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The Fillmore Central Falconer

Fillmore Central Football Coaches Interview

With State Quarterfinals happening today for Fillmore Central Falcons football, I decided to get to know the coaches better. Now it’s time for you to get to know them! I asked them four questions, and below are the answers…

The questions were as follows:

  1. What do you think the players have improved on the most?
  2. What made you want to be a football coach?
  3. How long have you been coaching, and what is your coaching position?
  4. What’s your favorite thing about coaching?

Aaron Janssen

1.“As the season has progressed, I think the players have gotten better at handling the pressure that comes with expectations. There are returning starters and players that are filling big shoes from last year, and you could tell early in the season the guys played in a fashion that demonstrated fear for messing up or relief for doing something well. The last few games it seems they have done a better job of playing loose and enjoying each part of the journey.”

2. “I started my teaching career at Kingsland. I got a call from their then head coach, Wally Beevers, in the summer between my first and second year. He said, “I need a football coach,” to which I responded, “I don’t have experience with football.”  He came back with, “From everyone I talk to, you’re a great teacher, and great teachers make great coaches. So, you’ll figure the rest out.” I accepted his request and have been coaching football for fourteen seasons now. I’ve stayed with it largely because of the mission statement of Falcon football which is more than words. The mission of Falcon football is to enthusiastically work and relentlessly pursue the goal of becoming the best we can be as a person, a student, a player, and a teammate for the sake of our Falcon football family. Coach Mensink lives those words and holds his coaches and athletes accountable to also follow that mission. It’s an amazing institution to witness and play a small part of.”

3. “I have been coaching for fourteen seasons…two at Kingsland and twelve at Fillmore Central. My main role is managing all aspects related to the technology and film of the team. I also help with Youth Football in the area of skill development.”

4. “Athletics is a microcosm of life. There are hardships and successes usually related to the level of smartly aligned hard work. Witnessing student athletes develop characteristics of sacrifice, dedication, and determination is a powerful thing. Then, when you encounter the ones that get really good at that, and you see it spill over into other areas of their life as they build careers, buy homes, and start families, it’s what is my favorite thing.”


Andrew Pederson 

1.“I feel this group has really improved on enjoying playing the game with each other. There was a lot of pressure on this team to try and have the success that we did last year. I feel the players needed a reminder earlier in the year that this is a very fun game and to enjoy the time spent with each other and to celebrate the success of everyone.”

2.“I knew I wanted to be a teacher and coach when I was in high school. I played football in high school and wanted to continue to find a way to be involved with the game.”

3. “This is my eleventh year coaching. I coach the Special Teams and Defensive Line.”

4. “Most coaches will agree that we got into coaching because a former coach that we played for touched our lives in a positive way. I was blessed with coaches who helped my development as a human being. I love being able to help a player in a positive way (in the weight room, on the field, in the classroom, or in life). My favorite thing about coaching is seeing the players that I have coached become successful men and women after high school. The wins are great, and we are a very competitive coaching staff, but witnessing the players we’ve coached become husbands, wives, and/or parents is truly what makes this job awesome.”



Andy Todd

1.“The team’s mental toughness has improved significantly over the season. Winning close games against BA, RP, and Goodhue helped us grow as a team and develop that mental toughness. The leadership by players has improved and been impressive all year.”

2. “I’ve just always loved football. As a kid I read football books, watched football movies, and playing football was pretty much all my friend group did. I love the strategy of the game and the teamwork that it requires. The coordination of eleven players, doing their job, over and over again, teaches great life lessons and makes it such a great game.”

3. “This is my seventh year coaching. I’m the Offensive Coordinator.”

4. “My favorite thing about coaching is that it’s a way for me to give to my community. I care a lot about the Fillmore Central community, and if my work as a coach helps to provide a little bit of pride to the community, that means the world to me.”




Brady Ristau

1.“Their mental game and motivation to push forward even when it’s hard…”

2.“My love and passion for the game and my love for the Falcon football family…”

3.“I’ve been coaching for four years now…three years of being 7th and 8th coach. I coach on the defensive side of the ball, “the good side” as I call it. If I had to say a position that I more specialize at, I’d say Linebackers.”

4.“My favorite part about coaching is the opportunity that it gives me to play a role in forming a young person’s life, not only in football.”







Chris Mensink

1.“This team has gotten better at handling the pressure that has been put on them and the mental part of the game.  Life is 15% what happens to you and 85% about how you handle it and your response.  The team has gotten much better about focusing on the response to situations – not what happened, positive or negative. I think also the team has continued to gel and understand each one’s strengths and weaknesses and playing to each other’s strengths.”

