sioux Falls Lincoln Patriots.
Lincoln went right through their schedule in 2013 and 2014 securing consecutive undefeated seasons and two titles. They currently hold a 22 game winning streak heading into this year. There has been a huge amount of roster turnover with many positions being open due to graduating players. Head Coach Aaron Beavers says that offseason programs overall went well.
"We had good attendance in the weight room. Our camp attendance was pretty good. It needed to be as we have a lot of new faces that will be out there." - Aaron Beavers
There were a few setbacks with injuries this summer. At the University of South Dakota football camp, quarterback Mason Nelson tore his ACL.
"We lost Austin Haushild for a while to a broken leg. Might be out a few more weeks. Our quarterback Mason Nelson is most likely done with the season with a torn ACL. Was kind of a freak deal at the USD camp. He made a cut, never got hit, and something gave out. The summer kind of got us a bit but we need to have some depth anyways, but hoped it wouldn't be this early." - Aaron Beavers
The quarterback position will now be placed into the hands of junior Eric Looby or junior Cole Deberg. Deberg has converted from a wide receiver to quarterback. Beavers says that he will be relying on his offensive line this season to lead the offense as they return four starters from last year.
One of the benefits of the school calendar switch is that teams have a little bit of a lengthier camp to prepare for the season. Beavers says that this has been helpful in working with a young team.
"Last several years our first day of camp was on the first day of school. That's pretty taxing on both players and coaches. It's going well this summer and we can slow camp down a bit. It allows us to have more meeting times in the classroom part of it."
With the extended camp, Beavers also knows that his team will be ready for the upcoming schedule.
"Football players and coaches are anxious for the season. We have a lot of new players and some bouncing around positions a little bit. We will put the best product that we can out on the field."
Sioux Falls Lincoln opens the season with a trip to Rapid City Stevens on August 28.