Ross Flemmer is in his 20th season as the St. Mary Head Football Coach. “It doesn’t seem like it has been that long,” Coach Flemmer stated. “It seems like yesterday.”
Over Coach Flemmer’s twenty years of coaching, he has some great memories on and off the field. “I have had some great kids that I have had the opportunity to coach,” Coach Flemmer explained. “Getting to see them around town, at church or wherever, now they have their kids running around. It is neat to see them grow up and even watch their kids grow.”
With St. Mary having a lower enrollment than many of their competitors, most seasons the Cardinal football team still comes out onto the field as a force to be reckoned with. “This year, the kids have done such a great job,” Coach Flemmer said. “People have asked, what is different from last year? Well, mostly it is the same kids out there, they are just starting to grow up and be able to compete. We were playing freshmen and sophomores against juniors and seniors, now those kids are the upperclassmen and things are going well. They get after it and it is fun to coach them.”
In the past 20 seasons, 18 of those seasons the Cardinals have advanced to the playoffs. Coach Flemmer has been to the 9B State Championship game with the Cardinals twice in his coaching career, 2002 and 2009. The 2009 championship game was a heartbreaker when their opponent scored with just seconds on the clock to take the lead from the Cardinals.
When Coach Flemmer was asked for his prediction on this season he said, “I don’t know. As I have coached longer, I have learned to just enjoy it. The kids have been great to work with, we have been successful and had fun. I think we are going to just enjoy it as it comes this year.”
“I will keep coaching for the foreseeable future,” Coach Flemmer said. “I still enjoy doing it. I think as soon as I don’t enjoy coaching, that will be the end of it.” Coach Flemmer has two boys, who attend St. Mary. “I’ve been told that I better be around for them, since they have spent so much of their lives hanging around football fields or having to be at practice,” Coach Flemmer explained. “They might not want me to coach them either, we will see how that goes.”
After having kids of his own, Coach Flemmer explained how he see’s things a bit different than before. “I may be a little more reserved with the kids now and more understanding.”
“I have had the opportunity to coach with a lot of great assistant coaches over the years,” Flemmer said. “I think that’s what makes it a lot of fun too.”
Congratulations Coach Flemmer on twenty years of coaching. St. Mary and the Dell Rapids community are lucky to have you as a coach and role model for our kids!