Warriors, Seahawks headline 11B all-state squad
Football powers Winner and Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan again grab the Class 11B all-state headlines.
The storied programs clashed in the 11B title tilt for the second season in a row. The Warriors avenged their 2019 runner-up finish with an 18-14 win on Nov. 13 at the DakotaDome. They’ve now combined to play in the past six state championships, with four titles among them.
They’ve also combined to put 11 total players on this year’s Class 11B all-state football team, which is selected by the South Dakota Football Coaches Association.
The Warriors (12-0) are represented by Sam Kruger, Preston Norrid, Bosten Morehart, Kaden Keiser, Charley Pravacek and Brady Fritz. Brooks Jansen, Josh Bartscher, Eric Gustafson, Rylee Schultz and Bodie Burnham were all-state selections for the Seahawks (11-1).
McCook Central/Montrose’s Jacobi Krouse, Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central’s Quinten Christensen and Clay Olinger were also area all-state honorees.
BEE and Winner were powered by dominant offensive lines. So it’s no surprise four of the six all-state offensive linemen were Warriors or Seahawks.
Norrid (5-foot-11, 220-pounds) and Morehart (5-10, 240) paved the way for Winner’s rushing attack. The seniors were both three-year starters, while Norrid also played fullback this season.
“Great leader and very versatile player,” Winner coach Trent Olson said about Norrid. “Extremely physical and hard nosed. The QB of our defense.”
“Stout player in the middle for us on both sides of the ball,” Olson said about Morehart. “Big part of why we were effective running the ball and stopping the run.”
Jansen (6-3, 235) and Bartscher (6-4, 220) plowed through defenders and helped BEE rack up more than 3,200 yards on the ground. Bartscher was an all-state offensive lineman last season.
“Josh has been a three-year starter for us on both sides of the ball,” BEE coach Jeff VanLeur said. “Josh is a great blocker and defensively is solid against the run and has been our anchor.”
He teamed with Jansen to form a daunting duo at the line of scrimmage.
“Brooks is a very intelligent player that has worked extremely hard at making himself and his team better,” VanLeur said. “He is an excellent block, has good and quickness for his size. Defensively, he is quick off the ball and played our wide side.”
Kruger paced Winner’s ground game with 810 yards and 12 touchdowns. He added four touchdown receptions and 45 tackles on defense. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior was selected as most outstanding back of the state championship.
“Perfect fit for a double-wing back,” Olson said. “Could run, catch and is a great blocker. Always got the tough yards for us.”
Krouse packed a punch out of MCM’s backfield. The 5-10, 200-pound running back rushed for 1,930 yards and 21 touchdowns his senior campaign. He also erupted for an 11-man record 421 yards and six touchdowns against Mount Vernon/Plankinton. He rushed for more than 4,000 yards the past three seasons.
“Jacobi was the key to our offense’s success this year,” MCM coach Shawn Flanagan said. “He set a single 11-man game record with over 400 yards and had two other games with over 300 yards rushing.”
Keiser and Gustafson were both selected to the all-state team as athletes. Keiser registered 423 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, while posting 29 tackles and four interceptions on defense. The junior speedster had close to 300 return yards.
“He had a great postseason for us,” Olson said. “Played big in the biggest games. Had four interceptions in the last three playoff games and made a bunch of big tackles.”
Gustafson recorded seven touchdown receptions as a tight end and three interceptions on defense. The senior linebacker also posted 57 tackles on defense.
“Eric is that athlete that coaches dream about coaching,” VanLeur said. “He’s a great leader on and off the field. He works hard every play, motivates our young players to be better and is an unselfish team player.”
Pravacek racked up 25.5 tackles (6.5 tackles for loss) and seven sacks to earn all-state defensive line honors. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound junior was named the most outstanding lineman of the state championship.
“Excellent two-way lineman,” Olson said. “Our most productive defensive lineman. High motor and plays with very good technique and discipline.”
