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    Class A Is Looking Very Very Good

    The Sweet 16 was a success in the inaugural season, 2016-17 for Class A.   So how does the coming season shape up you might ask?   Here is one Jackalope’s opinion on who will be the best of the best in Class A boys basketball.   These enumerated bullet points will give even the most casual fan a handy guide to be used to spout off vapid comments during conversations with those sharpies from South Dakota Sports Talk who allegedly know everything there is to know about boys basketball. 

    • Tea will be really good again this season.    In fact, the Titans will be top of the polls kind of good led by arguably the best player in the class of 2019: Noah Freidel. 

    • The cupboards are not completely bare at perennial powerhouse St Thomas More but the shelves are being restocked as we post.  Sophomore Ryder Kirsch might turn out to be one of the best in his class but the jury is still out on that determination.

    • The Northeast Conference continues to trend south as long time state title aspirants like Aberdeen Roncalli and Milbank do not appear at first glance to have the mojo required to make a deep run into March.  Gus Reede from Roncalli will most likely play at all-state level again but the boys from Central will be the top Eagles in the Hub City this winter.

    • Last year Flandreau had the disconsolate distinction of being the breakout team of the season assigned to the strongest Class A region with the likes of Madison, Dell Rapids and Sioux Falls Christian …. Sucks to be the number 4 team in your region and still have a stud like Dylan LeBrun on your team.  This year’s breakout team will be Baltic.   The Bulldogs, who have been flipping between A and B for the past several seasons, will be good this year.   They will be led by Ethan Roggow, Jon Wilhelmsen, and Sam Muston but will be in Region 3 with Dell Rapids, Sioux Falls Christian, and Tri Valley.   Don’t expect to see the Bulldogs in the Sweet 16.  Class B residency is looking pretty good for Baltic this season …. Too bad they flipped to A. 

    • Flandreau moves over to Region 2.    Good …. Better than being in Region 3 last year?   Not necessarily ….. considering that Sioux Valley and Madison are also in their region.   It could suck to be Flandreau again this season!

    • Miller will rise to the top of Region 6.   The Rustlers, led by Steven Fernholz and Karst Hunter, will unseat Chamberlain. 

    • Pine Ridge has just about everybody back, including Corey Brown.   The Thorpes will be on my Top 10 ballot.

    • Red Cloud will be right in the fight with Pine Ridge.   The Crusadsers will be led by Russell Leader Charge, Jesse Jensen, and Alejandro Rama.

    • The rumors of Bill Vincent ceding the reins of the Cossacks to someone else now that Tayt The Great has moved south to Sioux Falls and Augustana are just that …. Rumors.   Sioux Valley will be top 10 worthy again with Max Nielson running the point and seniors Trevor Olson and Trevor Hanson providing a talented inside-outside duo.  

    • Does AJ Plitzuweit have anybody in his supporting cast?    Probably not as much talent running with him as last season but AJ will be very good …. All-state caliber again.   I would not be surprised to see AJ average 20-25 ppg.  

    • Madison will have the best 4 man rotation in Class A with: Aaron Fiegen, Josh Giles, Jadon Janke, and Jaxon Janke.   Basketball, as played in high schools across South Dakota requires 5 men on the court.   Madison will find that 5th and is expected to be a title contender.

    • The best player you have likely never heard about is: Jackson Miller from West Central.

    • The second least recognized name is: Aiden Bizardie from Todd County.

    • Another really good but lesser known talent is Jonah Larson from Beresford. 

    • Expect the Brown Otter boys (William and Leon) from McLaughlin to be very good.

    • Luke Wells from Crow Creek will show well also this season.

    • Sioux Falls Christian consistently fields top 10 teams and state title contenders.   This year’s version of the Chargers, led by Koln Oppold and Lincoln Unruh, will continue that run. 

    • Parker will make the smooth transition from Class B to A and led by Camden Bialas and Trey Christensen will be in the hunt in a weak Region 5.

    • Class A has a plethora of individual talent back this season.  The Class A all-state team will include: AJ Plitzuweit, Dylan LeBrun, Aaron Fiegen, Noah Freidel, Koln Oppold, Gus Reede, Steven Fernholz, Trevor Olson, Trevor Hanson, and Corey Brown. 

    • The Top 10 in Class A will include:

    1. Tea --- Noah Freidel, Kade Stearns, Justin Hohn-Mack

    2. Madison --- Aaron Fiegen, Josh Giles, Jaxon Janke, Jadon Janke

    3. Sioux Falls Christian --- Koln Oppold, Lincoln Unruh, Gavin Schipper

    4. Sioux Valley --- Trevor Olson, Trevor Hanson, Max Nielson

    5. Red Cloud --- Alejandro Rama, Russell Leader Charge, Jesse Jensen

    6. Vermillion --- AJ Plitzuweit, Rylan Pratt

    7. Flandreau --- Dylan LeBrun, Connor LeBrun

    8. Miller --- Steven Fernholz, Karst Hunter

    9. Pine Ridge --- Joe O’Rourke, Corey Brown

    10. Aberdeen Roncalli --- Gus Reede

    Best of the rest (in order by region):

    Sisseton, Baltic, Dell Rapids, Tri Valley, Parker, Parkston, Chamberlain

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