Thirteen area football players – including six Bobcats and five Cossacks – earned All-State honors.
Nine others were honorable mentions.
Brookings’ Josh Buri, Davis Engen, Parker Theobald, Wes Koenig, Jackson Krogman and Payton Theodosopoulos made the Class 11AA All-State squad.
Jaxon Bowes, Keegan Fields, Max Struck and Gavin Fixsen were honorable mentions.
Sioux Valley’s Jaxton Schiller was named Class 11B Player of the Year. He was joined by teammates Parker Puetz, Kashas VanderWal, Connor Logan and Ashton Bultje on the squad. Damian Danziesen was an honorable mention.
Rounding out the local All-State honorees, Arlington/Lake Preston’s Seth Madsen made the Class 9AA team and Colman-Egan’s Ryan Voelker was on the 9B squad.
Flandreau’s Tash Lunday (11B), Oldham-Ramona/Rutland’s Will Matson (9A) and Elkton-Lake Benton’s Ryan Krog and Aiden Erickson (9AA) were honorable mentions.
Josh Buri, Sr. – RB
The Register Player of the Year averaged 11 yards per carry and 138 per game, scoring 30 total touchdowns – 28 rushing on 150 attempts.
“Josh is a rare talent on the football field, but an even better man off of the field which makes him elite,” said BHS coach Brady Clark. “His relentless work ethic and will to improve himself and his team is truly inspiring for his teammates and coaches. His Leadership on and off of the field makes him an ideal candidate, as well.”
Buri, who transferred from Stewartville, Minnesota, for his senior season, finished his high school career with 6,887 all-purpose yards, including 5,251 rushing on 505 attempts (10.4 average). He found the end zone 93 times – 80 on the ground.
Davis Engen, Jr. – OL
He played left guard on a line that helped the Bobcats total 4,357 yards of offense (3,355 rushing).
“In his first year playing at the varsity level he has been asked to do a lot,” said Clark. “Playing guard in our system requires you to have vision, quickness and intelligence. It also requires you to constantly block players in open space which can be very difficult.
“Davis is someone we always feel comfortable running behind and has worked extremely hard to be the player he is today.”
Parker Theobald, Sr. – DL
The transfer from Stewartville, Minnesota, was impactful in his lone season as a Bobcat.
Theobald logged 63 tackles, including 24 for loss with 8 1/2 sacks. He had 19 quarterback hurries and forced three fumbles with one recovery.
He played right guard on a line that helped the Bobcats total 4,357 yards of offense (3,355 rushing).
“Parker has the ability to shut down an entire side of the line of scrimmage,” said Clark. “He plays very aggressive, intelligent and relentless football and is always wreaking havoc in the opponent’s backfield.
“He is very coachable and has a motor that never quits, which is essential when playing the defensive end position effectively.”
Wes Koenig, Sr. – LB
Koenig was a key piece of a stout Bobcat defense, which allowed just 11.33 points per game.
He finished with 60 tackles, including 17 for loss (three sacks), with seven QB hurries and a scoop-and-score.
“Wes is the leader of our defense and is a load to handle at the linebacker position,” said Clark. “He has a natural instinct in finding the football and when he tackles someone, well, let’s just say he makes his presence known.
“He works extremely hard to prepare day in and day out and his success on the field is proof of that.”
Jackson Krogman, Sr. – DB
Krogman was a force in the secondary.
He ended up with 42 tackles (26 solo) and picked off four passes while forcing a fumble.
“Jackson is a safety that can truly do it all,” said Clark. “He is one of our leaders on the defense, as well.
“Jackson has the ability to bait quarterbacks into bad situations with the football, but even more impressive is his ability to fly around the field and make huge plays in the run game.”
Payton Theodosopoulos, Jr. – Special Teams Player
The junior went 34-of-42 on PAT kicks and 3-of-8 on field goals with a long of 45 yards (a school record).
He averaged 50.5 yards on 69 kickoffs with 16 touchbacks.
“Payton had a strong start to his season, and after adjusting his technique, has kicked the ball extremely well and consistent over the last half of the season,” said Clark. “He put in the hours before and after practice with coaches to become one of the best kickers in our class!”
