Although Canceled, Merkwan Still Receives Honor for High School Football All-Star Game

Although Canceled, Merkwan Still Receives Honor for High School Football All-Star Game

Usually in the summer months, graduating seniors get a chance to don the helmets again for their high school one last time at the High School Football All-Star game. However, in 2023, due to the lack of funding, the game would be canceled.

Even though the game was canceled for 2023, SoDak Football Coaches Association on Twitter would still announce the teams which included a Pierre Governor, Jack Merkwan. Merkwan was selected to the Blue team which would have been coached by Brian Allmendinger of Milbank. Merkwan, the USF commit, broke the school record for catches, receiving yards and touchdown receptions as he and Lincoln Kienholz became one of the deadliest quarterback-wide receiver combo in the history of the state.

Other area athletes who received an honorary selection were Trevor Werdel of Miller/Highmore-Harrold and Chase DeRouchey of Potter County.

The game will not be played this season, but the hope is to get the game back again in the summer of 2024 which is played at the Dakotadome in Vermillion. You can see a full list of the teams below.

Blue Team

QB Tray Hettick, Herreid/Selby

QB Tayton Snyder, Sioux Falls Christian

QB Josh Merkle, Canton

RB Brenden Begeman, Herreid/Selby

RB Israel Caldron, Brookings

RB Karson Carda, Aberdeen Central

RB Nelson Wright, Sioux Falls Jefferson

OL Kley Heumiller, Avon

OL RJ Perry, Great Plains Lutheran

OL Carter Traill, Dell Rapids

OL Charlie Prien, Hanson

OL Tucker Kooiman, Sioux Falls Christian

OL Riley Zomermaand, Sioux Falls Christian

OL Lucas Johnson, Madison

OL Lucas Krogstad, Corsica-Stickney

WR Eli Johnson, Milbank

DE TJ Salmen, Hitchcock-Tulare

DE Rocky Wiedman, Todd County

DE Austin McNulty, Tri-Valley

DE Tyler Horner, Sioux Falls Jefferson

DT Trevor Werdel, Miller/Highmore-Harrold

DT Gunnar Stephens, Gregory

DT Antuan Duran, Sioux Falls Jefferson

DT Isaac Johnson, Brandon Valley

LB Aiden Schoenhard, Mobridge-Pollock

LB Tyrus Bietz, Jim River

LB Aidan Foell, Milbank

LB Beau Williams, Canton

LB Maddox May, Aberdeen Roncalli

S Jagger Tyler, Mitchell

S Ethan Opitz, Webster Area

S Keaton Rohlfs, Redfield

CB Brady Bierema, Avon

CB Dylan Stromer, West Central

CB Caden Hall, West Central

WR Jack Merkwan, Pierre

WR Owen Heath, West Central

WR Landon Puffer, Hitchcock-Tulare

TE Isaac Crownover, Bon Homme

TE Brian Johnson, Aberdeen Central

TE Braxton Saathoff, Estelline/Hendricks


Head Coach Brian Allmendinger, Milbank

Assistant coaches: Brady Clark, Brookings Tom Culver, Avon Mike Murray, Gregory Matt Christensen, Brandon Valley

Red Team

QB Bennett Dannenbring, O’Gorman

QB Rugby Ryken, Yankton

QB Colin Bauman, Deubrook Area

RB Matt Larson, St. Thomas More

RB Landon Iverson, Hot Springs

RB Peyton Frid, Beresford

RB Gavin Ross, Harrisburg

WR Easton Ogle, St. Thomas More

WR Julian Scott, Rapid City Stevens

WR Tyler Sohler, Yankton

TE Gabriel Lindeman, Dell Rapids St. Mary

TE Gage Gilbert, Harding County/Bison

OL Cody Peterson, Lennox

OL Landon Schurch, Beresford

OL Aidan Brower, Sioux Valley

OL Chace Fornia, Elk Point-Jefferson

DT Austin Hoiten, McCook Central-Montrose

DE Aidan Foley, Harrisburg

DE Abraham Myers, Sioux Falls Washington

LB Brady Hartwig, Spearfish

LB Reese Jacobs, Sturgis

LB Gabe Gutierrez, Sioux Falls Lincoln

LB Benjamin Swatek, Elk Point-Jefferson

RB Gunner Rohloff

TE Layton Spratte, St. Thomas More

RB Anthony Moser, Rapid City Douglas

OL Jake Vanhout, McCook Central-Montrose

OL Elliot Renville, Sioux Falls Lincoln

RB Treven Grimsrud, Deubrook Area

WR Peyton Hage, O’Gorman

OL Carter Skogsberg, Vermillion

RB Griffin Clubb, Howard

DT Chase DeRouchey, Potter County

DT Roz Baylor, Vermillion

LB Nate Ratzlaff, O’Gorman

LB Taven Clapper, Sioux Falls Lincoln

DB Cedar Amiotte, Wall

DB Cody Oswald, Yankton

DB Mandalla Mohamed, Sioux Falls Washington

DB Braeden Wulf, Lennox

DB Ryan Krog, Elkton-Lake Benton


Head Coach Nathan Lamb, Deubrook Area

Assistant coaches Chris Koletzky, Sturgis Jared Fredenburg, Sioux Falls Lincoln Wayne Sullivan, St. Thomas More