Rocky start, strong finish

Chieftain football on winning-streak after losing first game of season

If anyone knows how to come back after a large loss, it’s the Yutan Chieftains football team, which is currently number one in its district despite a rough start to the season.

After a 35-7 loss against Bergan their first game, Yutan has been resilient and has captured a winning streak. It’s nearing the end of the  Chieftains’ season, and they are 6-1.

Senior Ethan Christensen avoids the tackle on his way to the endzone. Christensen has over 800 rushing yards this season. (Laycee Josoff)

Senior wide receiver Sam Petersen said, “Yeah, the first game was rough. But…we’re getting there where we need to be.” 

The Chieftains didn’t take their loss lightly and have been working diligently ever since. The team moved around some players to help them improve. Senior Paul Kirchmann now plays quarterback and senior Isaiah Daniell moves between many positions including wide receiver and quarterback.

The changes allow for more flexibility in the team’s offensive game.

Head coach Dan Krajicek said, “So that’s kind of one of the big ones (changes) is getting [Isaiah] in new positions and finding ways to get different guys the ball and make plays.”

On the defensive side of things, Krajicek is impressed with how the team has been playing.

“Defensively we’re playing really well. Our defensive line is playing well, the linebackers are playing well. I think just overall defense we are doing a lot of really good things.”

The Chieftains have numerous goals this year and many talk about going to state and possibly even winning state.

Junior Drake Trent and sophomore Cole Smith hustle to stop the ball. The Chieftains secured the win against Ponca with an ending score of 40-7. (Staff Photo)

“I really hope we make it to state and even maybe win the state title,” said senior tackle Ethan Pehrson.

Krajicek is focused on helping the players improve to reach those end goals.

“We’ve gotten better than the first game,” Krajicek said.  “We still can get a lot better, so that’s kind of our focus is just improvement every week.”