SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Elk Point-Jefferson made program history last week, as the Huskies football team defeated Hot Springs in the Class 11B semifinals, securing a spot in the State Championship for the very first time.

Though the game was well in hand, what the Elk Point-Jefferson players had accomplished didn’t settle in until the final seconds of their win over Hot Springs.

“I think a lot of us didn’t even realize what was going on in the moment until Coach Terry called all the seniors over and told us, soak this in, and it’s really awesome,” Benjamin Swatek said.

The Huskies have steadily improved over the past few seasons. Getting to the state championship is a credit to the players that have come through the program, and the 16 seniors currently on the roster.

“The amount of hours that they’ve put in in the weight room, camps, practice. You know they’ve worked so hard. We’ve got a great group of seniors who’ve really led this team. Pushed everybody else to be the best they can, pushed us coaches to be even better every single week too,” Head Coach Jake Terry said.

As this group has taken the program to new heights, their following and support has grown too.

“Every game passes by we see more and more fans. That just means a lot to us knowing we have an entire community behind us,” Lucas Hueser said.

“It’s huge. I was walking down the hall the other day at the elementary school and here’s these three girls. I think they were in kindergarten, first graders that have plain white t-shirts, home made t-shirts that have Swatek and Hueser on the back of it. That’s pretty special,” Terry said.

And come Friday, they’re expecting plenty of support inside the DakotaDome.

“I fully expect Vermillion, only 15 miles away, they might even shut the gates to the town and close up,” Terry said.