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Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Spartans aim to keep looking ahead

By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

SPEARFISH — Spearfish boys’ basketball coach Erik Skoglund has a simple formula for Spartans’ success this season. “We cannot let a couple of losses affect us the next weekend,” Skoglund said. “On the floor, one mistake can’t compound into two or three.” Skoglund said the team will go through tough practices and tough games. He is beginning his third season as Spartans’ head coach. “We have a solid group of six seniors that have had great summers, great fall workouts, and have been leading our underclassmen the first week of the season,” Skoglund said. Logan Ammerman, Cade Lyon, John Nickles, Ryan Peldo, Jake Powell, and Aiden Woods are the players Skoglund cited. The coach said junior Tyler Huber

and sophomore Peyton Millis will also make huge contributions. Cohesiveness is a team strength, according to Skoglund. “We are a great passing team,” Skoglund said. “We’ve got to be able to shoot a higher percentage from behind the (3-point) arc.” Skoglund said the Spartans must also be able to defend when playing against great class AA teams. The season begins on Dec. 13-14, when Spearfish goes on the road against Yankton and Brandon Valley, respectively. Yankton won the 2018 state AA title; Brandon Valley is the defending AA champion. “Our lack of depth, especially early in the season, is going to come into play,” Skoglund said. He said some underclassmen will need to step up.

The Spartans’ schedule is as difficult this season as in 2018-19, Skoglund said. He added the team is looking forward to that. Spearfish hosts Aberdeen Central in its home opener Dec. 20. That begins a three-game home stand and is the first of nine games set for the Spearfish High School gym. Pierre (Dec. 21) and Sturgis (Jan. 3) also come to Spearfish during that stretch. When asked about the Black Hills Conference, Skoglund said speculation is all talk until later December, when all teams are seen. “You see who’s healthy,” Skoglund said. “You see who’s stepping up.” He added, however, that St. Thomas More will always be really solid. Skoglund agreed it is too early to tell how Spearfish stacks up with the other conference teams.

Official practice sessions began Dec. 2, and the Spartans have been finetuning things. Skoglund said the players enjoyed a great fall of open gym and weightlifting sessions. Offensive timing is coming together, according to Skoglund. Spearfish finished 3-17 last season and did not qualify for the class AA SoDak 16 event. Tyler Barkley, Kevin Kolb, Jesse Sacrison, and Taten Rhoades graduated from that squad. What can Spearfish take from last season to start building a foundation for 2019-20? “We want guys who are motivated from last season,” Skoglund said. “All we want is someone who wants to work harder.” As for biggest improvements, Skoglund said, the players have matured considerably from last season.

Spearfish boys’ basketball schedule Dec. 13 at Yankton 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Brandon Valley 2 p.m. Dec. 20 at Aberdeen Central 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Pierre T.F. Riggs 1:30 p.m. Jan. 3 hosting Sturgis Brown 8 p.m. Jan. 7 at RC Stevens 8 p.m. Jan. 11 hosting Douglas 4:30 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting Belle Fourche 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at Red Cloud 7 p.m. Jan. 21 hosting Hill City 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at Sturgis Brown 8 p.m. Jan. 28 at St. Thomas More 7:30 p.m. Feb.4 hosting Lead-Deadwood 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at Huron 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at Mitchell 12:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at Custer 8 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting RC Stevens 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Douglas 8 p.m. Feb. 25 hosting Hot Springs 8 p.m. Feb. 27 at RC Central 8 p.m.

Members of the 2019-20 Spearfish varsity boys’ basketball team are, front row left: Bridger Janvrin, Logan Langenfeld, Tyson Morrison, and John-Aage Hamnvik. Middle row left: Logan Ammermann, Peyton Millis, Flo Hansen, Ryan Peldo, and Jake Powell. Back row left: Seth Funk, Tyler Huber, Aiden Woods, Cade Lyons, and John Nickels. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

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Winter 2019-2020

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SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

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Page 4

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2019-2020

Lady Spartans continue to improve By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer

Spearfish girls’ basketball schedule Dec. 13 at Yankton 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at Brandon Valley noon Dec. 20 at Aberdeen Central 6 p.m. Dec. 21 at Pierre T.F. Riggs noon Jan. 3 hosting Sturgis Brown 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at RC Stevens 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11 hosting Douglas 3 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting Belle Fourche 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at Red Cloud 5:30 p.m. Jan. 21 hosting Hill City 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at Sturgis Brown 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at St. Thomas More 6 p.m. Feb.4 hosting Lead-Deadwood 5:30 p.m. Feb. 7 hosting Huron 7 p.m. Feb. 8 hosting Mitchell 1:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at Custer 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting RC Stevens 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Douglas 6:30 p.m. Feb. 25 hosting Hot Springs 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at RC Central 6:30 p.m.

SPEARFISH — Eric Lappe returns for his seventh season as the Lady Spartans’ head basketball coach. The Lady Spartans finished 3-17 in 2018-19. “I thought at the end of the year we play much better. It took us awhile to figure it out. We had a lot of injuries on kids we were depending on for big minutes, so we kind of had to throw some kids into the fire a little bit last year, but hopefully they will pay off this year for us,” Lappe said. The Lady Spartans return a veteran ballclub for the 2019-20 season. “We have some kids that put in a lot of time. Erin Rotert, Stella Marcus, Bella Reid, those kids really lived in the gym this summer and you can see the difference in their game,” said Lappe. “We’re hoping that we are going to build, after we went through that heartache last year in order to do that.” Practice officially started Dec. 2. “Practices have been going pretty good. The kids have worked hard, and they’ve been very energetic. We’ve had two-a-days the first four days, and not

The 2019-20 Spearfish varsity girls’ basketball members are, front row left: Stella Marcus, Ashtyn Reiners, Grace Karp, Sydney Gusso, and Tayler Duncan. Middle row left: Maddison Doren, Kaylene Delahoyde, Erin Rotert, Hannah Schoon, and Lyndey Dean. Back row left: Kylee Jo Symonds, Bella Reid, Anna Engen, Kylie Stalder, and Madison Watts. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

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one complaint, or crying, or whining, or anything about it. Just putting in the work and getting better everyday. I’ve seen a lot of progress,” Lappe said. Lappe hopes the team can continue to build off last season. “We got a lot of experience last year, so we are much more experienced this season from all those growing pains,” said Lappe. “We’re hoping that we learned from the end of last year, and we can hopefully develop that a little bit, and start out that way instead of finding it in the middle of the year like we did last year.” On Dec. 6 the Lady Spartans scrimmaged Rapid City Christian in Spearfish. This is the first time they’ve ever had a scrimmge against another team before the start of the regular season. “We haven’t ever had a scrimage before, and it will be interesting ... I know that from the coaching end, it’s changed how we kind of run our practices a little bit,” said Lappe. “It will be a good test for us. It will give us an idea where we are in a lot of different ways,

defensively, offensively, and conditioning wise. I think it will be good for us to have that exhibition game.” Lappe added it will give them a chance to look at some kids, and kind of see where the team is at. The Black Hills Conference and Class AA will once again provide tough competition, and Lappe hopes his team will be in the mix come tournament time. “We want to be at our best come March. Hopefully we can avoid the injury bug, which we did not do last year at all,” said Lappe. “If we can do that we’ve got some kids that are really competitive,” said Lappe. “Like I said, they put in a lot of time this summer. They’ve worked really hard at it, now it’s just a matter of putting those things together and finding ways to win games you sometimes don’t deserve to win, and sometimes you pull out those games that you are struggling through, but you just find a way to pull it out in the end. We’re hoping for good things, we’re planning for good things, and we’re looking forward the to the season and the kids are excited as well.”


Winter 2019-2020

Page 5

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

2018-19 Lady Spartans in action

Pictured from far left: Spearfish’s Stella Marcus gets off a 3-pointer during a 2018-19 girls’ basketball game. Middle: Erin Rotert, of Spearfish, shoots a free throw. Right: Hannah Schoon gets ready to put up a shot. Pioneer file photos

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Page 6

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2019-2020

Diggers basketball team a work in progress By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

LEAD — Lead-Deadwood will begin its varsity boys’ basketball season Dec. 13 when it visits Oelrichs. “We’re going to have a group that’s going to be fast and athletic,” Golddiggers’ second-year head coach Travis Rogers said. “We’re going to be young, so the talent’s going to be developing all year long.” Returning players for this season include senior guard Jordy Stulken, who started last season. Senior forward Payton Grodzin, junior guard Mekieh Hon, junior forward TK Rainey, and sophomore guard Rocke Rainey also earned varsity experience a year ago.

Other players on the varsity roster as of press time are senior guards Kayd Varland, Kevin Primo, and Lane Sandidge; junior guard Kurt Primo; and ninth-grade guards Crew Rainey and Ryan Rantapaa. Rogers added the Golddiggers will work hard and play tough defense. He sees continuity as something that needs work, with players learning how to play with and trust one another. Lead-Deadwood will not have a lot of size, said Rogers. He said making outside shots is a great necessity. Although the Golddiggers are young, Rogers wants to see them at .500 by season’s end. He said this season’s schedule is identical to that from a year ago. Lead-Deadwood’s first home game is

Dec. 17 against Newell and is one of 10 contests at the Lead-Deadwood High School gym in Lead. The slate includes a four-game homestand from Jan. 9-21, and a three-game slate between Feb. 6 and 20. Rogers tabbed Custer, Sturgis, St. Thomas More, and Belle Fourche as contenders for the Black Hills Conference title. He said Spearfish should be improved. Lead-Deadwood hopes to be competitive against the conference field, Rogers added. “Tough defense and shooting,” Rogers said when asked what will be required for a successful season. “If we can learn to play together as a team, we’ve got some athletic kids; we can do some fun stuff.” Official practice sessions began Nov.

