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Prep Focus: Seahawks' Dye is big trouble for opponents

Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan's Carter Dye (68) celebrates a tackle in the backfield with Bradlee Schultz (71) during a game at Madison earlier this season. (Matt Gade / Republic)

BRIDGEWATER — There aren't a lot of dominating defensive players in South Dakota high school football. But Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan's Carter Dye is deserving of being on that short list.

Dye, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior defensive end, has been dominant for the Seahawks defense, racking up 110 tackles (including 55 solo stops), 14 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. He's a big threat on defense and a major reason why the Seahawks (9-2) will play for the Class 11B championship at 1 p.m. Friday in Vermillion against Sioux Falls Christian.

"Carter has done a great job," BEE coach Jeff VanLeur said. "He worked hard in the offseason. He has a good quick first step and he's a strong kid. It's hard to handle his quickness there. He's been disciplined and good at getting into the backfield and making plays back there."

Dye had six sacks in BEE's first three games this season, plus three sacks against MCM. He's had six games with 10-plus tackles this season and that includes three big games against strong competition.

Dye had 14 tackles (13 solo) and two sacks against Class 11A title game participant Madison on Sept. 8 and he had at least 10 tackles in both games against Sioux Valley. The second of those games was last Friday in the state semifinals, in which he had 14 tackles, a sack and recovered a fumble in the 35-7 win over the previously undefeated Cossacks.

Now that transitions to Sioux Falls Christian, which runs the ball more than 45 times a game and has ran for nearly 3,500 yards this season.

"Sioux Falls Christian has a good offense and they do a lot of little things right but with our defense, I think we can stop them and that's going to win us the game," Dye said.

It's common for a linebacker to lead the team in tackles or maybe a defensive tackle, but a defensive end such as Dye leading those categories is rare.

"He just wants it so bad," linebacker Jamin Arend said of Dye. "He takes it upon himself to get it done. He's huge for us."

Arend notices when Dye is taking on a double-team from opposing linemen, allowing other Seahawks to make a stop.

"I thank him after the play, too," Arend said with a laugh. "He gets on me and I get on him a little bit but we help each other out and we have a good time."

VanLeur credits Dye's offseason work for getting stronger and faster off the ball.

"That quickness and strength is tough and he has a great nose for the football," VanLeur said. "He's unselfish about that and doesn't need to lead the team. We've got 11 guys on the team that need to do their jobs and he cares about getting the 'W'."

For Dye and the Seahawks, one more stand is needed Friday at the DakotaDome.

"We've got to go to work," Dye said. "Being one of the last teams standing, we have to work hard and we have to focus on the little things."