Changes abound for Rebel gridders but outlook still bright

Monday, August 30, 2004

Change is the key word when describing the outlook this fall for the Sioux Central/AC-T football team.

For the past four seasons, the Rebels have played eight-man football.

But in 2004, Albert City-Truesdale with join with Sioux Central in all sports, including football. The enrollment increase has necessitated that the Rebels play the 11-man game in Class 1A this season.

So not only do Sioux Central players have to adjust from new teammates from Albert City and Truesdale, the whole team has to learn news systems in 11-man football instead of eight man.

"We're just taking it one step at a time, and we really won't know where we're at until after the first game," said Sioux Central coach Jeff Tiefenthaler, who guided the Rebels to the eight-man state tournament last season.

"Our kids have to learn new systems and get used to new teammates, and they've done a good job of both so far," he said.

It doesn't hurt that the Rebels return starting quarterback Kasey Huebner, now a junior, as well as junior running back Andrew Phinney.

Last season, Huebner took over for Kyle Rehnstrom early in the schedule and started most of the team's games. Phinney, meanwhile, rushed for over 970 yards in 2004.

"Kasey's done a great job learning the new systems," said Tiefenthaler, who's coached high school football for 17 years and logged an 82-55 mark. "He's a heady kid who knows how to run an offense.

"Andrew is a runner who's very good at hitting the hole quickly," he added. "Overall on offense, I think we'll have a diverse attack; we have some good overall experience and quickness."

On defense, the Rebels' strength will be in its linebacking corps and at defensive end. Six-foot-2, 185 senior Matt McKibben is slated to get the start at defensive end while Phinney will be moved to linebacker, joining returning starter Aaron Beacom.

"We'll have a good linebacking corps, and pretty good quickness on defense overall," the coach said.

His big concern, as with so many coaches in the area, is depth.

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