After helping capture the school’s first football championship in 23 years, Bon Homme has placed a class-high four players on the Class 9AA all-state team, as selected by the South Dakota Football Coaches Association.
And defense led the way for the Cavaliers.
They allowed 12, 12, 14 and 20 points in their four playoff games, and three of their four all-state selections are on that side of the ball: senior John Kubal (defensive end), junior Josh Crownover (linebacker) and senior Joey Slama (defensive back). In addition, junior Cole Bares was recognized at offensive guard.
Although Slama was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship game (a 35-20 victory over Kimball-White Lake) for his offensive performance, he was also a leader for the Bon Homme defense — he recorded 67 tackles this season.
A four-sport standout (also basketball, track and baseball), Slama was the only player in head coach Byron Pudwill’s 36-year career to be unanimously chosen by coaches and players as team captain.
“Joey was very valuable to our team,” Pudwill said. “He was a great athlete, but an even better team captain and leader.”
In the case of Kubal, he was likewise an offensive and defensive weapon for the Cavaliers this season. A two-year starter, he finished his career with 61 tackles and 18 sacks.
“John has the perfect mentality and physical tools to play tight end,” Pudwill said. “John played offensive line as a young football player, which really helped his blocking when we transitioned him to tight end.”
Crownover, also a state champion in baseball and wrestling, manned the middle of the field this season for the Bon Homme defense. He finished the season with 68 tackles and will head into his senior season with 105 career tackles.
“Josh was our leading tackler on one of the best defenses we have ever had here at Bon Homme,” Pudwill said. “He was a great film guy; he always knew what was going on. ‘Boots’ was very vocal, and helped everybody get lined up in the right spots.”
On the other side of the ball, Bares held down the offensive line and was named the championship game Lineman of the Game. The Cavaliers totaled 3,800 yards when Bares was blocking and that total reached 6,000 yards in his two years as a starter.
“Cole was a big part of our offense,” Pudwill said. “He was our go-to guy when we needed some yards. Cole did a great job of being a road grader when needed.”
State runner-up Kimball-White Lake had three players selected: senior Bo Donald (offensive guard), senior Tyler Resick (defensive tackle) and senior Carter Fredericksen (special teams player).
Here is a look at the other all-state honorees:
Quarterback: Trey King, Irene-Wakonda (Sr., 6-2, 205)
The do-it-all offensive weapon combined for 64 touchdowns on the season, including 40 through the air and 18 on the ground. King passed for 2,882 yards and rushed for 1,344 yards. He finished his career with 161 total touchdowns.
“Trey is a special athlete and a special young man,” coach Chris Torgerson said. “When he is on the field, he takes control of the field no matter what he is faced with. He has the ability to get out of trouble and make a negative play into a huge play.”
Fullback: J.J. Beck, Gregory (Sr., 6-0, 190)
After earning all-state honorable mention recognition in 2016, Beck has now earned two consecutive all-state honors as the state’s top fullback. This season, he rushed for 862 yards and 14 touchdowns, and also had 216 receiving yards and one touchdown. Beck was a four-year starter for a Gregory program that won state titles in 2016 and 2017.
“He’s an excellent all-around athlete, one of the toughest football players I’ve coached,” head coach Brian Allmendinger said.
Running Back: Devante Luellman, Wolsey-Wessington (Sr., 5-6, 190)
The two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection rushed for 1,564 yards and 24 touchdowns this season for the Warbirds, who reached the semifinals. Luellman also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
“DeVante is an extremely talented and hard-working athlete who has done a great job in the weight room to improve his strength and speed every season,” head coach Gordon Hooks said. “He was one of our leaders on and off the field.
Running Back: Gavin Holland, Arlington-Lake Preston (Jr., 5-8, 190)
A two-time all-conference selection, Holland rushed for 1,008 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, and finished his career with over 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns.
“He has an excellent off-season work ethic and is very physical with a tremendous desire for football,” head coach Steve Gilbertson said. “A true running back with his size, strength and speed.”
