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    Forum Pollsters Class A Poll: 12-31-18

    Pollsters are locked and loaded.  New Year’s Eve edition, with extra pith and vinegar.  Contributing pith and insight this week are Artis Gilmore, Jackalope, rufus and yours truly.  

    1. Tea Area (30 pts)
    2. Sioux Falls Christian (26 pts)
    3. TIE St. Thomas More, Pine Ridge (23 pts)
    5. Red Cloud (18 pts)
    6. Lennox (16 pts)
    7. Tiospa Zina (10 pts)
    8. Hot Springs (7 pts)
    9. RC Christian (5 pts)
    10. TIE Madison and Dell Rapids (4 pts)
    12. TIE Todd County, Aberdeen Roncalli (2 pts)
    14. TIE, Sioux Valley, Parker (1 pt) 

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

    General pithy comments from the pollsters: 
    More classics now than you can shake a stick at with not enough classic teams to fill them. Enter out of state teams and empty bleacher seats, exit your last ten dollar bills to corporate America.  Yawn.  More local rivalries please.

    Last week’s games only served to solidify the “Big Four” and jumble the rest of the mess of contending wannabes.    

    If you aren’t from the Sioux Empire or The Evil Blue Empire or the Pine Ridge Reservation, you just aren’t worthy. 

    The post season is already coming into focus for many regions and teams and it looks like this: Region 1 has some barely above average teams (Roncalli, Tiospa Zina, Sisseton) and zero chance of winning it all; Region 2 has a pair of teams (Madison and Sioux Valley) who were both considerably stronger last season and a 1% chance of winning it all; Region 3 has a title contender (Sioux Falls Christian) and a bunch of spoilers (Dell Rapids, West Central, Tri Valley) and has 30.5% chance of winning it all; Region 4 has a title contender (Tea)   and some above average teams (Lennox and Dakota Valley) who would be the best teams in some other regions and this region has a 31% chance of winning it all; Region 5 has one pretender (Parker) and a bunch of teams who can’t decide if they are Class A or B and this region has 0.5% chance of winning it all; Region 6 has no contenders and it is difficult to ferret out the top 2 teams and this region has zero chance of winning it all; Region 7 has a serious title contender (Pine Ridge) and another top team in Red Cloud and this region has a 19% chance of winning it all; Region 8 has a top contender  (St Thomas More) and a pair of unproven upstarts (Hot Springs and Rapid City Christian) and this region has 18% chance of winning it all.  

    As is typical at this time of year, a steady prevailing wind seems to arise from the West, with occasional upwellings from the South and East.  Come Spring, will the winds change with the increasing hours of light?  We'll see.

    LENNOX
    The orange birds are flying high for the winter without any wing ice after three straight against Milbank, Madison, and Canton.

    It’s almost nesting season but the Orioles don't seem to be laying any eggs.

    The Orioles are flying high and are the second best team ..... to Tea .... in their region. 

    The Orioles are flying south to Rock Valley Iowa but this is by no means a winter migration ..... these birds will hang around all winter. 

    HOT SPRINGS
    Bison tired of the Cavaliers and Comets getting all the press, and have quietly put together an undefeated season of their own.  Don't punch your sweet 16 tickets yet, Mr. Thomas More.

    DAKOTA VALLEY
    Country Clubbers are up and down like a yo-yo. There will be many more ups than downs this season. 

    TIOSPA ZINA
    The Wambdi look for real this season after taking Red Cloud to the wire and knocking off undefeated Hamlin.

    Tiospa Zina is quietly establishing Northeast supremacy. 

    The Wambdi have the most wins in Class A with 6.  

    Tiospa Zina has a Fun Maker (Marty) and the Wambdi will have fun on the court this season. 

    MADISON
    'Dogs back above .500 after coach Larsen gave them some extra holiday milk bone treats and an extra can of ALPO to get their strength back. 

    This was the alternate Rapid City Journal headline the country did not see: Bulldogs get neutered by Catholics from Tommie More ..... darn politically correct editor! 

    The Bulldogs bite is not as strong without the Jankes and Fiegen but give this group time and they will develop their own identity and be a tough out in March. 

    ABERDEEN RONCALLI
    The green Cavaliers may not have the Gus this year, but they have the next best thing - a younger guy with the same last name called Maxwell.

    The Roncalli Green Cavalier needed those studded snow tires to traverse the state and the latest Snowmageddon but the host welcome from St Thomas More was nasty to say the least ..... not unlike the nasty weather.   

    Roncalli was exposed in Rapid City as a Cavalier in need of a major overhaul as the Cavs seemed to be hitting on 2 or maybe 3 cylinders at most against St Thomas More.   They looked much better against Belle Fourche the previous night but the Broncs are destined to make any decent team look good this season. 

