Coming off a 7-4 season from a year ago that included a trip to the quarterfinals, the Pierre football team knows there will be high expectations, now they really know. That's because the Governors have claimed the top spot in 11AA in our preseason rankings. (Full poll released here Aug. 28)
Pierre returns several key players from 2012 including quarterback and safety Alexander Gray. Gray has spent the past 2 1/2 half seasons under center. One of his top targets will be wide receiver Austin Christopherson. Jace Jerome will line up at running back once again. As for Gray, he sees the ranking as just a pat on the back for last year.
"That's alright, last year's team was good. That's basically their accomplishment for last year. We just got to prove ourselves. Can't take anyone for granted," Gray said.
"They've got a lot to work for this year, not having to play against Sioux Falls schools for a championship. They've got a lot of enthusiasm. We expect to go deep in the playoffs this year as long as things go well for us," Poppinga said.
Head coach Jayson Poppinga, in his first year at the helm, is proud of the high numbers his guys have put up in the weight room this off-season. The team also impressed at a team camp in Moorhead, MN, finishing second out of 20.
Alexander Gray SR QB/Safety
Austin Christopherson SR/WR
Brandon Swenson SR/OL
Kyle Veitz SR/OL
Ben Leidholt SR/ OL/DL
Garrett Pochop SR/C
Nate Blaseg SR/C
Shay Reinke SR/LB
Dylan Bennett SR/DL