Champion and undefeated Colman-Egan had five players honored on the Class 9B All-State Football Team, selected by the South Dakota Football Coaches Association and released Wednesday.
The Hawks beat Sully Buttes 42-28 in the final for their second consecutive title — they were the 9A champions in 2016 — as senior Bodee Groos is an All-State quarterback for the second season in a row. Colman-Egan senior Kade Groos made the team at wide receiver. He was a 9A honorable mention as a junior.
Rounding out the Hawks’ selections are senior fullback Keith Crisp, junior guard Alec Landis and senior long snapper Chandler Gullickson. They had a pair of honorable mentions in sophomores Chase Hemmer (defensive back) and Dalton Voelker (punter).
Honored locally on the 9B team were: junior Jackson Kinzer of Colome at running back; senior Kolton Salonen of Colome, defensive end; junior Layton Thieman of Colome, defensive back; junior Beau Bertram of Colome, linebacker; junior Brandon McDonnell of Wall, defensive end; senior Trey Elshere of Wall, linebacker; senior Tate Eisenbraun, Wall, player; senior Jordy Rodgers of Kadoka Area, defensive tackle and senior Jake George of Harding County, linebacker.
Quarterback: Bodee Groos, Sr., Colman-Egan (5-11, 175)
The Dakota Valley Conference MVP and Most Outstanding Back in the title game had another strong season leading the Hawk offense. He ran 136 times for 1,049 yards — a 7.7 average — and 18 touchdowns, and was 33-of-62 for 738 yards with 12 TDs through the air. On defense, he came up with three interceptions and a fumble return for a score. Groos went 23-1 as a starting QB the past two seasons. The three-time team captain finished his career with 5,131 yards of offense (2,749 rushing/2,383 passing).
“Bodee is a very hard-working leader on both sides of the ball who is very committed to the team philosophy,” said CE coach Chad Williamson.
Fullback: Keith Crisp, Sr., Colman-Egan (6-0, 180)
Crisp went over the 1,000-yard mark for his career this season, picking up 650 yards on 84 rushes — 7.7 per carry. He found the end zone 14 times on the ground and added a scoring reception. Crisp notched 65 tackles.
“He is excellent in all aspects of the game,” Williamson said. “He’s a great blocker along with being an aggressive runner. He’s a very smart linebacker that reads and reacts very well.”
Running back: Jackson Kinzer, Jr., Colome (6-0, 190)
The junior finished with 1,400 all-purpose yards. He ran 80 times for 950 yards — an 11.9 average — and 14 touchdowns while picking up 340 yards on 13 receptions — a 26.2 average — with four scores. On defense, Kinzer picked off three passes and made 35 tackles.
“He was our leader on both sides of the ball,” said Colome coach Ben Connott. “He was our go-to guy when we needed yards.”
Running back: Gannon Martinmaas, Sr., Faulkton Area (6-2, 170)
Martinmaas was a force on both sides of the ball. He had 949 rushing yards (8.3 per carry) and 11 touchdowns and added 465 yards on 20 receptions (23.3 average) with seven TDs. The senior averaged 33.9 yards on seven kick returns and found the end zone once. Defensively, he intercepted six passes — pushing his career total to 10 — and had 13 breakups while tallying 39 tackles.
“Gannon had a very good football season; he made a lot of big plays for us,” said Faulkton coach Shayne Geditz. “Gannon was a good leader on the field and in the weight room. He led our team in all-purpose yards and interceptions.”
Tight end: Mason Larson, Sr., Langford Area (6-7, 205)
Coming off an All-State season on the defensive side of the ball, Larson followed it up with another selection, this time on offense. He was a big target for the Lions, finishing with 29 catches covering 588 yards with seven scores. Larson finished his career with 1,324 yards and 15 TDs on 76 catches.
“Mason is a versatile player and we used him in a lot of ways,” Langford coach Paul Raasch said. “He is equally effective as a tight end or as a wide receiver. He was also our best blocker. He combined excellent technique with deceptive strength. We ran behind him when we needed yards.”
Wide receiver: Kade Groos, Sr., Colman-Egan (5-9, 160)
The speedster was able to find the end zone in a variety of ways, which was on full display in the DakotaDome as he was honored with the Joe Robbie MVP award. Groos rushed for 780 yards on 64 attempts — a 12.2 average — and had 14 receptions for 272 yards — a 19.4 average. He had seven rushing touchdowns. On special teams, he had three punt returns to paydirt and added a pair of kick returns for scores, including one in the title game. Groos picked off three passes, returning one for a TD.
