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Native Sun News Today: Pine Ridge football team impresses on the road

Little Wound Mustang running back Carlos Romero (4) receives big help from teammate Dawson Gourd’s (31) block on the Lead-Deadwood Golddiggers defender. Photo by James Giago Davies

Little Wound road show impressive
Balanced Mustang attack enough to turn back Golddiggers
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Correspondent

DEADWOOD –– You can argue where the best South Dakota High School football is being played, but there is little doubt where the most exciting is being played – at Lead/Deadwood’s Ferguson Field, where for the third time in four weeks the Golddiggers hosted a team from deep in Lakota country, losing a hard fought 22-18 scuffle to a gritty, hard-tackling Little Wound Mustang squad.

Normally, this high up in the Black Hills this late in October, you better bundle up for some frigid football, but playing conditions were ideal, no wind, no chill once the sun set, and a 96 percent full moon overhead.

For the second consecutive season, Little Wound has had to play its schedule on the road, construction on the new field back in Kyle still not completed, and first year Head Coach Jacey Mesteth has returned to his alma mater prepared to weather the long bus rides, reduced fan support, realizing he has talented players capable of beating any team on the schedule.

Mesteth said he never imagined he would be the head coach of Little Wound at 25 years of age: “All I knew was I wanted to help the program anyway I could.”

Last year, as one of Russell Childree’s assistant coaches, Mesteth watched the Mustangs lose a scheduled home game against these Golddiggers in Deadwood. That team had some talented seniors, Jeremiah Hopkins at quarterback, and Shilo Tallman in the backfield.

On paper, this year’s squad lacks that firepower, but Mesteth liked his chances against the 2016 Diggers, given Red Cloud had beaten them by two points the week before, and Little Wound had lost to Red Cloud by one point the week before that, and given this Mustang team was all about team, in a critical way last year’s team just wasn’t. Credit for that has to go to Mesteth and his coaching staff, D.J. Pourier and Jesus Fuentes.

Against Red Cloud the previous Friday night, Lead/Deadwood Head Coach Tom Tiezsen had used squib kicks to keep the ball away from big play artist Russell Leader Charge, and he had caught the Crusaders napping. He decided to test the Mustang up-men with a squib kick as well, but Little Wound secured the ball first-and-ten from their own 49-yard line.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Little Wound road show impressive

(Contact James Giago Davies

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