TYNDALL, S.D. (KELO) — Bon Homme captured its first state championship in 23 years last November, and is back in the “9AA” title game to defend its crown.
Bon Homme’s biggest question mark heading into the season, who would replace standout quarterback Joey Slama? The answer came in tight end Joshua Crownover.
“Quarterbacks were something I was never with, and never really had practiced with. So going through every single game and every single practice, just got a hang of it, got a little bit better,” Senior Quarterback Joshua Crownover said.
Crownover’s play has gotten better with every rep, as the Cavalier senior has thrown for more than 1200 yards and 14 touchdowns, while adding nearly 1,000 yards and 11 TD’s on the ground.
“I give him a bad time about that you know, that first game I think he had 1 completion, and then in the first two rounds of the playoffs, he didn’t have one incomplete pass,” Head Coach Byron Pudwill said.
“Our coach did an amazing job of getting concepts that worked with me because Slama was a little diferent athlete, a little bit better thrower. So getting concepts that worked better with me, that’s what helped me get a hold of the quarterback position better,” Crownover said.
Bon Homme began the year 7-0, including wins over state semifinalists Wolsey-Wessington and Gregory. Then in their regular season finale against Canistota/Freeman, the defending champs suffered their first loss in more than a year.
“We try and coach up the kids and tell them, hey there’s going to be bad days like that, and what are you going to do about it? It’s not if, it’s going to happen,” Pudwill said.
And they’ve answered their coach’s question, rolling through the 9AA playoffs with three straight wins, while outscoring their opponents by 129 points. They’d love to have that game against the Pride back, but the Cavaliers have used it as a needed obstacle.
“Losing that game, it kind of just woke us up and realized, we’re not the greatest team in the state right now. We got to refurbish, get healed up and then we’ll get to that point of being the best in the state,” Crownover said.
The Cavaliers clash with top-seeded Viborg-Hurley Thursday afternoon at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:45.