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Colome lands four on Class 9B all-state squad

Colome and Sully Buttes played in a thrilling Class 9B football championship game, which the Cowboys won 48-42 in overtime Nov. 9, so it is fitting that the Class 9B all-state team was led by members of both teams. The all-state team was selected...

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Colome's Jackson Kinzer (6) breaks free on his way to the end zone for a score as Sully Buttes' Cameron Ogle gives chase during the Class 9B state championship game on Nov. 9 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Colome and Sully Buttes played in a thrilling Class 9B football championship game, which the Cowboys won 48-42 in overtime Nov. 9, so it is fitting that the Class 9B all-state team was led by members of both teams. The all-state team was selected by the South Dakota Football Coaches Association.

For the Cowboys, running back Jackson Kinzer made the team for the second straight season, while on defense Beau Bertram made the team as a defensive end, Chase Dufek as a linebacker and Layton Thieman as a defensive back.

Sully Buttes featured five players while Colome had four make the team. The Chargers had quarterback Nick Wittler, running back Morris Hofer, wide receiver Grant Johnson, tight end Cam Ogle and guard Jett Lamb on offense.

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Nick Wittler, Jr., Sully Buttes (6-0, 165). The two-time all-Yellowstone Trail Conference quarterback led the Chargers to the Class 9B state title game. He went 114-of-187 through the air last season with 2,253 yards, 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He ran the ball 124 times for 1,120 yards and 16 touchdowns.

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Fullback: Bradan McDonnell, Sr., Wall (6-2, 210). McDonnell was important for the Eagles on both sides of the ball, but offensively he carried the ball 71 times for 683 yards and 10 touchdowns. He added 22 receptions for 348 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game.

Running back: Jackson Kinzer, Sr., Colome (6-0, 205). Kinzer rushed for 1,400 yards on 106 carries, good for a 13.2 yards per carry average for the undefeated state champs. He also found the end zone 23 times on the ground during the season. "Jackson really stepped up as a vocal leader this year," Colome coach Ben Connot said. "He is a very gifted athlete, and he was the guy that we relied on to run the offense at the quarterback position."

Running back: Morris Hofer, Sr., Sully Buttes (6-1, 200). Hofer has been named to the all-Yellowstone Trail Conference team for the past two season, and ran for 8.5 yards per carry on his way to 1,142 yards on 134 carries and 11 touchdowns.

Wide receiver: Zack Anders, Jr., Harding County (5-10, 155). Anders set a school record with 60 receptions last season, gaining 970 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also had 73 carries for 359 yards and seven touchdowns.

Wide receiver: Grant Johnson, Jr., Sully Buttes (5-11, 180). Johnson got it done on both sides of the ball last season for the Chargers. He caught 32 passes for 631 yards and 11 touchdowns for a 19.7 yards per catch average on offense and had six interceptions on defense.

Tight end: Cam Ogle, Sr., Sully Buttes (6-0, 215). Ogle was named to the all-Yellowstone Trail Conference team for the second straight season after catching 27 passes for 519 yards for 19.2 yards per catch and nine touchdowns.

Guard: Jett Lamb, Jr, Sully Buttes. (6-3, 270). Lamb was named to the all-Yellowstone Trail Conference team for the third straight year and led the offensive line in practice and games played.

Guard: Alec Landis, Sr. Colman-Egan (6-2, 265). Landis was a big part of the offense for a Hawks team that made the Class 9B quarterfinals and finished with a record of 7-3.

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Center: Alex Aesoph, Sr., Faulkton Area (5-9, 180). Aesoph led an offensive line that helped the Trojans score 32 points a game and has been a three-year starter. He also made an impact as a linebacker last season.

DEFENSE

Defensive end: Beau Bertram, Sr., Colome, (6-5, 240). Bertram spent a lot of time in the defensive backfield for the Cowboys, recording 75 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. "Beau has a high motor and gets after it each play," Connot said. "He has been an emotional staple on our team the last two years. Beau is a hard worker that did a great job diversifying his ability and football skills throughout the season."

