Lynx, Rough Riders well-represented on Class 11AAA All-State team


Class 11AAA champion Brandon Valley and semifinalist Roosevelt headline the 2018 Class 11AAA All-State team with eight honorees apiece. The team, which is selected by the South Dakota Football Coaches Association, also includes players from Aberdeen Central, Rapid City Stevens, Lincoln, O’Gorman, Washington and Watertown.

Five of the Lynx’s selections came on the offensive side of the ball with center Jack Harvison joining backs Andrew Hanson and Jesse Steffel, receiver Carter Olthoff and tight end Cole Siegfried. Defensive end Tanner Niewenhuis, linebacker Isaiah Campbell and defensive back Ethan Tellinghuisen represented BV on defense.

Most of Roosevelt’s honorees were scattered between the defensive and special teams units. Joey Otta and Devonte Murphy were tabbed all-state defensive linemen, Aaron Kusler was an honoree at linebacker and Adam Kusler was recognized as a defensive back. Delvin McManus (punter) and Tyler Feldkamp (Special team player) were on special teams, while offensive linemen Caleb Dwyer and Mason Amato represented the Rough Riders’ offense.

Washington (5), Lincoln (2) and Aberdeen Central (2) also had multiple All-State selections. 

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Jayden Johannsen

Washington (Sr., 6-3, 195)

Over 11 games, Johannsen completed 133 of 222 passes for 1,924 yards with 22 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterback also proved capable of running the ball, rushing for 512 yards and four touchdowns on 54 carries.

“Jayden is a gunslinger with amazing accuracy,” coach Chad Stadem said. “He is student of the game who made others around him better. I have so much fun being around him each day and will miss just having him around.”

Fullback: Andrew Hanson

Brandon Valley (Sr., 5-10, 205)

A team captain, Hanson cleared the way out of the backfield for a BV offensive attack that generated nearly 2,300 yards on the ground and over 1,800 yards through the air. He himself got involved in the rushing and passing games, as well, scoring touchdowns on three of his eight carries and catching 11 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. 

At linebacker, Hanson posted 60 tackles, eight of which went for a loss. He graduates with over 150 career tackles.

Running back: Jesse Steffel

Brandon Valley (Jr., 6-3, 190)

2018 was a breakout season on both sides of the ball for Steffel. The junior standout logged 139 carries for 939 yards and 13 touchdowns on offense and recorded 51 tackles with 9.5 going for a loss and a sack. The third-year varsity letterwinner also intercepted three passes. 

“Jesse is an incredible talent,” Garrow said. “He had a great year on both sides of the ball… He’s a very strong alley defender and was vital to our championship run.”

Running back: Tupak Kpeayeh

Washington (Sr., 5-9, 185)

Kpeayeh was virtually unstoppable for the Class 11AAA runner-up. Over 12 games, he averaged 171.3 yards per game (2,056 rushing yards), with 24 touchdowns. Kpeayeh also caught 17 passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns.

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound running back graduates as the South Dakota 11-man all-time record-holder in points scored, rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns, rushing yards and 100-yard rushing games.

“Tupak is an amazing human being,” Stadem said. “He is a team first guy and a respected individual in the Washington community… He is simply the best.”

Wide receiver: Carter Olthoff

Brandon Valley (Sr., 6-3, 195)

Olthoff used 2018 to cement his status among the state’s top wideouts, catching 57 passes for 1,264 yards and 20 touchdowns. A two-year starter, Olthoff, who also stars for the Lynx basketball team, graduates with 76 catches for 1,523 yards and 25 touchdowns, which breaks former Iowa standout Matt VandeBerg’s program record.

“Carter is a very big and athletic receiver,” Garrow said. “He is undecided on where he will play college football next year, but his will be a name that we will hear for years to come.”

Wide receiver: Canyon Bauer

O’Gorman (Sr., 6-0, 185)

Bauer graduates with nine school records, six of which were set in 2018. He set the single-game, season and career marks in: Receptions (12/62/168), receiving yards (238/922/2,731) and touchdown receptions (4/16/33). As if that weren’t enough, the three-sport athlete also rushed for 166 yards on 20 carries and completed a pair of passes.

“Canyon is a leader on and off the field who improved every year,” coach Jayson Poppinga said. “His talent is obvious, but his commitment to the team and selflessness helped drive the Knights the past 3 seasons.”

Tight end: Cole Siegfried

Brandon Valley (Sr., 6-3, 200)

Siegfried contributed both as a receiver and a blocker for the Lynx. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound tight end proved a valuable asset to the passing game, catching 10 balls for 128 yards and four touchdowns. As a blocker, he helped clear the way for a unit that averaged over 30 points per game. 

Tackle: Grant Treiber

Lincoln (Sr., 6-7, 285)

In a season that his team was decimated by injuries, Treiber served as a rock for his teammates, doing his best to keep everyone positive and motivated as the season moved forward. 

