Madison, West Central dominate 11A all-state; Chamberlain's Dominiack selected
By PADRAIC DUFFY
It probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that 11 of this year’s 27 Class 11A all-state football selections were playing in the state championship game in Vermillion.
Madison and West Central split their two meetings this season with the Bulldogs winning in the regular season and the Trojans taking the game for the state title. Madison led the Class 11A all-state selections with six, led by quarterback Jacob Giles and running back Rush Milne, while West Central had five selections on the offensive line and defense.
Hot Springs, Tea Area and Dakota Valley all had three selections, Pine Ridge and Vermillion had two apiece and Chamberlain, Lennox and Dell Rapids each put one player on the team.
Quarterback – Jacob Giles, Madison, 6-2, 184 pounds, senior
Giles finished his senior season throwing for 1,702 yards and 12 touchdowns on 97-of-174 attempts and ended his Bulldog career as the school’s career leader in passing yards (2,702), completions (177), attempts (341), completion percentage (52) and passing touchdowns (21).
Running back – Rush Milne, Madison, 6-1, 195 pounds, senior
Milne carried the load for the Bulldogs offensively, rushing 214 times for 1,364 yards and 33 touchdowns while adding 10 receptions for 187 yards and two more scores. He finished his Madison career as the Bulldogs’ all-time leading rusher with 2,726 yards and career scoring leader with 376 points.
Running back – Jake Oberpriller, Hot Springs, 5-10, 160 pounds, senior
Oberpriller rolled up 1,432 yards rushing on only 167 carries for an average of 8.6 yards per attempt. He is a two-year starter for head coach Ben Kramer who finished his Bison career with 2,597 yards and 30 touchdowns on 323 carries.
“He put up a lot of stats and won a lot of awards for a kid who was always told he was too small,” Kramer said. “I put Jake on the (all-state) board last year knowing there were four or five running backs better than him. This year I’m putting him up because he’s the best.”
Fullback – Gunnar Ensz, Tea Area, 5-11, 180, senior
Ensz led the Titans in rushing with 777 yards and 13 touchdowns while adding 11 catches for 129 yards. The 2012 honorable mention selection finished his career with 1,683 yards and 31 scores on 206 carries.
Wide receiver – Preston Nordling, Madison, 5-9, 150 pounds, senior
Nordling caught 31 passes for 685 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs in receiving. He also added a rushing touchdown and two punt return scores.
Wide receiver – Brody VanGinkel, Dakota Valley, 6-0, 170 pounds, senior
VanGinkel registered 31 receptions for 511 yards and five touchdowns this season while picking off six passes and scoring a TD as a defensive back and handling kicking and punting duties. He finished his career with 47 catches for 750 yards and 10 TDs.
Tight end – Eriq Swiftwater, Hot Springs, 6-3, 195 pounds, senior
Swiftwater was a force on both sides of the ball as he caught 18 passes for 325 yards and six scores a year after moving from wide receiver to tight end. He also picked off six passes (two returned for touchdowns) and had 90 tackles and eight sacks as a linebacker.
“He’s a great athlete who we decided to move to tight end because of his ability to block the edge,” Kramer said.
Tackle – John Blue, West Central, 6-4, 230 pounds, senior
Blue was a two-year starter at tackle who was a huge factor in the Trojans’ racking up 4,034 yards rushing and 447 points this season. Over his two years as a starter, West Central gained 7,322 yards of total offense. He is the strongest player on the Trojan team and runs a mile in 5 minutes, 26 seconds despite weighing 230 pounds.
Tackle – Jesse Trueblood, Pine Ridge, 6-7, 300 pounds, senior
Trueblood was a 2012 honorable mention all-state selection who was a four-year starter and four-year all-conference selection. In addition to playing offensive tackle, he played every position on the Thorpe defense over his four years except for free safety.
“He is the best football player I have ever coached,” Pine Ridge head coach Sam Bravo said. “He is the most talented and versatile player I’ve had.”
Guard – Matt Sebert, West Central, 6-0, 185 pounds, senior
Sebert helped anchor a line that rolled up over 4,000 yards of total offense and surrendered just three sacks all season. He started at tackle as a junior despite weighing just 160 pounds, was voted a team captain by his teammates and was the guard the Trojans ran behind when they pulled.
Guard – Jordan Unterbrunner, Madison, 6-4, 236 pounds, senior
The starting guard on an offense that rolled up 42.5 points per game and paved the way for all-state seasons by Milne and Giles, Unterbrunner is a two-time all-conference selection.