Wide Receiver: Caleb Stukel, Gregory (Sr., 5-8, 160)
Just like J.J. Beck, Stukel was a member of the Gorillas’ state championship teams in 2016 and 2017. This season, Stukel caught 21 passes for 523 yards and seven touchdowns, and also rushed for 691 yards and seven touchdowns. For his career, he hauled in 48 passes for 1,091 yards and 12 touchdowns, and also holds school records for receiving yards in a game (271) and longest reception (92 yards).
“He is one of our best all-around athletes,” head coach Brian Allmendinger said.
Wide Receiver: Brannon McDonald, Irene-Wakonda (Sr., 6-0, 165)
An all-state honorable mention linebacker a year ago, McDonald thrived in an Eagles’ offense led by quarterback Trey King. McDonald caught 52 passes for 1,119 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.
“He made his mark on offense this year,” head coach Chris Torgerson said. “He had a knack of finding open spots and making spectacular catches. He was Trey’s (King) favorite weapon in the slot and his go-to guy when in duress, and his numbers show it.”
Tight End: Drew Blosmo, Garretson (Sr., 6-1, 190)
For a Blue Dragons team that reached the Class 9AA semifinals this season, Blosmo caught 29 passes for 588 yards and seven touchdowns. He finished his career with 46 receptions for 841 yards and 18 touchdowns.
“Drew is an outstanding athlete that transitioned into our best football player,” head coach Chris Long said.
Guard: Bo Donald, Kimball-White Lake (Sr., 6-7, 300)
Donald broke his foot early in the season but returned to spark the KWL offense, according to head coach Dale Taylor. Donald, an all-state honorable mention selection a year ago, already has a scholarship offer from South Dakota State and is also being recruited by other Division I programs.
“Bo is a fun, big, talented player to have on the field,” head coach Dale Taylor said. “He really worked hard in the weight room and on his footwork in the off-season.”
Center: Dakota Johnson, Garretson (Sr., 5-10, 285)
A two-time all-state center, Johnson also finished with 43.5 tackles (7.5 for loss) this season for a Blue Dragons team that went 10-1. He finished his defensive career with 96.5 tackles (21.5 for loss).
“Dakota is a student of the game,” head coach Chris Long said. “He can help us make adjustments on the fly and is one of the best football players I have coached.”
Tackle: Tyler Resick, Kimball-White Lake (Sr., 6-1, 230)
This season, Resick recorded 77 tackles, six sacks, two interceptions, one blocked punt and one touchdown. He wrapped up his standout career with 134 tackles.
“Tyler has got a motor that doesn’t quit,” head coach Dale Taylor. “He is very athletic and quick for his size. He gave a lot of teams trouble all year, especially late in the season.”
Tackle: Jharett Bloomenrader, Miller/Highmore-Harrold (Sr., 6-5, 240)
In addition to 384 receiving yards and four touchdowns, Bloomenrader recorded 34 tackles (11 for loss) and two sacks from his defensive line spot.
“He was our best blocker on offense as well as having really good hands,” head coach Will Castle said. “Teams would run away from him on ‘D’.”
End: Tristen Bent, Webster Area (Sr., 6-1, 210)
A two-time all-state defensive end, Bent did a little bit of everything this season for the Bearcats. He recorded 86 tackles (11 for loss), along with three sacks, 36 quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and one safety.
“Tristen is the heart and soul of our team,” head coach Tanner Christensen said. “He is a born leader. He was the player coaches changed their scheme for because of his presence on the field.”
Linebacker: Sam Muston, Baltic (Sr., 6-1, 195)
In addition to his duties as quarterback of the Bulldogs’ offense, Muston recorded 87 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions from his linebacker position. For his career, he finished with 291 tackles, 6.5 sacks and three interceptions.