25. Team members are working on conditioning and different offensive sets. Stulken will lead the team this season, Rogers said. Rogers added TK Rainey and Hon will need to be more aggressive, and Varland will shoot well. “I just need all those guys to do their jobs, and I think we’re going to have some success,” Rogers said. Shooting and defense are two of the desired improvement areas from last season, according to Rogers. He added teams can always work harder at those. The Golddiggers finished 7-13 last season and dropped a 68-41 decision to Hot Springs during the Region 8A tournament. Luke Fish, Zak Mau, Carter Nelson, and Wyatt VandeVelde graduated from that squad.

Lead-Deadwood boys’ basketball schedule Dec. 13 at Olerichs 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at Harding County 6 p.m. Dec. 17 hosting Newell 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Stateline Shootout 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at Stateline Shootout 12:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at Bennett County 6:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at Sturgis Brown 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 hosting Upton, Wyo. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting Douglas 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 hosting Hill City 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 hosting St. Thomas More 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Hill City 5 p.m. Jan. 25 hosting Hot Springs 5 p.m. Jan. 28 at Belle Fourche 7 p.m. Jan. 31 hosting Red Cloud 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at Spearfish 7 p.m. Feb. 6 hosting Philip 6 p.m. Feb. 11 hosting Bison 5 p.m. Feb. 20 at Custer 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 hosting RC Christian 7:30 p.m.

Members of the 2019-20 Lead-Deadwood High School boys’ basketball team are, back row left: Kurt Primo, Mekieh Hon, Rocke Rainey, Kayd Varland, Payton Grodzin, and TK Rainey; front row left: Kevin Primo, Lane Sandidge, Jordy Stulken, Crew Rainey, and Ryan Rantapaa. Head coach Travis Rogers is not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Winter 2019-2020

Page 7

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

2018-19 Golddiggers in action

Pictured clockwise from top left: Lead-Deadwood’s Eli Jordan looks for a pass from a teammate during a game in the 2018-19 season. Diggers guard Jordy Stulken goes in for a layup. Golddiggers head coach Travis Rogers talks to his team during a timeout. Pioneer file photos

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Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Lady Diggers taking nothing for granted

By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

LEAD — Lead-Deadwood does not want to take anything for granted during this girls’ basketball season. Play begins Dec. 14 when the Golddiggers visit Buffalo to play Harding County. Fourth-year head coach Tim Hansen cited last season’s Region 8A loss to Rapid City Christian, which occurred roughly a week after a regular-season win. Lead-Deadwood fell 47-45 after winning 48-32 earlier. “Nothing gets given to us. We have to go fight for what we want,” Hansen said. Six seniors will guide the Golddiggers this season. Forward Anna Campbell, forward Natalie Janssen, forward

Hannah Campbell, and guard Blake Mehlberg return after starting in 201819. Forward Raygan Mattson and guard Rebecca Groeger round out the class. “We really need them to step up and provide that senior leadership, and hopefully provide us with some other areas of scoring punch,” Hansen said. He added the team has tended to rely on one player for most of its points. Junior guards Madelaine Rogers and Lillie Wittmayer, junior forwards Lexie Schroeder and Madi Rystrom, junior guard-forward Kailee Bertrand, sophomore forward Rachel Janssen, sophomore guard-forward Jayna Prince, sophomore guards Carly Gandia and Courtney Stoltenberg, and ninth-grade guards Alli Mollman and Clarissa

Heisinger are also on the roster. Hansen said experience within the system is one of the strong suits of the team currently being assembled. “Most of these seniors had to have some type of playing time very early in their careers as freshmen or sophomores,” he said. “We’re starting to get to the point now where we can really look to expand out of the court basics that we like to do.” Hansen hopes Lead-Deadwood will play tough defense, saying the squad wants to hang its hat on that aspect. Every team has some things it will need to work on as practices and games progress. “For us, it’s always about scoring,”

Hansen said. “We’ve got good shooters and kids that kind of can create stuff, but we haven’t always finished very well.” A Dec. 17 game against Newell is the first of nine home games on LeadDeadwood’s schedule. It includes a fourgame homestand from Jan. 14 to 25. Hansen said the schedule has some traditionally strong opponents. He cited St. Thomas More, Belle Fourche, and Hill City along with class AA foes Sturgis, Spearfish and Douglas. Some of those games, including a matchup against class B New Underwood, will present really big challenges, according to Hansen. “Hopefully, we can use those as learning experiences to keep

LADY DIGGERS Pg 9

Lead-Deadwood girls’ basketball schedule Dec. 14 at Harding County 4:30 p.m. Dec. 17 hosting Newell 6 p.m. Dec. 20 at Stateline Shootout 2 p.m. Dec. 21 at Stateline Shootout noon Jan. 3 at Bennett County 5 p.m. Jan. 4 at Sturgis Brown 4 p.m. Jan. 9 hosting Upton, Wyo. 6 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting Douglas 6 p.m. Jan. 16 hosting Hill City 6 p.m. Jan. 21 hosting St. Thomas More 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at Hill City 3 p.m. Jan. 25 hosting Hot Springs 3:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Belle Fourche 5:30 p.m. Jan. 31 hosting Red Cloud 5:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Spearfish 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 hosting Philip 4:30 p.m. Feb. 11 hosting Bison 3:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Custer 5:30 p.m. Feb. 25 hosting RC Christian 4 p.m.

Members of the 2019-20 Lead-Deadwood High School girls’ basketball team are, back row left: Jayna Prince, Natalie Janssen, Raygan Mattson, Hannah Campbell, Anna Campbell, Rachel Janssen; middle row left, Carly Gandia, Alli Mollman, Kailee Bertrand, Rebecca Groeger, Lillie Wittmayer, Courtney Stoltenberg, Madi Rystrom; front row left, Lexie Schroeder, Madelaine Rogers, Blake Mehlberg, and Clarissa Heisinger. Head coach Tim Hansen is not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Page 9

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Lady Golddiggers in action

Pictured from far left: Lead-Deadwood’s Anna Campbell goes in for a layup during the 2018-19 girls’ basketball season. Lady Diggers Natalie Janssen drives around a Hot Springs defender. Pioneer file photos

from Pg 8

LADY DIGGERS building off of,” he said. Hansen tabbed St. Thomas More as the Black Hills Conference favorite and said the circuit boasts a lot of good teams. He named Sturgis, Belle Fourche, and Hill City. As for the conference standings, Hansen said the Golddiggers would like to battle for fourth or fifth. He added Lead-Deadwood does not have quite a program like St. Thomas More. Success for this season includes higher shooting percentages and better finishing, Hansen said. “We don’t really want to get focused on mistakes or the negatives this year,” he added. “We want to really focus on what we do well, trying to work up to our potential and making sure we’re having the best possible year that we can.” Official practice sessions began Dec. 2. Hansen said the seniors have assumed a very active leadership role and are reveling in the moment. He added practices have been intense and enthusiastic. Hansen said the Golddiggers will need a more complete team effort this season, especially on offense. The Golddiggers forged a 12-9 record last season. Carly Mehlberg, Abiah Morrison, Alexis Morrison, and Kaali Allmendinger graduated from that squad.

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Page 10

Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Broncs basketball team serching for identity By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

BELLE FOURCHE — The Belle Fourche varsity boys’ basketball team will begin the process of identifying itself Dec. 13, when the Broncs visit Hill City in their season opener. “When you graduate nine seniors, it’s trying to figure our your new identity of what this team is going to be,” said Broncs’ head coach Clay Pottorff, who is beginning his fifth season at the helm. “Figuring that out early in the season is going to be a big priority.” Pottorff’s squad returns two starters from last season: senior guards Kelby Olson and Colby Nowowiejski. Seniors

Tate Larson (guard-forward) and Jackson Tyndall (guard), junior Brextin Garza (guard), and sophomore Aiden Giffin (center) also suited up for the varsity a season ago. Senior guard Keaten Benson, junior guard Lan Fuhrer, junior center Logan Goeders, sophomore guard Ryker Audiss, and sophomore guard Gabe Heck are also on the Broncs’ varsity as of press time. “We have a lot of complementary pieces,” Pottorff said in describing this season’s team. “They all have different things that they bring to the table.” Pottorff said the squad boasts three or four really good scorers, two or three really good shooters, and several who defend well.

Belle Fourche has a difficult schedule for a class A school, according to Pottorff. That slate includes Class AA opponents Spearfish, Sturgis and Douglas. Region 8A teams include St. Thomas More, Rapid City Christian, and Custer. Belle Fourche’s home opener is Dec. 14 against McLaughlin and is the first of 10 contests at Edwin Petranek Armory. That slate includes four stretches of two games apiece. Pottorff tabbed St. Thomas More and Sturgis as Black Hills Conference favorites. “I think we’re going to be really competitive with everyone we see on our schedule,” Pottorff said. “I think we’re starting to build that belief.”

Pottorff said sharp focus is needed for a successful season, and if enough of that is maintained at practice, the team will do well. Official practice sessions began Nov. 25. Pottorff said the team wants to live up to the “Playing With Bronc Pride” mantra and do things correctly, on and off the court. The Broncs finished 9-13 a season ago and fell 64-42 to St. Thomas More in the Region 8A tournament. Bryce Nicholas, Tate Hostetter, Michael Leverington, Chandler Kerr, Taten Fox, Jackson Mailloux, Cauy Jennings, Zane Rankin, and Carson Gubbrud graduated from that squad.

