Tanagers kick off grid season against Cardinals by Jim Prosser The 2004 edition of the Vermillion High School Tanager football team will kick off their season against the South Sioux City Cardinals in a nonconference game in the DakotaDome this Friday, Sept. 3. Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m.
"We have been going at it for three weeks now and we are really ready for a game," said Gary Culver, head coach of the Tanagers.
Culver, in his 28th season at the helm of the VHS football program, is cautiously optimistic about the season opener.
"We, as a coaching staff, have been very pleased with the great work ethic and positive attitude of the squad during preseason workouts. We have some excellent returning veterans who have provided us with good leadership this fall," said coach Culver.
Senior members of the squad include Ben Oberle, Sean Pederson, Jordan Anderson, J.J. LaMie, Jason Donald, Jon Miller, Tyler Anglin, Jacob Geis, Alex Baran, Ken Willis and Kyle Mollet.
Junior members include Kyle Brunick, Kyle Hubert, Donny Stewart, Mike Hanson, John Gregg, Brandon Hansen, Cody Hays, Tony Kronaizl, Trevor Turner, Roman LaMie, Matt Sand, Chris Merrigan, Joe Miller, Dan Mollet, Sam Laprath, Andrew Pier, Chonka Wilch, Myles Runyon, Kurt Krammin, Randy Kabambi and Mickey Kielman.
Sophomore members include Chris Taylor, Ryan Scheidel, Paul Hammond, Bobby Dykstra, Harrison Hawley, Nick Rasmussen, Ryan O'Connor, Ryan Gilbertson, Josh Smock, Gabe Verbeski, Nick Schaffer, Eric McPherson, Andrew Pearson, Charlie Willis and Jose Nesselhuf.
Assisting Culver with the varsity football squad are Roger Heirigs, offensive coordinator, in his 26th season with the Tanagers, and Jim McGuire, defensive coordinator, in his 22nd season with the Tanagers. Assisting with the freshmen squad are Jason Huska and Mark Iverson.
Huska, a 1989 VHS graduate, and Iverson, a 1993 VHS graduate, are both forming first team all-stater players during their tenure in the Tanager football program.
The Tanagers defeated the Cardinals by a 38-0 score last year in the season opener for both teams. The Tanagers hold a 25-17-2 edge in the series between the two teams that dates back to 1939.
The Tanagers recorded a 7-3 overall record last year as they lost in the quarterfinals to eventual state champion, West Central. South Sioux City went winless for the second season in a row last year as they recorded a 0-9 overall record.