    SIOUX FALLS CHRISTIAN
    Mr. Goodbar, his Schipper, and the rest of the Chargers could be the only team with enough in the tank to take down the mighty Titans, can they do it in January or do we have to wait until March? 

    Sioux Falls Christian is still undefeated after hammering Breckinridge Minnesota at The Pentagon.

    If you are looking for Mr. Goodbar, you will find him on the court for the SFC Chargers. 

    The Chargers electrified The Pentagon Court and shocked the Minnesota boys. 

    PINE RIDGE
    Thorpes would still be perfect if they had not put some class B school from White River on their schedule.

    The Thorpes are strong and will contend well throughout the season.    

    Pine Ridge has a senior dominated lineup with several players who have started multiple games in their careers ..... Corey Brown, Juwan Garner, Halen Bad Bear, Joe O’Rourke, the list of standout Thorpes goes on and on. 

    ST. THOMAS MORE
    Tommie still the big bully on the block in the foothills, but not everyone is convinced they can take down both the Bison and the Comets in one week, the number one seed will be critical this year.

    Fourteen blue Cavaliers and one big Ryder truck have ruled all the roads out west so far, but may need to chain up before they venture too far east. 

    Cavaliers are undefeated in region 8 but they have some unwanted company hanging around waiting to flatten their tires.

    Tommie More rudely welcomed a pair of East Side pretenders (Roncalli and Madison) at the Civic Center and hammered these proud programs.   

    St Thomas More demonstrates what most already knew: the Blue Cavaliers are the best Class A team in The Black Hills and one of the top teams in the state. 

    The Blue Cavalier with a leading 2 on the license plate won the drag race over the Green Cavalier with a leading 3 on the license plate in the race down Mt Rushmore Road. 

    RC CHRISTIAN
    Comets staying within striking distance of their cross town rivals the Cavaliers, why do we have to wait until the post season to see these two Black Hills powerhouses meet?

    SIOUX VALLEY
    After a thumping from CWL on opening night, the Cossacks rattle off four straight before a bad case of Van Regenmortis sets in at Jostad gym in Brookings.

    TEA AREA
    Should we just cancel the rest of the season and hand the Titans the crown now? Titans could be ripe for an upset by the time Classic season rolls around...Oh, wait that season is already here.

    Tea lost by 14 to the number 1 team in the country, La Lumiere, Indiana, and lost no ground in my poll. 

    The Titans played a titanic game at The Pentagon and scrappy Noah Freidel scored 33 against the D1 studded lineup from La Lumiere Indiana. 

    Tea Area's only blemish is to the #1 HS team in the USA.  No shame in that lone loss.

    DELL RAPIDS
    A nearly rebuilt team of Quarry miners starting to make some noise featuring some undersized but over achieving underclassmen, coach Fersdahl could have this team relevant by the time the sweet 16 rolls around.

    Bigs Heim, Van Regenmorter, and a bunch of Mini-Miners out run and out gun the Cossacks in Brookings.

    Quarriers look to be the youngest contender in class A, could be a ton of upside before season's end.

    The Quarriers may have lost one Rentz to DSU's lineup but gained a great trio of new replacements from their farm program.

    Are the Quarriers good, average or what?   The four game sample is not enough to provide an answer but the Cossacks were taken down a notch by Dells. 

    The Quarriers used the good old fashioned rock throwing technique to knock the Cossacks off their horses at the Swiftel Classic in Brookings. 

    WINNER
    What’s up with the loss to Class B Timber Lake? Let’s go Warriors! 

    RED CLOUD
    The 'Sader fans' boots may say Tony Lama, but their ticket stubs say Ale Rama, who delivered 39 in a single game last week.

    Red Cloud has the most wins in Class A with 6. 

    The Crusaders have Ale Rama on the court and Christian McGhee on the bench ..... a pair of proven leaders and winners. 

    TODD COUNTY
    Falcons show well against a very good ‘Sader team. Still SoDak 16 material in my book. 

    PARKER
    They say Pheasant numbers are down this year. We’ll check with Game Fish and Parks and get back to you on that. 

    LITTLE WOUND
    The Mustangs are galloping in the shadow of Pine Ridge and Red Cloud.

    HAMLIN
    The Connor Bawdon vs. Jacob Prouty shootout did not disappoint, with the Cyclones prevailing, but not until needing all 32 minutes to come from behind after trailing by double digits at half. 

    Chargers get short circuited against Kneebone, Lunday, and a newer model Lebrun from Flandreau.

    QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? CONTACT C.C. O’HARRA AT: admin@sdsportsbuzz.com 

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