2.“I have always enjoyed the game of football. To me it is the ultimate team game…getting eleven guys to all work together at a time towards the same goal. The game is a microcosm of life.  I enjoy watching and developing young men through the game of football. So many life lessons can be taught and learned through sport. I think that is our job as coaches – to build relationships and build athlete’s life skills through sport.”

3.“I have been coaching football my entire career for 27 years. I spent five years as the JV Coach, five years as the Assistant Varsity Coach to Hall of Fame Coach Del Elston, and the last seventeen years as the Head Coach at Fillmore Central.”

4. “Relationships built with the athletes and Coaches…  The camaraderie we share and the stage you have to make a positive impact on students’ lives…”


David Broadwater

1.“This year I feel the players have improved each week on their fundamentals and their technique. The boys continue to want to get better and to not be satisfied with their performance. There is always room for improvement, and the boys have continued to strive to play that “perfect” game.”

2. “I have wanted to become a football coach ever since I stopped playing football after high school. There is just something special about Friday Night Lights that can’t be duplicated. I was lucky enough to have some pretty great coaches, and I wanted to give back to the school and program that shaped me into the person I am today! I love the fact that football is the ultimate team game, and I thoroughly enjoy preparing the athletes for the specific game that week and for life as well.”

3. “I have been involved with and coaching in the Fillmore Central football program since the fall of 2007 (17 years). I coach the JV team, along with being a Varsity Assistant. I work with the Running Backs, Linebackers, and am the Defensive Coordinator.”

4. “My favorite thing about coaching is seeing the athletes have success! I enjoy the process of getting the athletes to that point of success, and once they get there, to help them improve their best!”


Gary Sloan

1.“I would say they have improved the most on their “mental approach” to the game.”

2. “I have always loved all sports, but I especially love football. I have wanted to be a football coach since a very young age.”

3. “This is my 39th year of coaching football. I was an Assistant Coach in Grand Meadow for eight years and then the Head Coach for twenty-nine years. I am a volunteer assistant at Fillmore Central and help out a little bit in all areas.”

4. “This is an easy question. The answer is getting to know kids  and getting to build relationships with kids.”




Kurt Bockoven

1.“The little things like how you should step, hand placement, which side your head should be on when blocking, etc… I feel our linemen continue to improve on those basic techniques and strive for perfection.”

2. “That’s simple… ‘For the love of the game.’  Football has given me so much from being a Pop Warner player through playing in Division 2 college ball. Now I want to share that love to those who want to play.”

3.“I am the Offense and Defense Line Coach. I have been a volunteer coach for almost ten years including three years with Fillmore Central.”

4. “It’s the players…building a relationship with them on and off the field…watching them grow and be successful on and off the field.”





Ty Sloan

  1. “Throughout this season our guys have faced a lot of adversity. We’ve had to deal with weather, injuries, weather again, and mistakes that we have made. As the season has gone on, I think that our guys have become more mentally tough and are handling difficult situations better than we were at the start of the season.”

2. “Football is something that has been in my family since I was born. My dad has been a football coach for 40 years, and from an early age I knew that this was something that I wanted to do. I started going to football practices from a very young age and fell in love with the sport. Having the opportunity to build relationships and connections with our guys from the first day of practice in the summer all the way to where we are now is something that is very special to me. As a football coach you are trying to make these guys good football players, but more importantly we are trying to turn them into good, young men. Wins and losses are what is important to high school football players now, but if we can look back in twenty years and say that we had a positive impact on their lives, that is much greater than wins and losses.”

3. “This is my fifth year coaching high school football. I coached for three years in Grand Meadow and was Offensive Coordinator for two of those years. I am currently the 8th grade coach and Varsity Assistant at Fillmore Central.”

4. “There are many things that I love about coaching, but being able to see our student athletes put in long hours in the weight room, gym, practice field, and watching them go from teenagers to young adults is something truly special. Being given the opportunity to build connections and relationships with our guys is special. After they graduate, knowing that they are going to move on and have a long successful life, is truly my favorite part about coaching high school sports.”

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About the Contributor
Savannah Rose Erickson, Staff Writer
Savannah Erickson is currently a junior at Fillmore Central High School. She participates in volleyball, track, one act, and spring play. When she's not in school, she likes to spend time with family. Savannah is a big people pleaser and tries to make everyone happy. Feel free to walk up to her, and she is sure to start a conversation.
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