HAWARDEN—Under the Friday night lights of Eneboe Field, Friday, Nov. 8 in Hawarden the 9-1 West Sioux Falcons will host 10-0 Treynor in a Class 1A state football playoff game. Winner goes on to play at 10 a.m. in the UNI Dome Saturday, Nov. 16 in Cedar Falls.
“They are undefeated for a reason — Treynor has really good athletes,” Falcon head coach Ryan Schwiesow said. “We make our game plan off of the film, but honestly Underwood is the only team this year who did exactly what we thought they would do and we had our way with them.”
The Falcons are coming off of a 42-7 win over the Underwood Eagles and Treynor beat Western Christian, the Falcons only loss of the season, 21-10 in the first round of the playoffs.
Last year, the Falcons played Treynor in the first round beating them 49-14 at home.
Unlike the air attack offense the Falcon defense saw last week, the Cardinals of Treynor like to run the ball. They run an old-school triple option attack led by senior quarterback Jake Fisher who has ran for 1,067 yards and 23 touchdowns.
“This week we have to tackle well on defense, option football is assignment football,” Schwiesow said. “You can’t try to do too much. This quarterback is really good at reading the option. We have to be disciplined in what we do, play assignment football and not try to do too much, but just do your job.”
While it has been anything short of publicized that the Falcons have several playmakers, playing option football and being disciplined in their own assignments is something he wants to see from his entire team Friday night and he says it is going to be a great football game.
“We are going to do what we normally do, they are a little vanilla in some of their sets, they kind of tip their hand,” Schwiesow said. “Hopefully that helps us.”
One thing is for certain, playing football as a Falcon is plenty more than what some of the media has chosen to portray it to be. It is more than two or three guys making plays, setting records and winning games. While West Sioux undoubtedly has some stand out athletes who deserve the recognition they have received — being a Falcon on this two time championship squad is much more than that.
Schwiesow and company coach these young men about discipline, teamwork, accepting given assignments and encourage them to dig deep within them to help the team succeed.
This year, the Falcons lost the first game since the beginning of last season and so the coaching staff have also had the opportunity to coach perseverance and accepting failure only to rise back up, more united and play hard-nose tackle football as a team.
Understanding the role each member of the team plays has been something they have learned to embrace and as the season has continued, it seems that understanding has become even stronger.
If you ever want to see the definition of hard work ethic, you should head up to the practice field on a Wednesday after school and watch these men. This I did and once quarterback Hunter Dekkers and team were finished running through offensive plays, I heard coach Schwiesow holler “Second team, give me the best offensive line we have.” The starting varsity was on the other side of the ball and the second team was running routes the coaches expect to see from the Cardinals Friday.
You see, I saw that night something that I was sure to bring up in this interview and that is just how invested the entire team is in making each member of the team better. These guys got on the ball, looked the Falcon starting defense in the face and did their job without a complaint. Without those kids this Falcon team may not have the success it has today and this has stood true the past five years in Falcon Nation.
“That is paramount, we have to be able to get a good look in practice and you know I have nothing but respect for those kids like Dakota Allen, Juan Carlos and Mario, all those guys that don’t always get the first team reps,” Schwiesow said. “They come to practice everyday and our freshman, Dylan Wiggins, Brady Lynott and Carter Bultman and all those guys who work their butt of everyday in order to get the varsity better — that is not easy knowing you will get beat on and keep coming to practice, playing hard knowing that your season is basically over.”
Schwiesow noted he was happy to get the late season junior varsity game rescheduled and played Monday, Nov. 4. The Falcon JV ended their season undefeated.
“Late in the year like this, these guys get six weeks of practice in without playing, which is really good for us too and our future,” Schwiesow said. “If you win a state championship you practice longer than everybody else and that is basically half a season our young kids have had the chance to get better.”
In the battle of the birds Friday night, the forecast is going to be cold.
“I tell the kids, football is meant for tough guys and it is played where you start off and you sweat your butt off in the summer and you freeze it off in the winter and if you aren’t a tough guy, then you don’t need to be playing football,” Schwiesow said. “It is going to be cold for them too, so if you let it bother you, you are probably going to lose.”
The temps may make it easier for fans to stay home and watch the game from the comfort of their couches, but Schwiesow wants to encourage everyone to get up and come to the game.
“Don’t get stuck just watching it on T.V. get your butts in the stands!” Schwiesow said. “If you are within 20 miles, come to the game. Those kids work their butts off and they like to see people in the seats.”
Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Winner goes to the dome.