The Jordan football team has had a lot of success the past few years and the new head coach expects that success to continue.
Ozzie Sand takes over the program in an interim bases from Bo Wasurick, who left Jordan to take the head coaching job at Anoka High School.
Wasurick left the program at the end of the school year and activities director Joe Perkl felt it was unfair to the program and players to try to find a permanent head coach with only a couple of months to prepare the 2019 season so he appointed Ozzie Sand as the interim head coach.
Sand was the offensive line coach under Wasurick and is also the head girls golf coach for Jordan.
Sand said the 2019 Hubmen will look much like the past versions of the team as they will run the same spread offense and aggressive defense that they have done under Wasurick.
“We are doing similar things we did under Coach Bo,” Sand said. “We are keeping the foundation of what he brought here and that has really helped our approach this year so the kids aren’t learning a new playbook, they aren’t learning a new defensive scheme so it has made the transition easier. But I’m also my own coach and I have to do things my own way.”
He continued, “I’ve always been a players first coach. I coach to help the players have success. Everything is geared to them having success on the field and off the field while also enjoying the sport.”
Wasurick brought the spread offense to Jordan and that offense will remain and should continue to roll up yards and points as they return a strong unit from last year’s state tournament team.
It starts at the quarterback position in the spread offense and Jordan returns one of the best in the state in senior Bryce Sievers.
Sievers threw for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns last year. He also added almost 500 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns.
“Bryce works hard and sets high expectations,” Sand said. “He is a going to be a great player for Jordan and a great player in the state.”
Sievers has a couple of dynamic receivers to throw the ball to in senior Ryan Samuelson, who is has some Division I colleges looking at him, and Thomas Dietel, who was a key member of the Hubmen’s state championship track and field team. JT McDermid is another very strong option for the Hubmen at the receiver position.
Macauley Bartells is the team’s returning running back after averaging almost six yards a carry last year.
“We have a lot of key returning players that are very good,” Sand said. “We feel like we have a great group of skill position players that a defense won’t be able to key on one guy.”
One area of concern is the offensive line where they only return one player from last year’s squad.
Luke Houdek is the only returning starter from the offensive line and will lead the players upfront. Jackson Schmidt played a key role of the Hubmen last year and will be asked to step it up this season.
“We expect them to hold their own and be a key part of the offense,” Sand said.
Defensively, Sand said they will continue to be versatile in the what they do and players like linebacker Eric Downs, safety Taylor Stroh and corner back Kade Noyes leading the way.
“We pride ourselves on being able to run multiple fronts and multiple schemes that really match what the offense we are playing each week is,” Sand said. “We aren’t set in stone on our defense. Our defense can change each week based on the opponent we play.”
The Hubmen open the season on Thursday against Belle Plaine at Ames Field.
They will also play St. Peter, Waseca and Marshall at home while traveling to Sibley East, Tri-City United, New Ulm and Worthington.
Once the regular season is done, Jordan will play in the Class 4A football playoffs after being in Class 3A the past three seasons.
The move up in class doesn’t concern Sand or the Hubmen football team.
“We’ve already played a 4A schedule in the past,” he said. “We don’t look at the transition as something we need to focus on. We need to focus on our team getting better each week. We have high standards at Jordan and we expect to compete at a high level week in and week out and into the playoffs.”