Aberdeen is hosting the initial state event under the umbrella of the South Dakota High School Activities Association at Swisher Field today and Friday. The plan to add soccer to the SDHSAA has been worked on for the last several years and finally came to fruition this fall. South Dakota was the last state to adopt soccer as a school-sponsored sport.
Both teams from Aberdeen and Groton qualified for the state tourney and make up half the field.
Most high school soccer teams in South Dakota remain as club teams. There were nine SDHSAA boys’ teams this season and six girls’ teams — thus, the one class.
Naturally, those on the SDHSAA side are hoping for more teams in the years to come.
In high school club soccer, there were 11 State AA boys’ and 11 girls’ teams, plus 10 State A boys’ and five girls’ teams. Club soccer will have its state tournaments Oct. 11-13 in Rapid City.
High school soccer started in South Dakota in 1998 at the club level. This is the eighth time (out of 15) Aberdeen has hosted the state tourney.
Teams in Aberdeen this weekend that have won past club state championships on the girls’ side are Sioux Falls O’Gorman (AA in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2008), St. Thomas More (A in 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2009), Groton (B in 2004, 2005 and 2006) and Aberdeen Central (AA in 2011). Past state titlists on the boys’ side in town are Sioux Falls Christian (A in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011), Sioux Falls O’Gorman (AA in 2002 and 2009) and Aberdeen Central (AA in 2003).
It will be interesting to see what unfolds in South Dakota soccer in years to come. But for now, our focus is this first-ever SDHSAA state tourney this weekend in Aberdeen.
Here are my picks:
1 this afternoon: No. 1 Aberdeen Central girls (10-3-0) vs. No. 4 St. Thomas More (6-4-4). I pick Central.
3 this afternoon: No. 2 Sioux Falls O’Gorman girls (4-3-4) vs. No. 3 Groton (4-3-3). I pick SFO.
6 tonight: No. 1 Sioux Falls Christian boys (10-0-1) vs. No. 4 Aberdeen Central (7-6-1). I pick SFC.
8 tonight: No. 2 Groton boys (9-3-0) vs. No. 3 Sioux Falls O’Gorman (6-4-2). I pick Groton.
1 p.m. Friday: Girls’ third-place winner will be St. Thomas More.
3 p.m. Friday: Boys’ third-place winner will be Aberdeen Central.
6 p.m. Friday: Girls’ champion will be Aberdeen Central.
8 p.m. Friday: Boys’ champion will be Groton.
John Papendick is the managing news-sports editor for the American News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.