Christensen joins Pravacek on the all-state defensive front. A 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior, Christensen registered 59.5 tackles (16 tackles for loss) and 5.5 sacks from his defensive end position.
“The motor of our defense,” WWSSC coach Corey Flatten said. “He played defensive end and linebacker for us. (Christensen) is as tough as they come and opponents had to know where he lined up.”
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Schultz logged 82 tackles and five interceptions to secure all-state linebacker honors. He added four touchdown receptions on offense, while he also handled kicking responsibilities.
“Rylee is a three-year starter and was our defensive general this season,” VanLeur said. “He has great instincts for the game. He has good quickness and is very explosive fighting through a block.”
Fritz was an all-state defensive back, while also orchestrating Winner’s offense from the quarterback position. Defensively, Fritz finished with seven tackles, two fumble recoveries and one pick-six. The senior threw for 504 yards and seven touchdowns, while rushing for 499 yards and eight scores. Fritz was responsible for 29 wins as Winner’s starting quarterback.
“Incredible athlete with great speed,” Olson said. “Excellent leader. True dual-threat QB. His speed and experience at free safety really prevented a lot of big plays for our opponents.”
Burnham joins Fritz in the defensive honor unit after compiling 38 tackles, five interceptions and five pass breakups. Offensively, the senior finished with 964 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
“Bodie was always assigned to defend the opponent’s best receiver,” VanLeur said. “He has great work ethics and is a very intelligent player. He’s been a fantastic team leader and motivator for our young players.”
Olinger finished with 23 tackles and 10 pass breakups to earn all-state defensive back honors. He also rushed for 755 yards and six touchdowns during his junior campaign.
“Clay is the hardest-hitting player on the team,” Flatten said. “The kid loves to play physical and doesn’t back down from a challenge.”
Quarterback: Parker Puetz, jr., Sioux Valley.
Tight end/fullback: Jaxton Schiller, sr., Sioux Valley; Jaimen Farrell, sr., Groton Area.
Running back: Riley Schmitz, sr., Elk Point-Jefferson; Sam Kruger, sr., Winner; Jacobi Krouse, sr., McCook Central/Montrose.
Wide receiver: Bryston Goehring, sr., Mobridge-Pollock; Braden Goehring, sr., Mobridge-Pollock; Tyler Goehring, sr., Elk Point-Jefferson.
Offensive line: Drake Peed, sr., Elk Point-Jefferson; Preston Norrid, sr., Winner; Kashas Vander Wal, sr., Sioux Valley; Brooks Jansen, sr., Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan; Josh Bartscher, sr., Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan; Bosten Morehart, sr., Winner.
Defensive line: Quinten Christensen, jr., WWSSC; Charley Pravacek, jr., Winner; Connor Logan, sr., Sioux Valley; Jake Goble, sr., St. Thomas More.
Linebacker: Nathan Cook, sr., Stanley County; Rylee Schultz, sr., Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan; Charlie Larson, sr., St. Thomas More; Ashton Bultje, sr., Sioux Valley.
Defensive back: Brady Fritz, sr., Winner; Anthony Tchida, sr., Sisseton; Bodie Burnham, sr., Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan; Clay Olinger, jr., WWSSC.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Cody Erickson, sr., Garretson; Jack Green, sr., St. Thomas More.
ATHLETES: Eric Gustafson, sr., Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan; Kaden Keiser, sr., Winner.
ALL-AMERICAN SELECTION: Jaxton Schiller, Sioux Valley.
HONORABLE MENTION: Cayden Eisemann, sr., Mobridge-Pollock; Koby Kayser, jr., Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan; Damian Danziesen, jr., Sioux Valley; Jacob Wagner, sr., McCook Central/Montrose; Lincoln Klooz, jr., Mount Vernon/Plankinton; Colby Torrence, sr., Webster Area; Trace Cerney, sr., Mobridge-Pollock; Jackson Isakson, so., Aberdeen Roncalli; Tash Lunday, jr., Flandreau.