Parker Puetz, Jr. – QB
He was 58-of-93 for 1,085 yards with 15 touchdowns through the air.
Puetz added 324 rushing yards with eight end zone visits.
He logged 68 tackles (21 solo) on defense.
“Parker is a very athletic and intelligent quarterback whose ability to run, throw and distribute the ball made the Cossacks all but unstoppable on offense, averaging over 350 yards and 30 points per game,” said SV coach Dan Hughes. “Parker set the school record for touchdown passes, which is impressive because during his career Sioux Valley has rushed for over 650 yards.
“As well as excelling on offense, Parker has been among the best players in the Big East on defense, totaling 68 tackles.
“Parker’s 19 wins as a starting quarterback are also among the best in Sioux Valley history.”
Puetz has 37 career TDs tosses, throwing for 2,816 yards (third in school history).
Jaxton Schiller, Sr. – RBI
Schiller was a monster for the Cossacks, earning Class 11B Player of the Year honors.
He ran 113 times for 1,053 yards – 9.3 average – and 11 scores.
Schiller added 40 receptions for 711 yards with nine touchdowns.
He also picked up 355 yards in the return game, adding a pair of TDs.
On defense, Schiller totaled 59 tackles (27 solo) and a pick.
“No player in our area has scored more touchdowns, caught more passes and had a greater impact on the game than Jaxton Schiller – offensively, defensively or in special teams,” said Hughes. “In addition to his incredible offensive stats, Jaxton did not take a break when the Cossacks were on defense. He was on the field recording 59 tackles this season and shutting down the best receivers in the Big East.
“He is, without a doubt, the best player in this region. He lines up in different positions and scores routinely against the very best competition in South Dakota yet still takes the field on defense and plays sideline to sideline; there is no one else that can make this claim.
“Also, there is no one else in South Dakota that has rushed for over 1,000 yards while also having 40 receptions – he is the only one, and he accomplished this with 27 solo tackles on defense and two return touchdowns on special teams.”
Schiller is Sioux Valley’s career leader in receiving yards (1,733) and scoring (57 touchdowns). He ran for 2,174 yards.
Kashas VanderWal, Sr. – OL
“Kashas is a three-year starter and very intelligent player who made many of the line calls that allowed Sioux Valley to gain over 4,500 yards this season,” said Hughes. “He has great feet and athleticism, which allowed him to solo block some of the best defensive linemen in South Dakota. His ability to recognize defenses and adjust pass protections kept the QB clean and allowed the Cossacks to complete 63% of their passes this season.”
Connor Logan, Sr. – DL
Logan had another big year on the defensive line, picking up 73 tackles (19 solo) with eight sacks.
“He is one of the fastest defensive linemen in South Dakota, making him an outstanding pass-rusher and edge defender.”
The two-time All-State pick is the Cossacks’ career leader in sacks.
Ashton Bultje, Sr. – LB
The linebacker racked up 95 tackles, including 23 solo.
“Ashton is a rare combination of physicality and speed,” said Hughes. “He would routinely make stops against some of the best backs in S.D. between the tackles and his speed allowed him to cover slot receivers in the open field. A very sure tackler, Ashton was always around the ball making plays all over the field.”
Seth Madsen, Sr. – LB
The senior racked up 143 tackles (108 solo).
He led the Badgers in stops each of the past two seasons.
“Seth reads plays extremely well and thus is a tackling machine,” said ALP coach Steve Gilbertson. “His tackle numbers is the most of any player I have coached in 20 years as a head coach. He is the leader of our defense and is also, despite his size, the anchor of our offensive line where he plays guard.”
Ryan Voelker, Sr. – LB
He had a solid year in all phases for the Hawks.
Voelker ran 155 times for 1,223 yards and 12 touchdowns – he had 335 yards on 27 carries in the first round of the playoffs.
He also went 41-of-89 for 527 yards with a pair of TDs through the air.
A three-year starter on defense, Voelker logged 47 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles in 2020.
“Ryan is a very versatile player who played multiple positions during his career and excelled at all of them,” said CE coach Chad Williamson. “He is very explosive and could make a game changing play at any time.”