It’s only fitting Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan and Winner are well represented on the Class 11B all-state team.
The football powers seemed destined to meet in this year’s state championship, which the Seahawks claimed by a 21-14 margin on Nov. 15 at the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. They have now combined to play in the last five state championships, with three titles among them.
The two storied programs also headline this year’s Class 11B all-state football team, which is selected by the South Dakota Football Coaches Association.
The honor squad is full of star power as three 11B headliners made the team again. BEE quarterback Brady Hawkins and Chamberlain lineman Nash Hutmacher are each making their third straight team. Mount Vernon/Plankinton’s Jesse Hastings is making his second team after earning honorable mention honors in 2017.
The 12-0 Seahawks placed five players -- Hawkins, Jonah Hofer, Chase Arend, Grant Andrews and Josh Bartscher -- on the team. Phillip Jorgensen, Trevor Peters, Oscar Pravecek and Joren Bruun were all-state selections for Winner (11-1).
Thomas Baker and Hunter Pranger were also all-state selections to give Mount Vernon/Plankinton three on the team. Webster Area and Elk Point-Jefferson also landed three each on the team.
Here is a capsule look at each player on the all-state squad:
Quarterback: Brady Hawkins, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (senior, 6-3, 205). Hawkins did it all for the state champs. He compiled 931 passing yards, 1,038 rushing yards, 15 rushing touchdowns, 17 passing touchdowns, 112 tackles and four interceptions. Hawkins graduates as BEE’s career leader in passing yards (2,874), completions (138), passing touchdowns (35) and tackles (302). He also finished with 2,064 rushing yards and 28 rushing scores. Hawkins, who also handled the kicking and punting duties, was the Jim Langer MVP and Outstanding Back of the Class 11B title game. “He leads by example on and off the field and has great leadership skills,” BEE coach Jeff Van Leur said. “He works hard in and out of the season and always stays positive. He plays every down for us.” Hawkins will play baseball at South Dakota State University.
Fullback: Phillip Jorgensen, Winner (senior, 6-0, 200). Jorgensen packed a punch for the run-heavy Warriors. He racked up 787 rushing yards on 138 carries and scored 11 touchdowns this season, while also compiling 29.5 tackles on defense. He finished his career with 2,004 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. “He is a prototypical fullback who can block and run,” Winner coach Dan Aaker said. “He has good quickness to hit the hole and will run you over once he gets there. Ultimate team player who will do whatever you ask him to do.”
Running back: Trevor Peters, Winner (senior, 5-10, 150). The shifty running back capped a brilliant career with his second straight all-state nod. Peters, who was an all-state defensive back last season, amassed 1,299 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns. He added 45 tackles and three interceptions on defense. He finishes his career with 2,562 rushing yards and 47 touchdowns. He added 101.5 tackles and five interceptions from his safety spot. “He is pound for pound the toughest player I have coached,” Aaker said. “He gained the majority of his yards after contact because of his toughness and great balance. When we needed yards the last two years we went to him.”
Running back: Jesse Hastings, Mount Vernon/Plankinton (senior, 6-0, 230). Hastings continued to truck defenders in his final season for the Titans. The future North Dakota State fullback registered 1,713 rushing yards (9.1 yards per carry) and 30 touchdowns for MVP. He ended his career with 5,008 rushing yards and 83 rushing touchdowns. Defensively, he racked up 156 tackles in his career. “Rare combination of size and speed,” MVP coach Brent Olson said. “He’s been playing varsity since eighth grade.”
Wide receiver: Reese Cerney, Mobridge-Pollock (senior, 5-11, 155). Good things happened with the ball in Cerney’s hands. He finished his senior campaign with 31 catches for 755 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also added 280 rushing yards on 21 carries and four touchdowns. He hauled in 84 catches for 1,869 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career. Cerney added 79 tackles and 11 interceptions on defense in his career. “Reese is the best wide receiver that I have coached in the past 13 years,” Mobridge-Pollock coach Paul Goehring said. “He is a great route runner and has excellent hands. He was targeted 34 times and caught 31 of them for a catch rate of 91 percent when thrown his way.”
