STM Cavaliers return depth, talent and experience
RAPID CITY, S.D. – It’s been five years since the St. Thomas More football team last made it to the state championship game.
But after losing just three starters to graduation, the Cavaliers are poised to make another run at a state title this season.
Last year, the Cavaliers lost three out of four games to open the season. But rebounded nicely to win five in a row and finish the regular season with a 6-3 record.
St. Thomas More eventually lost to Dakota Valley in the first round of the playoffs.
The Cavaliers will once again ride the arm of quarterback Ryder Kirsch. He’ll be joined in the backfield by Ryan Wojcik.
Plus, the Cavaliers will have a deep threat in wide receiver Grant Huber.
Despite all the talent at the skill positions, head coach Wayne Sullivan says his team’s success will depend on whether or not the Cavaliers can win the battle in the trenches.
“If you win the line of scrimmage, you’re going to win the game,” St. Thomas More football coach Wayne Sullivan said. “Some of the games that we had last year, you could tell near the end of the season that’s where we ended up not being where we needed to be. We lost at Dakota Valley who’s a very very good program. We were right there with them until the last two and half minutes and a lot of that is experience and size and even being able to platoon fresh guys in and out. So we feel pretty good about that we’re seven or eight deep in the line that we trust. So I think that’s going to help us be able to utilize our skill people.”
This year, STM is moving down a Class from 11A to 11B.
But the Cavaliers will still play a very tough schedule.
“Being in the Black Hills Conference, we play the A and AA schools,” coach Sullivan said. “We have two changes in our schedule. Winner, which again can compete at any level, and then Stanley County. Those are the only two different teams we have. So as far as that goes, our schedule is going to bode well for us because we have to compete week in and week out.”
“It’s going to be a test for us,” STM wide receiver Grant Huber said. “With 11A, it is what it is. We can’t really control it. But it’s still not going to be easy in 11B. So we’re going to have to come ready.”
The Cavaliers open the season on Friday, August 23 at home against the Hot Springs Bison.
St. Thomas More will then travel to Winner to take on the Warriors on August 30.