More than two years without a winning record is a tough pill to swallow for anyone. More than two years without a single win is even tougher. But for the South Sioux City Cardinals. They’re working on 2019, not the seasons that came before.
“We’ve been working well. We’ve been ready for the season and the upcoming games,” said Jacob Ngeleka, a senior offensive and defensive lineman. “We’ve been practicing hard, we’re working our tails off. And we’re looking forward to that first game.”
The Cardinals have a new head coach, Chris Stein, who was the offensive coordinator at Chadron State before moving to the high school ranks. And Stein is confident in his bunch.
“We feel pretty good about the kids we’ve got,” said Stein. “We’re working hard. We’ve got a great group of kids that really work hard and they’re really buying in. And that’s the first step.”
“Coach came, he’s all about community and buying in. So I think most of us have bought in and the people around us are finally believing and we’re starting to believe too,” Jake Aitken, the South Sioux QB, said.
“Everybody’s more energetic. We’re ready for it. we’re excited for what Coach Stein has planned for us,” Ngeleka said. “And I think he’s really gonna change this program around.”
That confidence seems to be contagious, as the players on the team are motivating themselves to have their best season in years.
“Offensively we’ll be on the same track. We know what we’re doing in order to get the job done,” said Aitken. “Defensively, all together, the same thing: get the job done.”
“Our coach always says that we do the small things and the big things will take care of themselves,” Ngeleka said. “So we’ve been focusing on that and grinding it out and doing those things as best we can.”
The new season is just around the corner, and hopefully, for the first time in a long time, the Cardinals of South Sioux City will end up on the winning side of things.