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Winner places six players on Class 11B all-state team full of area connections

Six all-state selections from Winner headlines a large contingent of Mitchell-area Class 11B football standouts from the 2022 season, as selected by the South Dakota Football Coaches Association.

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Winner's Riley Orel carries the ball in the Class 11B state football championship game against Elk Point-Jefferson on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, at the DakotaDome, in Vermillion.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — Six all-state selections from Winner headlines a large contingent of Mitchell-area Class 11B football standouts from the 2022 season, as selected by the South Dakota Football Coaches Association.

Elk Point-Jefferson, the state champions in Class 11B, led the class with seven selections to the all-state team, including SDFBCA All-American selection Ben Swatek, who made the team at linebacker.

Winner, which finished as runners up, had six selections to the team. They included seniors in running back Riley Orel, offensive lineman Jack Kruger, defensive lineman Ethan Bartels, linebacker Jack Peters and defensive back Blake Volmer, along with junior fullback Aiden Barfuss.

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Winner's Jack Peters carries the football as a pack of McCook Central/Montrose defenders give chase during a Class 11B semifinal playoff football game on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022 in Winner.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

Orel, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound back, was one of the primary rushers for the Winner offense, carrying for more than 750 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns, while racking up nearly 12 yards per carry. He finishes his Winner career with more than 3,000 all-purpose yards and more than 200 points scored.

Kruger, at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, was a two-year starter on both side of the ball. From his offensive guard position, he helped pave the way for 3,624 rushing yards by the Warriors’ backfield in 2022 and more than 7,700 yards in his career.

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Bartels, another 6-foot-3, 200-pound presence on the Warriors’ defensive line, had 10 tackles this season, including four for loss, and also snagged an interception. For his career, Bartels had 24 tackles (12.5 for loss) and five sacks.

Peters recorded 48 tackles with 7.5 for loss while also recovering two fumbles and getting one interception from his linebacker spot. In his Winner career, Peters totaled 110 stops and 11 pass breakups.

Volmer commanded the back end of the Winner defense, as the 6-foot-3, 185-pound defensive back nabbed five interceptions and had five more pass breakups to go with 16 tackles.

Barfuss, the 2021 Joe Robbie award winner, finished his junior season with 1,050 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on 138 attempts (7.6 yards per carry), which puts him over 2,000 yards with 31 touchdowns entering his senior season.

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McCook Central/Montrose's Will Cleveland (20) attempts to run through the tackle of Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Jordan Stoltz (89) after making a reception during a Class 11B semifinal football game on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, at Heroes Field, in Mount Vernon.
Landon Dierks / Mitchell Republic

Three players were selected in Class 11B from McCook Central/Montrose, including wide receiver Jackson Grady, offensive lineman Jake Vanhout and defensive back Will Cleveland.

Grady, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior, had six touchdown catches for 553 yards and finished with 13 touchdown catches from his career.

“Jackson was a great receiver on a team that had many different targets we could throw to,” MCM coach Shawn Flanagan said. “He can make plays out of nothing and was a go-to receiver when we needed a big play.”

Vanhout, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior and three-year starter, did not give up a sack in 2022 and led the team in pancake blocks.

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“Jake is a road grader for an offensive lineman,” Flanagan said. “Great feet in pass protection as well.

Cleveland, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound defensive back, made 63 tackles and four interceptions for the Fighting Cougars. Flanagan said Cleveland was “all over for us on defense, making plays at the line of scrimmage in the run game or playing middle safety and guarding against the pass.”

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Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan's Aguer Van Sickle carries the football in a game against McCook Central/Montrose on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, at Salem.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan wide receiver Sutton Arend and defensive lineman Aguer Van Sickle were both Class 11B all-state selections. Arend, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior, had 296 yards and four touchdowns receiving but also moved to running back after the Seahawks were hurt by injuries and finished with 460 yards on 84 carries.

“Sutton is a hard worker, a great leader on and off the field. He is very coachable and is an academic all-state student,” BEE coach Jeff VanLeur said.

Van Sickle, at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, had 63 tackles (10 for loss) and seven sacks on the season. For his career, he had 128 tackles and 10 sacks and five fumble recoveries.

“Aguer has been a two year starter for us. He works hard and is very quick off the ball,” VanLeur said.

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Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Reed Rus carries the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during a high school football game on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Wagner.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

Mount Vernon/Plankinton landed quarterback Reed Rus on the all-state squad for the second-straight season (he was an athlete selection in 2021), as the 6-foot-3, 205-pound four-year starter racked up more than 1,600 yards of offense and 25 touchdowns in his final season for the Titans.

Woonsocket/Wessington Springs’ Toby Kneen, a senior offensive lineman, was the Blackhawks’ Class 11B all-state selection. Coach Kenny Huether said the Blackhawks ran behind Kneen — a three-year starter — 70% of the time and he did not give up a sack for the season.

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A handful of players from the Mitchell region were honorable mention players for the Class 11B all-state list, including four from McCook Central/Montrose. They included senior Austin Hoiten, juniors Jackson Remmers and Kade Grocott and sophomore Boston Katzer. MVP senior Daniel Laufman and Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central senior Camden Jost were also on the honorable mention list.

Cubs' Hutmacher lands on Class 11A all-state squad

In Class 11A, Chamberlain's Noah Hutmacher was an all-state selection after a big year at defensive line for the Cubs. Hutmacher had 87 tackles, including 29 solo and 23 for a loss. He had a single-season Chamberlain record 11 sacks for the season in nine games, and made 10 quarterback hurries, three interceptions and eight pass breakups. For his career, he finished with 281 tackles, 64 tackles for loss, a school record 17 sacks and four interceptions.

"Noah has been an anchor and leader on the defensive line for us this season," Chamberlain coach Jeff Rademacher said. "He has tremendous range and quick off the ball which has made it hard to keep him out of the backfield. He is a versatile player and was able to play some at linebacker. He is a two-way player and was influential in our run game as a fullback."

Chamberlain junior Canyon Burkard was named to the Class 11A honorable mention list for his offensive line play. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound Burkhard was the team's top-graded offensive lineman and broke the school pancake block record for a season.

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