2022 SD High School 9-Man Football Season Preview


Last season no team finished undefeated or even with a single loss in Class 9AA. It was a hard-fought road for Platte-Geddes to claim their second straight title behind a senior-laden team. This season look for several contenders and much volatility in the rankings with no clear-cut favorite in the class.

Last season Recap:

  • Platte-Geddes won their second straight championship
  • Canistota/Freeman Runner-up
  • Timber Lake and Parkston semifinalists
  • Hanson, Lyman, Garretson, and Ipswich quarterfinalists

This season’s storylines:

  • Platte-Geddes eyes three-peat
  • Howard coming off a championship moves up to 9AA
  • New teams in 9AA give the class more depth
  • Canistota/Freeman no longer in 9AA after title game appearance


Jandy’s Preseason Rankings

1. Howard Tigers

Head Coach: Pat Ruml

Starters Returning: 6 OFFENSE /  6 DEFENSE

Expected Quarterback: Taiden Hoyer

Impact Players: Griffin Clubb, Atticus Darnell, Ryder Erickson, Kaden Hofer, Jack Neises, Karsyn Feldhaus, Karsten Hamilton, Luke Koepsell

The Tigers seemed to get stronger throughout the season last year and punctuated 2021 with a 55-18 win in the Dakota Dome to seal their fourth state championship. Howard returns 3 of their 5 All-State selections. This season Pat Ruml has some notable athletes to replace but has six talented starters along with a good group of underclassmen to build on. “Our whole offensive & defensive lines are back besides one, so we should be very good in the trenches.  Team chemistry is really good, and they have maintained great weight room work ethic this summer,” said Coach Ruml. The Tigers will be in the thick of the title hunt with another strong team.


2. Hanson Beavers

Head Coach: Jim Haskamp

Starters Returning: 5 OFFENSE / 7 DEFENSE

Impact Players: Brock Tuttle, Hadley Wallace, Jackson Jarding, Ethan Cheeseman, Riley Haynes, Isayah Price, Hayden Schroeder

Hanson is coming off an 8-2 season and a devastating overtime loss to Platte-Geddes in the semifinals. Signs point to another deep playoff run for the Beavers who have one of the most explosive backfields in the state with Wallace, Jarding and Tuttle, who all received several post-season accolades. If Hanson can rebuild their offensive line that was lost to graduation, they should be among the best scoring offenses in the class. They will also need to replace Kade Waldera at quarterback this fall. Coach Haskamp likes the overall experience, and team speed for Hanson this year. They will be tough to slow down.

3. Wall Eagles

Head Coach: Lex Heathershaw

Starters Returning: 6 OFFENSE / 8 DEFENSE

Expected QB: Burk Blasius (77-127, 1268 yds, 17 TD, 2 INT)

Impact Players: Cedar Amiotte, Rylan McDonnell, Stan Williams, Blair Blasius, Norman Livermont, Mason Heath, Brodi Sundall

Wall has been steadily building and have one of their most experienced and strongest teams this season. They jump to 9AA with a load of playmakers and increased size and strength on the line. “We hope to make another deep run into the playoffs,” said Coach Heathershaw. “The jump up to class 9AA will be a new adventure for us this year, but we are excited for the challenge.” Their defense returns 7 of their 8 top tacklers including Burk Blasius, Cedar Amiotte and Mason Heath. Plus Norman Livermont who led the team in sacks.  


4. Bon Homme Cavaliers

Head Coach: Byron Pudwill

Starters Returning: 10 OFFENSE / 11 DEFENSE

Expected Quarterback: Riley Rothschadl

Impact Players: Isaac Crownover, Cayden Himes, Landon Smith, Logan Winckler, Wes Kaul, Landon Bares

Last season Bon Homme was on the verge of getting back to title contention, but several key injuries held them to a 3-6 record. The good news is that several players coming back have starting experience and they are healthy heading into this season. Coach Pudwill thinks they are moving in the right direction, “We have the potential and talent to have a great year, now we just need to put in the work. We need to be more disciplined in 2022 and take care of the little things. All those little things add up to winning games and championships.” Look for breakout seasons from Isaac Crownover at running back and Riley Rothschal at quarterback.


