Dell Rapids has reigned over 11A football for the past three years and challengers haven't really even come close. The Quarriers, led by coach Steve Hansen, enter this season as the three-time defending state champs.
While Dells lost several playmakers including Cole Langer to graduation after last year, the team still has plenty of talent. They'll rely heavily on junior Riley Schmidt to carry the rushing load. Schmidt claimed the Joe Robbie MVP award last November, scoring three touchdowns in a 47-nothing win over Harrisburg in the latest 11A title game.
"Really good athlete. Had a great breakout season last year as a sophomore for us. We're expecting a lot out of him. We've got 19 seniors that we're putting a lot of weight on and hopefully they're ready. Their turn is here. We're hoping they'll take charge and have a good season," Hansen said.
One of those seniors is wide receiver and defensive end Zach White. He says the Quarriers' formula for success comes from the guys' hard work and commitment to each other.
"We all get up at six o'clock in the morning. We go lift and no one wants to be there because it's six in the morning and we're going to lift, but we know that everyone else has to go do it. So we do it for them and they do it for us. We got each other's backs," White said.