SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) – The Sioux City Bandits are set to kick off in just a couple of weeks, with the organization hosting its media day at the Tyson Events Center. Taking a look at the roster, head coach Erv Strohbeen’s squad is full of both returning and new talent.

The Bandits are coming off a strong season statistically last season, finishing as one of the best overall teams in the CIF. Many of the team’s key contributors will be back, including leading receiver Brandon Sheperd and defensive playmakers Xavier Spann and Dajon Emory. The Bandits also boast new faces, headlined by former NFL first round draft pick Justin Gilbert.

The Bandits suffered a heartbreaking loss to Omaha to end their season a year ago, with the team using that as fuel for 2023.

“Last year, we had a sour taste in our mouth after losing to Omaha in the semifinals. I think it’s kind of a revenge season getting back into it and not taking it lightly on anybody, even ourselves,” Sioux City utility player Braden Meints said.

“These guys are competitive. They are friends with each other. It’s like a big family here. You feel like you’re the #1 seed in the playoffs, you’re supposed to win the championship. You’re supposed to be wearing a ring on your finger from last year and that does not happen. These guys are professional football players. I don’t need to motivate them, I just need to keep them on track,” Strohbeen added.