5. Platte-Geddes Black Panthers

Head Coach: Bruce Hanson

Starters Returning: 3 OFFENSE / 5 DEFENSE

Expected Quarterback: Dawson Hoffman

Impact Players: Joey Foxley, Aiden Bultje, Lee Reiser, Caden Oberbroekling, Joey Baas

Platte-Geddes earned a state title last year with two unbelievable performances in their last two games. They will miss Grayson Hanson, Jackson Neuman, Chase Varilek, Caden Foxley and the rest of the class of 2022 as they try to get it done again this year. They have a good starting point with Dawson Hoffman back at quarterback and Joey Foxley running the ball on offense. Defensively they will miss Grayson Hanson’s presence in the middle of the field, but they do have five starters back to pick up the slack.


More Contenders


Head Coach: Brian Hogie

Impact Players: Ian Beyers, Tyler Hettich, Carter Geditz, Grant Weisser, Colby Sylte, Chet Peterson, Max Kulesa, Justin Rohrbach

Following an 8-2 season a year ago the Ipswich Tigers feel like a team on the rise. Despite losing all-state talent from last year’s senior class, there are several players ready to make a name for themselves. Ian Beyers at quarterback should be able to step in and operate a high-powered offense with Tyler Hettich getting the main load of carries.

Parkston Trojans

Head Coach: Matt Grave

Starters Returning: 3 OFFENSE / 4 DEFENSE

Expected Quarterback: Kaleb Weber

Impact Players: Brayden Jervik, Kaleb Weber, Preston Mattheis, Will Jodozi, Luke Bormann, Sam Benson

After losing two of their first three games last season, the Trojans showed what they are capable of with wins over Platte-Geddes, Gregory, Bon Homme, Kimball/White Lake and Wolsey-Wessington to finish out the regular season. Although they don’t have a ton of returning starters, Parkston is loaded with talent. “The coaching staff is excited about having great participation because this is a great group of young men that work hard, challenge and encourage one another, enjoy being around each other and genuinely love the game of football,” said Coach Matt Grave. Brayden Jervik has the potential in his junior year to be one of the top running backs in 9AA.


Hamlin Chargers

Head Coach: Jeff Sheehan

Expected Quarterback: Tyson Stevenson

Impact Players: Luke Fraser, Evan Stormo, Rylan Bawdon, Kasen Prouty, Kadyn Swenson, Jameson Nebel, Noah Smith

The Chargers return a lot of talent this season with 7 of their leading 9 tacklers back and their top rusher and four top receivers. Tyson Stevenson will likely transition as the new starting QB to keep those receivers busy. Hamlin rode a six-game winning streak in the middle of last season before falling to Warner and Garretson to end the year. They have the making to push farther this year.




This class looks very different this season. All four teams that made the final four in 9A have moved out of this class.

Last season Recap:

  • Howard won the championship
  • Herreid/Selby Area Runner-up
  • Wall and De Smet semifinalists
  • Castlewood, Warner, Wolsey-Wessington, Gregory quarterfinalists

This season’s storylines:

  • A new champion will be crowned
  • Canistota breaks their co-op with Freeman to move back to 9A
  • Several new quarterbacks in this class ready to take the stage­­

 Jandy's Top 5

1. Canistota Hawks

Head Coach: James Strang

Starters Returning: 6 OFFENSIVE / 6 DEFENSIVE

Expected Quarterback: Tage Ortman

Impact Players: Noah Kleinsasser, Will Ortman, Tye Merrill, Trace Ortman, Cayden Scott

The Hawks move back down to 9A after ending their co-op with Freeman this year. Despite the split they will return 6 starters from the team that grinded all the way to the championship game last year. The key for Coach Strang will be making big plays at key times, “We have to make plays. A year ago, we didn’t when it was necessary. Defensively we need to be a stronger tackling team too many players falling forward instead of back. Offensively we have to establish a better line of scrimmage to create opportunities rushing and receiving.” The Tage Ortman to Will Ortman connection will be a big theme this year as well as feeding their big back Noah Kleinsasser.

2. Gregory Gorillas

Head Coach: Mike Murray

Starters Returning: 9 OFFENSIVE / 8 DEFENSIVE

Expected Quarterback: Rylan Peck

Impact Players: Eli Fogel, Kade Stukel, Owen Hanson, Trey Murray, Jaden Graber, Nathan Fortuna, Kade Braun, Wyatt Weller, Gannon Thomas, Jerrit Talsma, Wyatt Weller

The Gorillas have the tools to get back to state title contention this season. They bring back some very potent weapons on offense including Rylan Peck at QB and Kade Stukel at running back. They are loaded on the line with three starters back as well. Defensively they’ll be improved as well.  “This year’s team has been well motivated and are attending individual camps and team camps,” said Coach Mike Murray.
“They are putting in the hours in the weight room. This means that we can hit the ground running at fall camp time.”


