Breaking down the South Dakota Prep Media football poll for Sept. 11: Canistota grabs Class 9A No. 1 ranking

Sep. 11—MITCHELL, S.D. — After a week that didn't see a single ranked nine-man squad lose (14 wins, one idle), the ranking appeared headed for a week of stagnation.

That's what happened, save for one twist.

Canistota, which was ranked No. 2 in Class 9A last week and received eight first-place votes (96 total poll points) to Warner's 13 top votes (103 poll points), made a push to swipe the No. 1 ranking this week. The Hawks still came up short of the Monarchs in the first-place votes tally, 12 to 13, but manufactured a slight edge in poll points, 112 to 111.

Canistota is now the fourth team in four weeks to hold the top spot in Class 9A, with Gregory, Wolsey-Wessington and Warner all ceding control following their first game with the mantle. The Hawks will face a test looking to shake that omen, as they're on the road to face Class 9AA No. 4 Elkton-Lake Benton this week. The Elks won the 2022 meeting between the two programs 38-30 in Canistota.

It was the lone movement across all of nine-man football this week, as the top fives in Class 9AA and Class 9B held firm, with Parkston and Faulkton Area in control of their respective rankings.

Across all seven classes, just three new teams entered the rankings this week after falling outside the top five last week, and all three were previously ranked this season.

In Class 11AAA, the turnstile at No. 5 continued with Brandon Valley returning after one week away. The Lynx won their first game of the season 32-0 over Rapid City Central to take back the spot from Sioux Falls Washington, which was toppled by Sioux Falls Roosevelt 35-26 in the Presidents Bowl. Both the Rough Riders and Warriors are receiving votes this week.

The No. 5 spot in Class 11AA got traded between West River rivals Spearfish and Sturgis for the second straight week. Spearfish was the fifth-ranked team during the week of Aug. 28, then gave way to Sturgis last week. But the Spartans reclaimed the spot this week with a win over Douglas and the Scoopers' loss to Aberdeen Central.

Rounding out the group in Class 11A, Sioux Falls Christian earned its first win of the season in a 14-7 battle with Dakota Valley to swipe the No. 4 ranking from the Panthers. Elsewhere in the class, Lennox held on to the No. 5 position despite a 28-20 loss to No. 3 Canton, leaving Dakota Valley to fall into the receiving votes section. In this week's poll, Sioux Falls Christian (28), Lennox (26) and Dakota Valley (21) were separated by seven total poll points.

* Class 11AAA O'Gorman's win over Class 11AA Tea Area proved to be a pivotal contest in the rankings this week. With the Knights' win and a lopsided win by No. 1 Sioux Falls Lincoln over then-second-ranked Sioux Falls Jefferson, O'Gorman moved up to the No. 2 slot. Meanwhile, though Tea Area continues to receive one first-place vote, the loss opened the door for Yankton to take over the No. 2 ranking in Class 11AA, as the Titans slipped to No. 3.

* Four teams that were receiving votes last week exited the polls this week: Brookings in Class 11AA; Castlewood 2, Chester Area 1 in Class 9A; and Potter County in Class 9B. Meanwhile, Aberdeen Central and Huron re-entered the receiving votes section in Class 11AA this week. Both were not in last week's poll but had been included in earlier polls this season.

* Along with Class 9AA and Class 9B, the top five in Class 11B remained identical to last week. The top three all won, fourth-ranked Elk Point-Jefferson was idle and Hot Springs held on to the No. 5 position after a strong showing in a six-point defeat to Class 11A No. 1 Dell Rapids.

The South Dakota Prep Media football polls for the week of Sept. 11 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 (25), 3-0, 125; 2. O'Gorman, 3-0, 92; 3. Sioux Falls Jefferson, 2-1, 68; 4. Harrisburg, 2-1, 64; 5. Brandon Valley, 1-2, 20.

Also receiving votes: Sioux Falls Roosevelt 3, Sioux Falls Washington 3.

Class 11AA

1. Pierre (24), 3-0, 124; 2. Yankton, 3-0, 93; 3. Tea Area (1), 2-1, 82; 4. Watertown, 2-1, 46; 5. Spearfish, 2-1, 21.

Also receiving votes: Sturgis 7, Aberdeen Central 1, Huron 1.

Class 11A

1. Dell Rapids (22), 3-0, 122; 2. West Central (1), 3-0, 95; 3. Canton (2), 3-0, 83; 4. Sioux Falls Christian, 1-2, 28; 5. Lennox, 2-1, 26.

Also receiving votes: Dakota Valley 21.

Class 11B

1. Winner (24), 4-0, 124; 2. Sioux Valley (1), 4-0, 100; 3. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan, 4-0, 67; 4. Elk Point-Jefferson, 2-1, 44; 5. Hot Springs, 3-1, 26.

Also receiving votes: Deuel 11, Tri-Valley 3.

Class 9AA

1. Parkston (21), 3-0, 121; 2. Hamlin (3), 4-0, 97; 3. Howard (1), 3-1, 68; 4. Elkton-Lake Benton, 4-0, 47; 5. Wall, 3-1, 33.

Also receiving votes: Freeman/Marion/Freeman Academy 7, Stanley County 2.

Class 9A

1. Canistota (12), 4-0, 112; 2. Warner (13), 3-0, 111; 3. Wolsey-Wessington, 2-1, 62; 4. Harding County/Bison, 4-0, 50; 5. Philip, 3-0, 29.

Also receiving votes: Gregory 6, Alcester-Hudson 4, Lyman 1.

Class 9B

1. Faulkton Area (25), 4-0, 125; 2. De Smet, 3-1, 97; 3. Hitchcock-Tulare, 3-1, 71; 4. Avon, 3-1, 41; 5. Herreid/Selby Area 3-1 28.

Also receiving votes: Corsica-Stickney 9, Dell Rapids St. Mary 4.