“He has been a pillar of our program for the last three years,” head coach Alan Baskerville said. He’s a workhorse who truly puts his goals in front of his freedoms. He has been a leader in the weight room, class room and on the field.”
Linebacker: Tyler Murray, Gregory (Sr., 5-8, 175)
Murray, a three-year starter and member of two state championship teams, recorded 53 tackles (seven for loss) and one sack this season. A two-time all-state linebacker, he finished his career with 235 tackles and 12 sacks.
“He sacrificed his running back position to play guard to help the team,” head coach Brian Allmendinger said. The coach also pointed out that Murray recently enlisted in the South Dakota National Guard.
Linebacker: Steven Leggett, Irene-Wakonda (Sr., 5-10, 163)
A versatile defensive weapon, Leggett was named the Eagles’ Defensive MVP after recording 81 tackles (14 for loss), five sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.
“By season’s end, he had played everywhere on the defense except safety,” head coach Chris Torgerson said. “His best position was linebacker, but he is a very dynamic player, that when we needed a body, he would take over that position and make it his.”
Defensive Back: Lynden Williams, Wolsey-Wessington (Sr., 6-2, 200)
In addition to his 2,067 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns this season, Williams was also a force on defense for the Warbirds. He recorded 72 tackles, with two sacks and an interception return for a touchdown. Williams finished his career with five interceptions.
“He has been a big part of our success over his career,” head coach Gordon Hooks said. “Lynden has played everywhere on offense, and has excelled in all.”
Kicker: Clayton Kurtz, Webster Area (Sr., 5-10, 160)
A kicker and punter for the Bearcats, Kurtz averaged 41.3 yards on 59 kickoffs with nine touchbacks this season. He made 41-of-44 extra points, and also averaged 31.1 yards on 24 punts.
“He has such an accurate and strong leg, and it was very unique to coach him,” head coach Tanner Christensen said. “He has sought out camps in the summer and was voted as a captain for his leadership abilities.”
Punter: Karst Hunter, Miller/Highmore-Harrold (Sr., 6-4, 205)
Labeled by his coach as one of the top dual threat quarterbacks the Rustlers have seen, Hunter recorded totals of nearly 2,600 offensive yards and 29 touchdowns this season.
“Karst is the hardest worker I’ve been around,” head coach Will Castle said. “That combined with his athletic ability made him into one of the state’s best. He can do everything on the football field and his leadership has carried us the last couple seasons.”
Long Snapper: Brennan Mudder, Garretson (Sr., 6-0, 180)
For all four seasons, Mudder handled the long-snapping duties for the Blue Dragons. This season, he also rushed for 427 yards and passed for 889 yards. For his career, Mudder had 1,686 passing yards, 764 rushing yards and 360 receiving yards.
“Brennan was a leader of the football team in all three phases,” head coach Chris Long said. “He knows the game, knows what we are trying to do and executes it like we need.”
Special Teams Player: Carter Fredericksen, Kimball-White Lake (Sr., 5-9, 155)
Fredericksen was a do-it-all offensive weapon for the Wildkats. He rushed for 1,045 yards and 17 touchdowns, and caught 22 passes for 377 yards and four scores.
“Carter has been a big player for us all year,” head coach Dale Taylor said. “Last year we were missing the big play and we got it this year with Carter.”
Devon Heuer, Arlington-Lake Preston; Tyler Jensen, Arlington-Lake Preston; Beau Rothschadl, Bon Homme; Matt Amdahl, Dakota Hills; Carter Hoffman, Deuel; Cory Bryan, Garretson; Cody Erickson, Garretson; Isaiah Robinson, Garretson; Connor Bawdon, Hamlin; Nash Grantham, Hamlin; Justin Becker, Kimball-White Lake; Javen Holan, Kimball-White Lake; Carson Kunz, North Border; Colby Olson, Parker; Slayton Neugebauer, Parkston; Shane Andersen, Viborg-Hurley; Coby Reetz, Webster Area; Brevon Hooks, Wolsey-Wessington