The Med City Freeze is set to make its Southern Plains Football League debut on Saturday night against the North Iowa Bucks. Kickoff is at 7:00 at the Rochester Community and Technical College Regional Stadium.
The last several weeks have involved practicing and getting the offensive and defensive systems in place, as well as getting a new team used to playing together. It’s been a lot of hard work for the Freeze to get to this point.
Practice a grind
“From the football aspect of things, it’s been a grind,” said Storm Soto, Med City Freeze co-founder, Team President, and tight end. “We extended some of our recent practices from two hours to three to get some good work in.
The Med City Freeze, pictured at a recent practice, is getting set for their debut game on Saturday in Rochester against the North Iowa Bucks. Kickoff is at 7 at the RCTC football field.
“From the organizational side of things, we’re still working on things like getting sponsorships,” Soto said. “We’ve also been making commercials and things like that, and this final week before the game will involve getting things all set up.”
Dalton Haas is the offensive coordinator who runs the play calling. He’s a two-year league veteran as a player and was a Rochester John Marshall standout. He said practices really took off once the players really got the playbook down pat.
“Everyone is getting comfortable,” said Haas, “they don’t have to think about the plays called, they’re just going out and making plays. The transition from the first practice to the seventh was amazing with the number of big plays in practice.”
Players in good condition
There wasn’t a lot of extra conditioning work necessary as most players came into practice in good shape. That allowed the Freeze to really get to work on learning the plays.
“A majority came in good shape,” Soto said. “You could tell a lot of guys put in extra work in on their own from the first week of practice up until now. I think we’re going to be one of the best conditioned teams in the league.”
Balance on offense
As the team has picked up the offensive playbook, it looks like the key word to describe their playing style is balance. Freeze fans should see a good mix of running and passing the football.
“You’ll see a good dose of the running game,” Soto said, “and our passing game will feature plays out of all of our formations and sets. Our passing style will be aggressive, and we’ve got the right players to do so.”
Fans will see all kinds of well-known football sets they see in other football leagues.
It’s offense versus defense pictured here at a recent Med City Freeze practice. Physical and gritty is how they describe their style of play as they open the season Saturday in Rochester. Kickoff at RCTC field is 7:00.
“You’ll see a little bit of everything,” Haas said. “You’ll see Pro-I, shotgun, passing, running, with nothing to complicated, just being solid on the basics.”
Learning curve for new team
Getting a brand new team to learn to play together was a challenge. However, there might have been some benefits to being a brand new club.
“In a way, I think it was a good thing,” Haas said, “because everyone started at square one. Everyone was learning together, so the learning curve was equal for the whole team. It was a good bonding experience, because we had players who were catching on helping those who were a little behind.”
The Freeze is a brand new team this year, but they do have some Southern Plains Football League veterans to build around, including a couple players who helped to found the team.
“Storm Soto has played five years,” Haas said, “our quarterback, Jeff Sipple, has played four years, so we have some experience. We have a lot of people who’ve played at all levels, from high school all the way up to D1-AA, so we’ve got a lot of football experience overall.”
Physical style up front
The best way to describe this year’s team is physical and gritty, and its starts with the big boys up front.
“We’ve got guys up front that don’t mind getting after it and putting people on their butts,” Soto said. “Our defense will be physical, and in the secondary we have great length and speed. Linebackers are physical and they get to the football quickly.”
As mentioned, Dalton Haas is the OC. He and Brandon Luhmann handle the offense. Jordan Pogalz is the defensive coordinator and Jason Born is a defensive assistant.
First game keys
The goal against the North Iowa Bucks is obviously to win the game, but to get there, it’s going to be very important for a brand new club to make as few mistakes as possible.
The RCTC football field in Rochester is the home field of the Yellowjackets, and will be the home field Saturday for the Med City Freeze in their Southern Plains Football League debut on Saturday at 7pm.
“Just the basics of not fumbling the football,” Haas said, “and each player just doing his assignments on not getting carried away. It’s all about fundamentals, and when that happens, everything else will fall into place. I think the biggest thing is we’re just anxious to get out and play someone else.”
With roster turnover from year to year, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect from North Iowa on Saturday.
“They have a lot of good talent over there,” Soto said, “but year in and year out it’s hard to tell because teams are always recruiting someone different, so it’s hard to get a scouting report. That first week is where you get your scouting reports, and then you trade notes with other organizations.
“The biggest key will be to put four good quarters together,” Soto said, “and fly around the field from start to finish.”
Admission is only $6 per person, and 13 and under gets in for free.