ABERDEEN — Britton-Hecla’s upset of Corsica-Stickney in the state 9A football title game was only surprising for someone who hadn’t been paying much attention to the Braves football this season.
Coach Pat Renner’s squad was stacked with talent, only some of which showed up on the 9A All-State team, as the Braves’ three all-staters were well-deserving members. Corsica-Stickney was star-laiden as well, as Jason Broughton’s Jaguars landed a classification-high five players on the all-state roster.
Warner was another star-studded team, finishing 6-2 and earning a trip to the state playoffs, losing to Britton-Hecla in the semis. The Monarchs had two big-time inclusions on the all-state roster. Herreid/Selby Area and Potter County also had a pair of players on the list, while Ipswich/Edmonds Central had a single entry.
Here is a look at the full all-state roster, school-by-school.
Cordel Menning, Senior fullback:
Rushed for 583 yards and 12 touchdowns on 109 carries, and also had 6 receptions for 52 yards and 2 touchdowns. Defensively, he recorded 53 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks, while forcing 2 fumbles and recovering 3. He was a 4-year career starter and 2-year captain, a 3-time All Great Plains Conference honoree, and had 1,666 total career yards on 109 carries for a 6.9/per carry average with 33 touchdowns; 164 tackes, 21 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 interception return for a touchdown.
“[He] was the heart and soul of our team the last three years, which he led to a 30-3 record and three Great Plains Conference titles,” head coach Jason Broughton said.
Bryce Plamp, Senior running back:
Rushed for 842 yards and 11 touchdowns on 70 carries, while recording 682 yards and 12 touchdowns on 22 receptions. Defensively he made 28 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 9 pass break-ups. His offensive career included 1,480 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns with 22 receptions for 682 yards and 12 touchdowns, while his defensive career consisted of 51 tackles and 4 interceptions. He was a team captain who received All-Great Plains Conference and Academic All-State honors.
“Bryce was a playmaker for the Jags this season,” Broughton said about Plamp. “When he had the ball in his hands, good things happened, which included 24 touchdowns.”
Blake Moke, Junior quarterback:
Threw for 1,035 yards and 22 touchdowns on 44 completions out of 67 attempts while forfeiting only 1 interception, and rushed for 313 yards and 8 touchdowns on 69 carries. To this point in his career, he has thrown for 1,105 yards and 22 touchdowns on 47 completions in 71 attempts, and has rushed for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns on 106 carries.
“Blake has great arm strength and accuracy,” Broughton said of his Great Plains All-Conference player. “His work ethic allowed him to get better and better every day.”
Jacob Joachim, senior defensive tackle:
Defense only allowed 7 points per game. Had 42 tackles, three sacks, 12 tackles for loss, two interceptions and two touchdowns.
“Jacob was a leader and a dominant player both on the O-line and D-line,” Broughton said.
Parker Marlow, Senior punter:
Kicked 18 punts for a total of 580 yards, an average of 37.2 yards, and did not have a kick blocked. He has started at quarterback for three years in his career, and twice received All-Conference Honorable Mention as a three-year starter at quarterback, while starting at punter for two years. His first year at punter, in 2016, he averaged 28.8 yards per kick on 16 punts for 461 yards.
“We have not had a punt blocked with Parker punting,” head coach Patrick Renner said. “He has had some punts that were pivotal in all of our playoff games, all of which were (played) in extreme weather.”
Preston Jones, Senior special teams player:
Had 6 returns for 229 yards, boasting a 38.2 yard per return average. He has been a team captain the past two years, and earned All-Conference honors the past two years as well. Last season as a returner he scored 1 touchdown and recorded 156 yards on 5 returns (19.7 average yards on 3 punt returns).
“Preston is an explosive runner and he has the ability to out-run most defenders,” Renner said. “He is elusive enough to not get hit very often.”
Stanley Haskins, Sophomore defensive tackle:
Recorded 4 sacks, 53 total tackles, 37 solo and 32 assisted, 13 tackles for loss, and collected 3 onside kick recoveries. In his career, he has 98 total tackles, 26 for loss, and 8 sacks.
“Stanley is a very versatile player,” Renner said. “He moves so well and finds the ball quickly. I can play him anywhere on the line and still drop him back into pass coverage if needed”
Jeremiah Hoekman, senior long-snapper:
“Jeremiah is the epitome of Raider football,” said Oldham-Romona-Rutland coach Brady Clark. “He had a great career for us and was always willing to deal with any adversity that came his way and be successful doing it. As a long-snapper, Jeremiah never had a bad snap in his career.”