Belle Fourche boys’ basketball schedule

Dec. 13 at Hill City 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 hosting McLaughlin 3 p.m. Dec. 17 hosting Sturgis Brown 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at Newcastle Stateline Shootout 5 p.m. Dec. 21 at Newcastle Stateline Shootout 5 p.m. Jan.3 hosting New Underwood 5:30 p.m. Jan. 4 hosting Lemmon 4 p.m. Jan. 7 at St. Thomas More 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 hosting Red Cloud 4:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Spearfish 7 p.m. Jan. 18 hosting Wright, Wyo. 4 p.m. Jan. 24 at Hot Springs 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 hosting Bowman County, N.D. 2:30 p.m. Jan. 28 hosting Lead-Deadwood 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at Harding County 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at Douglas 8 p.m. Feb. 11 hosting RC Christian 7 p.m. Belle Fourche varsity boys’ basketball team members include: back row left, Lan Fuhrer, Aiden Giffin, Colby Nowowiejski, Kelby Feb. 14 hosting Custer 6 p.m. Olson, Logan Goeders, Ryker Audiss; front row left, Jackson Tyndall, Keaten Benson, Brextin Garza, and Gabe Heck. Tate Larson Feb. 18 at Sturgis Brown 8 p.m. and head coach Clay Pottorff are not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross Feb. 25 at St. Thomas More 7:30 p.m.

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Winter 2019-2020

Page 11

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Broncs basketball in action

Pictured above: Broncs forward Kelby Olson goes in for a layup during the 2018-19 season. Pictured right: Belle Fourche’s Aiden Giffin goes up for a jump shot. Pioneer file photos

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Page 12

Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Lady Broncs ready to start basketball season By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

BELLE FOURCHE — Belle Fourche tips off its girls’ basketball season Dec. 13 at Hill City and goes to St. Thomas More the next day. The Broncs’ Dec. 17 game against Sturgis is the first of nine home games on the regular-season slate. That includes a three-game homestand (Jan. 25 through Feb. 4) and a two-game stretch (Feb. 11 and 14). Senior guard Harley Fischer and junior guard Bella Jensen started last season and return for Belle Fourche, guided by eighth-year head coach Bill Burr. Seniors Bree Pierce (guard), Taryn Stedillie (guard), and Savannah Rosales (guard); and sophomore Kaylin Garza (center) are among the other players who gained varsity experience a season ago.

Junior guards Laney Brill and Jasmyn Jensen; junior center Hayley Wilbur; sophomore guards McKenzie Lyons and Dru Keegan; ninth-grade guards Chloe Crago and Dylan Stedillie; and ninth-grade center Tia Williamson round out the roster as of press time. “We’re going to be quick and get up and down the court,” Burr said in describing the squad. “We have some good size to us this year, also.” Burr said the Broncs will also be aggressive as in the past. He added the hope is that outside shooting can complement inside play. “The first thing we do is go back to basics,” Burr said. “We do a lot of footwork, defensive stuff, one-on-one stuff.” Progression then includes running the offense and different defensive styles. Communication also receives a lot of attention. “So far, this is probably one of my

more vocal groups that we’ve had,” Burr said. “They know we’re going to have to rely on each other this year to be successful.” As for the schedule, Burr looks at the opening two-week slate that includes the Stateline Classic set for Dec. 20-21 in Newcastle, Wyo. “Four out of five games are on the road,” Burr said of that opening stretch. “We’re going to be tested early.” St. Thomas More and Hill City should contend for the Black Hills Conference title. Burr said teams like Red Cloud, Custer, Lead-Deadwood, Spearfish, and Sturgis should be very solid. “Every game’s going to be very competitive for us,” Burr said in assessing the whole conference. “We’re going to have to show up and play our best every night just to compete.” Burr said Belle Fourche enjoys solid outside shooting plus the ability to go

inside. He added the Broncs should stack up well, but success depends on how far they are able to go into their bench. Success will depend on accountability and all players performing their roles, according to Burr. He said players also need to come together as a team. Official practice sessions began Dec. 2, with shooting and ball handling among the items taking center stage. Burr said the Broncs want to return to the SoDak 16 event this season. He added the team must take things one game at a time. Along with shooting, Burr said he would like to see the team penetrate better with the ball. The Broncs finished 17-5 last season and fell 40-27 to Aberdeen Roncalli in the Class A SoDak 16 event. Rylee Young, Payson Birkeland, and Ashley Byrd graduated from that squad.

Belle Fourche girls’ basketball schedule

Dec. 13 at Hill City 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at St. Thomas More 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17 hosting Sturgis Brown 5:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Newcastle Stateline Shootout 3:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Newcastle Stateline Shootout 3:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at Wall 3:30 p.m. Jan. 11 hosting Red Cloud 3 p.m. Jan. 14 at Spearfish 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at Wright, Wyo. 2:30 p.m. Jan. 23 hosting Douglas 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at Hot Springs 5 p.m. Jan. 25 hosting Bowman County, N.D. 1 p.m. Jan. 28 hosting Lead-Deadwood 5:30 p.m. Feb. 4 hosting St. Thomas More 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Douglas 6:30 p.m. Feb.11 hosting RC Christian 5:30 p.m. Feb. 14 hosting Custer 4:30 p.m. The Belle Fourche varsity girls’ basketball team includes: back row left, Kaylin Garza, Laney Brill, Bree Pierce, Hayley Wilbur, Feb. 18 at Sturgis Brown 6:30 p.m. Bella Jensen, Tia Williamson, Dylan Stedillie, Taryn Stedillie; front row left, McKenzie Lyons, Dru Keegan, Chloe Crago, Jasmyn Feb. 20 at New Underwood 5:30 p.m. Jensen, Savannah Rosales, and Harley Fischer. Head coach Bill Burr is not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross Feb. 21 hosting Faith 7 p.m.

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Winter 2019-2020

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Lady Broncs basketball in action

Page 13

Pictured left: Belle Fourche’s Bella Jensen, looks for a teammate to pass to during a game in the 2018-19 girls’ basketball season. Above: Taryn Stedillie, of Belle Fourche goes up strong to get off a shot. Pioneer file photos

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Page 14

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2019-2020

BHSU men’s basketball team seeks to build on success By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer

SPEARFISH — Black Hills State University’s men’s basketball team is hoping to build off its 2018-19 successful season. Head Coach Ryan Thompson is entering his second year at the helm of the program. Last year he led the Yellow Jackets to their first ever Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship game and and finished the season with an 18-11 record. This season the Yellow Jackets are selected to finish ninth in the coach’s preseason poll. Tyler Oliver was selected as the athlete to watch. Last season, Oliver earned Second Team All-RMAC honors. Oliver is a native of Jackson, Mich., and averaged 11.2 points per game. He lead the Yellow Jackets in rebounding, pulling down 5.7 boards per game. He also led the squad in assists, dishing 3.4 per game, which was eighth in the RMAC. His 1.4 as-

sist-to-turnover ratio was 10th in the conference. He was named RMAC Offensive Player of the Week back in December of 2018. Stefan Desnica also returns to provide leadership, he was named to the RMAC All-Tournament team. Hailing from Temerin, Serbia, he averaged 9.7 points per game last season. He was consistent from the line hitting 75 percent of his free throws. Black Hills State opened its season losing to Arkansas-Fort Smith, 7976. Desnica lead Black Hills State in scoring with 19 points. They followed that up with a 78-75 win over No. 24 Tarleton State. Trey Whitley led the Yellow Jackets with 22 total points. Black Hills State dropped an 83-81 overtime decision to Northern State at the men’s basketball East-West Classic, in Spearfish. “We wanted to get out and run, and wanted to continue to do that late in the game, but we turned it over at costly times throughout transition late in the game,” Thompson said.

Members of the 2019-20 Black Hills State University men’s basketball team are: (not in order) Michael Russell, Joel Scott, Trey Whitley, Sava Dukic, Sean Bohuslavsky, Snjolfur Steffansson. Lane Josi, Tommy Donovan, Jordan McGlory, Tyler Oliver, Colton Larson, Spencer Ederhoff, Luke Feely, Stefan Desnica, Antonio Capley, Markieth Brown, Jr., Jakob Christman, Taylor Edwards, Ethan Forrester, Dawson Paulsen. The Yellow Jackets head coach is Ryan Thompson, and the assistant coaches are Chris Gold and Kyle Lawson. Photo courtesy BHSU Sports Information Department

GOOD LUCK TO S E T E L H T A A E R A ALL

The Yellow Jackets came back and defeated South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Hardrockers, in Spearfish, 70-66, on Nov. 26, to start its RMAC season at 1-0. “Both teams played with a ton of intensity. Both teams were well-prepared,” said Yellow Jackets’ head coach Ryan Thompson, whose team prevailed in its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opener. “Our guys made a few more (baskets) tonight.” Tyler Oliver posted a double-double, putting up 21 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Next, the Yellow Jackets routed Dakota State University, in Spearfish, 91-53. Joel Scott posted 24 points, shooting 9-12 from the field, and he made three of four three pointers. Black Hills State then dropped a pair of games to Westminster College, 65-64, and Dixie State, 76-54. Black Hills State (3-5 overall and 1-2 RMAC) hosts Fort Lewis College Saturday, Dec, 14, at the Donald E. Young Center, in Spearfish.

BHSU men’s basketball schedule

Dec. 13 hosting Adams State 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 hosting Fort Lewis College 6 p.m. Dec. 20 hosting Dickinson State 6 p.m. Jan. 3 hosting Dickinson State 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4 hosting Colorado Mesa University 6 p.m. Jan. 10 at Colorado Christian University 7 p.m. Jan. 11 at Regis University 5 p.m. Jan. 17 hosting UC- Colo. Springs 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 hosting Colorado School of Mines 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at New Mexico Highlands 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at CSU-Pueblo 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Chadron State College 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 hosting CSU-Pueblo 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 hosting New Mexico Highlands 6 p.m. Feb. 14 hosting Metro State-Denver 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 hosting Chadron State 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at Colorado School of Mines 8 p.m. Feb. 22 at UC-Colorado Springs 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at SD School of Mines 7:30 p.m.


Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Page 15

Lady Jackets excited for 2019-20 season By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer

SPEARFISH — The Black Hills State University women’s basketball team is excited for the 2019-20 season. The Lady Jackets were 16-11 overall and 12-10 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference during the 2018-19 season. They were the No. 8 seed into the RMAC Shootout, where a 56-49 loss to top-seeded Colorado Mesa ended the season. The 2018-19 season was filled with a lot of adversity due to injuries. “We had some great kids. We were down in numbers. We had some unfortunate injuries to key players, but I thought a lot of our younger kids stepped up in tough situations,” Nore said. “Those key injuries being out, is just trying to find our new identity.” Returning for the Lady Jackets this season are: junior Racquel Wientjes

from Onida; sophomore Ashley Davis from Belcourt, N.D.; redshirt junior Alyssia Martinez from Highlands Ranch, Colo.; senior Abby Switzer from Casper, Wyo.; senior Cortez Standing bear from Pine Ridge; senior Danielle Noble from Cheyanne, Wyo.; redshirt sophomore Ashlee Beacom from Sioux Falls; senior Hannah Cass from Newcastle, Wyo.; redshirt junior Morgan Hamm from Shadehill; and junior Katie Messler from Sioux Falls. “Having returning players is everything. Leadership is everything. Just to have stability and just to have that consistency in any kind of culture. Those kids have to carry the torch and every year the torch is passed on,” Nore said. Last season Hamm was named to the All-RMAC Second Team, while Wientjes earned Honorable Mention Nore said he’s excited about this year’s team. “I’m excited about some of these new

roles for players like Abby Switzer who has more of a leadership role for us this year, and she’s doing a great job of taking the torch with Racquel (Wientjes) and Morgan (Hamm),” said Nore. “Dani (Danielle Noble) has been hurt but she has been spreading her joy for the game. I just think it comes down to a group thing. We have to work together with that and within the game just allowing our passion to be passed down.” Nore said he likes the make up of his team. “I think we are a team that executes pretty well. I feel like we are a team on the offensive end that we execute really well. We have good size on the perimeter. Katie’s (Messler) got good size, as does Morgan, but some of these guards are going to have to matchup with some bigs sometimes which makes for a tough guard on the offensive end,” Nore said.

The Lady Yellow Jackets opened its 2019-20 season with wins over Texas A&M Kingsville, and Texas A&M International, 78-56, and Montana State University-Billings, 60-42. They lost at Northern State, 64-55, and Wayne State, 84-74. They opened RMAC play with a 55-47 win over rival South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. They then dropped a pair of RMAC road games, 69-53 to Westminster College, and 71-65 to Dixie State. Wientjes leads the team in scoring averaging 16.7 points per game. Morgan Ham averages 13.4 points per game The Lady Yellow Jackets are shooting 37.9% from the field, 28.8% from behind the 3-point line, and 65.2% from the free throw line. Black Hills State (4-4 overall and 1-2 RMAC hosts Adams State tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Donald E. Young Center.

BHSU women’s basketball schedule

Members of the 2019-20 Black Hills State University women’s basketball team are: Raven Cournoyer, Summer Fox, Racquel Wientjes, Ashley Davis, Noora Parttimaa, Alyssia Martinez, Abby Switzer, Danica Kocer, Niki Van Wyk, Ashlee Beacom, Kassie Hoyer, Mandee Williamson, Morgan Ham, Katie Messler, Cody Robinson, Lauren Baumberger, Hannah Cass, Rachel Kane, Danielle Noble, Cortez Standing Bear. The Lady Yellow Jackets are coached by Mark Nore, assistant coach Hope Bonlander, and graduate assistant Rachel Erickson. Photo courtesy BHSU Sports Information Department

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Dec 13 hosting Adams State 5:30 p.m. Dec 14 hosting Fort Lewis College 4 p.m. Jan 3 hosting Western Colorado 5:30 p.m. Jan 4 hosting Colorado Mesa 4 p.m. Jan 10 at Colorado Mesa University 5 p.m. Jan 11 at Regis University 3 p.m. Jan 17 hosting UC- Colo. Springs 5:30 p.m. Jan 18 hosting Colorado School of Mines 4 p.m. Jan 24 at New Mexico Highlands 5:30 p.m. Jan 25 at CSU- Pueblo 5:30 p.m. Jan 31 at Chadron State 5:30 p.m. Feb 1 at Metro State-Denver 4 p.m. Feb 7 hosting CSU- Pueblo 5:30 p.m. Feb 8 hosting New Mexico Highlands 4 p.m. Feb 14 hosting Metro State-Denver 5:30 p.m. Feb 15 hosting Chadron State College 4 p.m. Feb 21 at Colorado School of Mines 6 p.m. Feb 22 at UC- Colorado Springs 5:30 p.m. Feb 28 at S.D. School of Mines 5:30 p.m.


Page 16

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2019-2020

BHSU indoor track season underway By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

SPEARFISH— Black Hills State University launched its indoor track season Dec. 6-7, when they hosted the Yellow Jacket Holiday Classic at the Young Center Fieldhouse, in Spearfish. Jordan Theisen won three men’s events for the Yellow Jacket men’s team. He finished first in the 800-meter

run (2 minutes 3.82 seconds), mile run (4:38.79), and 5000 run (15:51.41). Black Hills State’s Kyla Sawvell paced the women’s team by winning two events and meeting two NCAA Division II provisional qualifying standards. Her efforts spanned 57 feet 9 inches in the weight throw and 45-9.25 in the shot put. Event winners and other top-three finishers from Black Hills State follow;

distances are expressed in meters. Only events with Black Hills State place winners are listed. MEN’S DIVISION 60-meter dash: 1 Korder Cropsey (South Dakota Mines) 7.20 seconds. Black Hills State: 2 Brian Kjerstad 7.35, 3 Seth Kovar 7.40. 200 meter dash: 1 Larenzo Ebell (Black Hills State) 23.35 seconds. Other

Black Hills State: 2 Brian Kjerstad 23.57, 3 Seth Kovar 24.14. 400-meter dash: 1 Tucker Bopp (Black Hills State) 50.86 seconds. 800-meter run: 1 Jordan Theisen (Black Hills State) 2 minutes 3.82 seconds. Other Black Hills State: 3 Landon Nicholson 2:06.79. Mile run: 1 Jordan Theisen (Black

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Members of the BHSU Indoor Track Team are: Nicole Allerdings, Samantha Bates, Kathrine Campbell, Vanessa Clark, Erica Dykstra, Maddi Fidler, Abbie Fredrick, Breanne Fuller, Julette Goehring, Hannah Hendrick, Mayson Hudyma, Jordyn Huneke, Chandi Jackson, Emily Keller, Zoe Langseth, Riley Langston, Ruby Lindquist, Taylor Lundquist, Jessica Malm, Brittney Marosok, Danielle Noble, Xiomara Robinson, Kyla Sawvell, Whitney Scott, JoJo Sherman, Mikayla Tracy, Den Hemel, Cheyenne Varga, Frank Becker, Noah Bordewyk, Collin Brauer, Nana Kwame Dwemena, Larenzo Ebell, Jacob Esposito, Braeden Ferguson, Ryan Foy, Dontae Garza, Christian Gayton, Tristan Hepp, Taylor Hepp, Seth Hills, Nolan Hoback, Clay Johnson, Justin Jumetilco, Brian Kjerstad, Seth Kovar, Sully Mack, Nolan Maher, Alex Marius, Allan McDonnell, Drazen Moratzka, Hoyt Nicholas, Landon Nicholson, Keith Osowski, Matthew Parker, Chase Smith, and Jordan Theisen. Black Hills State is coach by Seth Mischke and assistant coach Scott Foley. Photo courtesy BHSU Sports Information Department

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TRACK Hills State) 4 minutes 38.79 seconds. 5000 run: 1 Jordan Theisen (Black Hills State) 15 minutes 51.41 seconds. 60-meter hurdles: 1 Seth Kovar (Black Hills State) 8.33 seconds. Other Black Hills State: 2 Jacob Esposito 8.92. 4x400-meter relay: 1 South Dakota Mines 3 minutes 29.31 seconds. Black Hills State A finished second in 3:33.89. Black Hills State B finished third in 3:33.92. High jump: 1 Allan McDonnell (Black Hills State) 6 feet 6.75 inches. Other Black Hills State: 3 Dontae Garza 6-4.75. Long jump: 1 Dontae Garza (Black Hills State) 22 feet 2.5 inches. Other Black Hills State: 2 Allan

Page 17

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER McDonnell 21-11.75. Triple jump: 1 Dontae Garza (Black Hills State) 44 feet 9.5 inches. Other Black Hills State: 2 Allan McDonnell 43-10, 3 Jacob Esposito 42-0. Shot put: 1 Westley Siebdrath (South Dakota Mines) 47 feet 8 inches. Black Hills State: 2 Hoyt Nicholas 46-0. Weight throw: 1 Westley Siebdrath (South Dakota Mines) 54 feet 3.25 inches. Black Hills State: 2 Hoyt Nicholas 54-0. WOMEN’S DIVISION 60-meter dash: 1 Breanne Fuller (Black Hills State) 7.88 seconds. Other Black Hills State: 2 Mikayla Tracy 8.14, 3 Katie Campbell 8.31. 200-meter dash: 1 Breanne Fuller (Black Hills State) 25.70 seconds. 400-meter dash: 1 Zoe Langseth (Black Hills State) 1 minute 0.47 seconds. Other Black Hills State: 2

Taylor Lundquist 1:04.54. 60-meter hurdles: 1 Brittney Marosok (Black Hills State) 9.40 seconds. Other Black Hills State: 2 Katie Campbell 9.48, 3 Vanessa Clark 9.85. 4x400-meter relay: 1 South Dakota Mines 4 minutes 14.44 seconds. Black Hills State finished second in 4:15.54. Pole vault: 1 Erica Keeble (South Dakota Mines) 12 feet 3.25 inches. Black Hills State: 2 Hannah Hendrick 11-9.25 Long jump: 1 Samantha Bates (Black Hills State) 16 feet 10 inches. Triple jump: 1 Katie Campbell Shot put: 1 Kyla Sawvell (Black Hills State) 45 feet 9.25 inches (NCAA Division II provisional qualifying distance). Weight throw: 1 Kyla Sawvell (Black Hills State) 57 feet 9 inches (NCAA Division II provisional qualifying distance).

