HOWARD, S.D. (KELO) — Howard capped off an undefeated state championship run with a 55-18 victory over Herreid/Selby Area to take home the 9A State Title.

But the Tigers won’t get their chance to defend that 9A title as they’ve moved up to 9AA this season.

Howard returns plenty of last year’s roster, but did lose 5 seniors, including 3 all-state players.

As for moving up to 9AA, Head Coach Pat Ruml says the biggest challenge that presents is the enrollment among the schools they’ll be competing against.

“Well you’re playing with bigger enrollment. They’ll have more kids. Obviously with the depth factor there, there’s a lot of teams that we’ll probably play that will have maybe some one-way players, where most of our guys play both. Our depth probably isn’t probably as good as last year, but it’s hard to tell. We got 3 or 4 guys that can come in and play and we don’t miss much but,” Ruml said.

Howard opens its season at home against Hanson on August 19th.