“Kade was a very explosive player in all three phases of the game, where he was the fastest athlete on the field every game,” Williamson said. “He is very committed to team and prides himself on improving every day. He is a very positive role model for our school and team.”
Wide receiver: Nicholas Kaplan, Sr., Langford Area (6-2, 185)
Kaplan made the most of his one season, racking up big numbers for the Lions. The foreign exchange student from Denmark had 45 receptions for 895 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“Nicholas is an explosive player,” said Raasch. “He is a combination of good size and speed at the wide receiver position, and is a tough matchup for opponents. He’s a great route runner and often drew two defenders in an attempt to stop him.”
Center: Darrin Witt, Sr., Burke/South Central (6-0, 210)
The three-year starter blocked for a team that rushed for more than 1,900 yards and passed for 1,053 yards this season. Witt moved from tackle to center for his senior campaign.
“He’s very unselfish,” said BSC coach Mike Sebern. “He’s a great leader and captain; one of our best lineman.”
Guard: Jacob Howard, Sr, Sully Buttes (6-3, 235)
Howard led a line that helped the offense produce more than 4,500 total yards.
“He is a great run blocker who has excellent technique,” said Sully Buttes coach Mark Senftner. “He is a hard-working student-athlete who works year-round to improve his game. He’s a great leader who has had a positive influence on our team.”
Guard: Alec Landis, Jr., Colman-Egan (6-1, 240)
Landis was a member of an offensive line that paved the way for a successful offense. The Hawks averaged 7.7 yards per rush, scoring 47 touchdowns on the ground. He was the Most Outstanding Lineman in the championship game. Landis had 68 tackles, including five sacks, on defense.
“Alec is a very humble, hardworking, dedicated member of our team,” Williamson said. “He is a major force against the run and pass (on defense). He was definitely a leader of our line and will be a leader of our team moving forward.”
End: Kolton Salonen, Sr., Colome (6-2, 180)
Salonen was one of the leaders of the Cowboy defense, finishing with 65 tackles, including 10 sacks, and coming up with a fumble recovery. On the other side of the ball, he averaged 20 yards on 11 catches and scored five times.
“Kolton was the guy we knew would do everything correctly,” Connot said. “He was always on time and worked hard. He’s a very tough kid that always tried his best.”
End: Bradan McDonnell, Jr., Wall (6-1, 180)
McDonnell spent a lot of time in the offensive backfield as 10 of his 63 tackles were for loss, including six sacks. He recovered five fumbles and also forced five. McDonnell had 479 yards and 10 TDs on 21 catches.
“Bradan is a very disruptive defensive player with high intensity,” said Wall coach Lex Heathershaw. “Offensively, he has great speed, runs good routes and has tremendous hands. He is also one of our best blockers.”
Tackle: Justin Heyn, Sr., Castlewood (5-11, 200)
Heyn totaled 81 tackles, including 17 for loss (five sacks) and forced three fumbles in his final season. He racked up 300 tackles in his career. Heyn was also a member of an offensive line that helped the Warriors compile 3,150 yards, including 1,900 rushing.
“He anchored our O-line,” said Castlewood coach Doug Ruesink. “He was the heart and soul of our team for four years.”
Tackle: Jory Rodgers, Sr., Kadoka (5-9, 210)
Rodgers had 73 tackles, including seven sacks. On offense, he moved from tight end to guard his senior season and recorded nine pancake blocks. The Kougar offense totaled 2,500 yards from scrimmage.
“He was the strength of the O-line and D-line, which was our strength,” said Kadoka coach Chad Eisenbraun. “He was a leader on and off the field. He led FCA huddles, the weight room, you name it. He selflessly moved to guard because it’s what we needed from hi, this year.”
Linebacker: Jake George, Sr., Harding County (6-1, 200)
The senior linebacker had 150 tackles, including 22 for loss (two sacks). He forced four fumbles and recovered one. George finished his career with 292 stops.
“Jake was the leader of our football team,” said Harding County coach Jay Wammen. “He had amazing instincts and speed to cover ground from sideline to sideline He is one of the best linebackers to come through Harding County. He had his best games in the games that mattered.”
