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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

Catch him ... if you can

Saturday, September 27, 2008

(Photo)
Two-time All-State wide receiver Trevor Tiefenthaler has taken his game under center where he has helped revitalize the Sioux Central running game with his play-making ability.
Two-time All-State wide receiver settling into quarterback role

He's caught 90 career passes. He's racked up more than 1,200 yards.

He's visited the end zone 17 times as a wide receiver.

But, Trevor Tiefenthaler's days of catching passes are over -- in high school, anyway.

After three years as a starting wide receiver for Sioux Central, Tiefenthaler has moved under center for his senior season, a move necessitated by his speed and play-making ability.

"We felt coming into this year, for our team, it was the best decision," said Sioux Central head coach Jeff Tiefenthaler, Trevor's dad and a coaching veteran who recently earned his 100th career victory. "It's a decision I didn't want to make, but in this case, it was one we had to make. Our team is better with him there."

Jeff Tiefenthaler and his coaching staff had tossed around the idea of shifting Trevor from his natural wide receiver spot in his junior year when he ran into constant double and triple teams from opposing defenses. The move never materialized, however.

"He's adjusted really well to it," coach Tiefenthaler said. "He's not a drop-back thrower, and he'll be the first one to admit that. He's never going to drop back 3-5 yards ... but he's got the speed to be very dangerous when he gets on the edge."

The young Tiefenthaler did see some time in the backfield in 2007, but not at quarterback, where he has shown to be more than capable of handling the load in '08. Tiefenthaler had some carries as a running back last year, looking to help a futile ground game, but defenses simply shifted their entire focus to the backfield when Tiefenthaler wasn't split out. Putting the speedster in charge of the offense has proven to be the answer.

"It's definitely been a lot different. You're in charge a lot more, so you have to act a little bit differently because people are following your lead," Tiefenthaler commented. "I figured I could make more of an impact at quarterback, especially because all the other quarterbacks in our system are pretty young."

Coach Tiefenthaler did admit that the decision to move his son under center brought a little added pressure. Considering his relationship to his quarterback, he knew there could be plenty of questions tossed around.

"It's not easy sometimes coaching your own kid. I've caught a little flack for that," coach Tiefenthaler said. "But the way I look at it, any kid who puts on a Sioux Central uniform is my kid in a way.

"We try to win the game, and we try to use our athletes the best way we can. Whether that's Trevor or somebody else, that's fine," Tiefenthaler added.

On the field, Tiefenthaler put to rest any speculation that he had been given his spot as the coach's kid. It's been quite apparent that the move has paid off. It's been quite apparent that the move was obvious.

"My teammates expect a lot out of me, but I didn't feel like I had to prove myself," Tiefenthaler said. "I have confidence in myself, and I just try to do as much as I can to help us win. I think they trust me. It is nice being a senior, that helps."

In just four games this year, Tiefenthaler has already found the end zone seven times, and has run for more than 500 yards, including four straight 100-yard games to open the season. The Rebels didn't have a single 100-yard rusher in '07. Tiefenthaler had rushed for at least 130 yards in his first three games before No. 7 West Lyon "contained" him to 103 yards in Week 4.

Sioux Central, who had, in previous seasons, run out of the I-formation and others more typical of northwest Iowa, looks to keep the ball in the hands of their play-maker by implementing more of a spread offense with different option looks.

"The offense we run suits me pretty well," Tiefenthaler said. "It's been fun making the switch. You get the ball every play, so that's pretty cool. But, it's a lot harder throwing the football, even though we don't throw it that much."

Tiefenthaler had already put up some impressive stats in his first three seasons, establishing school records in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns both in a season and in a career. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior has garnered All-State honors at wide receiver and at defensive back, where he has intercepted a Sioux Central-best 16 passes, including a single-season record of seven as a sophomore. He was named as an All-State pick by both The Des Moines Register and the Iowa Newspaper Association two years running, also earning first team All-District honors as a sophomore and as a junior.

