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BALL FIVE: It’s out with the old, in with the new on Tiger football schedule

Say hello to Miller/Highmore-Harrold, Lead-Deadwood and Webster Area. Say good-bye to Sioux Falls Christian, Stanley County and Cheyenne-Eagle Butte. The decisions have been made by the South Dakota High School Activities Association for the 2019 and 2020 football schedules.
The Tigers, who will not play in week 0, open the new season with back-to-back road games against two teams they have never played before. The Tiger opener will be in Miller against Miller/Highmore-Harrold on Aug. 30. The following week, they head to the Black Hills for a Sept. 6 meeting with Lead-Deadwood.
Miller/Highmore-Harrold and Lead-Deadwood will be the 66th and 67th different teams the Tigers have played in their 100-year history. While Lead-Deadwood is all new, the Tigers have never played Lead or Deadwood in the past, the Bridge City 11 have a long and illustrious past with Miller. They have a shorter and less illustrious past with Highmore.
From 1948 to 2010, the Tigers and Rustlers played 45 times. The Tigers won the last four meetings to win the series 23-19-3. As for Highmore, the Tigers and Pirates played 18 games from 1947 to 1980. The Tigers won 15 of those 18 games.
The home opener comes on Sept. 13 when the Tigers host the Aberdeen Roncalli Cavaliers. Last fall, the Tigers had a breakthrough 14-8 win over Aberdeen Roncalli. The win broke a 19-game losing streak against the Cavaliers. In a series that dates back to 1967, the Cavaliers still hold a commanding 24-5 record against the Tigers.
The McLaughlin Mustangs come to town on Sept. 30. The Tigers won a 73-0 game in McLaughlin last year to give them an 8-0 record all-time against the Mustangs. Although they have played just eight games, the series dates back 99 years to a 20-0 Mobridge win in 1920.
The Sisseton Redmen in Sisseton is on the docket for Sept. 27. The Tigers beat the Redmen 43-7 at Tiger Stadium last fall for their second straight win in the series, but are just 5-15 all time against Sisseton. The Tigers and Redmen have been playing off and on since 1963.
Mobridge-Pollock goes to Webster Area on Oct. 4. The Tigers and Bearcats first met in 1989 and then played every year until 2000. They played again in 2003 and 2004 and then again in 2011 and 2012. The Tigers are 10-7 in all time against the Bearcats. The teams split home games last time they played with the Tigers winning 28-6 in Mobridge in 2011 and the Bearcats winning 21-14 in Webster in 2012.
The Tigers and Pheasants will be playing for the 47 time when Redfield/Doland comes to Tigers Stadium on Oct. 11. The Tigers beat the Pheasants 20-6 in the season-opener last year for their fourth straight win in the series. Things have gone the Tigers’ way aplenty since the first time the teams played in 1952. The Tigers hold a 31-13-2 record against the Pheasants.
Last year’s two biggest games were against Groton Area. Groton Area beat the Tigers 28-26 here during the regular season before the Tigers beat Groton Area 13-7 in Groton in the playoffs. The win gave the Tigers their first win over Groton Area in 14 games, but the series has always been tightly contested. Groton Area holds a 16-12 edge in a series that dates back to 1985.
Like it usually does, the Tiger schedule will lead fans to unfamiliar haunts. But it will also give us heated exchanges against teams we know very well. Oh ya, I said it was the 2019 and 2020 schedules. The 2020 season is pretty easy to figure out, just switch the home and away dates and there you have it.