Wide receiver: Jake Cheeseman, McCook Central/Montrose (senior, 6-2, 170). Cheeseman produced at a high level for the Fighting Cougars. The wideout set school records in receptions (46) and touchdowns (eight), while amassing 945 receiving yards. He averaged 20 yards per catch and erupted for seven catches for 253 yards and three touchdowns in MCM’s playoff win over Stanley County. “Big play threat that delivered when we needed long yards such as third and long situations,” MCM coach Shawn Flanagan said.
Tight end: Jaxton Schiller, Sioux Valley (junior, 6-2, 180). Schiller was a touchdown machine from his tight end spot. He hauled in 25 catches and 14 of them went for scores. He averaged 20.1 yards per catch. “Outstanding, very explosive athlete and team captain,” Sioux Valley coach Dan Hughes said. “Can block, catch, run and tackle at a very high level.”
Lineman: Drake Peed, Elk Point-Jefferson (junior, 6-3, 260). Peed powered the Huskies at the line of scrimmage. He helped EPJ rush for 2,079 yards and he allowed zero sacks from his guard position. He recorded 36.5 tackles (10.5 for loss) and seven sacks from his defensive tackle spot. Peed and the Huskies have rushed for more than 5,000 yards with him as a starting guard. “Leader on both sides of the ball,” EPJ coach Jacob Terry said. “When we need yards, we run behind him. On defense, he has a great pass rush and is double teamed each week playing against the best in 11B.”
Lineman: Thomas Baker, Mount Vernon/Plankinton (senior, 5-11, 190). Baker opened up running lanes for the Titans, who averaged 329 rushing yards this season. Defensively, he had 68 tackles, six fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles at his linebacker spot. Baker finished as the second leading tackler in program history. “Worked as hard as any player I have ever coached,” Olson said.
Lineman: Josh Bartscher, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (junior, 6-2, 240). Bartscher was a key cog in BEE’s potent rushing attack. The Seahawks rushed for 3,203 yards and passed for 1,035 yards. Defensively, he finished with 56 tackles and two sacks. The two-year starter helped BEE rush more than 5,800 yards the past two seasons. “Josh has worked extremely hard at making himself and his team better,” Bartscher said. “He is an excellent blocker, has good quickness for his size.”
Lineman: Oscar Pravecek, Winner (senior, 6-1, 260). A 2018 all-stater, Pravecek moved from guard to tackle this season and the Warriors didn’t skip a beat. The Warriors rushed for 3,519 yards (293 per game), while he added 33 tackles and two sacks on defense. He recorded 103 career tackles and six sacks. “He was our only returner with experience and not only did he carry the load on the field, he mentored the younger guys around him helping them get better every day,” Aaker said. “A true leader who loves the game and is team first.”
Lineman: Carter Fawcett, Webster Area (senior, 6-3, 300). Fawcett was a physical force for the Bearcats, who advanced to the Class 11B semifinals. Defensively, he posted 72 solo tackles (10 for loss) and 3.5 sacks. The Sioux Falls Christian transfer, Fawcett was the Outstanding Lineman of the 2018 Class 11B state title game for the Chargers. “Carter was an anchor on the line both offensively and defensively,” Webster Area coach Tanner Christensen said. “Teams typically double or triple teams him to move offensively. Carter was a student of the game and continually focused on improving.”
Lineman: Kregen Norder, Mobridge-Pollock (senior, 6-3, 190). Norder was a nuisance along the defensive line for the Tigers. He posted 35 tackles, three fumble recoveries, two sacks and one forced fumble. Norder finished with 79 tackles (16 for loss), six sacks, five fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles in his career. He will play defensive end at the South Dakota School of Mines. “He was our best lineman the past two years on both sides of the ball,” Goehring said. “Kregen is a very physical defensive end, making it hard for the opposing team to run to his side. He did an excellent job of holding his ground and getting off his blocks.”
