Breaking down the South Dakota Prep Media football poll for Sept. 18: Avon, Corsica-Stickney rise in Class 9B

Sep. 18—MITCHELL — Two weeks ago, not a single ranked nine-man team lost, but this week was a different story.

At least one ranked squad from each of the three nine-man classes fell, shaking up the bottom of the rankings and making way for a new entrant into the top five of both Class 9A and Class 9B. In the smallest enrollment classification, last week's No. 3 Hitchcock-Tulare and No. 5 Herreid/Selby Area both lost, allowing two Mitchell-area programs to move up in the poll.

Avon, ranked No. 4 last week, took a 32-28 head-to-head matchup against Hitchcock-Tulare, prompting the Pirates to move up one spot this week as the Patriots dropped but held onto the final place in the top five. Avon is 4-1 overall, with its lone loss on the road to Class 9AA Freeman/Marion/Freeman Academy.

Corsica-Stickney, which has received votes in every iteration of the Class 9B poll this season, moved back into the top five for the first time since Aug. 21, slotting in at No. 4. The Jaguars are also 4-1, with a road defeat to Class 9A Alcester-Hudson as the lone blemish. In all four wins this season, including three straight, C-S has amassed at least 50 points.

Adding intrigue to the rankings, the Pirates and Jaguars are set to face off in a pivotal Class 9B clash on Friday in Avon.

Five of the seven classes have just one team receiving votes outside the top five this week, a spike from just one (Class 11A) a week ago and surpassing the previous single-week high of two (Bandon Valley in Class 11AAA and Sioux Falls Christian in Class 11A on Sept. 5).

Joining Class 11A's Dakota Valley in the club this week are Sioux Falls Roosevelt (Class 11AAA), Aberdeen Central (Class 11AA), Freeman/Marion/Freeman Academy (Class 9AA) and Dell Rapids St. Mary (Class 9B).

Of that five-team group, Aberdeen Central, Dakota Valley and Dell Rapids St. Mary have all been ranked at some point this season, but Roosevelt and FMFA are still in search of their first breakthrough.

Teams that fell completely out of the polls this week include: Sioux Falls Washington in Class 11AAA; Sturgis and Huron in Class 11AA; Stanley County in Class 9AA; and Herreid/Selby Area in Class 9B.

Only once this season has a class had zero teams receive votes outside of the top five, that being Class 11AAA on Aug. 28.

* In Class 11AA, No. 1 Pierre defeated No. 2 Yankton 27-14 last week. The Bucks stayed put in the second slot, just ahead of No. 3 Tea Area, which lost its lingering first-place vote to give the Governors unanimous control of the top spot in the class.

* The top-five orders in Class 11AAA, Class 11AA and Class 11A did not change this week. Though most of the movement this season in all three classes has been a shuffle at Nos. 4 and 5, it marks the first time that the rankings held firm from one week to the next this season across all three.

* Wall moved up to No. 4 in Class 9AA, trading places at No. 5 with Elkton-Lake Benton following the Elks' 24-12 defeat to Class 9AA No. 1 Canistota last week.

* After sneaking into the top spot by a single vote last week, Canistota grabbed a bulk of the first-place votes to firm up its No. 1 ranking in Class 9A this week, as the Hawks impressed in their win over ELB. Canistota now owns 20 of 23 first-place votes, with Warner taking the remaining three. Last week, the Monarchs held a 13 to 12 edge in top votes.

* Elsewhere in Class 9A, No. 3 Wolsey-Wessington fell to Class 9B No. 2 De Smet, which dropped the Warbirds out of the top five. As a result, Harding County/Bison, Philip and Alcester-Hudson, in order, now occupy positions 3-through-5. Alcester-Hudson is making its first appearance of the season in the top five, where the Cubs finished the 2022 season.

* Teams receiving votes in this week's polls that weren't last week: Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central in Class 11B and Deubrook Area in Class 9A. The Blackhawks are back in the conversation after spending two weeks away, while the Dolphins are included for the first time since Sept. 6, 2022. Both teams received a single vote in their respective classes.

The South Dakota Prep Media football polls for the week of Sept. 18 are listed below, ranking the top five teams in each class. First-place votes received are indicated in parentheses, followed by record and total points.

Class 11AAA

1. Sioux Falls Lincoln (23), 4-0, 115; 2. O'Gorman, 4-0, 88; 3. Sioux Falls Jefferson, 3-1, 70; 4. Harrisburg, 2-2, 41; 5. Brandon Valley, 2-2, 30.

Others receiving votes: Sioux Falls Roosevelt 1.

Class 11AA

1. Pierre (23), 4-0, 115; 2. Yankton, 3-1, 82; 3. Tea Area, 3-1, 75; 4. Watertown, 3-1, 47; 5. Spearfish, 3-1, 25.

Others receiving votes: Aberdeen Central 1.

Class 11A

1. Dell Rapids (22), 4-0, 114; 2. West Central (1), 4-0, 90; 3. Canton, 3-1, 63; 4. Sioux Falls Christian, 2-2, 34; 5. Lennox, 3-1, 33.

Others receiving votes: Dakota Valley 11.

Class 11B

1. Winner (22), 5-0, 114; 2. Sioux Valley (1), 5-0, 93; 3. Elk Point-Jefferson, 3-1, 51; 4. Hot Springs, 4-1, 41; 5. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan, 4-1, 21.

Others receiving votes: Deuel 18, Tri-Valley 6, Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central 1.

Class 9AA

1. Parkston (19), 5-0, 111; 2. Hamlin (3), 5-0, 93; 3. Howard (1), 4-1, 67; 4. Wall, 4-1, 42; 5. Elkton-Lake Benton, 4-1, 31.

Others receiving votes: Freeman/Marion/Freeman Academy 1.

Class 9A

1. Canistota (20), 5-0, 112; 2. Warner (3), 4-0, 94; 3. Harding County/Bison, 5-0, 61; 4. Philip, 4-0, 36; 5. Alcester-Hudson, 5-0, 19.

Others receiving votes: Wolsey-Wessington 15, Gregory 4, Lyman 3, Deubrook Area 1.

Class 9B

1. Faulkton Area (23), 5-0, 115; 2. De Smet, 4-1, 92; 3. Avon, 4-1, 67; 4. Corsica-Stickney, 4-1, 34; 5. Hitchcock-Tulare, 3-2, 27.

Others receiving votes: Dell Rapids St. Mary 10.