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Maaland playmaker on offense, defense for Deuel

Deuel’s Trey Maaland (5) looks to run past Aberdeen Roncalli’s Landon Zikmund, right, during a recent game at Dacotah Bank Stadium. Maaland has played a key role in Deuel's unbeaten start to the season. Photo by John Davis taken 8/25/2023

The Deuel Cardinals have taken northeast South Dakota by storm to begin the football season, and that storm has been fueled by quarterback and defensive back Trey Maaland.

The senior signal caller has been influential in Deuel’s 3-0 start to the season, which Maaland says is the result of hard work in the offseason.

“I feel like my ability to throw the ball has definitely improved a lot since last season and that’s come with just a lot of work this summer and fall,” Maaland said. “Whether it’s just throwing it in the yard with my little brother or working with our quarterback coach Carter Gordon.”

Maaland also attributes the growth to spending time working out as well.

“Just spending a lot of time in the weightroom trying to gain some weight,” Maaland said. “I’m probably 15-20 pounds heavier than I was last season, and that’s been a big help.”

Two weeks ago against Aberdeen Roncalli, the hard work showed, as Maaland passed for 158 yards and one score, while rushing for 87 yards and three more scores. He also added a pair of interceptions on defense.

Maaland continued his strong play last week against Sisseton, with 128 yards rushing and three touchdowns, 84 yards passing a TD, 7 tackles and a 69-yard pass interception return for a score.

Maaland said the Cardinals’ defense has been the catalyst for the team this season.

“Our defense has kind of been our constant.” Maaland said. “Coach (Dustin) Hourigan always cooks up a really good defensive scheme for us. We feel like we’re really well prepared on that side of the ball.”

Maaland said the relationships on and off the field with his running backs and wide receivers grew during the offseason as well, which has helped the team mesh during games.

“We’ve gelled really good. All of the dudes on our team are really good friends,” Maaland said. “Throughout the summer and offseason, we’d get together and throw routes, and just work on offense. We just have good chemistry overall, and I think it’s definitely shown so far on the football field.”

The hard work has led to a balanced offense that features dynamic wide receivers, hard-nosed running backs, and a big offensive line, with Maaland directing it all.

Deuel’s Trey Maaland, center, gets into the secondary as teammate Carson Marko, left, sets to block Aberdeen Roncalli’s Brody Weinmeister, far left, during a game earlier this season at Dacotah Bank Stadium. In on the play for Roncalli are Gabe Eichler (behind Marko) and Keegan Stewart (21). Photo by John Davis taken 8/25/2023

“We’ve got the ability to both pass the ball and run the ball efficiently, and that’s really been nice to have,” Maaland said. “We just have a great (offensive) line. They all work their butts off and do a really good job.”

Since the playoff era began in South Dakota in 1981, Deuel has never qualified for a state football championship game. The Cardinals advanced to the Class 9AA semifinals in 2014 and 2019, and last qualified for the Class 11B semifinals in 1994, but fell short of a trip to the title game each time. Maaland wants to change that this season.

“Obviously our main goal is to go to the Dome; it’s to win the state championship,” Maaland said. “But our team outlook has been every year just focus on the week that we’re in and just going 1-0 each week. If we string together enough 1-0’s, then eventually we’ll reach all of the goals that we have for ourselves.”

Last season, Deuel lost to perennial power Winner, 32-8, in the 11B quarterfinals. Maaland says the loss exposed several weaknesses the team needed to fix, including changes to the offense, as well as being a more physical team.

“We thought one of those things was making our offense more diverse, being able to throw it and run it,” Maaland said. “A big thing we took from that game is we need to be more physical. This offseason we had really, really good attendance in the weightroom, and overall, as a team, we’re a lot bigger, a lot stronger this year.”

With all of the offseason changes and preparations completed, the Cardinals are now in the midst of making their dreams become reality. Maaland knows what it will take to get the job done.

“It’s just going to take a lot of grit, a lot of hard work, and a lot of focus from all of our dudes,” Maaland said.

Deuel’s Trey Maaland, center, pushes the ball up the floor as Aberdeen Roncalli’s Maddox Miller, right, closes in on defense during game last season at the Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 2/16/2023

While Maaland is currently focusing on football, the senior has also participated in basketball, track and field, and golf throughout his high school athletic career. He plans on playing basketball and golf this year as well. Maaland says that while his favorite sport depends on the season he is currently in, he prefers basketball and football over other sports. When it comes to football, Maaland enjoys the relationships that are built through the game.

“My favorite part about football is probably just the camaraderie,” Maaland said, “just the bonds you build with your team and your coaches, and just the brotherhood. I just think it’s a really great team sport, for sure.”

When he is not playing sports, you can find Maaland spending time with friends, going to the lake, leisurely golfing in the summertime, and helping on the farm.

While he is currently undecided on his college plans for next year, Maaland’s goal is to focus on making sure he makes the most of his last year as a Deuel Cardinal, cherishing every moment he is given.

“If I had to look at an overall goal, I would say just enjoying it,” Maaland said. “Just appreciating every day that I’ve got with my teammates and my coaches, and just enjoying the last ride.”

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