*Correction: Northern State’s Wachs Arena is currently under construction. Next week’s all-star basketball and volleyball games will be held at Aberdeen Central’s Golden Eagles Arena.
Standout high school athletes in the area who recently hung up their cleats, kneepads and high-tops will soon get the call for one more prep game on the gridiron and hardcourts.
That’s because the South Dakota High School Coaches Association’s all-star games are just around the corner. The all-star basketball games will be held next Tuesday (July 14), with the girls’ game at 6 p.m. and boys’ game at 8 p.m. at
Northern State University’s Wachs Arena Aberdeen Central’s Golden Eagles Arena.
On Wednesday, the state’s volleyball all-stars will duke it out at 5 p.m. at Golden Eagles Arena. The football all-stars will then take to Swisher Field for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The games are held in conjunction with the annual SDHSCA clinic, which runs Monday through Wednesday next week.
Full rosters for the all-star teams should be released soon, but the coaches and assistants can be found on the SDHSCA website.
Aaron Beavers – whose Lincoln Patriots have won back-to-back state 11AAA titles – is excited to have the opportunity to coach Team Red. This is Beavers’ first nod as head coach for the all-star game after serving as an assistant five times before.
“It’s just a great opportunity for coaches as well as the players,” Beavers said. “They get to play with guys that they were rivals to during the year.”
All of the participating players are graduated seniors, meaning the all-star games are, for some, a last hurrah of sorts. But many others still are set to play college ball. That includes some of Beavers’ standout Patriot players from a year ago, as Lincoln’s Nickel Meyers, Isaiah Roach, Braxton Large and Drew Peters will play in next week’s game.
“It’s priceless,” Beavers said of the bonus opportunity to coach his former players. “It’s one more chance to spend time with some of these special young men.”
The all-star selection process is based on nominations, and the selected coaches chose players from lists of teams. North (Blue) and South (Red) teams will split up the pool of players geographically, including an even split of Sioux Falls and Rapid City schools between the squads.
“For all the coaches, they’re out there sitting through clinics during the day,” Beavers said. “Then they get to see these products that the profession has put out. I think it’s a pretty awesome thing.”
Football players will report Sunday, giving the coaches and assistants little time to install their systems and game plans. To that end, most of the practice time will be dedicated to teaching – not full-contact hitting.
“We’ll address proper tackling techniques and all of those things, but they know how to play the game – there’s a reason why they were chosen,” Beavers said. “I can guarantee you with my team at least, we’ll do our hitting on game night. The rest of it is for teaching and having fun.”
Next week’s games will represent the 29th year in a row in which a sampling of the state’s top graduated seniors get another chance to showcase their talents.
“Every time I’ve done it, I’ve had a lot of fun,” Beavers said. “And every kid that I’ve ever coached in it and seen in later years – they bring those memories up.”
The cherry on top for Beavers? You can guess the jersey colors for Team Red. Meyers, Roach, Large and Peters should feel right at home in red.
SDHSCAA 29th Annual All-Star Games
What: Girls’ basketball on Tuesday at Wachs Arena, 6 p.m.; boys’ basketball follows at 8 p.m.; volleyball Wednesday at Wachs Arena, 5 p.m.; and football Wednesday at Swisher Field, 7:30 p.m.
When: Tuesday and Wednesday in Aberdeen
Where: Golden Eagles Arena (Aberdeen Central) and Swisher Field
Who: Standout high school athletes who graduated in May
Ticket prices: TBA