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Parkston's Semmler has rare size at defensive position

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sports Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Cornerbacks in the National Football League regularly size up at 5-foot-10, 185 pounds.

There are few who are 6-foot, 200 pounds.

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Parkston’s Andrew Semmler goes against the norm at the position, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in 220 pounds, according to theSouth Dakota High School Activities Association website. Trojan head coach Eric Norden said Semmler is able to play cornerback because of his unique athletic ability.

The senior is taller and weighs more than any cornerback on the Minnesota Vikings roster, and stands just as tall and 35 pounds lighter than his favorite player, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.

“He is real athletic guy,” Norden said. “He can float from side-to-side on the field making plays. He is a fast straight-line guy and makes a lot of plays for us. He’s big, strong and fast, and kind of the whole package back there.”

This is Semmler’s first season playing cornerback for the Trojans, moving from linebacker last year.

Norden said Semmler was a good at the position, but the move to cornerback would help the team more.

“My whole life I played linebacker but the first week of camp coach said, ‘We are going to try you at corner,’ ” Semmler said. “I thought he was crazy at first, but it has worked out pretty good for me and the team.”

Semmler is a key contributor on a Trojans defense, which has not allowed more than 14 points in any game this season. In the five games, Semmler has recorded 26 tackles and three interceptions.

Two of Semmler’s interceptions came in a game against Wagner on Sept. 20. The senior ran both interceptions for touchdowns to help Parkston defeat the Red Raiders 30-12.

“It was a little different to have to react to the pass at first,” Semmler said. “At linebacker, I was focused more on stopping the run, but now I am trying to stop passes. It has taken some time to get used to but I am used to it now.”

Semmler said he’d like to play next year in college if the opportunity comes around. From a team standpoint, Semmler is focused on taking the 4-1 squad deep into the playoffs.

The No. 4 Trojans hit the field against Tri-Valley at 7 p.m. today in Parkston.

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