PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The Pierre Governors enter this football season as the six-time defending state champions.

Pierre’s six consecutive crowns is tied for the longest streak in state history. While they are now playing for rarified air this year, the players have not lost sight of just how special each title is.

“It’s just unbelievable. Like every time I think about it, I’m just in awe. I mean, it started from standing in the student section for two years and then the last three years I’ve been down on the sideline or playing the last two,” Pierre senior quarterback Cade Kaiser said.

“It’s something special and something fortunate that I’m proud to be a part of. I mean, not everybody gets to be a part of six straight titles or even one state title,” Pierre senior safety/running back Trey Lewis said.

Just two days into training camp, the Governors know they are a vastly different team today than who they’ll be come playoff time.

“The biggest thing is we’ve continued to progress throughout the season. You know, I don’t think we’ve peaked too early in any season. You know, we focus really a lot on just growth throughout the course of the season so that we’re playing our best, you know, come week nine and into the playoffs,” Pierre head coach Steve Steele said.

Pierre features 70 players this year, including more than 20 from each class, a first for the team from the capital. This year’s 21 seniors now emerge as the leaders following the departure of a star-studded class led by quarterback Lincoln Keinholz.

“The the stamp that every group puts is different. And, you know, I think this group of seniors is very different than last group of seniors, and they were different. And so it’s always fun to come out and then to start a new season and to see what the focal points are going to be for that group,” Steele said.

The seniors believe their experience as underclassmen has set them up for the big stage.

“It’s definitely been a long road, but it’s been a fun one. So just nose to the grindstone, keep working hard and hopefully get that next one.” Pierre senior lineman Matthew Coverdale said.

“We’ve got a good chemistry and as long as we stay together and stay united and we don’t wander off on our own, I think we should do just fine and take care of business,” Kaiser said.

Pierre begins the season at Aberdeen on August 25. You can hear from the Governors and several other teams on our high school football preview show, which airs on Aug. 16 at 6:30.