Bust out the face-paint and shake the dust off the pom-poms, because high school football is on the horizon.
Soon, two-a-days and scrimmages will be a thing of the past, the final preludes before the bright lights on Friday.
With football frenzy at fever pitch, then, it’s a fine time to take note of some of the state’s top players by announcing the 2015-16 American Family Insurance ALL-USA South Dakota preseason team.
Of course, the regular season and playoffs will decide who stands a cut above the rest, but the following players enter the season with some swagger coming off their ’14 campaigns:
Jett Thune, Sr., Roosevelt – Thune entered last season primed to be one of the state’s top wide receivers, hauling in 128 yards and a touchdown in the Riders’ season opener. Then, in the team’s third game, quarterback Taryn Christion went down with a season-ending leg injury, leaving Thune to take over as signal-caller. Thune responded by leading Roosevelt all the way to the Class 11AAA championship, throwing for 1,070 yards with 15 touchdowns to just four interceptions to with 469 yards on the ground with eight rushing scores. He enters this season primed to be one of the state’s top quarterbacks.
Mitch Hansen, Sr., Madison
Kanin Nelson, Sr., Mitchell
Brodie Frederiksen, Sr., Madison – Frederiksen played the part of workhorse back for the ‘11A’ runner-up Bulldogs, piling up 1,226 yards on 156 carries – an average of 7.9 yards – with 14 total touchdowns. The senior back should be at it again alongside fellow all-stater, quarterback Mitch Hansen.
Dodi Makwinja, Sr., O’Gorman
Josh Brown, Sr., Dell Rapids St. Mary
John Oldenkamp, Sr., Lennox
Keegan Van Egdom, Sr., Sioux Falls Christian
Wide receiver/Tight End
Shilo Tallman, Sr., Little Wound – Tallman helped lead the Mustangs to a postseason berth, and posted a 10 catch, 150-yard effort in an opening-round loss to Belle Fourche. On the season, Tallman had 56 catches for 759 yards and six touchdowns. He figures to be the cornerstone of Little Wound’s offense this season.
Tyler Van Voorst, Sr., Roosevelt
Jack Peery, Sr., O’Gorman
Chase Kortan, Jr., Bon Homme
Cody Nelson, Sully Buttes
Drew Seubert, Canistota
Matt Farniok, Sr., Washington – The Warriors’ anchor the past three seasons, Farniok is the consensus top player in the state – regardless of position. Combining the same qualities that made his older brothers Tom and Derek sought-after Division I prospects (Tom is currently working for a roster spot with the Minnesota Vikings), Matt has narrowed his collegiate search to Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan St. and Florida St. He’ll also see some time on the defensive line, a harsh prospect for whomever lines up across him.
Kyle Sim, Sr., Lincoln
Jeremiah Harmon, Sr., Spearfish
Hunter Hanley, Sr., West Central
Masen Oltmanns, Sr., Lennox
Wesley Genant, Sr., Parkston
Ethan Roth, Sr., Harrisburg – Roth, who verbally committed to play at USD, will make an impact on both lines. In fact, earlier this summer, he was named the offensive line MVP at a camp hosted by NDSU. At at 6-foot-4, 275 pounds, Roth has the size and strength to impose his will wherever he plays and should be a force in the trenches on defense.
Bryce Edberg, Sr., West Central
Noah Beck, Jr., Gregory
Chase VonEye, Sr., Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central
Garrett Larson, Sr., Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central
Kale Stieg, Jr., Hamlin
Andrew Sorenson, Sr., Brandon Valley – The ‘11AAA’ all-state linebacker had a knack for delivering big hits last season, and figures to again be an enforcer for the Lynx. Also an accomplished wrestler, the 6-foot, 220-pounder will also see action at fullback on offense.
Sean Powell, Sr., Roosevelt
Preston Tetzlaff, Sr., Brookings
Ryder Grantham, Sr., Hamlin
Tyson Serr, Sr., Burke/South Central
Ty Smith, Sr., Washington
Luke Fritsch, Sr., O’Gorman – Fritsch’s value is apparent in watching the Knights, seeing as the senior quarterback/defensive back rarely steps off the field. A dual-threat under center, Fritsch was selected to the ‘11AAA’ all-state team for his efforts on defense. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Fritsch has prototypical size for a cornerback to go along with good speed, strength and instincts. \
Adam Aughenbaugh, De Smet/Iroquois
Cole Thurness, Sr., St. Thomas More
Layne Tieszen, Sr., Aberdeen Central
Chuck Bakley, Sr., Bennett County
Grant Youngblood, Sr., Rapid City Stevens
Kicker – Israel Argullin, Sr., Herreid Selby
Punter – Nathan Durfee, Sr., Roosevelt
Specialist – Luke Weber, Sr., Arlington
Jerad Nielsen, Sr., Canistota