Galen Brantley III and Aaron Faletoi, 2020 graduates of Soldotna High School, both played a big role as the Dickinson State University football team, an NAIA squad in Dickinson, South Dakota, finished its regular season undefeated as North Star Athletic Association champions.
Brantley III is a 6-foot-3, 230-pound tight end, while Faletoi is a 6-2, 260-pound defensive lineman.
Nov. 7, the Blue Hawks finished the regular season 9-0 to become the sixth team in school history to have an undefeated regular season.
Host Dickinson defeated Presentation College 52-34 and now will play in the postseason in the spring of 2021.
Faletoi got the Blue Hawks going in the game against Presenation with an early sack, one of his two sacks for the game.
Soldotna High School head coach Galen Brantley Jr. said Faletoi started all year for the Blue Hawks at defensive tackle. He had eight solo tackles and nine assisted tackles, including seven tackles for loss for a total of 25.5 yards lost. Faletoi also had two sacks for a total of 13 yards and a fumble recovery.
Brantley Jr. said Brantley III started a little over half the games and received about 20 snaps in the games he did not start. He finished with one reception for no yards.
Fellow Soldotna football alumni Brenner Furlong also played in the NSAA, with his Dakota State squad finishing 2-5 in the league and overall.
Furlong is a 6-0, 205-pound junior running back. He finished with 40 rushes for 90 yards.
Dickinson State was able to defeat Dakota State twice, 26-14 on Sept. 12 and 23-3 on Oct. 10.
Also from the Soldotna football program this season, Hudson Metcalf is redshirting in his first season at Division II Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Melvin Lloyd also is in his first year with the Gila River Hawks Junior College football program in Arizona. Brantley Jr. said Lloyd is getting playing time for the team, which is 2-0 in the Hohokam Junior College Athletic Conference and 3-0 overall.
Aseli Finau is a 6-foot-2, 260-pound redshirt junior offensive lineman at Division II Eastern New Mexico in Portales, New Mexico. As a redshirt sophomore, Finau earned All-Lone Star Conference Honorable Mention honors after appearing in 12 games. The Lone Star Conference has pushed football to the spring due to the new coronavirus pandemic.