South Dakota makes the 9-man, 11-man record books

KELOLAND.com Original
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There are state records and national records.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, players and teams from South Dakota hold most of the 9-man football national records. But it’s one of only four states where high schools play 9-man football. The others are North Dakota and Minnesota and Wyoming.

More states have 8-man football: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington had eight man football programs, according to the 8manfootball.net.

More states have high schools that play 11-man football, so cracking the national records is a tougher task.

But some South Dakota players did reach the national record books, even if they don’t hold the top place.

11 man

In 2007, Mike Galliger of West Central returned four interceptions for touchdowns in one season. That earned Galliger a tie for fifth place with five other players.

Sioux Falls Washington ranks as an 11-man football juggernaut. Before the state installed a playoff system in 1981, there was a vote to determine the state champion.

The school ranks first in all-time state championships with 41 from 1905-2017.

It’s not first in this category but it still ranks: 14 consecutive titles for Washington from 1951-1964. The school also has 802 wins from 1899-2020.

This may not be as much of a cherished national ranking. South Dakota has four of the six teams listed for fewest first downs earned all season. Here are the teams: 61 Brandon Valley in 1982, 65 Aberdeen Roncalli in 2006, 66 Yankton in 1996 and 71 Bon Homme in 2008.

You need to reach back a bit in high school football history for this one. Milbank had five undefeated football teams from 1958-1962, which earns the bottom rung of the record ladder. It shares that spot with several other teams.

Sisseton’s nine passing touchdowns in one game in 2008 is the third-most in the nation. It shares the spot with several other teams. Dustin Lotzer threw those passes.

Two South Dakotans made the 100-yard rushing games in a season records. Jason Leber had 10 in the 1991 and 1992 seasons for Vermillion. Tony Lesner did it for Milbank in 2005. The most in this category was 16 by three different players.

O’Gorman made the national list in extra points and punt returns. Dennis Schoenwald returned two punts for touchdowns in one season and eight in his 1990-1992 career. Kicker Alex Millard kicked 82 consecutive extra points from 2010 to 2011.

Jefferson High School tied a national record by scoring 676 points in nine games in 1967.

9-man national records

Again, with only three other states playing 9-man football, there is a good chance that South Dakota players and teams will hold some national records.

Let’s start with a player who had more career interceptions than a two-time NFL Pro-Bowl selection and a first-round draft pick from Iowa.

Conrad Kjerstad had 35 career interceptions for Wall from 2002-2005. That ranks first, even head of Chad Greenway, the first round draft pick and Pro-Bowl player for Stickney-Mount Vernon from 1997-2000. Greenway had 23.

Back in 1976, Dave Fuller had six interceptions in one game while playing for Armour, something neither Kjerstad or Greenway did.

Cole Willman of Wakonda/Gayville/Volin earned half of his record-holding season high of 10 fumble recoveries in one game. He accomplished both in 2001.

The top points holder for one game is Joe O’Hara of Montrose. O’Hara scored 54 points in one game in 1974.

Ryder Weischedel scored 286 points in one season for Gettysburg in 2001.

O’Hara and Weischedel may have had a hard time scoring on the DeSmet team in 2003. The team allowed 11 points in 2003. DeSmet had 11 shutouts of opponents that season.

Jason Larson kicked a 47-yard field goal for Woonsocket in 1989 to earn the top spot in that category.

Two players with the same last name reached the records books for Waverly-South Shore. Quarterback Taylor Zemlicka had 605 pass attempts in his career from 2008 to 2011 while Tyson Zemlicka caught 36 touchdowns and 145 passes in his career.

From 2005-2008, Tate Bruckner of Menno completed 365 passes. He passed for 2,769 yards in 2008.

That’s only a few of the records held by South Dakota players and teams in 9-man football.

Let’s take a look at how 9-man and 11-man records compare.

9 to 11 compare

South Dakota teams generally play on fields as small as 80-yards-long and only 40-yards-wide but some play on 100-yard fields. In some cases, it can mean that yards don’t add up as quickly as they do on the 100-yard-long 11-man regular playing fields.

The 11-man record for most passing yards in one game is 764 yards recorded by Pacific Palisades, California, in 2000.

New Underwood set the 9-man record with 531 in 1996.

Joe Evenson rushed for 2,517 yards in one season for Garretson in 1997. The 11-man record includes only players who have rushed for 3,000 yards or more.

Jared Berg of Grant-Deuel scored nine touchdowns in one game in 2004. Berg would have made the 11-man list as the top of the list is 13 touchdowns followed by 12, 11, 10 and 9.

The 11-man record for safeties in a game is 5. The 9-man record is held by Avon with three in 2008.

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