Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan land five on 9AA all-state football list
By ROGER MERRIAM
Five of the leaders who helped Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan’s team return to the top of Class 9AA ranks this fall spearhead the division’s all-state football team as selected by the South Dakota Football Coaches Association.
Junior fullback Jordan Grosdidier, senior running back Wade Miller, senior guard Tyler Myers, sophomore defensive end Camden Myers and senior defensive back Blake Bartscher each have been named to the 24-player squad for the Seahawks, who capped an 11-1 season with their third state Class 9AA championship in four years under head coach Jeff VanLeur.
Grosdidier rushed for 1,153 yards and 15 touchdowns, while Miller rushed for 1,805 yards and 30 scores and also caught 11 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns.
“Jordan works tremendously hard at all times,” VanLeur said. “Wade is a hard-working athlete who stepped in big this year to fill a huge hole.”
Tyler Myers was the main offensive lineman for a squad that rushed for 3,449 yards and passed for another 632.
“Tyler has been a great leader for us,” VanLeur said. “He’s very coachable, works hard and always has time to help our younger players.”
Defensively, Camden Myers was in 102 tackles this season (39 solos, 63 assists) and also had 15 sacks and two fumble recoveries. Bartscher made 25 solo tackles and assisted on 40 others this season. He also picked off seven passes, pushing his career total to 13 interceptions.
“Camden worked hard to make himself and the team better this season,” VanLeur said. “Blake is a very smart player who is very coachable.”
The all-state squad — 17 seniors, five juniors and two sophomores — also includes four players each from state runner-up Arlington in junior quarterback Andrew King, junior guard Kyle Stegeman, junior defensive tackle Brody Gilbertson and sophomore special teams player Luke Weber.
King passed for 1,252 yards and 14 touchdowns and also ran for 772 yards and 17 TDs, while Stegeman was a big factor in what Arlington got accomplished on both sides of the ball.
Gilbertson finished with 45 tackles including three quarterback sacks.
The list also includes players from 2012 state champion Deubrook Area in senior running back Riley Hanson, senior center Clayton Dahl, senior defensive end Quinn Peterson and senior punter Dustin Trooien.
Hanson rushed for 2,365 yards and 34 TDs, threw two TD passes and caught one and also scored four times on kickoff and punt returns. He finished his career with 6,131 yards and 61 TDs. Peterson recorded 96 tackles, including four sacks, and also forced two fumbles and recovered another.
Arlington finished 10-2 and Deubrook Area ended up 9-2, with both losses coming to Arlington, including one in the state semifinals.
The rest of the offense includes senior wide receivers Andrew Taggart, of Gregory, and Dylan Lehr, of Menno/Marion, and senior tight end Chandler Holland, of Webster Area.
Taggart caught 11 passes for 261 yards and five TDs and also hauled in three conversion passes. Finished his career with 28 receptions for 634 yards and 12 TDs.
Lehr hauled in 16 passes for 454 yards and eight TDs, while Holland caught seven passes for 112 yards and four touchdowns.
Other defensive players honored are Clark-Willow Lake senior tackle Nick Young; senior linebackers Nick Gortmaker, of Menno/Marion, Cote Hinker, of Mount Vernon/Plankinton and Corey Schlotte, of Webster Area; junior linebacker
Turner Blasius, of Kimball/White Lake and senior back Garret Anderson, of Irene-Wakonda.
Gortmaker recorded 60 tackles including a sack and also picked off two passes and recovered a fumble.
“Nick is a very hard worker and has set the bar high for future Razorbacks,” Menno/Marion co-head coach Todd Obele said. “He never wanted to leave the field.”
Hinker led his team in tackles for the third straight season, posting 87 tackles and two sacks, while Blasius was involved in 95 tackles this season, recording three quarterbacks sacks and recovering five fumbles.
“Turner is a true example of a football player,” Kimball/White Lake head coach Dale Taylor said. “He is the weight room at least five days a week, if not more.”
Young made 44 solo tackles, including 20 quarterback sacks, and also recovered a fumble and blocked three punts, while Anderson posted 68 solo tackles and 19 assists this fall to go with one interception, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Other specialty players are Garretson senior long snapper Alex Thorson and Elkton-Lake Benton senior kicker Andrew Kirshenman.
Trooien, Taggart and Kirshenman are repeat selections from 2012.
Here is a brief summary of each of the players named to the team:
Honorable MentionKurt Bruan, Gregory; Matt Johnson and Jesse Brockhouse, Gregory; HeathSchindler, Elkton-Lake Benton; Reid Joffer, Parker; Brandon Goosen andLincoln Loangrock, Menno-Marion; Austin Huggins, Platte-Geddes-DakotaChristian; Gage Skillingstad, Dylan Thomas and Marshall Swanson, Hill City;Jadrian Guy, Britton-Hecla; Blake Messmer, Woonsocket-WessingtonSprings-Sanborn Central; Lance Eide, Deuel and Jakob Weisbrod, Clark-Willow Lake.