Sioux Falls Lincoln Preparing to Defend Class 11AAA Championship with Revamped Roster
The Sioux Falls Lincoln Patriots are coming off a state championship in 2013, and are looking to make another run in 2014. Head Coach Aaron Beavers says his players have high expectations for this season.
The Lincoln Patriots had a strong senior roster last season, but played with a lot of depth. Coach Beavers says that heading into this year, camp has been a little bit different.
"You know last years seniors, that have moved on, they were two year starters. Some even three. The learning curve was a lot different, and we were much more ahead of where we are now just in terms of not only depth but assignments."
In terms of offensive and defensive playbooks, Beavers says that they aren't initially implementing as much on offense and especially defensively.
"We lost nine starters but return Braxton Large at OLB and Paul Thanel at DB, but Paul is injured with a shoulder injury and might be out a couple weeks. We have confidence in the guys behind them and it's all about getting playing time."
Isiah Roach started the 11AAA Championship game last year in replace of an injured Connor Burchill. Roach will get some time in the defensive secondary, but he will be the quarterback heading into this season.
"Isiah is our quarterback...Connor Burchill had a great offseason last year, but Isiah was right behind him as far as talent and I firmly believe that made Connor a better quarterback. We're looking at the same thing right now with Mason [Nelson]."
The Patriots open the season on August 29th against Rapid City Central. Coach Beavers says that the first game is the hardest to prepare for and that Class 11AAA should be strong.
"Of course [it's the hardest to prepare for] and with a new coach in Rapid, you don't know what to expect. We'll be hunkered down by next week. Personnel changes from week 1 to week 5. Our whole schedule, it makes it exciting. I firmly believe every week that any team can knock another off."
The Patriots and Cobblers kick off at 5:00 on August 29th here on ESPN 99.1. For the full interview with Coach Beavers, listen here.