Bandits announce four more signings for 2003 season

01/18/03 Bandits Press Release

Today the Sioux City Bandits of the National Indoor Football League are pleased to announce the third group of players that have been signed to play for the 2003 season. This group of four includes two veterans and two new players to the Bandits.

Jesse Wavrunek (Defensive Lineman and Linebacker, 6'0", 240 lbs) is a three veteran to indoor football in Sioux City. Jesse played for the 2000 IFL Attack and the 2001 and 2002 seasons for the Bandits. The 2002 season saw Wavrunek earn post season NIFL Pacific North All Division Team Honors, he was second in the NIFL in sacks and tackles for a loss, playing from his defensive end position. Head Coach Carl Reinhardt had this to say, "Jesse gives us a lot of versatility on defense, since he can play both end and linebacker. He is the most hard nosed player on our team. We made him an end last season and he sure made the coaching staff look great by having a great season in 2002." Wavrunek is a graduate of Wayne State College and is a native of Verdigree, Ne. He is employed at Siouxland Acceleration at St. Lukes Hospital.

Erv Strohbeen (Offensive Line, 6'4", 325 lbs) is another three year veteran for the Bandits, having played for the Attack in addition to the Bandits. Strohbeen had a tremendous 2002 season playing center and also earned post season NIFL Pacific North All Division Team Honors. Reinhardt comments, "Last season Erv was challenged to get into shape for the season. He worked hard to get to his goals and was rewarded with post season honors, he is truly one of many success stories the Bandits had in 2002." Strohbeen is a graduate of Sioux City West and Wayne State College. He is also employed at Siouxland Acceleration.

Jon Foss (Defensive Line and Linebacker, 6'2", 215 lbs) comes to the Bandits with a stellar college career just completed. Foss played his college football at NCAA Division III Bethal College in St. Paul, Mn. He earned 2nd Team All-American Honors for 2002 from both the Football Gazette and Hewlett Packard. He was also chosen All-American his junior year in 2001 by Hewlett Packard and Verizon Academic. He is a three time MIAC (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) first team performer, he led the conference with 16.5 sacks in 2002 and finished his career with 36.5 sacks and led the MIAC in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss in 2002. Foss was one of 42 Division III players chosen to complete in the Aztec Bowl on Dec. 14, 2002 in Torreon, Mexico, won by the U.S. 14-9 over Mexico, Foss had two sacks and forced a fumble in the game. Coach Reinhardt stated, "Jon Foss is an outstanding athlete who we feel can be an impact player in the NIFL. He had a stellar college career where he was a high performer with great knowledge of the game. Jon will bring a high energy level to the Bandits." Foss is a native of Hinton, IA, where he played his high school football. He is employed at KTIV TV Channel 4 as an editor.

Gabe Toft (defensive End and Linebacker, 6'3", 250 lbs) is a first year player for the Bandits and indoor football. Gabe played his high school football at Spencer, IA, where he was a 1991 Blue Chip All-American, 1991 Elite All State Athlete of the Year, 1992 Class 3A state Wrestling Champion and 1992 Sioux City Journal Siouxland Athlete of the Year. In College, Toft played 1992 through 1994 for the Iowa State Cyclones, lettering in 1994 and was the starting middle linebacker. He transferred in the 1995 school year to Wayne State College in Wayne, NE In 1996 he was CO-Captain, lead the team in tackles and was named MVP on Defense for the Wildcats. "We are excited that Gabe Toft has decided to resume his football career with the Bandits, from what I have seen he will be a great performer and will be a popular player with the fans. He will be one of the hardest hitters out there, like a Bill Romanesque", states Reinhardt. Toft lives in Aces, IA and is self-employed as a Contractor and Irrigation Systems Specialist.

Other Bandit News.......

On Thursday, March 6, 2003 the Bandits have scheduled a pre-season game with the Sioux Falls Storm, kickoff will be 7:05 PM at the Sioux City Auditorium. This is the only time fans will be able to see the Storm play in Sioux City. This year Sioux Falls and Sioux City will play once in the regular season on May 10, 2003 at the Sioux Falls Arena. Tickets are priced at a discount for this game at $15.00, $12.00, $10.00, $8.00 and $6.00, discounts of 20 to 40% of the regular season prices. Children seats are $6.00. Tickets are available at the Auditorium Box Office, hours are 10:30 to 5:30, Monday through Friday and 10:30 to 1:30 on Saturday.

Also the Bandits have scheduled a Tryout for Dance Squad Members for Saturday, February 8, 2003 at 10:00 am at the Auditorium. The Dance Squad will consist of 8 women over the age of 18 that will perform at all seven of the Bandits Home Games from March 29 to June 14.

The 2003 season will start on March 14, with a road game at LaCrosse, Wisconsin with the home opener scheduled on March 29 against Rapid City.


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