Parkston, Cavaliers play for playoff seedings
As playoffs near, seeding is heavy on the minds of many high school football coaches.
For Bon Homme head coach Byron Pudwill, the outcome of tonight’s game is the difference in traveling 40 minutes or two hours for the Cavaliers’ playoff opener.
Class 11B’s Bon Homme (5-2) is the third seed in its region behind top-seeded Winner and Parkston. The Cavaliers host the Parkston Trojans (6-1) in the final week of the regular season at 7 tonight in Tyndall.
“We could end up just going to play Parkston with a win,” Pudwill said. “If things don’t go our way, we could end up in Winner.”
For a complete list of playoff standings for all classes, see Page B2.
Parkston head coach Eric Norden said tonight’s game could sway home-field advantage.
“The playoff picture is so scrambled,” he said. “I think this game is really important for us in the fact that keeping us with the possibility of hosting a few playoff games. Home-field advantage is what we’re hoping to work for.”
On top of postseason implications, the game is a Southeastern South Dakota Conference matchup and rivalry game.
“People say it’s just another game, but rival games are not just another game,” Pudwill said. “Both teams want to win and be better than the other, and we’re preparing as best as we can.”
Norden and his squad won last year’s contest and hope to gain momentum heading into the playoffs with a victory.
“The rivalry games are always fun to play,” Norden said. “It’s a good way to end the season as long as it’s on a positive note. It’s a big game with the added dimension of playoff implications and all the other stuff that goes with it.”
The Trojans, whose only loss is against Winner, are led by running back Miles Semmler. The 6-foot junior has rushed for 428 yards and eight touchdowns on 68 carries, while junior quarterback Wes Dvorak has rushed for 268 yards and five touchdowns on 42 carries.
Dvorak and senior Zach Scott have split time under center as Dvorak has thrown for 105 yards, one touchdown on 13-of-27 passing. Scott has completed 17 of 33 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, senior linebacker Mitch Heisinger leads in tackles with 78 and senior defensive back Andrew Semmler has made a team-leading three interceptions and has returned two for touchdowns.
Bon Homme’s success has come by senior quarterback Dakota Bodden. He has rushed for 741 yards and eight touchdowns on 100 carries, while completing 33 of 93 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Scott Van Winkle has also taken snaps, throwing for 150 yards and three touchdowns on 4-of-8 passing. Junior halfback Hunter Young is the Cavaliers’ second leading rusher with 248 yards and two touchdowns on 49 carries and freshman running back
Chase Kortan has 48 carries for 225 yards and three scores on 48 carries.
Pudwill said the key to his team’s success is the work it put in during the offseason.
“Nothing means anything unless you do something in the offseason and these guys have that figured out,” he said. “I’m happy with how they’ve worked.”