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Menning wants Generals to build

Jordan Willi/daily globe Sibley-Ocheyedan returning seniors include (front row, from left) Dylan Brockshus, Joe Storbakken, (back row, from left) Dillon Thies, Chris DeNoble, Josh Van Westen and Robert Swenson.

SIBLEY, Iowa -- After going 4-5 overall last season, Sibley-Ocheyedan football coach Jordan Menning feels this year's team has a chance to improve on that record.

"We are looking to compete and improve every week," Menning said.

In order to do that, Menning will have to replace four major contributors in the likes of Ethan Stofferan, Grant Greenfield, Patrick Coleman and Casey Hertz.

Stofferan was the team's leading rusher for the Generals, picking up 618 yards on 110 carries (5.6 yards-per-carry average) and six touchdowns. Stofferan will also be missed on the defensive side of the ball, where he had five fumble recoveries.

Hertz was another heavy rusher for the Generals. He picked up 238 yards on 46 carries (5.2-yard average) and two touchdowns.

Despite the team's losses on offense and defense, Menning does not have to worry much about any drop in production. The main reason for Menning's confidence is that he knows the level of talent he has returning on both sides of the ball in wide receiver Dillon Thies, quarterback Owen Wiese, offensive/defensive lineman Dylan Brockshus and Jose Olvera, and running back/linebacker Dalton Frick.

With Wiese returning, the Generals get back their best offensive weapon in Wiese's arm. Wiese threw for 1,195 yards last season with 10 touchdowns. He completed 51.1 percent of his passes, but gave up 10 inteceptions.

With his quarterback still behind center, Thies should be able to pick up right where he left off last season, during which he topped all S-O recievers with 377 yards on 25 receptions. Thies scored four touchdowns and averaged of 15.1 yards per catch. The Generals will also get Thies back on kick returns, where he averaged 12.8 yards per effort.

Thies will get some help on kick returns from teammate Dylan Brockshus, who will also contribute more on the defensive side of the ball this year.

Olvera and Frick are two players Menning will be relying on to fill in the holes left by Stofferan and Hertz. If they can both pick up their games, the Generals should be well on their way to success.

"These guys will play a key role in Sibley-Ocheyedan football this year," Menning said.

With so much talent returning to this year's squad, Menning feels his team is on the way to being more competitive in every game. However, he still knows there are some key areas that will go a long way toward improving his team's chances of winning on Friday nights.

"We need to continue to work in the weight room and continue to play at a high tempo," Menning said. "We also need to continue to be consistent on both sides of the ball."

Another area Menning is will focus on this season is third-down situations on both offense and defense.

"We need to be able to get off the field on third down on defense and have positive plays on first down on offense," Menning said.

S-O will have five home games this coming season while playing on the road four times. The Generals will get their chance to show what they are made of when they host district rival Alta/Aurelia in their second home game of the season on Sept. 7.

The Generals will play two games back to back on the road on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12, when they travel to Hinton and West Sioux, Hawarden, respectively.