Kyla Sawvell of Black Hills State competes in the women’s weight throw.

BHSU indoor track schedule

Jan. 18 at Chadron State College Jan. 25 hosting Dave Little Alumni Mile Feb. 1 hosting Myrle Hanson Open Feb. 7 at North Dakota State Bison Open Feb. 8 at North Dakota State Bison Open Feb. 14 at SDSU Open Feb. 15 at SDSU Open Feb. 21 hosting Stinger Open Feb. 22 hosting Stinger Open Feb. 28 at RMAC Indoor Championships Feb. 29 at RMAC Indoor Championships

Black Hills State’s Brian Kjerstad and Seth Kovar compete in the men’s 60-meter dash at the Yellow Jacket Open Dec. 6, in Spearfish. Pioneer file photos

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Page 18

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2019-2020

Irrigators looking to find scorers By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer

NEWELL — The Newell Irrigators boys’ basketball team finished with a 7-15 record during the 2018-19 high school basketball season. Trev Fiedler, the Irrigators head coach, said the team finished the season strong in 2018-19. “It took us a lot of games to learn how to play together. The energy that we needed was always there. We were always working to get better,” Fiedler said. Fielder credited the team’s late success to its seniors leadership. “Last year we had good senior leadership going down the stretch. We had some struggles, but I though we stayed together pretty well as a team,” said

Fiedler. “These guys out here, they are tough kids, and they always fight until the end, regardless of what the situation is in the game. Whether it’s a close game, a tough game, or winning big, these guys played hard the entire time.” Practice officially began on Dec. 2. “We’ve been working on conditioning, trying to get them organized and kind of understand what we want in practice, and our expectations, and kind of seeing what we have at a glance, and most importantly get them in shape,” Fielder said. Fiedler said he likes the make-up of his team. “We have two seniors, John Jackson and Huttson Weeldreyer, that have played significant varsity minutes the

past two years. Then we have a couple of other seniors that we anticipate spending a lot of time on the floor for us,” said Fiedler. “One of them is Kai Banks. He played quite a bit last year, and he is kind of our sixth/seventh guy, and we anticipate him jumping up and having an even bigger role for us offensively and defensively.” Fiedler said even though they have a lot of upper classmen, they still go over the basics at practice. “We have great upper classmen, but we also have a lot of younger kids that haven’t been in the program, or are just new to basketball in general,” Fiedler. “So, we are still spending quite a bit of time still reviewing some of those basic things, and it doesn’t hurt to have our veteran guys go through

those simple things too, just because sometimes you forget those things.” Fiedler said one he want his team to improve on is its communication skills. “I think this year we are going to have to communicate a little better. As a team, we’ve got to learn to talk both offensively and especially defensively,” said Fiedler. “We don’t know where our offense is going to come from this year. I think that question will be answered in the first couple of games. We need to establish who is going to be scoring for us and who is going to be making plays for us, and seeing who is going to be doing those things.” Newell opens its 2019-20 hosting Harding County on Dec. 13 and hosting Bison Dec. 14.

Newell boys’ basketball schedule

Dec. 14 hosting Bison 3 p.m. Dec. 17 at Lead-Deadwood 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at Tiospaye Topa 3 p.m.. Jan 3 at Lemmon 7 p.m. Jan. 4 at McIntosh 1 p.m. Jan. 9 hosting Sundance, Wyo. 5:30 p.m. Jan. 16 hosting West River Invite 6 p.m. Jan. 17 hosting West River Invite 6 p.m. Jan. 28 at RC West River Tourney 10 a.m. Jan. 23 at Custer 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at New Underwood 5:30 p.m. Jan. 31 hosting Faith 4:30 p.m. Feb. 1 hosting Philip TBA Feb. 6 at Hill City 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 hosting Olerichs 3 p.m. Feb. 14 at Timber Lake 6:15 p.m. Feb. 20 hosting Dupree 3 p.m. Feb. 22 hosting Wall 2 p.m.

Members of the 2019-20 Newell High School boys’ basketball team are, front row left: Nate Randolph, Devon Jones, Tayton Smeenk, Nate Kirby, Will Juelfs, Jaden Tennis, and Jameson Duncan; Top row left: Draven LaBoucane, Huttson Weeldreyer, Elijah Stomprud, John Jackson, David Morell, Hunter Wetz, and Colton Burtzlaff. Not pictured are Kai Banks, and Dylan Wise. Courtesy photo

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Winter 2019-2020

Page 19

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Lady Irrigators return veteran team By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer

NEWELL— The Newell Lady Irrigators hope to build on the success they gained from a 9-12 record during the 2018-19 season. “I think last year we matured quite a bit. We were young. We had one senior and a bunch of juniors and sophomores. As the year went on I think we became much more basketball wise,” said Lady irrgiators head girls coach Scott Wince. “That was one of the things I said at the beginning of the year, that we were inexperienced that way, so I think we became a lot smarter, and hopefully that will continue into this year.” Practice officially began Dec. 2, and Wince said it’s too early to tell how the team is shaping up.. “Right now it is really, really early, so we are concentrating on conditioning. We have to get people in shape in

a hurry. We’re doing a lot of stuff right now with decision-making, trying to give them scenarios while we try to get them into shape. Right now we are in that crawl phase of crawl, walk, run. First you have to get into shape, then you start putting the mental stuff in it,” Wince said. Wince said he has a veteran team returning this season. “We have one senior, and we have a good group of juniors,” said Wince. “Last year everybody said you’re young, and that’s why you are making these mistakes. We can’t say that anymore.” Wince said it helps having players with experience because they know the drills and they can spend more time on other things. “The drills we don’t have to explain over and over. We have a practice schedule and there are names of drills on our sheet, and we go right into

them without a lot of explaining at this point.” Wince added it’s nice to not have to explain and repeat a lot of stuff. “As the year gets going we will put in our press and our offenses and defenses and should be just a review, just tweaking and maybe making some small adjustments, rather than introducing the whole philosophy again,” Wince said. Wince talked about his lone senior, Austin Alexander. “She was our best defensive player, and we put her on the best offensive player that we played. She didn’t have any other responsibilities other than to stop someone from scoring,” Wince said. Wince said Alexander is a very upfront person. “Right now she’s working on getting stuff ready to go. She is going to join the military, either ROTC or some-

thing in that area, so she’s very goal oriented and is very focused on what is happening,” said Wince. “So, it’s nice for those younger girls to see somebody that has things figured out at this point.” One thing Wince would like his team to improve on from last season is its focus. “We have to come out more focused being an older team, and do the little things early. Last year, we made mental mistakes, and tired and young mistakes, and we can’t have that happen this year because we are no longer young. We’re looking for less mistakes, less turnovers to start the season, and build on that,” Wince said. Newell hosts Harding County on Dec. 13, and then they host Bison on Dec. 14.

Newell girls’ basketball schedule

The Newell girls’ basketball team consists of, back row left: Lizzy Philipsen, Kyla Emmert, Rachael Banks, Kayden Steele, Kassidy Weeldreyer, Sophia Johnston, and Addison Derschan. Middle row left: Taylor Gaer, Sydnee Kjellsen, Austin Alexander, Lexa Burtzlaff, Abbie Nelson. Front Row left: Kelsi Clements, Stacy Mahaffy, and Caleb Mutchler. Courtesy photo

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Dec. 13 hosting Harding County 3 p.m. Dec. 14 at Bison 1 p.m. Dec. 17 at Lead-Deadwood 6 p.m. Dec. 20 at Tiospaye Topa 3 p.m. Jan. 3 at Lemmon 5 p.m. Jan. 4 at McIntosh 2 p.m. Jan. 7 hosting Wall 5:30 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting West River Tourney 6 p.m. Jan. 17 hosting West River Tourney 3 p.m. Jan. 18 at Rapid City West River Tourney TBA Jan. 23 at Custer 4:30 p.m. Jan. 31 hosting Faith 3 p.m. Feb. 1 hosting Philip TBA Feb. 3 Hosting Sundance, Wyo. 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at Hill City 6 p.m. Feb. 11 hosting Olerichs 3 p.m. Feb. 14 at Timber Lake 2;30 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting New Underwood 5:30 p.m. Feb. 20 hosting Dupree 3 p.m.

2019-2020 Winter Sports Preview is produced by the Black Hills Pioneer newspaper, 315 Seaton Circle, Spearfish, SD, 57783, (605) 642-2761 • (800) 676-2761 • www.bhpioneer.com Letitia Lister, publisher Mark Watson, managing editor Sona O’Connell, advertising manager Dennis Knuckles, layout The publisher will not be responsible or liable for misprints, misinformation or typographic errors herein contained. Publisher also reserves the right to refuse any advertising deemed not to be in the best interest of the publication. © 2019 BLACK HILLS PIONEER, all rights reserved.


