Theis represents Pratt with continued hard work ethic in college football game Friday

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Pratt native Travis Theis, #5, runs the ball into the end zone taking his team, the South Dakota Coyotes into the lead in the third quarter Friday night against the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence.
Pratt high school football standout celebrates success Friday at the college level.

Many Pratt football fans had to divide their attention Friday night between the Pratt High School Greenbacks, the University of Kansas Jayhawks, and the South Dakota Coyotes, but there weren't any complaints. At the center of attention was Greenback alum and football standout Travis Theis, a redshirt freshman last year at the University of South Dakota, who got his first major college start in Kansas, against Kansas.

On September 3, Pratt High School opened their prep football season with a 68-18 high-octane offensive win over Hoisington in a game that was moved up one hour to start at 6 p.m. because of weather concerns. Between touchdown accolades for PHS' Enoch Walton, Max Younie, Carson Hoeme and others, game announcers kept local fans updated on the activity of Theis in the USD vs. KU game in Lawrence.

A large contingent of T.T. fans traveled to Lawrence to experience that game in person. Many of them would normally root for the Jayhawks, but last Friday, they were there to support Theis, who said he felt the love all the way around.

"The game was a great experience," Theis said. "I saw many people from Pratt and I appreciate their support. The outcome was disappointing but I’m proud of our effort as a team. I am proud to represent Pratt and Greenback nation!"

Theis and the USD Coyotes took a tough 17-14 loss to the Jayhawks, despite a 25-yard, touchdown run by Theis late in the third quarter that put the Coyotes in the lead.

More from USD vs. KU Friday night:

Listed 5'11" and 215 lbs. on the USD roster, Theis carried the ball 18 times, accumulating 96 yards in his inaugural debute Friday, in the game that was televised by ESPN and available on Hulu.

"I feel great. The game was a great experience," Theis said on Monday. "We will look to build off of the good and bad from Friday and continue to grow as a team and a program."

USD running backs coach Dante Warren said that Theis has become a visual and vocal leader on and off the field for South Dakota.

"He’s taken what he’s learned in high school as a quarterback and applied that to becoming a college running back,” Warren said.

Theis said he will continue to do what he has always done, as a Greenback and a Coyote football player - work hard.

His secret to success?

"Be a team player, do the things you are supposed to do, and work harder than everybody else," he said.

And that is something all of his fans agree with.