Here’s the seventh edition of the #ArgusPreps Elite 45 watch list, focusing on players across the state who will be the best candidates for our year-end Elite 45 team. You can nominate players by tweeting to @ianmcfrazer or @ArgusSports or by emailing email@example.com. Here are the lists from week one, two, three, four, five, six and seven.
Nate Varns, WR, Roosevelt
Varns’ efficiency is reaching the point of absurdity. He had five catches for 143 yards in Roosevelt’s win over Rapid City Central on Friday, which was the fifth time this season he had averaged more than 20 yards per catch in a game.
Marcus VandenBosch, DE/TE, Madison
Tea Area upset Madison 28-25 on Friday night in a battle of 7-0 teams, but VandenBosch kept the Titans under pressure at the line of scrimmage. He had nine tackles, including three sacks, half a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.
Payton Conrad, QB/DB, Tea Area
Conrad, a senior, gave the Titans a dynamic dual-threat presence on Friday night. He ran for 73 yards on 20 carries, keeping Madison’s defense off balance with read options and designed runs, and threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns. He also had the game-clinching interception.
Scott Jolley, QB, Canistota
Canistota might be the best team in a crowded top half of Class 9AA, and Jolley has led the Hawks on offense all year. He had 157 passing yards in a 48-0 win over Menno/Marion and ran for 89 more yards.
Canyon Bauer, WR, O’Gorman
Bauer has been a key reason that a young Knights squad has still founds its way to the top of half of Class 11AAA. He’s been O’Gorman’s top receiving threat throughout the season and had a touchdown catch in a 24-13 win over Rapid City Stevens on Friday.
Sawyer Prins, QB, Sioux Falls Christian
Prins, the Chargers’ main offensive weapon all season, added 188 rushing yards and two touchdowns to his totals in a 48-14 win over Elk Point-Jefferson on Friday night.
Spencer Neugebauer, RB, Mitchell
Neugebauer extended his dominance of Class 11AA on against Pierre T.F. Riggs, rushing for 197 yards on 27 carries and scoring 4 touchdowns in the Kernels’ 42-13 thrashing of the Governors.
Darian Ogunjemilusi, RB, Wolsey-Wessington
The Warbirds smashed Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central, the team it beat for last year’s Class 9AA state title, by a 54-6 score on Friday night to end the regular season with a 7-1 record. Ogunjemilusi had 233 yards rushing on 23 carries, scoring five touchdowns in the process.
Evan Munkvold, WR/DB, Tea Area
Munkvold played a crucial role in the Titans’ resurgence from a 25-0 deficit against Madison on Friday, catching two touchdown passes in quick succession towards the end of the second quarter. The senior had 91 receiving yards on five catches in the game and also had an interception.
Lincoln Gibbs, RB, Langford Area
Gibbs has missed time this year due to injury, but when he’s seen the field for the Lions, he’s been one of the most dynamic runners in nine-man football. Langford Area smashed Leola/Frederick 57-6 on Friday, and Gibbs’ got things started off with a 70-yard kickoff return for a score.
Tupak Kpeayeh, RB, Washington
Washington had a gigantic offensive game against Rapid City Stevens on Friday, totaling 626 yards, and Kpeayeh somehow accounted for almost half of those. He had 301 yards on 24 carries, helping the Warriors keep their production up with starting quarterback Jayden Johannsen out with an injury.
Braiden Petersen, RB, Brandon Valley
Petersen, a junior, has led the Lynx’s powerful rushing attack throughout the season, coming into Friday night’s game with 627 yards on the ground. He added 102 yards on eight carries to that in a 35-0 win over Lincoln.
Cade Terveer, RB/LB, Brandon Valley
Terveer, the Lynx’s fullback, has been a crucial piece to the success of Petersen and Alex Wickersham, Brandon Valley’s other main running back. He has also been a huge defensive presence for the Lynx, becoming the program’s career record holder in sacks this year.
Kadin Wolff, RB, Baltic
Wolff’s 224 rushing yards and three touchdowns capped a historic night for the Bulldogs, who moved to 7-0 on a season in the first time in head coach Jason Aberson’s 27-year tenure and can finish the regular season undefeated with a win over Irene-Wakonda next week.
Jesse Hastings, RB, Mount Vernon/Plankinton
The Titans wrapped up a 6-1 regular season with a 48-14 win over Howard on Friday, and Hastings had an exceptionally efficient night, running for 115 yards on eight carries and scoring a touchdown.