SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) –The 45th annual Bob Burns Dakota Bowl makes it return this weekend as one of the biggest events in high school football. KELOLAND’s Anya Joseph previews this year’s matchup.
Fifth ranked O’Gorman will host third ranked Brandon Valley on a festive day-long event, where the atmosphere is like no other.
“I mean it’s a lot like a homecoming type game, when you go into it there’s a lot of things that are going to take our kids attention as we go through. But ultimately, everybody’s coming down to watch that game that starts at seven o’clock. I think the good part about this one, it is game one and our guys have really been looking forward to circling that date on their calendar since last November,” O’Gorman head coach Jayson Poppinga said.
The Knights return plenty of skill players, some even D-1 commits, putting forth some of the best speed in the state.
“We definitely have talented players on our team, it’s just a matter if our talented players are going to be better than theirs on Saturday. But Ryland Satter, Maverick Jones, Henry Theobald and Hayden Groos, all were key contributors last year,” coach Poppinga said.
Brandon Valley is properly equipped with possibly one of the top offensive line in the state averaging nearly 300 pounds per player.
“It’s the biggest line Brandon Valley’s had, I believe, maybe some of the Sioux Falls, public schools have had some similar lines, but just across the board, averaging that size and that height is nice. We’ve got to get the most out of those guys and to capitalize on their strengths,” Brandon Valley head coach Matt Christensen said.
The Dakota Bowl will be surrounded by a big crowd and special events, but the players will still need to keep their focus on the game.
“You’ve got to help them out, help them relax a little bit, get into the groove of things and just enjoy the atmosphere. You only get to experience this so many times in life and it’s great to be a part of,” O’Gorman running back Maverick Jones said.
“Just stay within your job, stay in your framework, and just keep doing your job consistently. It’ll get better and better from there,” coach Christensen said.
Saturday’s game will kick-off at 7 p.m. at O’Gorman High School. You can livestream the contest with KELOLAND’s Ian Sacks on KELOLAND.com.