Parkston fans take in Dome experience
VERMILLION — If someone drove through Parkston Friday afternoon, they would see empty streets and may hear the faint sound of Trojan fans who stayed behind cheering as they watched their boys play on television.
“If you wanted to rob some place, today would be the day to be in Parkston because just about everybody is here,” Lorie Duarte said prior to the kickoff of the Class 11B state title game at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
For many Trojan fans, it was their first time seeing the orange and blue play for a state title, as Parkston has not been in the championship since 2002.
“It was a long road getting here and a long trip to Rapid City,” Duarte added, who is a Parkston native and was at the game to root on her nephew Caleb Horstman, a junior lineman for the Trojans.
Unfortunately for the Parkston faithful, Canton came out on top in the Class 11B title game 20-14.
“Everybody has been really fired up all week,” said Theresa Hayen.
Hayen is a Parkston native at her first title game to see her nephew, David Voorhees, play for a championship. At her side was her 7-year old grandson, Reed, with his orange and blue face paint and excited smile just minutes before kickoff.
Some Trojan fans were looking forward to seeing their hometown team win a state playoff title for the first time in school history after the Trojans left the Dome empty handed twice before.
With the loss Friday, Doug Fischer has seen the Trojans fall in the title game for a third time since the playoffs were instituted for South Dakota high school football in 1981.
The Trojans finished in the runner-up position in 1991, when they lost to Hamlin 38-6, and in 2002, falling to Clark 28-17.
“It’s been a long time,” Fischer said prior to kickoff. “They do a number of things great and really keep playing hard.”
Fischer is a former football player for the Trojans and a Parkston native. He was at the Dome in 1991 when “it didn’t quite work out.”
After the final whistle blew Friday and Parkston had fallen just shy of school history, Trojan fans flooded the field for hugs and pictures with their team.
“We have had so much support all season and it has been great,” Parkston coach Eric Norden said following the game. “The pep rally before leaving was wonderful and to see all those people down Main Street was something special.”