Breaking down the South Dakota Prep Media football poll for the week of Aug. 29: Shake-up in Class 9A

A look at the 2022 prep football rankings following the first week with all seven divisions in action

Gregory quarterback Rylan Peck lets go of a pass during an away game against Burke on Sept. 3, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Sierra Rencountre, Gregory High School)
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MITCHELL — The gap at the top of Class 9A closed in hurry.

Just last week, Canistota was the unanimous No. 1. This week, the Hawks hold on to their perch atop the rankings, but just barely.

Canistota held a late lead in a Friday night clash with Class 9AA No. 1 Howard but allowed a touchdown and extra point in the waning seconds in a 21-20 defeat. Despite the strong showing against another top-ranked program from a higher class, the loss shrunk what was a 41-vote gap between the Hawks and No. 2 Gregory to just three, as the Gorillas swiped nine of 20 first-place votes.

But that was just part of what was a significant early-season shift to the landscape in Class 9A, which saw the most movement of any division this week.

No. 3 Harding County/Bison and No. 4 Wolsey-Wessington dropped out of the top five after losing on Friday. The Ranchers fell, 40-22, to Class 9B Kadoka Area (the top vote-getter outside the Class 9B top five this week), while the Warbirds kept it close with No. 2 Gregory for three quarters but ultimately lost 60-34.


Those trip-ups allowed last week's No. 5 Warner to slide up to No. 3 and made room for Castlewood and Chester Area to climb into the rankings for the first time this season at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.

New No. 1s

It didn't take long for the first No. 1-ranked teams to fall this season and make way for new programs at the top. Three of the seven divisions have new No. 1s this week, including two from 11-man classes that have only played one game.

Starting in Class 11AAA, second-year program Sioux Falls Jefferson vaulted to the top from No. 3 after a commanding 43-13 win over defending champion and previous No. 2 Harrisburg. The Cavaliers were aided by then-No.4 O'Gorman scoring a similar blowout win. 55-20, over No. 1 Brandon Valley that pushed the Knights to the No. 2 ranking this week. Brandon Valley fell to No. 4, also behind Sioux Falls Lincoln, as Harrisburg tumbled out of the top five, making way for Rapid City Stevens in the final slot.

In Class 11A, No. 4 Dell Rapids trounced preseason No. 1 Madison, 33-14, in both teams' season-opener, but the Quarriers narrowly missed out on taking over their opposition's place, instead settling for No. 2. Two total votes ahead but with one fewer first-place vote, West Central moved up to No. 1 from No. 2 as the Trojans shutting out Custer, 43-0, in their first action of the season. Madison now sits at No. 5, with Canton and Dakota Valley moving up to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

Rounding out the early No. 1 movement, defending Class 9B champion Dell Rapids St. Mary was rolled, 52-12, by Class 9AA Hamlin. The Cardinals' stumble ceded the top spot to last year's Class 9A runner-up Herreid/Selby Area, though DRSM held out to three first-place votes, the same as No. 2 Avon.

Other movement

Sturgis overtook Mitchell for No. 5 in the Class 11AA ranks following the Kernels' loss to Yankton and the Scoopers' 38-0 drubbing of Rapid City Central. Mitchell retained a single vote and is the only Class 11AA program listed outside the top five.

Parkston jumped into the Class 9AA top five at No. 4 after the Trojans defeated then-No. 3 Platte-Geddes on Friday. Hamlin moved to No. 3, Hanson stayed put at No. 5 and P-G fell out of the rankings.

The South Dakota Prep Media football polls for the week of Aug. 29 are listed below, ranking the top-five teams in each class, record, total points and previous ranking. First-place votes received are indicated in parentheses.


Class 11AAA
1. Sioux Falls Jefferson (15), 1-0, 95; 2. O’Gorman (4), 1-0, 80; 3. Sioux Falls Lincoln (1), 1-0, 63; 4. Brandon Valley, 0-1, 26; 5. Rapid City Stevens, 1-0, 19.
Also receiving votes: Harrisburg 15, Roosevelt 2.

Class 11AA
1. Pierre (20), 1-0, 100; 2. Tea Area, 1-0, 74; 3. Yankton, 1-0, 63; 4. Brookings, 1-0, 43; 5. Sturgis, 1-0, 19.
Also receiving votes: Mitchell 1.

Class 11A
1. West Central (8), 1-0, 84; 2. Dell Rapids (9), 1-0, 82; 3. Canton (3), 1-0, 69; 4. Dakota Valley, 1-0, 29; 5. Madison, 0-1, 16.
Also receiving votes: Beresford 13, Lennox 7.

Class 11B
1. Winner (20), 2-0, 100; 2. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan, 2-0, 77; 3. Elk Point-Jefferson, 2-0, 63; 4. Sioux Valley, 2-0, 27; 5. St. Thomas More, 1-0, 19.
Also receiving votes: Aberdeen Roncalli 9, Mount Vernon/Plankinton 4, McCook Central/Montrose 1.

Class 9AA
1. Howard (20), 2-0, 100; 2. Wall, 2-0, 73; 3. Hamlin, 2-0, 42; 4. Parkston, 2-0, 37; 5. Hanson, 1-1, 31.
Also receiving votes: Bon Homme 11, Ipswich 4, Platte-Geddes 2.

Class 9A
1. Canistota (11), 1-1, 89; 2. Gregory (9), 1-0, 86; 3. Warner, 2-0, 56; 4. Castlewood, 1-0, 26; 5. Chester Area, 2-0, 13.
Also receiving votes: Wolsey-Wessington 11, Lyman 9, Harding County/Bison 9, Deubrook Area 1.

Class 9B
1. Herreid/Selby Area (14), 1-0, 92; 2. Avon (3), 2-0, 81; 3. Hitchcock-Tulare, 2-0, 50; 4. Dell Rapids St. Mary (3), 1-1, 41; 5. De Smet, 1-1, 18.
Also receiving votes: Kadoka Area 12, Sully Buttes 4, Faith 2.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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