Featured Game: Week 3

Heading into the third week of the high school football season, there is still a lot we don’t know for sure about area teams.

How many of the undefeated teams are real playoff contenders? Are there some 0-2 teams that could still rise that were just victims of a rough schedule out of the gate? There are plenty of 1-1 teams out there. What can we make of them?

All of it is important with the nondistrict games figuring into the postseason formula for the second straight year, so coming up with some positive responses right away is imperative.

Two of the biggest mystery teams at this point play each other on Friday as Sibley-Ocheyedan travels to Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn.

The host Hawks were one of the bigger riddles coming into the year. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn was 6-3 last year but suffered an extreme amount of graduation losses. The team was essentially starting from scratch. Two wins later, is it possible the program hasn’t skipped a beat?

Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn was excellent on defense in its opener. Seniors Trent Mortenson and Turner Soden were the leading tacklers and junior Noah Adams had a pick in a shutout of Okoboji on opening day. The Hawks shut out Estherville Lincoln Central in three of the four quarters of a come from behind 19-14 win over the Midgets. Soden and Mortensen again led the way there. The triple-option offense is being triggered by freshman quarterback Kooper Ebel and it looked a little better in the second week. Sophomore Keaton Graves has been the team’s leading rusher.

Sibley-Ocheyedan hurt itself with penalties and a major miscue on special teams in a season-opening loss to Sheldon, but appeared to have cleaned some of that up in the second week and beat Okoboji 28-13. The return of junior Dylan Platt gave the Generals a big boost. Platt was in on just a few plays against Sheldon before being injured. Against Okoboji, his 96 yards rushing softened the defense up for junior quarterback Beau Jenness to attack the perimeter. Jenness ran for 141 yards in the win. Special teams were still an issue as the Pioneers returned the opening kick for a touchdown, but the Generals made up for that with a defensive score as senior Trey Schuck returned an interception for a touchdown.

In other N’West Iowa sports this week, two of the biggest regular-season events of the year happen on Saturday. The Tim Thomas Invitational cross country meet hosted by Ridge View features a crowded field. The results are split into a couple of enrollment classes and the meet also serves as the CYO meet for the schools involved with that. Six N’West Iowa teams plan to attend. In volleyball, we get a better idea of what the regional tournaments might look like as some of the region’s power’s face off in the Sioux County Tournament. Unity Christian is hosting the event this year.

Thursday, Sept. 12

Volleyball

Okoboji at MOC-Floyd Valley

Rock Valley at Sioux Center

West Lyon at Sheldon

Boyden-Hull at Sibley-Ocheyedan

Central Lyon at George-Little Rock

West Sioux at Harris-Lake Park

Gehlen Catholic at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn

Trinity Christian at MMCRU

Hinton at South O’Brien

Friday, Sept. 13

Football

Sibley-Ocheyedan at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn

Spencer at MOC-Floyd Valley

GTRA at Okoboji

LeMars at Sheldon

Central Lyon/George-Little Rock at Spirit Lake

Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley at West Lyon

Sioux Center at West Sioux

South O’Brien at Alta-Aurelia

Unity Christian at Estherville Lincoln Central

Woodbury Central at Gehlen Catholic

Sioux City Heelan at Western Christian

Saturday, Sept. 14

Cross Country

MOC-Floyd Valley, Gehlen Catholic, Okoboji, South O’Brien, West Sioux, Sheldon, at Ridge View

Volleyball

Boyden-Hull, MOC-Floyd Valley, Sioux Center, Western Christian, Unity Christian at Sioux County Tournament (Unity hosts)

Central Lyon, Okoboji, Sheldon, Sibley-Ocheyedan at Spirit Lake

Gehlen Catholic at LeMars tournament

Trinity Christian at West Sioux tournament

Monday, Sept. 16

Cross country

BHRV, GLRCL, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Sioux Center, Trinity Christian, West Sioux at West Lyon

Volleyball

Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Trinity Christian at Sibley-Ocheyedan tournament

Remsen St. Mary’s at West Sioux

Tuesday, Sept. 17

Cross country

Western Christian at Sioux Falls Christian

MOC-Floyd Valley, Unity Christian at Storm Lake

Gehlen Catholic at Woodbury Central

Volleyball

George-Little Rock at Rock Valley

Unity Christian at Gehlen Catholic

Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn at Trinity Christian