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    Forum Pollsters Class A Poll: 12-25-18

    Christmas edition, with all the bells and whistles (and pith too). Contributing pith and insight this week are Artis Gilmore, Jackalope and yours truly. 

    1. Tea Area (30 pts)
    2. Sioux Falls Christian (27 pts)
    3. St. Thomas More (24 pts)
    4. Sioux Valley (13 pts)
    5. TIE RC Christian, Lennox (8 pts)
    7. Red Cloud (6 pts)
    8. Todd Co. (5 pts)
    9. Madison (4 pts)
    10. TIE Hot Springs, Aberdeen Roncalli (3 pts)
    12. TIE Hamlin, Little Wound, Tiospa Zina (2 pts)
    15. Parker (1 pt) 

    Honorable Mention: Vermillion, West Central, Platte-Geddes, Stanley Co., Custer, Canton, Dakota Valley, Winner, Sisseton 

    General pithy comments from the pollsters: 
    The top 4 teams are Tea, Sioux Falls Christian, St Thomas More, and Pine Ridge.   When you get past these elite teams, the next 6 to 8 teams are still finding their identity and trying to establish where they belong in the ratings hierarchy.   Check back in late January to see who rises to the top and develops into a championship contender. 

    A pair of teams that showed up on my end of season radar last year are Tiospa Zina and Hot Springs.    Keep an eye on both teams as they evolve this season. 

    Can Rapid City Christian continue last season’s Rapid City and West River dominance or was last season’s Tommie More team just an abnormal aberration in the usual strong  tradition of Dave Hollenbeck coached teams? 

    The pollsters are using placer mining methodology to see which teams become Golden this season.    Tea, SFC, Tommie More, and Pine Ridge have already turned into golden nuggets.    Sioux Valley, Parker, Roncalli, Sisseton, Madison, Dakota Valley, Hamlin, Red Cloud, Lennox, Tiospa Zina, Hot Springs, Winner and Rapid City Christian are all playing to earn that golden nugget status and become players in the South Dakota Final 16. 

    Seven teams in Class A are undefeated: Roncalli, Sioux Falls Christian, Tea, Platte Geddes, St Thomas More, Hot Springs, and RC Christian.   I am all in on Tea, SFC and STM.   The others need to play and show more before I will drink any of the kool-aid they are selling.  

    O's take it to the Bulldogs' new coach Larsen and demonstrate that wins in the Dak 12 will come just a little harder than in his old class B Dakota Valley conference. 

    The Orioles are on a three game win streak after opening with that bolt of lightning from Sioux Falls Christian Chargers.

    Lennox led by Josh Arlt and Quincy Ihnen are making me a believer in this season of believing 

    C-Hawks get their wings clipped, Timber Lake up next. 

    The Bison have the Southern Hills folk believing.  Head east to face Viborg-Hurley and some east river talent. 

    Country Clubbers give Tea more than they were expecting, but are they SoDak 16 material? 

    Tiospa Zina was on my preseason list of top 10 candidates but I wanted to see how the guard heavy rotation worked in game situations .... it is working for the Wambdi as they lead the state with 6 victories. 

    The Wambdi returned some excellent guards: Jameson Pratt, Divante Greeley ..... who can play inside ..... Johnny German, and Payton Halseide.    Not many teams can boast that many good perimeter players.   Then they add another proven high scoring guard in Caleb White; TZ has the potential to make a Big Bang this season.    

    When was the last time the Bulldogs lost to Lennox? 

    The end of an era? Trip out west to face the Evil Blue Empire will help answer that question. 

    I said last week: I am not sold on Roncalli.  I am slowly buying what the Coach Dolan is selling with the Green Cavaliers in Aberdeen. 

    The Green Cavaliers are going into the shop at Lust Chevrolet in preparation for the drive to The Black Hills to play Belle Fourche and St Thomas More.   Coach Dolan has the old Cavalier sitting at 4-0 but the Blue Cavaliers will give them all they can handle. 

    It will be an all Cavalier drag race in Rapid City when the Green Cavaliers take on the Blue Cavaliers ..... does anybody really believe a Cavalier can be souped up enough to actually drag race?    I mean, aren’t we talking 0-60 in minutes rather than seconds? 

