The South Dakota High School All-Star Football Game took place this past Saturday at the Vermillion High School Veteran’s Sports Complex.

There was also an All-Star Kids Camp last Friday and an All-Star Recognition Banquet that same evening.

In the All-Star Game, the best players in the state were divided into two teams to showcase their talents. Team Blue defeated Team Red 44-18.

“It was a wonderful experience getting a chance to coach so many wonderful athletes,” said the head coach of Team Blue, Max Hodgen from Madison.

Team Blue was the first on the board and ended the half ahead 26-0. They built on their lead throughout the third quarter, going ahead 35-0.

Team Red got their offense going in the fourth quarter to score 18 points, but it was not enough to catch Team Blue as they score another nine of their own in the fourth to win 44-18.

“It was a great experience to be the head coach for the Red Team,” said the head coach Ross Flemmer of Dell Rapids St. Mary Catholic. “I was expecting to get to coach a great group of young men, and that is what happened.”

Coach Flemmer also enjoyed working with the best in the state.

“I had a great time getting to work with a great group of coaches as well as a great group of players,” said coach Flemmer.

Coach Hodgen of Team Blue said his greatest challenge was choosing his team from a pool of great players.

“We knew we wanted to have a throwing quarterback, athletic, fast guys on defense, and receivers who could catch the ball,” said coach Hodgen.

His quarterbacks, Karst Hunter of Miller-Highmore, received the Most Valuable Player award, and Trejon King of Irene-Wakonda was named Most Valuable Offensive Player of the game.

Overall, coach Hodgen enjoyed his group of players and the All-Star performances.

“They were a fun, loving, but tough bunch of ballplayers that got along well with each other,” said coach Hodgen. “I was really impressed with how both sides of the ball executed–it is tough to install an offense in three days.”

The All-Stars played their final high school football game this past Saturday, but many will continue their football careers at the University of South Dakota (Blake Holden of Watertown), South Dakota State University (Hunter), and Northern State University (King), to name a few.

Meanwhile, the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company is looking forward to hosting next year’s All-Star Game for the fifth straight year.

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