This is the first weekly installement of my power rankings. Today I will release South Dakota Class AA boys and girls. I'll have the other classes and North Dakota Rankings coming out soon as well.
SD Class AA Boys preseason rankings
1. SF Washington... Best frontcourt in the state with Isaac Goeman and Zach Heins on the block, plus maybe the best athleticism on the perimeter with Jack Talley, Angel Arroyo and Logan Uttecht in the backcourt.
Coach’s Comment- Craig Nelson: “We have more returning experience this year than we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
2. SF O'Gorman ... Have the talent and depth to be really good. J.P. Costello has improved his shot and inside moves to become one of the best threats on the inside and Matt Cartwright is one of the best shooters in the state.
Coach’s comment – Derek Robey: Hopefully our team strength will be our team chemistry and depth at every position. We have some size down low and the ability to play pretty competitive around the perimeter.
3. RC Stevens... The Raiders finished third at state last year and have two explosive guards with the premier point man in the state, Mason Archambault and a great wing player in Jacob Martin. The questions they’ll need to answer are in the frontcourt.
Coach’s Comment – Chris Stoebner: Defensively we are going to have to get after teams and try to force turnovers so we can run,” said head coach Chris Stoebner.
4. Brandon Valley... Return five starters including a huge frontcourt with Drew Jurgens, Spencer Grage and Cooper Olthoff plus experience in the backcourt with Alex Waltner and Zach Scholten. Last season lost a lot of close games this year they should get off to a good start.
Coach’s comment - Brent Deckert: We have a ton of experience returning from last year's squad. We only lost one senior. The Metro conference will be very tough again but we certainly have the size to compete.
5. Aberdeen Central... Brent Norberg has a tough starting five led by Cole Bergan and Nate Rook along with Cannon Hannigan in the backcourt.
Coach’s Comment – Brent Norberg: The strength of this team is its athleticism and versatility. We will try to get up and down the court and get some easy baskets.
The best of the rest: Don't be surprised if Huron, Lincoln, Brookings and even Pierre make a push in the rankings this season. Class AA has a load of talent and should provide a fun and entertaining season.
Pre-seson players to watch:
Mason Archambault, RC Stevens
Cole Bergan, Aberdeen Central
Logan Uttecht, SF Washington
Isaac Goeman, SF Washington
Jack Talley, SF Washington
Kalieb Walton-Blanden, RC Central
Matt Cartwright, SF O’Gorman
J.P. Costello, SF O’Gorman
Brennan Carlson, Brookings
Brad Dean, Pierre
Drew Jurgens, Brandon Valley
Tye Evers, Huron
Hyland Heinz, Huron
SD Class AA GIRLS preseason rankings
1. Aberdeen Central - Paiton Burkhard could be the best player in the state and she has a lot of help. Karli Gardner, Melia Mounga, Haylee Mork and Laura Babcock all have experience from the state championship run the Eagles made last year and that makes them the favorites despite the loss of Brianna Kusler.
Coach’s Comment – Dawn Seiler: We should have good balance between our guard and post play.
2. SF Lincoln - A lot of coaches pegged Lincoln as the top team but I'll have to wait and see if the defense improves, we know they can put up 60+ points almost every night with the best player in the state, Anna Brecht, leading the way. Syndney Rosinsky is a great four-year starter at the point, Brooke Luitjens is coming off of a knee injury but should help beef up the scoring when she gets to 100%. If the frontcourt can produce on both sides of the court with Jayda Hallman and Sydnaya Dunn the Pats will contend.
Coach’s Comment – Matt Daly: We have a nice core of veteran leadership coming back and mesh with an amazing group of incoming freshmen that will be giving us very talented depth.
3. Harrisburg - Have a lot of talent with Baily Pickering, Sam Slaughter and Jeniah Ugofsky leading the way. I would not be surprised to see this team take a big step up and be a title contender.
Coach’s Comment – Nick Mayer: We have great veteran leadership, defense, and athletic talent.
4. SF O'Gorman – This team has some talent but will need to work in some younger players and that always takes some time. Ashlee Beacom will be one of the best point guards in the state and Sebastian Akoi could make a big step on offense with more looks this year.
Coach’s Comment – Kent Kolsrud: I think we will be very competitive. We might take some lumps early, but have some nice pieces and hope can continue to get better and be a factor in the end.
5. SF Roosevelt - David Maxwell has this team playing well together. Tahia Mitzel is their leading returning scorer and passer along with Petyon Stolle and Mackenzie Phillips.
Coach's Comment - David Maxwell: Our identity will be one that is defensive focussed. We will have an experienced team that has been battle tested.
Pre-season players to watch:
Abby Johnson, RC Central
Mya Jones, RC Central
Paiton Burkhard, Aberdeen Central
Karli Gardner, Aberdeen Central
Sebastian Akoi, SF O’Gorman
Ashlee Beacom, SF O'Gorman
Sami Slaughter, Harrisburg
Anna Brecht, SF Lincoln
Sydney Rosinski, SF Lincoln
Tahia Mitzel, SF Roosevelt