Jacob Cihak, Senior defensive back:
Notched 23 touchdowns and 1,415 yards on 139 carries, threw for 21 yards on 1 completion in 2 attempts, and received 10 passes for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns. On defense and special teams, he recorded 49 tackles, broke up 13 passes, and had 2 interceptions; a 38.1 yard kickoff return average, a 30.5 yard punt return average, and went 9-14 on point after attempts. In his career, he was a 2-time All-Great Plains Conference player (‘16-’17), 2-time team MVP (‘16,’17), a former Academic All-State honoree, and recorded a total of 1,729 rushing yards, 331 receiving yards on 26 catches, and 26 total touchdowns, as well as 140 career tackles, and 7 interceptions.
“Jacob is a great kid that has made himself into an excellent football player,” head coach Tom Culver said. “He is a hard worker that never complains and does whatever he can for the good of the team.”
Scott Jolley, Senior running back:
In 9 games this season, he recorded 1,508 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on 254 carries, while reeling in 7 catches for 118 yards and 3 touchdowns on offense. On defense, he recorded 82 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. In his career, he has been named a team captain and a 2-time offensive MVP at Canistota, while rushing for 2,722 yards and 38 rushing touchdowns on 411 total carries, racking up 477 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns on 25 receptions, and recording 187.5 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks on defense.
Head coach James Strong said that Jolley is, “a worker, voice, captain, weight room leader and great teammate. (He) stepped down from quarterback and moved to running back without hesitation. (He also) raised over $2,000 for charity, and was an All-State Academic Team member this year.”
Jakways Mendoza, Senior linebacker:
Had 71.5 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 forced fumble on defense, and 9 receptions for 78 yards on offense. In his career, he has recorded 168 tackles, and received the title of team captain (‘16-’17) and All-Conference honors (‘16-’17’).
“Jakways is a leader of our team and has put a lot of time in at his position,” head coach Jordan Weisbeck said. “He is a great overall athlete and kid.”
Peter Rausch, Junior linebacker:
This season on defense, 95 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries; and on offense, 53 carries for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns, with 13 receptions for 128 yards.
“Peter is the type of football player coaches love,” head coach Vern Smith said. “Only plays at the best of his ability, and is willing to do whatever he can for the team to be successful.”
Dawson Simon, Junior wide receiver:
Recorded 544 yards and 6 touchdowns on 19 receptions, while adding 299 yards and 5 touchdowns on 25 carries and 1 kickoff return for a touchdown. He had 16 plays this season in which he gained more than 25 yards.
“Dawson is a threat to score from anywhere on the field both rushing and receiving,” Smith said. “This season, he had a 97-yard touchdown reception, an 85-yard rush, and a 77-yard kick return that all went for touchdowns.”
Emmit Bohle, Senior tight end:
This season on offense, 27 receptions for 287 yards, 5 touchdowns and 4 2-point conversions (23 of 27 catches resulted in first downs or scores), and on defense, 76 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 blocked punt. In his career on offense as a 2-year starter, he has 35 receptions for 323 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 5 2-point conversions. In his career on defense, he has 112 tackles, 6 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 blocked punt1 and 1 interception return for a touchdown.
“Emmit has worked hard in the weight room and at camps to become a college football prospect,” head coach Clayton Randall said. “There wasn’t a 9A team that we played or that I saw on film that Emmit wouldn’t start for and make major contributions to.”
Trevor Begeman, Senior guard:
This year, nearly every running play was behind him on offense, and on defense, he recorded 86 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries. In his career as a starter, over the course of three years, the offense rushed for 6132 yards, and in his career on defense, he recorded 157 tackles, 8 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, forced 2 fumbles, and recovered 4 fumbles.
“Trevor was voted MVP of our team as an offensive/defensive lineman,” Randall said. “He is the best offensive lineman we have ever had in our program and has the opportunity to play collegiately. There isn’t a program in the state (regardless of class) that wouldn’t be better with Trevor.”
Dylan Northrop, Senior defensive back:
On defense, he recorded 24 tackles and 2 interceptions, as well as 2 fumble recoveries this season. On offense, he passed for 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns (9 interceptions), and rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown on 40 carries, and on special teams he took back 10 kickoffs for 351 yards. In his career of 39 games, he was twice named an All-Lake Region Conference player and was a 2-time offensive player of the year. He completed 156 passes of 392 attempts for 2,155 yards and 22 touchdowns, while rushing 96 times for 461 yards and 6 touchdowns over that span. He also returned 10 kickoffs for 351 yards and 19 punts for 645 yards.
“Dylan is a hard working athlete who strived to get better every day,” head coach Brian Hogie said. “He was a player we couldn’t take off the field. He is a great competitor.”
Gage Gruenhagen, Senior linebacker:
This season on defense, 88 tackles, 6 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions; and on offense, 434 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 88 carries, and 35 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown on 3 catches. He also received 26 kicks for 1,114 yards.
