Nov. 20—DICKINSON — Dickinson Midgets were a formidable presence in Division AA, showcasing a well-balanced game across all three phases. Their total, net offense of 2,500 yards was complemented by the team's nearly 500 tackles on defense and a 100-percent success rate on rush PATs (5/5). Their success was attributed to the strength of their upperclassmen and their leadership.
"I saw the guys last year and the way they lead and I wanted to be that and more," Midgets' offensive lineman Ethan Halverson said. "I wanted to not only build the chemistry around the older guys, but I also wanted to bring the younger guys into play too."
With the season put to bed, the NDHSCA's 11AA postseason awards recognized five DHS seniors and juniors on the All-State teams.
The first team included senior defensive lineman Kaeden Krieg and junior linebacker Tristian Stallsworth on the defensive first team, and senior offensive lineman Ethan Halverson on the offensive team. The second team included senior Colin Tschetter and junior Isaac Schulte.
Stallsworth and Krieg were the top-two tacklers for the Midgets in the season, with 66 and 57, respectively. Krieg displayed versatility, collecting 10.5 sacks and contributing on the offensive side with 7 touchdown passes, averaging 17.5 yards per pass. Stallsworth embodied a brute of an athlete, disrupting the opponents' offenses with 47 unassisted tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception for 11 yards.
Halverson's triumphs may not be the most noticeable in the run game, but his powerful right-guard qualities go beyond statistics, equally recognizable for his leadership, steadfastness, and determination. His grit was reflected in the season's closing games, where he was involved in nearly every play, on both offense and defense.
"It is a huge confidence booster for the offensive line when you are able to go into a really tough game like Valley City or Jamestown and your head coach comes in and says the plan is to run it down their throats," Halverson said. "There is nothing that made me more excited than to hear those words come out of (DHS head football coach John Tuchscherer) coach T's mouth. Being able to be relied on as one of the main key components of the offense is a huge part of playing on the offensive line."
Tschetter's mention on the second team reflected his significant contribution to DHS's rushing yards. They totaled just under 1,500 net rushing yards, with the senior running back securing more than a third of it, averaging 70 yards per game. Tschetter led the team in touchdowns with 8.
Junior Isaac Schulte's season statistics on the defensive end included 51 tackles, 38 of which were solo efforts, and a crucial recovered fumble. The junior is one to lead by example, while humbly crediting his success to his teammates and coaches.
"Going to practice every day and giving it my all was some of the reason why I [was selected]," Schulte said. "I know watching film and getting ready before the game is another big part. I would say the coaches helped a lot with that, too, because they always pushed me and made sure I was doing my very best."
While Halverson recognized their late win against Valley City as season-defining and Schulte instead noted their homecoming victory over Jamestown, they were both recounting the same thing: It was teamwork and a unified goal that led to them overpowering their opponents. Though the Midgets break apart from three all-state seniors, they will have leaders returning next year, mostly thanks to the work put into the 2023 season.
"I thought this year we had some of the best chemistry I have ever played with. It was probably one of my most favorite years in football because of how good the chemistry was," Schulte said. "I think next year, that will be another big thing is the chemistry and all of us working together to accomplish the same goal of hopefully winning the state championship."