Defensive end: Brandon Benike, Sr., Castlewood (6-3, 180). Benike played quarterback and defensive end of Castlewood, and on the defensive side of the ball he racked up 57 tackles, four backs, forced three fumbles and had 14 tackles for loss.

Defensive tackle: Dane Jensen, Sr., Harding County (6-3, 240). Jensen was a problem for offensive lines during the past season, he had 22 solo tackles and 20 assisted tackles for 42 total, recorded 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks.

Defensive tackle: Kaleb Wells, Sr., Burke (6-0, 190). Despite only playing eight games, Wells put up solid numbers for Burke last season. He had 56 tackles, eight tackles for loss, one interception, one fumble recovery and six sacks. "Kaleb was disruptive, that is the best way to describe him," Burke coach Mike Sebern said. "He used his quickness and aggressiveness to get penetration and make plays in the backfield."

Linebacker: Chase Dufek, Sr., Colome (5-8, 170). Dufek played running back and linebacker and on the defensive side of the ball he had 60 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. "Chase has been rock solid for us the past two seasons," Connot said. "He is a big play guy with lots of energy. He really grew into his role and matured dramatically throughout the past two seasons. His stats reflecting the type of player he has become."

Linebacker: Ty Hofer, Sr., Hitchcock-Tulare (6-1, 205). Hofer was productive again as a senior, averaging 12.5 tackles per game for 117 total, 82 of which were solo and he had 35 tackles for loss.

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Linebacker: Noah Wiersma, Sr., Castlewood (6-0, 185). Wiersma did it all in all three phases for the Warriors, he was a productive runner, pass-catcher, kick returner, punter and kicker. On defense, he registered 111 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, two touchdowns and had 11 tackles for loss.

Linebacker: Cash Wilson, Sr., Wall (5-11, 160). Wilson was everywhere on defense as he helped the Eagles reach the Class 9B semifinals. He recorded 80 tackles, 13.5 came for loss, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Defensive back: Tyler Ogle, Sr., Faulkton Area (5-11, 165). Hard work and ability made Ogle a go-to player for Faulkton on offense, defense and special teams. Defensively, he had 58 tackles, five interceptions, 18 pass break-ups and two forced fumbles.

Defensive back: Layton Thieman, Sr., Colome (6-2, 175). Thieman was important to Colome's state title on both sides of the ball, and defensively he finished the season with 40 tackles and four interceptions. "Layton has been a leader for us the past two years," Connot said. "He is a smart kid that knows his job and does it to the best of his ability. He rarely comes out for plays, even on special teams. He is a very reliable athlete."

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: Jaxon Babb, Jr., Sunshine Bible Academy (5-11, 195). Babb was a weapon for the Crusaders kicking the football, as he averaged 50.8 yards per kickoff on 33 kickoffs which included eight touchbacks. He was 20-of-24 on extra points and 1-of-1 on field goals.

Punter: Riley Spartz, Sr., Waverly-South Shore (5-11, 215). Spartz was able to flip the field on more than one occasion for the Coyotes, his 23 punts traveled 873 yards for a 38 yard average. He had 10 punts that traveled more than 40 yards and two that went more than 50. His long was 53 yards, he pinned six punts inside the 20-yard line and two inside the 10.

Special teams player: Kaden Eng, Jr., Castlewood (6-0, 180). Eng was dangerous whenever he touched the ball, especially on special teams. He returned 14 punts for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

Long snapper: Tadan Casjens, Sr., Wall (5-9, 210). Casjens played center and long snapper for the past two seasons, and the Eagles were 48-of-56 on extra points during the past season as well as 2-of-4 on field goals.

Honorable mention: Derek Heitmann, Faulkton Area; Jacob Bielmaier, Wall; Caleb Schentzel, Northwestern; Dalton Voelker, Colman-Egan; Dawson Varilek, Colome; Wyatt Cahoy, Colome; Brock Karbo, Burke; Peyton Nelson, Hitchcock-Tulare; Eli Bowen, Colman-Egan; Chase Hemmer, Colman-Egan; Ethan Geraets, Dell Rapids St. Mary; Joel Underwood, Sunshine Bible Academy; Grant Darrow, Edgemont.

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