    The top stocking stuffer in Sioux Falls this Christmas is the Mr Goodbar from SFC; Mitchell is also a top stat stuffer and don’t forget Mr. Goodbar’s basket stuffing prowess. 

    The Chargers will light up the sky over Sioux Falls this weekend in a pre-New Years Eve display of electric basketball at the Pentagon. 

    Mr. Goodbar and the dark blue Chargers settling for second place for now, but will keep hanging around waiting for the Titans to blink. 

    Pine Ridge is loaded and their 2nd place finish to Class B powerhouse White River in the LNI demonstrates this fact. 

    The Thorpes are one of the most experienced teams in the state and then they go and add some more experience with Jesse Jensen.   This is a potent PR team with 7 or 8 players all capable of starting and making major contributions ..... not many teams can boast that kind of proven depth this early in the season.

    The Blue Cavaliers are keeping the mileage low this December and simply driving across the city to play east coast contenders: Madison and Aberdeen Roncalli at the Civic Center. 

    Is Coach Hollenbeck employing the “low mileage strategy” early in the season so his Blue Cavaliers can make the cross state drives to Sioux Falls and Yankton and Brandon later this season without that dreaded in-season major overhaul and tire change? 

    Tommie More is the cream of the Black Hills ..... Hot Springs will cool off and Rapid City Christian is lucky they don’t play the Blue Cavaliers in the regular season. 

    The Blue Cavaliers are totally rebuilt and on the road again going as far east as many times as their budget will allow.  Is playing in all these classics to face better competition? Or is it to avoid playing the team just to the south?

    The Comet sighting this weekend wasn't in Orion's belt, but in Rapid City, where a team of undefeated Comets are rapidly approaching in the rear view mirrors of some blue Cavaliers, who by latest reports fear them enough to refuse to put them on their regular schedule.


    Cubbies start the season with games against The Evil Blue Empire and SF Christian. If it doesn’t make kill you it will make you stronger? 

    Sioux Valley is quickly adjusting to LAT: Life After Trevor (Hanson and Olson).   The Cossacks are top 10 worthy. 

    The Cossacks were grounded by an early season Cyclone in Clark but are back on their horses and wreaking havoc across the state by scoring 80 plus per game since giving up 80 to Prouty and Burke x 2 in Clark. 

    The Cossacks shot some Pheasants from Parker out of season but apparently no game wardens were anywhere near Volga as the boys pulled off this feat without any official repercussions. 

    After a second consecutive yearly trip to the Clark-Willow Lake woodshed, Cossacks rebound with a dominant win over Baltic.

    The Tea Titans are fast out of the gate at 4-0 and will roll over that Plitzuweit less Tanagers this week before taking on Class B power Bridgewater Emery in the Corn Palace. 

    The Clash Of The Titans will happen on Saturday in Mitchell when the two top guards in the state: Noah Freidel Of Tea and Sawyer Schultz Of Bridgewater Emery lead their teams into battle. 

    Freidel and Hohn and company make the Titans the betting persons favorite to play in their third straight Class A championship game.    

    Titans predicted to go all the way this year, will take a major upset to keep them away from the championship. 

    Coach Cutler is one of the best, keep an eye on the Black Panthers. 

    Sleepers zzzzzzz. 

    Warriors feasting on some Class B teams to get the juices flowing.

    Red Cloud and Ale Rama had a nice LNI showing with a loss to Pine Ridge the only blemish on an otherwise spotless record. 

    Only one Class A team has more victories than Christian McGee’s Crusaders ..... Tiospa Zina.   Red Cloud will rack up several more victories this season. 

    Ale is set to be a Rocker, but will engineer a lot of ‘Sader victories before he is done. 

    The Falcons represent well at the LNI, but then stumble against the ‘Saders. 

    I still like Parker with Bialas and Christensen even though they laid a huge pheasant egg in Volga last week. 

    The Pheasants undoubtedly thought they were safe since the pheasant season had ended but the Cossacks showed them that the season is open through March on Pheasants.

    A couple of tough losses at the LNI……..will the Mustangs recover?

    Undefeated powder blue Chargers get double digits from not only Connor Bawden but from Mitchell Noem and Devan Weelborg as well as they turn back a hot handed Kellen Benck and the Deuel Cardinals.



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