Tiefenthaler, who also holds a 3.8 GPA in the classroom, added some compelling numbers to his growing list of accolades over the summer. Attending an Iowa State football camp, Tiefenthaler clocked a time of 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash -- the fastest time of any athlete at the camp. He also posted a 30-inch vertical, a 20-yard agility shuttle time of 4.3 and a 255-pound bench press.

"He's really done a lot of work improving his upper-body strength," said coach Tiefenthaler. "From where he's come during his freshman year to now has been huge. And, I'm happy to say both my kids have bought into the weight room aspect."

Now, Tiefenthaler is hoping the numbers he's put up and what he's shown on the field will parlay into a college career, where he can continue to follow in the footsteps of his dad.

"His first love is football. He's just playing it by ear, and he'll see what happens," said coach Tiefenthaler, who had the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. "There's a lot of great schools out there. Ultimately, I want him to go to a place where he can get a great education, too, as his coach and his dad."

"It would be nice to play D-I, but you've got to have a good environment around you. You've got to go to a place you feel comfortable, and you have to have fun," Tiefenthaler said, adding that his commitment in the weight room has been fueled by his desire to play football in college. "If you want to compete with people at the next level, you've got to be ready. My dad always tells me that back in his day you were lifting to gain an advantage. Now, you're just lifting to stay even."

After his days of playing at Armor High School in South Dakota, Jeff Tiefenthaler played football and ran track for South Dakota State University where he still holds six school records. Chasing down his dad's accomplishments has proven to be a positive aspect on Trevor's own career.

"It gives me a nice goal -- something to shoot for. I always tell him it's a different game now, though. DBs jam you a little harder nowadays," Trevor said, admitting that competition is never lacking in the Tiefenthaler household.

"It's nice for me that he's been through it all," Trevor said. "He knows where I should be physically and mentally. He gives me a lot of good advice."

From his experiences, coach Tiefenthaler is hoping he can help his son make a more educated decision on his future.

"I definitely try to prepare him for life after high school if he gets a chance to play. I always try to take the past experiences I've had and relay that information to my kids," said coach Tiefenthaler.

"He can go where he wants. As his dad, I can't tell him where he goes. I can help him through the process, but it's ultimately going to be Trevor's decision," coach Tiefenthaler added. "As a former Jackrabbit, I'd love to see him wear the blue and gold."

Getting to see his second son have the opportunity to play collegiately -- even if it would mean seeing Trevor continue to wear the red and silver at the University of South Dakota, his alma mater's historic rival -- is all any father could ask.

As a former athlete, coach Tiefenthaler knows that opportunity won't come without a strong, blue collar approach.

"There's just great athletes everywhere these days. And, recruiting has become such a big thing," coach Tiefenthaler commented. "His work ethic and a great attitude are what will carry him to where he wants to go."

And, if it does happen to carry him in the direction of becoming a Coyote? Well, any renewed USD vs. SDSU rivalry would simply become a little more interesting for the Tiefenthalers.


Trevor Tiefenthaler Career Highlights

Football

2006 - 37 receptions, 502 yards, 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, first team All-District defensive back, second team All-State defensive back from The Des Moines Register, second team All-State wide receiver from the Iowa Newspaper Association.

2007 - 41 receptions, 579 yards, 8 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, first team All-District wide receiver, first team All-State wide receiver from The Des Moines Register, first team All-State wide receiver from the Iowa Newspaper Association.

Track and Field

2004 - Set Iowa record in 800-meter run as an eighth grader, finished third at national meet in Hershey, PA.

2005 - State track participant

2006 - State track participant, finished eighth in the 400 (50.95), anchored the medley relay to a fifth-place finish.

2007 - State champion in the 400 (49.45), anchored the 4x400 relay to a third-place finish

Baseball

2006 - Batted .413, stole 32 bases, first team All-Conference center fielder, second team All-District.

2007 - Batted .350, stole 28 bases, first team All-Conference second baseman, second team All-District.



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