PLATTE, S.D. (KELO) — Platte-Geddes claimed its first ever state football championship as a co-op last year, knocking off Hamlin to claim the 9AA Crown. The Black Panthers return plenty of experience and talent from last year’s team as they seek to repeat as state champions.
In 2018, Platte-Geddes went 1-8. Bruce Hanson stepped in as Head Coach the following year, and in just his second season, led the Black Panthers to a state title.
“Just changing the attitude and making them believe that we can start to win these games, and competing with the Gregory’s and Bon Homme’s, and then when they start to see results it gets to be easy,” Platte-Geddes Head Coach Bruce Hanson said.
Platte-Geddes lost 4 starters from last year’s team, including quarterback Kelby Vanderwerff.
“Our backup last year was Dawson Hoffman and he’s going to fill in. Grayson runs our wildcat quarterback and he’s going to have a similar role. Depends how Dawson does, but maybe his role will be used a little more this year, especially at the beginning of the year. We’ll just kind of see how it goes I guess. Dawson’s been doing really well so far though, so we’re happy with where he’s at,” Bruce said.
They return 4 starters along the offensive line, and a plethora of weapons in the backfield that goes 5 deep, headlined by senior Jackson Neuman and last year’s State Championship Joe Robbie Winner, Grayson Hanson.
“I think we kind of turned the corner when Jackson Neuman started doing some of those things that Grayson does. Grayston stopped running over everybody and started juking some people like Jackson does. Think that made us a complete team towards the end,” Bruce said.
While they’ll lean on that rushing attack, the Black Panthers change their game plan based on the match up.
“Being able to install a new offense every week, if it doesn’t work that week, we’re able to come back to our other formations, and it pays off if something doesn’t work,” Senior Grayson Hanson said.
If Platte-Geddes is to repeat as champions, they’ll have gone through a gauntlet of a schedule to get there, with fellow defending champs Canistota/Freeman and Wolsey-Wessington on the slate, along with perennial powers Bon Homme and Gregory among others.
“I kind of put the talk in, we want to play those teams, we want to become one of those teams and if you can compete with those guys, it’s just going to help you all the way along,” Bruce said.
“It helps us a lot actually. It makes us not over think who we are, it makes us look to get better everyday. Having to get better just makes our whole team come together and play together. It makes a big difference throughout the whole year,” Grayson said.