Lineman: Nash Hutmacher, Chamberlain (senior, 6-5, 305). Hutmacher was a dominant force once again for the Cubs. The future Nebraska Husker logged 88 total tackles (18 for loss) and four quarterback sacks. A three-time Class A state heavyweight wrestling champ, Hutmacher had 269 total tackles and 13 sacks in his career. Offensively, he didn’t give up a sack in his career. He’s also a state champion shot put and discus thrower. “Nash has been a big part of our successful season this year,” Chamberlain coach Jeff Rademacher said. “His senior leadership and hard work on and off the field have been a reason for that success. Even though Nash has been double or triple teamed the past few years, he holds several CHS defensive records.”
Lineman: Connor Logan, Sioux Valley (junior, 6-0, 240). Logan held things down at the point of attack for the Cossacks, posting 29 tackles and one sack. “Hard working and tough player,” Hughes said. “Improved every week as the season progressed.”
Lineman: Max Baloun, Redfield (senior, 6-6, 240). Baloun set the edge for the Pheasants. The defensive end finished with 25 tackles (10.5 for loss), three sacks and one blocked punt. The future South Dakota State football player recorded 50 tackles (20.5 for loss) and eight sacks in his career. “Max had a huge impact on the game from his defensive end position and had to be accounted for by opposing offenses,” Redfield coach Nick Kopplin said. “Max is selfless and always willing to do whatever we needed him to do.”
Linebacker: Hunter Pranger, Mount Vernon/Plankinton (senior, 5-11, 170). Pranger powered MVP’s linebacking corps. He finished with 78 tackles (10.5 for loss), three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and one interception. A 2018 all-state selection, Pranger is MVP’s all-time leader in tackles, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries. “Great leader and very physical football player,” Olson said.
Linebacker: Sterling Rausch, Webster Area (senior, 6-0, 170). Rausch was productive at the linebacker spot for the Bearcats. He finished with 113 tackles, six sacks and two interceptions this season. Offensively, he added 705 rushing yards on 140 carries and five touchdowns. He had 267 tackles, seven tackles and seven interceptions for his career. He rushed for 1,042 yards and 11 touchdowns, while hauling in 29 receptions for 486 yards and eight more scores in his career. “His work ethic in the offseason and during in-season workouts were immeasurable,” Christensen said. “He was the leader of our defense and studied film to know every opposing team’s tendencies.”
Linebacker: Grant Andrews, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (senior, 6-1, 210). Andrews was a tackling machine for the Seahawks. He led the state champs with 141 tackles, while also recording four sacks, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. He added 473 yards and six touchdowns from his fullback spot. For his career, Andrews logged 237 tackles and 859 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. “Grant has worked hard at developing into a great football player,” Van Leur said. “He’s a great team player and has motivated our young players.”
Linebacker: Brad Christensen, Beresford (senior, 5-8, 160). Christensen posted big-time numbers from his linebacker position. He finished with 110 tackles and three interceptions in his senior campaign. The Watchdog quarterback also threw for 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns, while also rushing for 331 yards and six touchdowns. The two-time all-stater racked up 256 tackles (school record) and five interceptions in his career. “Brad is a tremendous football player,” Beresford coach Scott Ebert said. “Very rare to have your leading tackler and leader on defense to also be your QB and leader/best player on offense. Brad is as tough as they come. He’s incredibly intelligent and as coachable as they come. He is one of the best to ever put on a Watchdog football uniform.”
Defensive back: Grant Huber, St. Thomas More (senior, 5-10, 175). Huber was a key contributor to STM’s defensive backfield. A Class 11A all-stater last season, Huber had 32 tackles and five interceptions this season. He added 626 receiving yards on 34 receptions and 11 touchdowns on offense. For his career, he logged 68 tackles and 11 interceptions. He also had 1,546 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. “Grant has great football speed,” STM coach Wayne Sullivan said. “His routes were impeccable and was able to get open on anyone who guarded him.”
