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Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan football coach Jeff VanLeur said he’s been surrounded with the best. VanLeur is a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association football coach of the year award. It’s the first time VanLeur has been nominated for the honor and he praised those around him for being a finalist.
After defeating the Midland University Warriors, Dakota Wesleyan University will turn into road warriors. The Tigers knocked off Midland 82-67 on Sunday at the Corn Palace in a Great Plains Athletic Conference contest. No. 15 DWU will now play three straight contests on the road and five total this month. "I still think our team is growing and getting better," DWU coach Matt Wilber said. "We have good dudes that are moving in the right direction."
The Ethan girls basketball team will go from one No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown to the next. The No. 1 Rustlers picked up a 49-28 statement win over then-No. 2 Warner during the nightcap of last Saturday's Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace. "We saw how good we can play and just how we can play together," Ethan senior post Karly Gustafson said. "So that will definitely help us get going for the rest of the season."
Ty Hoglund said it was good to be back. Not just back at the Corn Palace, but also on the court. Hoglund missed the last game against Dordt College due to an illness, but he returned in a big way on Sunday. "Watching the game at home on Wednesday was one of the worse nights of my life," said Hoglund after dropping 23 points in a DWU 82-67 win over Midland University. "So it's good to be back with the fellas."
It started with offense and ended with defense. The Ethan girls basketball team cruised to a 49-28 win over Warner during the nightcap of the Hanson Classic on Saturday at the Corn Palace. No. 1 Ethan controlled the pace from the opening tip against the No. 2 Monarchs and remained undefeated on the season. The Rustlers (8-0) used a strong offensive first quarter to set the tone and their defense took over from there.
The Corsica-Stickney girls basketball did it again. Two weeks after topping No. 2 Warner at the Parkston Classic, the Jaguars took down No. 3 De Smet 56-40 at the Hanson Classic. “Any time you play a ranked team, you want to see how you measure up and so it was a really nice test for us,” Corsica-Stickney coach Lorisa Broughton said.
Tom Starr is a motivator and a listener. The longtime Mitchell High School assistant wrestling coach recently resigned from his teaching post with the school district. But he's fulfilling his final duties this winter as an assistant coach for the Kernel wrestling team. Starr and the Kernels host their annual Jerry Opbroek Invitational wrestling tournament starting at 10 a.m. at the MHS gym. Starr, 65, has never been a head coach for the Kernels. Instead, he's always been the assistant coach, pushing, motivating and listening to athletes.
For Class B girls basketball fans, it doesn't get any better than 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Corn Palace. That's when No. 1 Ethan (7-0) and No. 2 Warner (7-1) will lock horns during the 36th annual girls Hanson Classic. It will be the final matchup of the nine-game slate, which features a host of highly-successful coaches, programs and players. "We kind of try to tell our kids there's a lot of people in South Dakota that's going to be watching this game and certainly so," Warner coach Stewart Bohle said. "It's a state tournament atmosphere and we are excited."
PIERRE—Six-man football in South Dakota has hit a major speed bump. On Tuesday, the executive staff of the South Dakota High School Activities Association announced it will recommend postponing the addition of six-man football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons at next week's regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting in Pierre.
It's go time for the Mitchell High School gymnastics team. The Kernels' schedule picks up as they'll have six competitions this month, culminating with the Mitchell Triangular on Jan. 24. The Eastern South Dakota Conference meet is Feb. 2 in Brookings and the state meet is Feb. 8-9 in Brookings. "Technically, we are halfway through the season," MHS coach Audra Rew said. "Our goal right now is to make every turn be 100 percent. I tried to tell them that when they think they can't give anymore physically or mentally, they need to dig deep and find out a way to give more."