Underclassmen contribute to top-rated Tiger football

In the three wins the varsity Tigers Football Team have compiled this year two underclassmen have been a huge contributor.

Hayden Shea, a 6’3” 285 pound sophomore, is an offensive tackle for the Tigers.

“I’m not treated differently at all. They’ve really taken me in and accepted me. At first I didn’t really want to tell anybody I was moved up to Varsity, I didn’t want people to just know me as the kid who plays varsity.”

Ross Pierschbacher, a 6’4” 240 pound freshman, is an offensive guard. Pierschbacher is also the only freshman linemen to play varsity as a ninth grader in recent Cedar Falls’ history.

“I’m just one of the guys. I don’t really want to think about it. Sometimes when we’re getting water, some of the guys will call senority and tell me to move, and in games they like to call me ‘freshman.’”

Shea is the only sophomore playing varsity football this year. “It’s kind of nerve-racking being the only sophomore who got moved up, but it’s also kind of cool,” Shea said.

It isn’t uncommon for sophomores to get moved up to varsity. Last season, Ben Challgren, Barkley Hill and James Harrington all started varsity.

Both Hayden and Ross got their first varsity action on Friday, Aug. 27, when Cedar Falls defeated Dubuque Hempstead 24-7 at home.

“I was really pumped up at the beginning and when we were getting warmed up I was pretty nervous. But when I was standing on the sidelines it gave me a chance to get my composure, but as soon as I went back in I was nervous,” Shea said.

“After a couple of series’ I felt right into it,” Pierschbacher said.

Having some nerves during a varsity football game is understandable.

“I don’t want to put myself higher than anybody, I’m just one of the guys,” Pierschbacher said. Pierschbacher will probably go on to play college football, which begs the question, what school will he attend?

“For college I kind of want to play football at Iowa right now and take some business and math classes, but I haven’t really thought about it too much,” Pierschbacher said. Both Shea and Pierschbacher are players that could go on to play college football.

“I want to stay in Iowa for college. I want to study athletic training or study to become a cop,” Shea said. In their short Varsity careers, Shea and Pierschbacher have produced great results for the Tigers. The second-ranked Tigers look to keep seeing improvement from both of these young athletes.

The next time the Tigers will be in action is Thursday, Sept. 16, at Cedar Rapids Jefferson.

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