Page 20

Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Scoopers basketball preparing for 2019-20 season By Tim Potts Black Hills Pioneer

STURGIS — The Sturgis Scoopers boys basketball team is preparing for the season opener next week when they host the Douglas Patriots. Derris Buus, is starting his second year as Sturgis varsity coach and has high expectations and lofty goals for this year’s team. Looking back to last year, the expectations were to be the best defensive team in the state, and have some balance on offense. “This year we would like to be more balanced offensively, I think we will be able to mix it up defensively a little more than we did last year,” said Buus. The Scoopers will not have as much one-on-one ball defenders as last year but expect to be very versatile defensively. Buus talked about the strengths of this year’s team. Last season, the Scoopers were a good transition team with a number of guys who can run the floor with a solid

team chemistry. “This season, we will have more shooters on the floor, and we can shoot the ball pretty well, and you will see better perimeter shooting as a whole.” Returning letter winners from last season, and now seniors, include: Josh Fowler, Ryder Ladner, Gabe Legner, Connor Korth, Marcus Myrick. “We have an opportunity to be fairly deep, it may take a little time to develop the depth, but we have three players back with varsity starter minutes and even though on paper it doesn’t look like we are experienced, we do have some,” Buus said. Buus shared the long terms season goals for his team which include: execute offensively, versatile offensive and defensive, develop some depth, and being able to play the best basketball by February. Short term goals included practicing like they play, focusing on game like practice, play together and focus on playing well. In the conference, St. Thomas More

will likely be the favored team, as they have almost everyone back from last season. “We will be right in the mix in the conference, and be able to compete with the top teams, Red Cloud will be good and Douglas will be vastly improved,” Buus said. The Scoopers end the regular season with a 15-5 record, last year. The Scoopers lost seniors, Ryan Garland, who averaged 13.4 points, Cedrick Stabber, Jay Krull, Alec Keffeler, Evan Smith, and Gavin West. This group of seniors had a 51-38 career record over the past four years, with a 17-1 over the past two years in the conference. The Scoopers open the season against the Douglas Patriots on Dec. 13. “Travis Miller will have the team ready and prepared, they will be improved as they did not lose many players, we just have to do a good job of matching their effort, focus on executing, and not making things to difficult,” said Buus.

Sturgis Brown boys’ basketball schedule

Dec. 13 hosting Douglas at 8 p.m. Dec. 17 at Belle Fourche 7 p.m. Dec. 21 hosting Aberdeen Central 1:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at Spearfish 8 p.m. Jan. 4 hosting Lead-Deadwood 5:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Custer 5:30 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting Pierre T.F. Riggs 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at RC Central 8 p.m. Jan. 24 hosting Spearfish 8 p.m. Jan. 25 at Yankton 5 p.m. Jan. 28 hosting Hill City 8 p.m. Jan. 30 at St. Thomas More 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Mitchell 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at Huron 12:30 p.m. Feb. 14 hosting Hot Springs 8 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting Belle Fourche 8 p.m. Feb. 20 hosting Red Cloud 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Douglas 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at RC Stevens 8 p.m. March 2 at at RC Central 8 p.m.

The 2019-20 Sturgis Brown boys’ basketball juniors and seniors are, back row left: Connor Korth, Ryder Ladner, David Anderson, Marcus Myrick, Sanden Graham, Zach Shoun, Noah Krull, Carson Pankratz, and Gabe Legner. Front row left: Conner Berndt, Ridge Inhofer, Thor Sundstrom, Traeton Monahan, RJ Andrzejewski, Josh Fowler, Kaden Phillips, Remington Sankey, Tanner Ortlieb, and David Musilek. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

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Winter 2019-2020

Page 21

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Lady Scoopers prepare for upcoming season By Tim Potts Black Hills Pioneer

STURGIS — The Sturgis Brown High School Lady Scoopers basketball team has been practicing hard since Dec. 2, in preparation for the 2019-20 season. Jordan Proefrock, is in her sixth year as Sturgis Brown girls’ head coach, and 10th year total as a head coach. She spent four years as the head girls’ coach at Lead-Deadwood, and two years as an assistant under Mike Friedel in Sturgis. “This year’s team will be very different from the last four years. We lost the bulk of our scoring and rebounding from last year’s seniors, Loralee Stock and Olivia Jolley,” Proefrock said. Expectations for this season will include being improved come March in comparison to the start of our season in December. “This year’s team has great team chemistry and is truly ‘selfless.’ They work hard, are coachable, and have good comradery amongst each other,” said Proefrock. The coaching staff is excited to get started, watch the team work hard every day, and see them improve in all aspects of the game.” The Lady Scoopers plan to use the time clock to their advantage.

LADY SCOOPERS Pg 32

Sturgis Brown girls’ basketball schedule

The 2019-20 Sturgis Brown High School girls’ basketball team members are, back from left: Head Coach Jordan Proefrock, Courtney Pool, Assistant Coach, Sarah Janz, Emily Gray-Smith, Ainsley Sabers, and assistant coaches Mike Friedel, and Josie Huber. Middle row left: Paige Bradley, student manager, Norma Probst, Kaylee Whatley, Makayla Keffeler, Kylie Shaw, Sidney Peterson, student manager. Front row fleft: Sydney Shaw, Megan Petrocco, Tatum Ligtenberg, Kennedy Bush, and Payton Hedderman. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

HAVE A WINNING SEASON SCOOPERS!

Dec. 13 hosting Douglas at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Belle Fourche 5:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Pierre T.F. Riggs 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Aberdeen Central 12:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at Spearfish 6:30 p.m. Jan. 4 hosting Lead-Deadwood 4 p.m. Jan. 11 at Custer 4 p.m. Jan. 16 at RC Central 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24 hosting Spearfish 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Yankton 3:30 p.m. Jan. 28 hosting Hill City 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at St. Thomas More 6 p.m. Feb. 7 hosting Mitchell 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at Huron 1:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at Douglas 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 hosting Hot Springs 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting Belle Fourche 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 hosting Red Cloud 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at RC Stevens 6:30 p.m. March 2 at RC Central 5:30 p.m.

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Page 22

Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Spartan wrestling team lacks depth By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer

SPEARFISH — The Spearfish High School wrestling team enjoyed success during the 2018-19 wrestling season. They had nine state A tournament qualifiers and three state place winners, including one champion. Max Sailor won the state 132-pound division title. Teammate Evan Hehr placed fourth at 220 pounds, and Clay Donovan was eighth at 113 pounds. Josh Hoffman, Oakley Blakeman, Jake Hoffman, Cael Citrowske, Eli Zuniga, and Austin Crotteau also represented the Spartans at state. “Last year we did have success in the second half of the season, and I was really happy with that. Injuries are always common, so we’ve just got to deal with it, put some tape on it, and keep rolling,” said John Bokker, who

is beginning his fourth season as the Spartans’ head coach. Numbers are low this year with three wrestlers academically ineligible, with several wrestlers deciding not to return to the team. “We have about 20 wrestlers out,” said Bokker. “We don’t have a lot of depth, but hopefully we can get a full line-up this year. Missing five weight classes last year put a hurt on us.” Bokker said he had hoped to be able to talk to those athletes not returning in hopes of getting them not to quit, but so far that hasn’t happened. “In Arizona, I talked a lot of state placers out of quitting, and I was hoping to do that with a lot of these guys. They could be so great if they’d just put the time in,” Bokker said. Wrestling practice began Nov. 18, and

Bokker said conditioning has been the top priority. “We’ve been working on our conditioning, obviously, and getting our style down,” said Bokker. “We do have some new bodies in here that we’ve been working with.” “A lot of the time I just stick with the basics, because that’s what we have to build off of.” One of the returning grapplers for the Spartans is Sailor, whos is a a junior. Bokker said he is counting on Sailor to be one of the team’s leaders. “He’s definitely going to be a leader. Once we get him in there, he is definitely a dominant wrestler,” Bokker said. Another wrestler Bokker is high on is freshman Taylor Fierbach. “She is probably one of our hardest workers, and she’s one of our strongest competitors too,” said Bokker.

“She owns powerlifting records in the nation, so she is very impressive. She is a straight A student, hard worker, couldn’t ask for a better person on our team.” The Spartans do not have any serious injuries as they prepare to start the season. “I think we are pretty healthy. We have a little sickness going around the room, but that’s expected this time of the year. As far as injuries, we’ve got some dings here and there, but overall we are pretty healthy,” Bokker said. Bokker said he wants to see his wrestler be aggressive from the very start. “I want to see them being aggressive, taking chances, not being afraid to put it all on the line,” Bokker said. Spearfish opened its 2019-20 wrestling season at the Custer Invitational Dec. 6-7.

Spearfish wrestling schedule

Dec. 13 at Rapid City Invite 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at Rapid City Invite 8 a.m. Dec. 19 at RC Central 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at Madison Invite 8 a.m. Dec. 30 at SF Lincoln Invite 8 a.m. Jan. 9 at Belle Fourche Quadrangular 4 p.m. Jan 10 at Lyman Invitational 10 a.m. Jan. 11 at Lyman Invitational 9 a.m. Jan. 15 hosting Douglas 5 p.m. Jan. 18 hosting BH Conference 10 a.m. Jan. 23 at Lead-Deadwood Triangular 5 p.m. Jan. 24 at Pierre East-West Invite TBA Jan. 25 at Pierre East-West Invite 10 a.m. Jan. 30 hosting Rapid City Stevens 5 p.m. Jan. 31 at Belle Fourche Tourney noon Feb. 1 at Belle Fourche Tourney 9 a.m. Feb. 6 at Sturgis Brown 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at Hill City 10 a.m. Feb. 22 at Sturgis Brown Region 10 a.m.

