Falling just short of a state title a season ago, Dell Rapids St. Mary looks to retool in 2021

Sports

DELL RAPIDS, S.D. (KELO) — Dell Rapids St. Mary finished as the Class 9B runner-ups last season. While disappointed in the result, the Cardinals are using last year’s experience as both a learning tool, and motivation.

Dell Rapids St. Mary made it to the DakotaDome for the first time since 2009, but fell short in the 9B Championship game to Wolsey-Wessington.

“It was a great accomplishment what we did last year, but I know none of us are satisfied. I know I’ve been back watching that game, knowing what we’re going to improve on and I know we got a lot of people that will step up and make it a good year,” Senior Noah Olund said.

While serving as motivation for this year’s Cardinals team, last season’s run also provided plenty of learning experiences.

“We learned what it means to play in important games, and games where there’s no lose scenarios. I think everybody, again it stings to lose in tha tgame, but we improved a lot, and we put in a lot of work this offseason and we’re ready to get back at it,” Olund said.

They’re committed to getting over that final hurdle.

“I think that last step is just getting everybody into the weight room, being together as a team, getting everyone to open field and holding everyone accountable,” Senior John Pica said.

With a large senior class from last year now gone, others will fill in their spots both on and off the field.

“These kids are learning how to be leaders. They haven’t really had that opportunity. it’s new to some of them, but they’re picking it up,” Flemmer said.

Like last year’s team, the Cardinals expect some early growing pains.

“You know it just took some time to figure out exactly what we had where and once we did things kind of rolled. And honestly that’s what we’re kind of hoping to do this year,” Head Coach Ross Flemmer said.

But feel they have the pieces to make some noise in 9B.

“The goal is to go as far as we can and win as many games as we can,” Olund said.

“We got kids coming back that got significant playing time last year. We put in the work, anything is possible,” Pica said.

Dell Rapids St. Mary opens its season Friday night at home against Gayville-Volin. Kickoff between the Cardinals and Raiders is set for 7:00pm.

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