In his career, he recorded 240 total tackles, 3 interceptions, 160 carries for 729 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, 19 catches for 232 yards and 1 touchdown, 1 Dakota Valley Conference honorable mention (‘15), 1 first team All-Dakota Valley Conference nomination (‘16), and 1 Academic All-State nomination (‘17).
“Gage has been our main go-to guy for defense and has been our leader on defense for two seasons,” head coach Mike Warne said. “As a junior, he was our best defender, and became our defensive play caller, then continued that as a senior. He has had one of the best careers as a linebacker in De Smet football history, in terms of tackles and playmaking ability.”
Nate Stewart, Senior defensive end:
Three-year starter with 47 tackles and seven sacks in 2017, along with blocking for a rushing attack that averaged 241 yards per game. Accumulated 136 tackles and 15 sacks to go with three fumble recoveries over the course of his career.
“Nathan has excellent quickness and agility for his size,” Hanson head coach Jim Haskamp said. “Nathan is a very coachable athlete who was always willing to do whatever was asked of him.”
Aidyn Feldhaus, Senior defensive end:
Three-year captain with 109 tackles, six sacks and three fumble recoveries in 2017. Over his career, had 315 tackles and nine sacks while leading his team in tackles over the last two years.
Evan Kizer, Senior guard:
Three-year starter on an offense with over 4,000 yards rushing and 70 touchdowns in 2017. Three-year captain on a team with 8,517 yards of offense in that time.
Danzan Gilborne, Senior wide receiver:
Had 39 catches for 638 yards and nine receiving touchdowns, added 55 carries for 328 yards and returned four punts for touchdowns. Also kicked 12 extra points and was a star on defense. In his career had over 1,200 yards receiving and 783 yards rushing and had 40 touchdowns. Was a five-year starter.
“Danzan was a very special player for us,” Warner coach Kerwin Hoellein said. “On defense, he was our vocal leader, making sure we were properly aligned. He was a run-stopper who also protected the middle of the field.”
Tyler Landis, Senior center:
Offense had 5,089 yards on the ground in 2017, scoring 392 points in 2017. Landis also recorded 49 tackles and nine sacks. A two-year starter, he was a team captain and led his team to a 19-4 career record.
“Tyler’s work ethic and dedication to the weight room has turned himself into a heck of a football player,” Hoellein said.
Braydon Peterson, senior linebacker:
Had 76 tackles, seven for loss and two sacks, as well as 91 rushes for 440 yards and 12 touchdowns with two receiving scores as well. Three-sport athlete, excelling in wrestling, golf and football.
“Braydon is a special player,” Lemmon head coach Austin Fedderson said. “He was our Swiss Army knife. He played everywhere. O, D, he kicked, punted, received kicks and punts, etc. He can do everything and was keyed on, week in and week out.”
2017 All-State Football Team
Quarterback — Blake Moke, Corsica-Stickney; Fullback — Cordel Menning, Corsica-Stickney; Running Back — Scott Jolley, Canistota/Freeman; Bryce Plamp, Corsica-Stickney; Wide Receiver — Danzan Gilborn, Warner; Dawson Simon, Potter County; Tight End — Emmit Bohle, Herreid-Selby; Guards — Evan Kizer, Howard; Trevor Begeman, Herreid-Selby; Center — Tyler Landis, Warner; Long Snapper — Jeremiah Hoekman.
Tackles — Jacob Joachim, Corsica-Stickney; Stanley Haskins, Britton-Hecla; Ends — Aidyn Feldhaus, Howard; Nathan Stewart, Hanson; Linebackers — Gage Gruenhagen, DeSmet; Braydon Peterson, Lemmon-McIntosh; Peter Rausch, Potter County; Jakways Mendoza, Timber Lake; Defensive Backs — Jacob Cihak, Avon; Dylan Northrop, Ipswich/Edmunds Central.
Punter — Parker Marlow, Britton-Hecla; Special Teams Player — Preston Jones, Britton-Hecla.
Ben Krueger, Potter County; Michael Hofer, Howard; Hunter Breske, Oldham-Ramona/Rutland; Dayton Wade, Britton-Hecla; EJ Leetch, Howard; Zach Jones, Warner; Peyton Nelson, Platte-Geddes; Tucker Kraft, Timber Lake; Jacob McNutt, New Underwood; Trevor Sprik, Platte-Geddes; Sam Bad Warrior, Timber Lake; Nate Ludouissie, New Underwood; Clayton Koppatschek, Deubrook; Jamus Brown, Oldham-Ramona/Rutland; Zach Wolkow, DeSmet.
De Smet’s Gage Gruenhagen blocks for quarterback Cade Birkel during a game Sept. 22 against Colman-Egan in De Smet.
Next, De Smet’s Zach Wolkow takes the ball from Birkel on a handoff during a game against Colman-Egan on Sept. 22 in De Smet.
Photos by Mike Carroll/Plainsman