Members of the 2019-20 Spearfish Spartans wrestling team are, front row left: Dylan Irion, Cole Hansen, Max Sailor, and John Jeffery. Middle row left: Andrew Skillingstad, Clay Donovan, Josh Hoffman, Taylor Fierbach, Oakley Blakeman, and Mason Schlup. Back row left: Eli Zuniga, Jaden Guthmiller, Derek Webster, Isaiah Lahoe, AJ Veldman, Evan Hehr, and Austin Crotteau. Not pictured are: Cael Citrowske, Landon Citrowske, Aiden O’Connor, and Maraia Kruske. Pioneer photo by Dennnis Knuckles

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Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Page 23

2018-19 Spartans in action

Spearfish Max Sailor gets ready to lock up with an opponent during the 2018-19 high school wrestling season. Sailor won the state title at 132 pounds. Pioneer file photo

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Page 24

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2019-2020

Digger wrestlers start season with new coach By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

LEAD — The Lead-Deadwood wrestling team will began its season at the Custer Invitational Dec. 6-7. Philip Thomas begins his first season as Golddiggers’ head coach. He succeeds Beau Voegeli, who resigned after the 2018-19 campaign. Thomas joins the Golddiggers after seven seasons as a Spearfish assistant. He was asked how that experience would help him this year. “The first couple of weeks, it has been kind of difficult,” he said. “As an assistant, you kind of stand back and help out where you can. “As a head coach, you show all the

technique and go through everything step by step,” Thomas said. He added it has been a process to learn for the first couple of weeks, but everything is falling into place. Rob Lester, Pratt Williams, Max Johnson, and Kadden Dillman represent the senior class on the roster as of press time. Lester finished fifth at 285 pounds during last season’s state B tournament and enters this season ranked third in that class. Williams qualified for state at 160 pounds and is ranked 10th at 170 coming into this season. Johnson, who qualified for state at 126 pounds last season, is ranked 11th at 132 coming into this season.

Juniors Jacob Harris and Cody Rakow reached last season’s state B tournament at 120 and 182 pounds, respectively. Rakow is ranked tenth at 195 heading into this campaign. Gage Mau and Dom Lucero are also juniors. Ninth-graders Jacob Smith, Tyler Huber, and Steven Hogg round out the roster. Thomas said the team would lean on Lester and Johnson the most this season. The coach added that Williams, Lucero and Dillman would also make an impact. “Through the first few weeks, it’s just really hard work,” Thomas said in outlining the team’s strong suits. “Those guys are always busting their tail in the (wrestling) room and doing everything

they can to make themselves better every day.” Trusting teammates and coaches is something to work on, according to Thomas. Lead-Deadwood’s schedule for this season features more duals than in the past, Thomas said. He said the Philip Tournament would be difficult, along with events in Rapid City and Presho. Thomas said Custer has boasted strong teams in the Black Hills Conference for the past few years. He added Spearfish is usually in the running. Lead-Deadwood will give up points in

DIGGERS Pg 25

Lead-Deadwood wrestling schedule

Dec 13 at Rapid Invitational TBA Dec 14 at Rapid Invitational 8 a.m. Dec 19 hosting Triangular 5 p.m. Dec 20 at Hot Springs Invite 3 p.m. Dec 21 at Hot Springs Invite 9 a.m. Jan. 10 at Presho Tourney TBA Jan. 11 at Presho Tourney TBA Jan. 14 at Presho Tourney TBA Jan. 14 hosting RC Stevens 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at Philip Quadrangular 10 a.m. Jan. 18 at Spearfish BHC 10 a.m. Jan. 23 hosting Hot Springs 5 p.m. Jan 31 at Belle Fourche Invite TBA Feb 1 at Belle Fourche Invite TBA Feb 4 at Newell Invite 5 p.m. Feb 8 at Hill City BH Classic 8 a.m. Feb. 22 at Hill City Region TBA

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Members of the 2019-20 Lead-Deadwood High School wrestling team include, back row left: Cody Rakow, Gage Mau, Rob Lester, Max Johnson, and Dom Lucero; front row left: Steven Hogg, Jacob Harris, Jacob Smith, Kadden Dillman, and Tyler Huber. Pratt Williams and head coach Philip Thomas are not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Winter 2019-2020

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SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER from Pg 24

DIGGERS

Lead-Deadwood’s Rob Lester tries to roll his opponent over for the pinfall during a match in the 2018-19 season. Pioneer file photo

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early duals because of not being able to fill all weight classes, said Thomas. “The matches that we do have, I think we can really compete in every single match we have,” he said. Thomas said the Golddiggers will enjoy a successful season if they stay healthy, take proper care of their injuries, and trust in one another. Official practice sessions began Nov. 18. Focal points included technique work and live wrestling time. Three home events are on LeadDeadwood’s schedule. They include a Dec. 19 triangular, a Jan. 7 varsity dual against the Rapid City Stevens JV, and a Jan. 23 dual against Hot Springs. Spearfish hosts the Black Hills Conference tournament on Jan. 18. Hill City will host the Region 4B tournament on Feb. 22. Sioux Falls will host the state event Feb. 27-29. Athletes will compete for individual honors, and teams battle for the state dual crown. How would Thomas describe his wrestling philosophy? “I put in all my effort and work hard,” he said. “It’s not always about winning and losing for me; it’s getting 1% better every day.” He is a Black Hills State University student in his final year as a physical education major. Thomas most looks forward to seeing the Golddiggers compete, as they have worked really hard in the preseason.

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Page 26

Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Bronc wrestlers aim to take the next step By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

BELLE FOURCHE — Belle Fourche’s wrestling team wants to continue with the success it had in most duals last season. The Broncs’ season began with a Dec. 5 dual at Sturgis, followed by the Custer Invitational on Dec. 6-7. Bill Abell is starting his seventh season as Broncs’ head coach. He listed seniors Walker Horn, Chase Bickerdyke, and Michael Streeter; juniors Hunter Quenzer and Aiken Crowley; sophomores Cade Bickerdyke and Cayden Wolfe; and ninth-graders Lane Longbrake and Thomas McCoy as key returning athletes from last season. Four of those athletes qualified for last season’s state A tournament: Cade

Bickerdyke (170 pounds), Streeter (285 pounds), Wolfe (145), and Horn (195). Other wrestlers in the program as of press time are juniors Isaac McKenney and Colton Shelley; sophomores Jason Carr, Brooks Clooten, D’Angelo Garduna, and Sean Wahlfeldt; and ninth-graders Gunnar Geib, Blake Hedrick, Nic Lambert, Levi Melanson, Christopher Opbroek, Damien Park, Izzabella Ramos, Hailey Rodriguez, and Andy Tonsager. “My returners that have some experience are pretty salty,” Abell said in describing the Broncs’ strong suits. He added the squad has a split between new team members and those who have been in the program for a few years. What will Belle Fourche need to work on? “Right now, a lot of it is, they just need

mat time. We have to stay healthy,” Abell said. “It’s like the floodgates are thrown at them,” Abell said in describing the start of the season. “There’s an awful lot of stuff, and we try to handle a different technique and get things rolling.” The Broncs’ home slate also includes a Jan. 9 quadrangular, a Jan. 30 dual against Hot Springs, and a Feb. 13 dual against Douglas. Spearfish hosts the Black Hills Conference tournament Jan. 18, with Sturgis hosting the Region 4A tournament Jan. 22. The state tournament is set for Feb. 2729 in Sioux Falls. Athletes will compete for individual honors, and teams battle for the state dual crown. Abell said this year’s slate includes some different tournaments to give

younger wrestlers some mat time. Custer earned Abell’s nod as the favorite in the Black Hills Conference. He discussed how he sees the Broncs stacking up against conference foes. “I think we’re going to do OK,” he said. “But it is wrestling; things change by the second.” Success for Abell centers on wrestlers having fun during the season and not wanting things to end. He said this has worked out well the past couple of years and credited this for the team getting new kids in the sport. Belle Fourche’s biggest goal is to win a state tournament match, said Abell. Five Broncs’ wrestlers combined for a 0-10 mark last season. Jaredon Dosch, Joe Hanson, Nathan McKenney, and Tye Davis graduated from last season’s squad.

Belle Fourche wrestling schedule

Dec. 13 at Rapid City Invite 2 p.m. Dec. 19 at Lead-Deadwood 5 p.m. Dec. 21 at Wright, Wyo. 9 a.m. Jan. 9 hosting Quadrangular 4 p.m. Jan. 10 at Presho Tourney 10 a.m. Jan. 11 at Presho Tourney 9 a.m. Jan. 18 at Spearfish BHC 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at Camberlain Invite 4 p.m. Jan. 25 at Camberlain Invite 9 a.m. Jan. 30 at Hot Springs 5 p.m. Jan. 31 hosting BF tournament noon Feb. 1 hosting BF tournament 9 a.m. Feb. 8 at Hill City Invite 8 a.m. Feb 13 hosting Douglas 5:30 p.m.

Members of the 2019-20 Belle Fourche High School wrestling team include, back row left: Michael Streeter, Cade Bickerdyke, Aiken Crowley, Brooks Clooten, Sean Wahlfeldt, Cayden Wolfe, and Chase Bickerdyke; middle row left: Isaac McKenney, Lane Longbrake, Thomas McCoy, Blake Hedrick, Colton Shelley, Gunnar Geib, and Hunter Quenzer; front row left: Christopher Opbroek, Damian Park, Andy Tonsager, Levi Melanson, Izzabella Ramos, Jason Carr, and student manager Aspen Braning. D’Angelo Garduna, Walker Horn, Nic Lambert, Hailey Rodriguez, and head coach Bill Abell are not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Winter 2019-2020

Page 27

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Broncs grapplers take to the mat

Above left: Broncs grappler Thomas McCoy gets ready to face an opponent. Above right: Belle Fourche’s Cade Bickerdyke tries to get his opponent into a pinning position. Pioneer file photo

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Page 28

Newell wrestling team taking slow and steady approach By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer

Winter 2019-2020

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

NEWELL — Newell’s wrestlers are adopting a slow, steady approach to a season that began Dec. 3 and continues through the end of February. “We’re just young and looking to improve every single day. They work hard,” Irrigators’ head coach Mike Phelps said in describing the team members. He is beginning his 15th season here. The Irrigators’ roster features seven athletes as of press time. They include senior Patrick Hamling and junior Mick King.