3. Wolsey-Wessington Warbirds

Head Coach: Hayden Hooks

Starters Returning: 6 OFFENSIVE / 6 DEFENSIVE

Impact Players: Moshe Richmond, Keegan Haider, Tate French, Joey Hoverson, Blaze Herdman, Chris Wuestewald, Sterlin Bonin

The Warbirds have established themselves as a perennial favorite. This season several returning starters are back, but the overall depth may be an issue, “We are going to have new faces stepping into big roles for us this season. The biggest key for us this season is growth. Our older guys coming in with a good mindset and pushing our young player’s every day,” said Hayden Hooks. Moshe Richmond did not get a lot of work last year as a freshman but should be a key playmaker for the Warbirds this season. Keegan Haider is a leader on defense (103 tackles to lead team last season) and averaged 11.3 yards per carry last year in limited carries.


4. Warner Monarchs

Head Coach: Kerwin Hoellein

Starters Returning: OFFENSIVE 8 / DEFENSIVE 7

Impact Players: Hunter Cramer, Brodey Sauerwein, Zach Wood, Ashton Schuchhardt, Isaac Hoeft, Landon Jensen, Carter Moen, Alex Pudwill, Clayton Dulany, Devin Woosley.

Coach Kerwin Hoellein likes the investment his players have made in the team, “Our players play with a lot of heart and seem to all get along and play hard for the person beside them. A real family feeling.” Hunter Cramer has spent time at quarterback much of the last couple of seasons, this year he’ll get work at running back too with Brodey Sauerwein taking some snaps.

Two years removed from a deep playoff run, the Warner Monarchs seem to have the talent to get it done again.


5. Harding County/Bison Ranchers

Head Coach: Jay Wammen

Starters Returning: OFFENSIVE 6 / DEFENSIVE 7

Impact Players: Kelby Hett, Keegan Hett, Gage Gilbert, Grey Gilbert, Rylee Veal, Dawson Kautzman, Brennan Glines, Braden Routier

The Ranchers move up to 9A with a good group of returning talent. Kelby Hett spent much of last season sidelined by an injury but is ready for a big senior year at QB along with Keegan Hett at receiver. The depth comes and goes at Harding County, but Coach Jay Wammen is excited to see more players this year, “We return a lot of skill players and have gained valuable experience at most positions.  We will have better numbers allowing more depth than we have had in years.”



9B gets a boost this season with several contenders. Newcomers are ready to challenge the champions from St. Mary.

Last season Recap:

  • St. Mary won the championship
  • Potter County Runner-up
  • Avon, Faulkton Area semifinalists
  • Alcester-Hudson, Gayville-Volin, Harding Co/Bison, Hitchcock-Tulare quarterfinalists

This season’s storylines:

  • Lots of potential title contenders
  • St. Mary bouncing back after winning the title
  • Which teams will have enough depth to stay healthy


1. St. Mary Cardinals

Head Coach: Ross Flemmer

Starters Returning: 5 OFFENSIVE / 5 DEFENSIVE

Impact Players: CJ Smith, Nic Gaspar, Gabriel Lindeman, Kyle Bares, Camden Gilbert, Tate Bunkers, Aiden Allen, Lucas Flemmer, Dylan Mathis, Owen Vargas, Wyatt Geraets

After a 1-2 start last season the Cardinals re-focused and went on a historic run resulting in their first state championship. They bring back five starters to try to keep their winning ways going. Ross Flemmer is looking for another strong group of leaders this year, “We will need to get stronger and faster over the off season.  We will need to stay healthy and free from injury.  We will also need our leaders to step up and lead the younger players. Our younger players will need to mature quickly and fill in for the players we lost to graduation.” They will look to their veteran quarterback CJ Smith to get things started on offense with Gabriel Lindeman (TE/DL) and Nic Gaspar (RB)as two of the most potent playmakers in the class.

2. Herreid/Selby Area Wolverines

Head Coach: Clayton Randall

Starters Returning: 6 OFFENSIVE / 5 DEFENSIVE

Impact Players: Brenden Begeman, Tray Hettick, Hunter Friend, Darion Barker, Trevor Gill, Collin Tisdall, Cole Zabel, Nathan Bradford, Brayden Goehring, Mason Vetter

The Wolverines have become a solid perennial contender. Last season’s run to the 9A championship showed just how consistent they have become. They lose four really good football players to graduation but return several big-time playmakers. Two of the top athletes in the class are Brenden Begeman (RB/LB) and Tray Hettick (QB/DB). The Wolverines bring back three other starters and some newcomers that are ready for their turn. “We have some top tier talent on our roster,” commented Coach Randall. “We will need to develop some players to allow these players to do what they are capable of. Football is the ultimate team sport, so we must develop to become a well-rounded team.”