Linebacker: Beau Bertram, Jr., Colome (6-5, 200)
Bertram finished with 60 tackles, including three sacks. On offense, he had 240 yards on just 19 rushes and 110 yards on three receptions while totaling four touchdowns.
“He is the hardest worker,” Connot said. “He’s a very tough kid who will do anything you ask of him. He’s a great athlete that could play multiple positions.”
Linebacker: Trey Elshere, Sr., Wall (6-0, 165)
He had 98 tackles, including nine for loss (one sack), and added two INTs and a pair of forced fumbles. Elshere ran for 996 yards and 10 touchdowns on the other side of the ball.
“Trey is our best tackler,” said Heathershaw. “He has great awareness and is very aggressive. He will outwork most kids. He runs the ball well and has good vision.”
Linebacker: Derek Pederson, Sr., Scotland (5-9, 190)
Pederson totaled 84 tackles, including eight for loss (6 1/2 sacks). He forced three fumbles and recovered two while adding an INT. Pederson finished his career with 227 tackles, including 14 sacks, and 20 takeaways (nine picks and 11 fumble recoveries).
“Derek is the toughest guy on our team,” said Scotland coach Ryan Robb. “He will not be outworked and he plays the game the right way — fast and physical. He is also a very smart player. He will play somewhere at the next level.”
Back: Layton Thieman, Jr., Colome (6-3, 170)
The ball hawk came up with seven interceptions while adding a fumble recovery to go with 65 tackles. On offense, he went 35-of-70 for 737 yards with 12 TDs.
“Layton is a leader on the field,” Connot said. “He is consistent game in and game out. He made sure everyone is in the right place.”
Back: Lucas Pederson, Jr., Scotland (5-11, 175)
Pederson was all over the field, recording 97 tackles, including four for loss. He had two interceptions and broke up 11 passes while adding a pair of fumble recoveries. He has 155 tackles and 10 takeaways, including six picks, heading into his senior year.
“He’s fearless,” said Robb. “He flies around the field and makes plays. He’s a very tough kid and a great teammate. He was voted team captain by his teammates as a junior on a team that had 10 seniors this year.”
Punter: Riley Spartz, Jr., Waverly-South Shore (6-0, 195)
He averaged 32 yards on 34 punts with a long of 51 yards. Four of his punts ended up inside the 20-yard-line, including three inside the 10.
“Riley is dedicated to becoming the best athlete/kicker/punter he can,” said WSS coach Nathan Lamb.
Kicker: Wyatt Mack, Sr., Castlewood (5-6, 155)
He went 37-of-43 on PAT kicks and 5-of-9 on field goals with a long of 39 yards. The team captain had 25 touchbacks. Mack finished his career 43-of-50 on PAT kicks and 6-of-12 on field goals.
“He really worked hard between his junior and senior year to get stronger,” said Ruesink.
Player: Tate Eisenbraun, Sr., Wall (6-2, 200)
Eisenbraun left his mark all over the football field. He ran for 270 yards and a touchdown and had seven catches for 122 yards with a TD. On defense, he came up with 41 tackles, including nine for loss (three sacks), and had three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Eisenbraun went 12-of-18 on PAT kicks.
“Tate is a great team leader and was our workhorse this year,” said Heathershaw. “He stepped up and played in multiple spots for us. He was a key running back last year and accepted a new role (this year). Most teams ran opposite of him when they were on offense.”
Long snapper: Chandler Gullickson, Sr., Colman-Egan (5-11, 190)
Gullickson did not have a bad snap this season on special teams and was the center for a Colman-Egan offense that averaged 7.7 yards per rush, scoring 47 touchdowns.
Honorable mention — QB: Devan Kleven, Sully Buttes. FB: Evan Lopez, Sunshine Bible Academy. RB: Ty Hofer, Hitchcock-Tulare. TE: Kaden Eng, Castlewood. WR: Nick Wittler, Sully Buttes. C: Alex Aesoph, Faulkton Area. G: Jett Lamb, Sully Buttes. DE: Daniel Tonga, Northwestern. DT: Peyton Nelson, Hitchcock-Tulare. LB: none. DB: Chase Hemmer, Colman-Egan. P: Dalton Voelker, Colman-Egan. K: Calvin Ringing Shield, Colome. STP: Clay Engelbert, Edgemont. LS: none