Last season in this class, it felt like a two-team race all season long. We were treated to the best championship game of any class when the Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan Seahawks and the Winner Warriors locked up for a title. The Seahawks ended up winning the thriller with their defense in the second half.
This season, could we see those two back in the title game? Not if some up and comers have anything to say about it.
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Jandy's Preseason Top 5 for 11B Football
The Warriors are good every year because they know how to block and tackle. This year will be the same formula. Quarterback Brady Fritz and running back Sam Kruger should have some big holes to run through, and Landon Thieman, Owen Duffy, Charlie Pravacek, Preston Norrid and company will lead on defense. The Warriors have the bodies and the skill to push for a title.
They have all-state lineman Josh Bartscher back and will have some guys like Rylee Schultz and other new playmakers who will grow up throughout the season. The sophomore class is loaded and will have to contribute if the Seahawks want to contend.
3. Sioux Valley
Sioux Valley didn’t graduate any of their top rushers, passers or receivers — plus, they have their top four tacklers back on D. Nine starters are back for coach Dan Hughes’ offensive unit. “We look to have a pretty tough squad with lots of speed and lots of veterans,” he said.
Parker Puetz will be back at quarterback, and Jaxton Schiller is a name you’ll get to know at running back. Defense is much improved as well.
4. McCook Central-Montrose
McCook Central-Montrose has some big boys in the backfield and could improve on last year’s 8-2 mark. Head Coach Shawn Flanagan has to rework some important positions, but he has a guy with a big truck-stick in the backfield: Jacobi Krouse. He’s a punishing runner and will see a lot of action this year. Joe Loudenburg, Bobby Koepsell and Kyle DeBoer are just a few more of the leaders on this team.
5. St. Thomas More
The Cavaliers have a speed weapon in Ryan Wojcik, but can they keep a balanced attack as they try to replace Ryder Kirsch? They also have Jack Green — a very versatile player who earned all-state honors last year — back as a leader. The team speed is always above average for the Cavs, but they’ll need to stay healthy, because they don’t have a ton of depth on the line.
Elk Point-Jefferson- The Huskies could make a move in this class. They have a great runner in Riley Schmitz, a star receiver in Tyler Goehring and a great lineman in Drake Peed.
Head Coach Jacob Terry will enjoy 10 returning starters on offense. “We will have a young, sophomore QB, but return plenty around him. We have a lot of young players that have developed over the past year and will be able to contribute significantly.”
Beresford - The Watchdogs are back on the watch list. They have a lot of talent back on offense, including quarterback Tate Vanderloo and talented players like Brady Peterson, Spencer Nelson, Isaiah Richards, Max Orr, Landon Schurch and Ashton Tjade. I expect them to improve over last year’s three-win campaign.
Preseason 11B Player of the Year - Ryan Wojcik, St. Thomas More
Ryan is a big-time two-way player for the Cavs. He exploded in the games he was featured. This season, he should be featured even more at running back. Wojcik is a solid 6'2", 205-pound back who mixes power and speed. Last season, he was my week six game ball winner with a 292-yard rushing night. He also can catch out of the backfield, but he’s maybe even more useful on defense at linebacker.
10 More Top Prospects in 11B
- Josh Bartscher, BEE
- Brady Fritz, Winner
- Jack Green, St. Thomas More
- Jacobi Krouse, MCM
- Sam Kruger, Winner
- Drake Peed, EPJ
- Brady Peterson, Beresford
- Parker Puetz, Sioux Valley
- Jaxton Schiller , Sioux Valley
- Riley Schmitz, Elk Point-Jefferson