Caleb McGregor, Chase VanDerBoom, and Garrett Winkler represent the sophomore class. Eighth-grader Charlie Clements and seventh-grader Blaise McGregor round out the roster. VanDerBoom and Caleb McGregor have been in the program since their seventh-grade year. McGregor is number 11 in the class B preseason rankings at 170 pounds. Phelps said the wrestlers will need to work on everything as practice sessions and matches progress. “We stress wrestling on our feet. We

definitely want to work on our takedowns, being able to score from anyplace on our feet, and being able to get away from people,” Phelps said. As for the schedule, Phelps said, the Irrigators compete at some difficult Class B tournaments. Newell is also slated to compete at events in Lusk, Wyo.; Newcastle, Wyo.; and Chadron, Neb. How does Phelps see Newell wrestlers stacking up against others in the area? “I would say we have a good chance to compete, week in and week out,” he said. “I think we have a fair number that have a great chance of competing and qualify-

ing for the state tournament, as long as we keep progressing.” Phelps defines success for this season as the athletes working hard, not giving up, bringing home medals, and qualifying wrestlers for state. Newell is coming off a 2018-19 season in which no athletes qualified for state. Phelps said this year’s wrestlers will build on their mental preparedness from that campaign. Official practice sessions began Nov. 18. Athletes have been working on the basics: working on their feet, takedown moves, bottom moves, and pinning combinations, for example. “We just have to work on the mental side of things,” he said. “The physical will come along as long as they’re mentally ready to wrestle every time they step on the mat.” Phelps said the team dropped a number of really close matches last season. He added he would like to see the athletes use their mental ability to overcome in the third period. Marvin King graduated from last season’s squad. The Irrigators are scheduled to host two events this season. A quadrangular is set for Dec. 19, along with a round robin tournament on Feb. 4. Hill City will host the Region 4B tournament on Feb. 22.

Newell wrestling schedule

The 2019-20 Newell High School wrestling team members include, back row left: Mick King, Garrett Winkler, Chase VanDerBoom, and Caleb McGregor; front row left: student manager Katie McTaggart, Blaise McGregor, Charlie Clements, and student manager Trinity Henry. Patrick Hamling and head coach Mike Phelps are not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

Dec. 13 at Lusk Invite 10 a.m. Dec. 19 hosting Quadrangular 5 p.m. Dec. 21 at Hot Springs Invite 9 a.m. Jan. 10 at Presho Tourney 10 a.m. Jan. 11 at Presho Tourney 8 a.m. Jan. 17 at Newcastle Invite 8 a.m. Jan. 25 at Chadron Invite 10 a.m. Jan 28 at Lemmon Tourney 10 a.m. Jan. 31 at Belle Fourche Invite noon Feb. 1 at at Belle Fourche Invite 10 a.m. Feb. 4 hosting Round Robin 5 p.m. Feb. 8 at Hill City BH Classic 9 a.m. Feb. 15 at Wall Invite 9 a.m. Feb. 22 at Hill City Region 9 a.m.

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Winter 2019-2020

Page 29

SPORTS PREVIEW / BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Young Scoopers wrestling team prep for season By Tim Potts Black Hills Pioneer

STURGIS — A young Scooper wrestling team looks forward to the season with 38 wrestlers competing for a spot on the team. “We have a bright future, our team is extremely young and we have a lot of talent coming up. I am looking forward to this season to see how these young kids develop and figure out what our true potential is,” said Mike Abell, Sturgis Brown’s head wrestling coach. The number of wrestlers this season is the highest they’ve been since Abell started coaching at Sturgis Brown four years ago. “We have 38 athletes in the room with some strong groups coming up. We know we will have to weather the

storm in some weight classes as we wait for our younger kids to develop but the future is very bright,” Abell added. Practice officially began Nov. 18, and its been a solid couple of weeks of practice for the Scoopers. “We are trying to iron out some weight classes with some that are log jammed up in the same area but it will all shake out in the next couple of weeks,” Abell said. The Scoopers have eight wrestlers who were state qualifiers last season: Kaden Olson, Evan Osborn, Logan Desersa, Perry Ketelsen, Reese Jacobs, Wren Jacobs, Taylor Coffield, and Clayton Smith. “Last season was an injury-plagued year, on top of that, a year when you lose varsity seniors, it’s tough to bounce back,” Abell said.

The Scoopers lost three seniors from last season, Tice McVay, Dylan Wetsit and Jacob Wood. “Last year’s seniors will be missed it’s always hard to see them go, but with loss comes gain, and we are excited for what we have coming in” said Abell. Practices have been going great with a tough group of kids that the coaches have been pushing hard preparing for the season opener. Abell talked about his expectations for this year. “We hope to get back on the podium as a team and hope to find ourselves in the mix of the state dual tournament,” said Abell. “The strengths of this year’s team is the youth, but it’s also our weakness we need some young kids to step up big time.”

Sturgis Brown wrestling schedule

Dec. 13 at RC Invite 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at RC Invite 8 a.m. Dec. 19 at RC Stevens 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at Madison Invitational 9 a.m. Dec. 30 at Floyd Farrrand Invitational 8 a.m. Jan. 7 at RC Central Dual 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at Philip Invite 10 a.m. Jan. 18 at Jerry Opbroek Invite 9 a.m. Jan. 23 at Campbell County Invite 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at Pierre East-West Duals 10 a.m. Jan. 31 at Belle Fouche Invitational noon Feb. 1 at Belle Fouche Invitational 9 a.m. Feb. 4 hosting Douglas 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at Spearfish 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at Huron Invitational 10 a.m. Feb. 16 at Belle Fourche Region 4A 10 a.m. Feb. 22 hosting Region 4A Tourney 10 a.m.

Members of the 2019-20 Sturgis Brown High School wrestling team are, back row left: Alex Geil, Mason Osowski, Paul Pulling, Braden Temple, Perry Ketelsen, Traylin Martin, Reese Jacobs, Hunter Harrison, Zaven Osborne, Cody Nelson, Taylor Coffield, Brett Konst, Robert Merwin, Kelton Olson, and Wren Jacobs. Middle row from left: Harrison Good, Ryne Bostrom, Austin Ateyo, Tanner Gillespie, and Gunner Rohloff. Front row from left: Kaden Olson, Gabe Dennis, Maverick Simmons, Korbin Osborn, Lucas Lewellen, Logan Desersa, and Evan Osborn. Not pictured: Clayton Smith, Peter Pulling, Jackson Ford, Tell Trokemoinen, Kash Krogman, Thane Elshere, Jonah Kaiser, and Sam Jacobs. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

GO TEAM! Wishing all area teams a successful and exciting season. Good luck, and play it safe.

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Good luck this season! 2327 Junction Ave., Sturgis, SD

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Winter 2019-2020

2019-20 Spearfish High School cheerleaders

Members of the 201920 Spearfish High School cheerleading team, pictured counter clockwise from front left: Chloe Drolc, Alivia Ruff (captain), Rachel Woods, Kaitlin Irvin, Ashni Marshall, Alira Termes, Sandra Danielson, Ashley Burr (manager). Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

GOOD LUCK ATHLETES! If you can believe it, you can achieve it.

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Winter 2019-2020

2019-20 Belle Fourche cheerleaders

Belle Fourche’s cheerleading squad is ready for the winter sports season. Pictured are: back row left, head coach Michaela Hallam, Victoria Donovan, Kalika Nulle; middle row left, Kiana Tingley, Nevaeh Balderas, Evelyn Lyons; front row left, Zoey Phillips and Juliann Lange. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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2019-20 Sturgis Brown cheerleaders

The 2019-20 Sturgis Scooper cheerleaders, back from left: Zoey Snyder, Macy Wise, Ariana Judd, Kiara Rath, Samantha Reichner, and Nya Powell. Front from left: McKenzie Tarrant, Sierra Hopkins, Kloee Stadler, Wendi Eixenberger, Ashlyn Krcil, and Emma Isaacson. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

GOOD LUCK SCOOPERS!

We believe in you!

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2019-20 Lead-Deadwood cheerleaders

Lead-Deadwood’s cheerleading squad will have a very busy 2019-20 winter season as they cheer the Golddiggers to victory. Members are: back row left, Teyara McCoy, Alexandria Valenzuela, Kiera Gustafson; middle row left, Winter McMahon, Nevaeh Foster; front row, Miranda Kearns. Head coach Wendy Rogers is not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

Winter 2019-2020

from Pg 21

LADY SCOOPERS “Our strengths this season will be our ability to work the basketball around, run some time off the clock on most possessions, and overall good team chemistry,” said Proefrock. “A potential weaknesses this season will be our ability to score and get a lot of rebounds in the beginning of the season. I think that once we find our grove throughout the season, those components will be improved upon.” Sarah Janz really come on midway through last year, she led the team with eight rebounds per game. “Sarah, a lot like her sister Brooke, has a real nose for the basketball. She is not afraid to work hard and do the dirty work. She will need to have a big year for us statistically, put up points and rebounds for us consistently throughout the season. She will be called upon to be a leader and to continue to improve along with her teammates throughout the season, she has the ability to get all of this done, Proefrock said.” Last season, Kylie Shaw had a great last month, shooting the ball well, and Sydney Shaw was able to get quality minutes at the point guard position. Emily Gray-Smith proved that she could hold her own and do well at the post position on the varsity. The two freshmen, now sopho-

mores, Tatum Ligtenberg and Kaylee Whatley also saw quality time on the varsity and greatly improved. “I am really excited for this upcoming season, we have a really close group of girls this year and have played together for a long time now,” said Kylie Shaw, a senior. “We are coming into this season with seven seniors, giving our team a lot of strong leadership, we all play very well together and are willing to work hard.” The Lady Scoopers have a large number of athletes starting this season with 43 girls out to make four teams, seven seniors, 10 juniors, 12 sophomores, and 14 freshmen. The Black Hills Conference (BHC) will be very competitive on the girls’ side this season. “With St. Thomas More being the favorite and even picked to win the Class A State Tournament. I think Belle Fourche and Sturgis are going to be right there competing for the upper positions in the conference,” Spearfish and Douglas will give us competitive matchups both times we play them this season. Lead-Deadwood returns a strong group of senior players,” Proefrock said. The Lady Scoopers have their home and season opener against the Douglas Patriots on Dec. 13.

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