“Grant was by far the best player on the Lincoln Patriots team,” coach Jared Fredenburg said of the Iowa State commit. “He was our leader physically and verbally on the offensive side of the ball.”

Tackle: Caleb Dwyer

Roosevelt (Jr., 6-1, 255)

Dwyer is “farm kid strong” according to coach Kim Nelson, who said the 6-foot-1, 255-pound junior was the team’s best blocker. Shifting between guard and tackle, he cleared the way for an offense that rolled up over 3,500 total yards on the year. The team’s only full-time two-way player, Dwyer recorded 40 tackles, nine sacks and 11 tackles for a loss at defensive end. 

Guard: Mason Amato

Roosevelt (Sr., 6-2, 370)

Described by coach Kim Nelson as an “Earth mover,” Amato helped the Rough Riders throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,500 more over the course of 11 games. A two-year starter at center, he led the team in the weight room, squatting 550 pounds and benching 330.

“Mason is agile for a big guy,” Nelson said. “He’s smart both on the field and in the classroom. He’s a great teammate and leader both during the season and in the offseason.”

Guard: Brandon Dickens

Washington (Jr., 6-2, 285)

Dickens helped pave the way for a Warriors offense that rushed for 29 touchdowns and nearly 2,700 yards on the year. He and his linemates also proved proficient at pass protection, keeping the heat off quarterbacks Jayden Johannsen, Tyus Hanson and Max Thompson, who combined for 2,330 passing yards (194.17 per game). 

Center: Jack Harvison

Brandon Valley (Sr., 6-1, 280)

Harvison anchored a rock-solid front line that cleared the way for a Lynx offense that averaged over 30 points per game with 4,238 total yards – 2,203 of which came on the ground. In his two years as a starter, Brandon Valley amassed over 8,000 yards of total offense. 

The 6-foot-1, 280-pound senior shined in the Class 11AAA state championship game, earning most valuable lineman honors after he helped the offense log 353 yards of total offense.

DEFENSE

End: Joey Otta, Roosevelt (Sr., 6-1, 210)

One of the team’s vocal leaders, Otta racked up 78 tackles with five sacks, six tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound end graduates with 118 tackles, eight sacks and four fumble recoveries. A team captain, Otta was a two-year starter for Roosevelt.

End: Tanner Niewenhuis

Brandon Valley (Sr., 6-5, 205)

The Lynx’s leading tackler (78 total tackles), Niewenhuis recorded 19.5 tackles for a loss of 66 yards and six sacks. A long but powerful defensive end, he also recovered a fumble off the edge for BV.

“Tanner has worked extremely hard to become a dominant lineman in 11AAA,” Garrow said. 

Defensive tackle: Kaden Johnson

Aberdeen Central (Sr., 6-0, 275)

Johnson was a leader both on and off the field for Aberdeen Central. Coach Mitch Kranz praised the senior’s ability to hold others accountable without being negative. 

Statistically, Johnson played through double teams to record 36 tackles, seven for a loss, with two sacks over 10 games played. The all-ESD selection graduates with 68 career tackles (14 for a loss) and four sacks. 

“Kaden became our best overall lineman and was a force in the middle,” Kranz said. “He was a joy to coach.”

Defensive tackle: Devonte Murphy

Roosevelt (Sr., 5-11, 285)

A monster in the trenches, Murphy logged 51 tackles with 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. A two-year starter at nose guard, the 5-foot-11 senior captain graduates with 93 total tackles and 8.5 sacks for the Rough Riders. 

“Devonte is a great leader,” Nelson said. “His teammates love him and the coaches love him. He made some big plays for us at nose.”

Linebacker: Aaron Kusler

Roosevelt (Jr., 6-2, 210)

Aaron Kusler anchored the Roosevelt defense, recording 98 tackles, eight for a loss, with 7.5 sacks, a fumble forced, and a fumble recovered (for a safety), as well as an interception. On offense, he recorded 21 carries for 194 yards and six touchdowns. 

Linebacker: Isaiah Campbell

Brandon Valley (Sr., 6-2, 180)

Campbell made his mark over 10 games for the Class 11AAA champs. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound linebacker posted 54 stops, seven tackles for a loss, four sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. He also contributed on special teams, blocking two punts.

Linebacker: Trey Ponto

Washington (Sr., 6-3, 195)

Ponto helped anchor a Washington defense that surrendered 18.08 points and 285.83 total yards per game in 2018. For his part, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior recorded 59 tackles (32 solo), 4.5 of which went for a loss of 27.5 yards. Ponto added two sacks for a loss of 24 yards and a pass breakup to his season stats. 