Defensive back: Coby Reetz, Webster Area (senior, 5-11, 170). Reetz manned Webster Area’s defensive backfield and finished with three interceptions. He also recorded 51 tackles, 14 pass deflections and one sack. Reetz rushed for 873 yards on 147 carries and 11 touchdowns on offense. He finished with 115 tackles and 13 interceptions for his career, while rushing for 2,375 yards and 27 touchdowns on defense. “He is a playmaker through and through,” Christensen said. “Coby was a go-to player for us. We knew that we could lean on him, especially in tough situations and that he wouldn’t break.”
Defensive back: Jonah Hofer, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (senior, 5-11, 170). Hofer was dynamic with the ball in his hands. Defensively, he had 44 tackles, two interceptions (both returned for touchdowns) and five pass breakups. Offensively, he rushed for a team-high 1,135 yards on 140 carries and 18 scores. He had a team-high 1,877 all-purpose yards. For his career, Hofer had 99 tackles and five interceptions. He added 1,488 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, while also recording 692 receiving yards and nine touchdowns for his career. He recently committed to play football at Northwestern College. “Jonah is as hard of a working player that I have had play for me,” Van Leur said. “He’s a great leader on and off the field. He’s a player the rest of the team looks up to and follows. He always drew our opponent’s best receiver.”
Defensive back: Joren Bruun, Winner (senior, 6-1, 155). Bruun was Winner’s cover corner to complement its stout run defense. He posted 17 tackles, seven pass breakups, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He recorded 42 tackles, 14 pass pass breakups, seven interceptions and three fumble recoveries for his career. “He is a great athlete who knows how to make plays on the ball and stays in good position,” Aaker said. “He made our secondary calls on defense and kept everyone in proper alignment.”
Kicker: Pablo Munoz-Fraga, Lead-Deadwood (senior, 5-11, 160). Munoz-Fraga was money for the Golddiggers. He hit 14 of his 15 PAT kicks and booted two field goals this season, including a long of 43 yards. He converted 11 touchbacks and three onside kicks. For his career, he finished 27 of 31 on PAT attempts and 7 of 12 on field goals. His career-long is 43 yards. “Pablo’s ability to kick and place the ball makes him a very valuable weapon,” Lead-Deadwood coach Tom Tieszen said. “He is very athletic and has the ability to kick with either foot accurately.”
Punter: Tyler Goehring, Elk Point-Jefferson (junior, 6-4, 160). Goehring did his job flipping the field for the Huskies. Goehring averaged 35 yards per punt, while only five of his 25 punts were returned and just went for more than 10 yards. “Invaluable resource on a team to be able to flip the field like he does,” Terry said. “His ability to throw and run forces defenses to be honest.”
Special teams player: Chase Arend, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (senior, 5-11, 165). Arend was all over the field for BEE. Offensively, he had 314 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He added 72 tackles and four interceptions on defense. The two-year starter finished with 440 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, while also posting 98 tackles and five interceptions on defense. “Chase does a great job of reading pass or run and is a great defender,” Van Leur said. “He has great speed and is very coachable.”
Special teams player: Riley Schmitz, Elk Point-Jefferson (junior, 6-0, 165). Schmitz was a versatile weapon for the Huskies. He recorded 727 rushing yards on 109 carries and five touchdowns. On defense, he logged 95.5 tackles (12 for loss), three forced fumbles, one interception and one sack. He has 1,123 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in his career, while also posting 121 tackles (15.5 for loss) and three interceptions. “Riley is a dynamic playmaker on both sides of the ball and can score anytime he gets the ball,” Terry said. “On defense, he is the heart and soul and can make plays sideline to sideline.”
Honorable mention: Ryder Kirsch, Sr., St. Thomas More; Jordy Stulken, Sr., Lead-Deadwood; Trace Cerney, Jr., Mobridge-Pollock; Jonathan Doeden, Sr., Groton Area; K.J. St. Pierre, Sr., Wagner; Adam Dearduff, Sr., Sioux Valley; Collin Kolbeck, Sr., McCook Central/Montrose; Jack Green, Jr., St. Thomas More; Caden Halsey, Sr., Mobridge-Pollock; Blake Gessner, Sr., McCook Central/Montrose; Thomas Massa, Sr., Hot Springs.