Center – Hunter Pulscher, Hot Springs, 6-5, 265 pounds, senior
Pulscher anchored an offensive line that enabled the Bison to pile up 2,435 rushing yards this season. He also didn’t have a bad snap all season despite the Bison lining up in the shotgun formation on approximately 75 percent of their snaps.
“We pulled Hunter from soccer his freshman year and he developed into one of the best lineman Hot Springs has ever seen,” Kramer said. “He’s very vocal and everything you want out of a leader. He’ll kick kids in the butt when they need it and he’ll pat them on the butt when they need that.”
End – Bradyn Steffen, Madison, 6-2, 229 pounds, senior
Steffen had 51 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions for a defense that only allowed 173 yards of total offense per game. The two-time all-conference selection was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs.
End – Jason Lupkes, Dakota Valley, 6-4, 210 pounds, senior
Lupkes had 49 total tackles, four sacks, four pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and eight tackles for loss for the Panthers as a senior. He was a two-year starter who was a team captain this season.
Tackle – Dylan Dominiack, Chamberlain, 6-0, 240 pounds, senior
Dominiack was a four-time letterwinner and two-time all-conference selection. Dominiack was a standout on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
Linebacker – Brayden Swartwout, West Central, 6-1, 185 pounds, senior
Swartwout led the Trojans with 66 tackles and had an interception as the West Central middle linebacker. The Trojans surrendered just 2.6 yards per carry through the season.
Linebacker – Tyler Currey, Madison, 6-0, 205 pounds, senior
Currey had 98 total tackles on the season, 12.5 for loss and two sacks. He also blocked two punts and intercepted a pass. A two-time all-conference selection, he registered 206 tackles and four interceptions over his career.
Linebacker – Blake Perryman, Dakota Valley, 5-10, 155 pounds, senior
A 2013 all-conference selection, Perryman had 43 total tackles, four sacks and six tackles for loss for the Panthers.
Linebacker – Alex Osborne, Vermillion, 5-10, 170 pounds, senior
Osborne racked up 58 total tackles, eight sacks (seven in one game), eight tackles for loss and an interception for the Tanagers this season.
Back – Cole Tirrel, West Central, 5-11, 170 pounds, senior
Tirrel had 36 tackles, four interceptions (one returned for a TD), nine passes defensed and two fumble recoveries this season. He also returned a punt for a touchdown and averaged 23 yards per punt return.
Back – Dereck DeVries, Lennox, 6-3, 190, senior
DeVries had 46 total tackles, one interception and forced two fumbles. A two-time all-conference selection, he was also the Orioles’ main ball carrier.
Back – Riley Schmidt, Dell Rapids, 5-10, 170, junior
The only non-senior named to the team this season, Schmidt had 52 tackles and an interception for the Quarriers. A two-time all-conference selection, Schmidt was the Joe Robbie Most Valuable Player in the 2012 Class 11A state championship game.
Back – Taylor Roemen, Tea Area, 6-2, 175 pounds, senior
Roemen had 55 total tackles and two interceptions for the Titans as he was named all-conference. He registered 162 total tackles and five interceptions over his career at Tea Area.
Kicker – Cooper Hansen, Tea Area, 5-10, 180 pounds, senior
Hansen made 5-of-9 field goals with a long of 32 yards and was 26-of-27 on extra points. He was a five-year starter at kicker for the Titans.
Punter – Ethan James, Vermillion, 6-0, 186 pounds, senior
James punted 31 times for a 39.4-yard average for the Tanagers this season.
Special teams – Cole Reddy, Pine Ridge, 5-8, 150 pounds, senior
Reddy had 86 total tackles and two interception returns for touchdowns while using his 4.6-second, 40-yard dash time to make plays on special teams.
“He is an absolute athlete,” Bravo said.
Long snapper – Cole Becker, West Central, 5-10, 170, senior
The starting long snapper over the past two years for every point after attempt, field goal and punt and the Trojans didn’t have one bad snap.
Class 11A Honorable Mention
Justin Harkless, Hot Springs; Tucker Chytka, Belle Fourche; Brett Nichols, Dell Rapids; Zach White, Dell Rapids; Tarin Smallfield, Tea Area; Brandon Joffer, Tea Area; Andy Scherff, Dell Rapids; Zach Morehead, Tea Area; Dexter Nowstrup, Madison; Regan Bye, Vermillion; Ryan Nelson, Belle Fourche; Cody Sexton, Dakota Valley; Grant Russell, Hot Springs.