Linebacker: Blake Holden

Watertown (Sr., 6-3, 260)

A USD commit, Holden posted 86 tackles (40 solo), four sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He also caught 20 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns and covered 1,597 yards with his 46 punts (13 inside the 20). 

Holden graduates with 171 total tackles, six sacks and four forced fumbles on defense, plus 913 total yards and six touchdowns on offense. 

“Blake is a great leader, athlete and person,” coach John Hodorff said. “He’s played many different positions and has excelled at all of them… Blake is a very hard worker on and off the field and will excel at the next level.”

Defensive back: Jackson Rohlfs

Aberdeen Central (Sr., 6-1, 200)

A standout on offense, defense and special teams, Rohlfs caught 45 passes for 795 yards and seven touchdowns on offense, accumulated 35 tackles (30 solo), eight pass breakups and an interception on defense and returned 13 punts for 105 yards. He wraps up his career with 50 catches for 850 yards and seven touchdowns. 

“Jackson did everything for us,” Kranz said of Rohlfs, who tacked on 15 pounds of muscle over the offseason. “He was a leader by example, played with heart and gave everything he had to his team.”

Defensive back: Adam Kusler

Roosevelt (Jr., 6-2, 210)

Voted defensive MVP by his teammates, Kusler registered a team-best 101 tackles to go with two fumble recoveries and an interception. He made the most of his opportunities on offense, scoring touchdowns on two of his three carries and one of his two receptions.

“Adam was dedicated all season,” Nelson said of the 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior. “He’s a very intense and smart player, who is an aggressive run stopper and pass defender.”

Defensive back: Nate Freese

Washington (Sr., 5-10, 180)

The team’s fourth-leading tackler, 35 of Freese’s 65 total takedowns were solo efforts. He also recorded a pair of interceptions and a pass breakup. The 5-foot-10 senior made some plays behind the line of scrimmage, as well, collecting three sacks for a loss of 22 yards and seven tackles for a loss of 29 yards.

Freese also returned 13 kicks for 283 yards (long of 41). 

“Nate is a perfect example of what Warrior football is all about,” Stadem said. “He takes the responsibility to make himself the best he can be while helping others to achieve the same result.” 

Defensive back: Ethan Tellinghuisen

Brandon Valley (Sr., 6-0, 160)

Described by Garrow as a “brilliant, tough” athlete, Tellinghuisen scored over 50 tackles on the year. He also intercepted six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown for a Lynx defense that ranked among the best in the state in 2018. 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: Corben Mahaffey

Rapid City Stevens (Sr., 5-11, 155)

Mahaffey was solid for the Raiders, converting 80 percent of his 20 PATs and five of his 10 field goal tries (long of 47 yards). He covered 1,976 yards over 36 kickoffs with eight touchbacks and 1,075 yards (31 tries) in his first season as a punter. A two-plus year starting kicker, he converted 44 of his 57 career PATs and 11 of 19 field goals with a career-long of 55 yards.

“Corben has the talent to be a strong Division I kicker,” coach Scott Hagen said.  

Punter: Delvin McManus

Roosevelt (Sr., 6-1, 185)

A reliable punter (38.1 yards per kick) and kicker (2-for-3 FGs, 17-for-23 PATs), McManus also contributed as a receiver, catching 12 passes for 224 yards, and on defense, logging 29 tackles and six interceptions (returned 63 yards). 

Special teams player: Tyler Feldkamp

Roosevelt (So., 5-11, 180)

Only a sophomore, Feldkamp made a splash in 2018, returning a pair of punts for touchdowns and logging 492 yards on his 14 kickoff returns. Offensively, he caught 50 passes for 827 yards and six touchdowns. Feldkamp enters his junior season with 1,254 yards on 79 catches.

“Tyler is the most talented athlete we have,” Nelson said, praising Feldkamp’s big-play potential.

Long snapper: Jacob Murphy

Lincoln (Sr., 5-9, 170)

Murphy was perfect in 2018, cleanly snapping all 45 of his punt attempts and all 25 of his PAT and field goal tries.

“Jacob is very fast and accurate,” Fredenburg said of the two-year starter. “He’s the best long snapper I have ever coached.” 

HONORABLE MENTION

Thomas Scholten, Brandon Valley; Tyrese Morris, Rapid City Stevens; Jet Olson, Rapid City Central; Jackson Rohlfs, Aberdeen Central; Nick Geffre, Watertown; Jeremy Weidman, Rapid City Central; Zach Hanson, Lincoln; Aiden Thomas, O’Gorman; Keenan McKnight, Rapid City Central; Colton Hartford, Rapid City Stevens; Avry Rice, Lincoln; Freddy Fredrick, Washington; Adam DeJong, Watertown; Andrew Pujado, O’Gorman; Jacob Byrd, O’Gorman; Evan Wittry, O’Gorman; Zach Roggow, Brandon Valley.


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