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    Scheduling The Sioux Falls Way

    Gone are the days when the Sioux Falls schools would play the Sioux City schools in the venerable Sioux Interstate Conference and call those games their most challenging of the season.  A quick glance at the schedules of Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Lincoln, Washington and O’Gorman finds games that will be played against Minneapolis schools as well as Omaha schools. 

    And, we are not just talking about playing the Minneapolis School for the Blind.   Lincoln will play perennial Minnesota power, Marshall with returning standout Trey Lance.   They also will travel to Hopkins and Minneapolis Patrick Henry in January.   Hopkins is always good and have a super wing in Akeen Woods …. Henry is usually good.    The Patriots also play Moorhead Minnesota at the Sanford Pentagon in February.    Moorhead is typically a regional power and has history of being a major player in the state tournament.   In other words: these games are good competition for Lincoln. 

    Roosevelt plays powerhouse Western Christian, Iowa.   Western Christian piss pounded St Thomas More last season by 28 points and handled Sioux Falls Christian by 11 ….. both games were played on the road.   The Wolfpack are the defending Iowa 2A champs and return two starters.   The Rough Riders also travel south to Omaha to play Omaha Bryan.  Roosevelt plays host to both Moorhead and Marshall Minnesota.  The Rough Riders will play Sioux City Heelan in Sioux City in early February.    Roosevelt has a very good non-South Dakota list of opponents. 

    Washington opens the season by hosting St Thomas More.    Good on both schools for scheduling an interclass game.   The Warriors also travel to Marshall Minnesota for a game in December.  The Warriors play Wauwatosa West Wisconsin at the Corn Palace in the Mike Miller Classic.   West is the 4th ranked team in Wisconsin Division 2 led by Laron Perine and Marquis Childs.  Washington then plays Prior Lake Minnesota in their 2nd Mike Miller Classic game.  Washington then goes on the road to the Twin Cities to play Hopkins and Champlin Park.   The Rebels played in the Minnesota AAAA state championship game last year.   The Warriors play Sioux City East at the Pentagon in early February.  Washington’s schedule looks challenging this season.

    O’Gorman plays Wauwatosa West in the Mike Miller Classic at the Pentagon.   Then to break open the New Year, the Knights travel cross city to play Sioux Falls Christian ….. another interclass game that is good for South Dakota basketball competition.  In early February O’Gorman drives north to Aberdeen to play Roncalli in yet another AA vs A matchup.   O’Gorman doesn’t leave the state this season like the other three Sioux Falls schools, but I like the scheduling of Class A teams. 

    The schedules of the four Sioux Falls schools, and especially the road games to Minnesota and Nebraska as well as the neutral games at the Pentagon, will harden these teams when the calendar turns to March.   Playing good competition at a neutral site with a large crowd, most of them likely not cheering for you, is a state tournament like experience.   This will help the Sioux Falls schools in March.  Traveling to the “big city” … aka: Omaha and Minneapolis … and playing teams that are traditional powers, is also a character builder and will make playing the likes of Spearfish in March the cake walk that it will probably be.    I really like what the Sioux Falls schools are doing with their scheduling!

    Jack, who do you have as the top 5 in AA, I am often asked?

    How about a top 6:

    1. Aberdeen Central – virtually everybody back except Hannigan … led by Cole Bergan

    2. Sioux Falls Lincoln – have the most talent back of all teams south of Aberdeen: Dillon Barrow, Christophe Bwaya, Diang Gatluak

    3. Harrisburg – Brady Van Holland, Ace Zorr, and Chase Altenburg lead the way

    4. Sturgis – I have to pick at least one Black Hills area team … and the Scoopers behind Connor Crane and Dawson Geuke are the team (although I think RC Central might surprise and be the best of the west) (and … even though Sturgis typically under-performs when they have a lot of returnees)

    5. Yankton – I like Matthew Mors to continue his all-state level play and the Bucks to have a breakout season (and because I refuse to put another Sioux Falls city school in the top 5)

    6. Sioux Falls Washington – I thought last year was the year … maybe this year with Zach Heins, Topher Zahn, Logan Uttecht

    Best of the rest:

    Sioux Falls O’Gorman, RC Central, RC Stevens, Pierre, Huron

    Roosevelt will be better … not hard to improve on 1 win!    Mitchell will be better … I think … but what a down cycle as compared to a typical Kernels team under Gary Munsen.   Brookings will not be as good … Drew Cole is the lone returnee with much experience.  Rapid City Central will be improved led by Kailleb Walton-Blanden and Dylan Hay.  O’Gorman will be solid as well.   

    All state will include:

    Cole Bergan --- Aberdeen Central

    Peyton Zabel --- Pierre

    Matthew Mors --- Yankton

    Kobe Busch --- Huron

    Dawson Geuke --- Sturgis

    Kailleb Walton-Blanden --- Rapid City Central

    Christophe Bwaya --- Sioux Falls Lincoln

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