Sippel shows off punting skills for ELG

by Dave Boehler
Review Sports Editor

Coach Josh Bardon would rather have Travis Sippel not punt at all.

But at least the senior, who was punting for the first time Friday, made the most of his 11 attempts in Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah’s 51-0 loss at Oakfield to open the season.

This is Sippel’s first year playing football, but not because the Resorters did not want him.

“As a sophomore on, it was like, ‘hey Travis, let’s go play football,’” Bardon said. “He never did. Finally, senior year, I don’t know what changed, but he said he would. He’s a big kid. He’s probably 220 (pounds), 6-3. So it’s like, ‘why would he not have been playing?’ And he said the same thing: ‘I wish I would’ve been here.’ He’s having a lot of fun.”

Sippel normally plays defensive tackle and offensive line, but regular punter Jesse Guerrero had some knee issues in practice so he replaced him.

“He doesn’t really have it polished yet by any means, or even really figured out a lot,” Bardon said. “But he was really hitting the ball, so we taught him a few things. Actually, he’ll get even better. The kicks he had were very good. He averaged like 37 yards, I think. Obviously, 11 times is a ridiculous amount of times to punt. But when he did, he was hitting the ball. I think his longest was 50. He got a nice roll on it. He’s definitely solid right off the jump here, but he’s got room for even more growth.”

As does the rest of the team.

Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah did not complete a pass and rushed for just 55 yards against Oakfield, which qualified for The 8-man Jamboree last year. The Resorters were also missing three starters because of injury, and a fourth could not play in the second half.

“We played really well with a lot of kids playing out of position,” Bardon said. “We had two linebackers who never really played linebacker, and that’s a key spot.”

ELG held its own until Oakfield’s first touchdown came with just 18 seconds left in the first half. The “floodgates opened” in the third quarter, according to Bardon, as the Oaks returned the second-half kickoff for a 75-yard touchdown. They added three more touchdowns and a safety the rest of the quarter.

“We got tired and our youth and inexperience kind of got to us in the second half,” Bardon said.

ELG’s Cody Rebedew rushed for 31 yards in the game and Bryce Sitko returned a kickoff for 34 yards.

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