3. De Smet Bulldogs

Head Coach: Brendan Pitts

Starters Returning: 6 OFFENSIVE / 6 DEFENSIVE

Impact Players: Damon Wilkinson, Britt Carlson, Kadyn Fast, Tommy Aughenbaugh, Dylan Rowcliffe, Gannon Gruenhagen, Dylan Zell, Noah Harrison, Trace Van Regenmorter

The Bulldogs made a run to the semis last year in 9A and now move to 9B where they will be one of the top teams in the class. They lose some leadership with a strong graduating class of 2022, however the young guys are ready for their turn. Coach Pitts sees the commitment in the offseason paying off, “They have been locked in and focused this year. There are players that are new and will have to step up but the team has had a great offseason.” Look for newcomer Britt Carlson to become an impact player. Damon Wilkinson is a beast who has D1 offers to play on the line and Kadyn Fast and Dylan Zell are ready to run wherever they line up. These guys will show improvement throughout the year.


4. Avon Pirates

Head Coach: Tom Culver

Starters Returning: 7 OFFENSIVE / 7 DEFENSIVE

Impact Players: Brady Bierma, Jaden Stahl, Kley Heumiller, Cody Soukup, Riley DeJong, Landon Thury, Landon Mudder, Caleb Walling, Tyler Tjeerdsma, Aziah Meyer, Cade Faulkner

Avon won five state titles in an 11 year span under Tom Culver in the early 2000’s. This season feels like their best shot to get back to that stage. They return almost everyone from a 10-1 campaign. They also have some newcomers who expect to make big impacts. The premier running back in the area is Brady Bierma who nearly gained 2000 yards on the ground last year, “The two things I like best about our team is the number of kids that have quality varsity experience from last season. Also, they have bought in to commitment to running the football,” said Culver.


5. Hitchcock-Tulare Patriots

Head Coach: Tom Salmen

Impact Players: Erik Salmen, Landon Puffer, TJ Salmen, Jacob Michlitsch

The Patriots learned a lot from their season last year. They lost 3 very close games in the regular season before Potter County eliminated them in the playoffs. They return one of the top players in the class in Erik Salmen who ran for 1097 yds and 15 TDs last year. They also have some playmakers in Landon Puffer and TJ Salmen at receiver. The Pats will be tough again this year.


Other Contenders

Faulkton Trojans

They have five starters returning this year with Garrett Cramer back at running back. They are a very young group but have a solid junior class that should continue to improve. Coach Shayne Geditz lost a lot but likes what he’s got, “I think that we will have very good depth on our team,” said Geditz. “I believe that we will have a lot of guys that can help us in many positions. I know we have a group of guys that will work hard daily. When you have a good work ethic you will always get better.”

Potter County Battlers

Potter County was so close to a state title last season. This year with just 2 starters back, the expectations are quite as high, but coach Vern Smith still thinks they’ll compete, “We will need some of our younger players to step up and grow into some in positions. The desire some have to be successful is still good.”



Top Players in 9-Man


  Cedar Amiotte   Wall
  Burk Blasius   Wall
  Isaac Crownover   Bon Homme
  Atticus Darnell   Howard
  BoDell Davidson     Britton-Hecla  
  Luke Fraser   Hamlin
  Brayden Jervik   Parkston
  Rylan McDonnell   Wall
  Riley Rothschadl   Bon Homme
  Brock Tuttle   Hanson
  Hadley Wallace   Hanson



Carson Kirwan Castlewood
Hunter Cramer Warner
Keegan Haider   Wolsey-Wessington  
Kelby Hett Harding County
Keegan Hett Harding County
  Noah Kleinsasser   Canistota
Reece Ohrtman Kadoka
Will Ortman Canistota
Tage Ortman Canistota
Kade Stukel Gregory
Jovi Wolf Chester Area


Brenden Begeman Herreid/Selby Area
Brady Bierma Avon
Keegan Haider   Wolsey-Wessington  
Kelby Hett Harding County
Keegan Hett Harding County
  Noah Kleinsasser   Canistota
Reece Ohrtman Kadoka
Will Ortman Canistota
Tage Ortman Canistota
Kade Stukel Gregory
Jovi Wolf Chester Area

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