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Winter 2020-2021

SPORTS PREVIEW

Spearfish Spartans • Lead-Deadwood Golddiggers • Belle Fourche Broncs • Sturgis Scoopers • Newell Irrigators • BHSU Yellow Jackets

BASKETBALL : WRESTLING : INDOOR TRACK & FIELD

SPECIAL SECTION


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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2020-2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: The schedules listed were provided by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. Some opponents and locations have already changed or been canceled, and more will likely change throughout the season as schools grapple with COVID-19 exposures and confirmed cases. However, not all changes have been made by the association. To receive updates on schedules, visit www.sdhsaa.com.

Lady Spartans look to be consistent By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Spearfish Lady Spartans are looking forward to the 20202021 girls high school basketball season. Spearfish finished with a 8-13 record last season, and return some valuable players from last year’s team. “I thought last year we took a good step forward. I thought we were much more consistent last year than we had been the previous years,” said Eric Lappe, who is in his eighth year as the Lady Spartans head coach. “We were competitive in a lot more games, and hopefully with the summer kind of being abbreviated the way it was, hopefully we will be able to progress a little bit more, and hopefully take another step this year.” Stella Marcus, Anna Engen, and Erin Rotert are the returning starters for Spearfish. Other players seeing playing time last year were: Kylee Jo Symonds, Hannah Schoon, Grace Karp, “We’ll have a good mix of returning players. We are going to miss Tayler Duncan. She unfortunately had to have season ending shoulder surgery, but we will have some kids who I think will step up and play some minutes for us,” Lappe said. Lily McCarty, Ava Muth, and Mariah

Bowman are some of the players expected to see more playing time this season. “I think we will have good depth again. it is just a matter of who plays where, and when, and getting the most out of them,” Lappe said. The COVID-19 pandemic has made preparing for the upcoming season harder, than in year’s past. “It’s just of made it a little harder to plan for as a coach. You don’t know who is going to be there necessarily from day-to-day. We try to make things a little more consistent in our practices, just because of that fact of not knowing who is going to be there,” said Lappe. “We’ve tried to keep it as normal as we can, because I think the kids have had to deal with a lot of abnormalities this year. So we can give them a little bit of normalcy in their life, we thinks that’s going to help us.” Lappe said the pandemic hasn’t changed how they practice other than not knowing who is going to be there, day-to-day. “We haven’t really changed radically changed to much. Just some little things here and there, just to try and keep a little continuity between all levels of our program,” Lappe said. One of the team’s strengths this will be playing aggressively.

“I think we are really aggressive. I really like the fact that we just get after it a lot more, even from last year,” said Lappe. “It’s going to be a thing where we have to figure out chemistry a little bit, because we have three seniors from last year that played quite a few minutes for us. So, we are gong to have to figure that out a little bit, but I think, like we said earlier, we have some pretty good retuning kids, who have lots of experience.” Lappe added he thinks the team will have good senior leadership, and a good blend of young and old players. “I think that will be our biggest advantage, we just have to figure out how to play against bigger teams, as is the case most of the time in Spearfish. We will have to figure out how to battle on the boards, and try and be a little more physical,” Lappe said. Lappe said he wants to see his team improve from game to game. “Really its just a matter of repetitions’ for us,” said Lappe. “The kids for the most part have been running the same system for three or four years. They are pretty familiar with the system, it is more of a timing thing, and more of a chemistry thing, so the sooner we can figure some of that stuff out, then we can kind of fine tune a few things offensively and defensively.”

SPEARFISH girls’ basketball schedule Dec. 11 hosting Yankton .....................6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 hosting Brandon Valley .............1 p.m. Dec. 18 hosting Aberdeen Central .........7 p.m. Dec. 19 hosting Pierre T. F. Riggs ...........1 p.m. Jan. 2 at Hot Springs ................................5 p.m. Jan. 5 hosting RC Stevens ..................6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at Douglas ......................................3 p.m. Jan. 12 at Belle Fourche .....................5:30 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting Red Cloud ..................6:30 p.m. Jan. 19 hosting Sturgis Brown ..........6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at Hill City ...................................6 p.m. Jan. 26 hosting St. Thomas Mo re ....6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at RC Central.......................... 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at Lead-Deadwood.................... 5:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Huron .........................................6 p.m. Feb. 6 at Mitchell............................... 12:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Sturgis Brown...................... 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11 hosting Custer ........................6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at RC Stevens ...............................7 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting Douglas ......................6:30 p.m.

Members of the 2020-21 Spearfish High School girls’ basketball team are: front row left: Ellee Barth (manager), Lily McCarty, Sydney Gusso, Grace Karp, and Tayler Duncan (manager). Middle Row left: Ava Berberick (manager), Stella Marcus, Maddison Doren, Ava Muth, Anna Engen, and Abby Hoffman (manager). Back row left: Assistant coach Jaime Bentley, assistant coach Bryan Heck, Halle Parks, Maria Bouman, Erin Rotert, Kylie Stalder, Kylee Jo Symonds, Addie Lebsack (manager), and head coach Eric Lappe. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles


Winter 2020-2021

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Spartans look to keep improving Pioneer Staff Reports SPEARFISH — The Spearfish Spartans boys’ basketball team opened practice on Nov. 30 with 43 young student-athletes competing for spots on the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen team. They will once again be competing in a very difficult Black Hills Conference and Class AA schedule. Erik Skoglund is the Spartans’ head coach, and he will be assisted by coaches Tory Devall, Josh McGillvrey, and Michael Yost. Spearfish finished 9-12 last season. They will return three seniors, Tyler Huber, Logan Langenfield, and Timmy Moore from last year’s team. “Tyler Huber (6’3”) is the only returning senior that saw significant varsity time last season. Tyler is a true stretch 4 with outstanding vision, slashing guard abilities, and shooting range out to the 3-point line. Logan Langenfeld (5’10”) is a strong and shifty guard who can defend multiple positions. Logan’s strength allows him to get to the paint through contact and possesses a soft touch on floaters and runners. Timmy Moore (6’7”) is a true post presence for the Spartans. Timmy’s ability to clean the glass on both ends of the floor will be a major asset for the maroon and white. Timmy is a monster screener in our motion offense to help free shooters, cutters and himself for open buckets,” Skoglund said. Also on the Spartans team this year are juniors Tommy Enos, Nick Hamann Peyton Millis, Ty Sieber, Alec Sunsted, and Trey Wood. Tommy Enos (6’2”) is an athletic forward/center who can sprint the floor, grab rebounds out of his area and can knock down a 3-pointer with a high

shooting percentage. Nick Hamann (6’0”) is a shifty outside-inside guard who has a knack for finishing at the rim and finding space to launch 3-pointers behind ball screens. Nick has improved his skills immensely to help the Spartan varsity on game nights. Peyton Millis (6’1”) is the only returning junior that saw varsity time last season. Peyton has outstanding vision, patience and a high basketball IQ for decision making from his point guard position. Peyton will be a major catalyst for the Spartans this season,” said Skoglund. “Ty Sieber (6’0”) has continued to work on his skill and his strength in making himself and his teammates better. Ty has a shooting guard game of outside to inside, as he can get to the paint for finishing floaters from his left hand. Alec Sundsted (6’) is a 3 pt artist who has added a slashing aspect to his game to complement his shooting. Alec has shake-ability to get from the perimeter to the paint often for the Spartans. Trey Wood (6’0”) is a multi-positional guard who can score in a multiple of ways. By added a lethal 3-point shot to his game, Trey has played his way into varsity minutes for the Spartans.” The 2020-21 Spartans team includes sophomores Smith Funke, Aiden Haught, Kaden Kirk, Carter Lyon, Bridger Niehaus, Rylan Palmer, Tayte Schatz, and Tony Serrano “Smith Funke (5’10”) is a shifty point guard who is a terror on opposing teams as he can get to the paint and finish with either hand. Aiden Haught (6’) is a ball of energy on both ends of the floor as a scrappy and tough defender, while always moving within the offense and slippery to block out on our offensive end. Kaden Kirk (6’0”) is a lengthy guard/forward combo who

has gained strength, shooting range and confidence this past year. Kaden is a slasher who loves to slide through the lane with his long strides and athleticism, said Skoglund. “Carter Lyon (5’10”) is a point guard/shooting guard combo who is coming off of a football injury that will linger for the next few weeks. Carter has good vision on 2 man options and a gritty on-ball defender. Bridger Niehaus (5’10”) is a down-hill point guard who has a knack of getting to the paint for buckets and assist opportunities for our bigs and shooting guards. Bridger can play a multiple of positions, while causing turnovers and on ball pressure with his athleticism. Rylan Palmer (6’1”) had an outstanding summer and fall camp for the Spartan varsity team. Rylan can command the team with the ball, get to the paint with efficient moves or knock down a 3 from deep. Rylan suffered a broken arm this fall and will be lost for the season. It is with no doubt, that Rylan will return stronger than ever after this setback to his career. Tayte Schatz (5’10”) is a water bug point guard who can play the #1, #2 or #3 positions for the home town team. Tayte is outstanding on the ball and will give opposing players fits all night with his full court pressure. Tony Serrano (6’2”) is working his way up with hard work and a never quit attitude. Tony is slippery around the rim and can fit space and score In a multiple of ways.” Freshmen Teysean Eaglestaff and Seth Hamilton will also compete for playing time “Teysean Eaglestaff (6’4’) is a shifty, down hill driver with a soft touch around the rim. Teysean has a high release on his outstanding 3-point shooting and super vision in seeing

cutters and shooters in the Spartans motion offense. Seth Hamilton (6’1”) has earned his place at the varsity level through his commitment to his craft of hard work, intensity and skills on the hardwood. Seth can get down hill in a hurry and cause problems for the opponents with his finishing skills or knocking down a 3-poiner from behind a screen,” Skoglund said

SPEARFISH boys’ basketball schedule Dec. 11 hosting Yankton.......................... 8 p.m. Dec. 12 hosting Brandon Valley........ 2:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Aberdeen Central ...................6 p.m. Jan. 2 at Hot Springs ...........................6:30 p.m. Jan. 5 hosting RC Stevens .......................8 p.m. Jan. 9 at Douglas .................................4:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at Belle Fourche ..........................7 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting Red Cloud .......................8 p.m. Jan. 19 hosting Sturgis Brown ...............8 p.m. Jan. 22 at Hill City ..............................7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 hosting St. Thomas More ..........8 p.m. Jan. 28 at RC Central ...............................8 p.m. Feb. 2 at Lead-Deadwood .........................7 p.m. Feb. 5 hosting Huron ...............................7 p.m. Feb. 6 hosting Mitchell .......................1:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Sturgis Brown ...........................8 p.m. Feb. 11 hosting Custer............................. 8 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting Douglas ..........................8 p.m. Feb. 27 at RC Stevens ...............................7 p.m.

Members of the 2020-21 Spearfish High School varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen team are, Front row left: Chase McArthur, Brodie Tetreault, Jack Ammerman, Brody Janvrin, David Doren, Kooper Dana, Carter Lyon, and Dylan Wiegert. Second row left: Seth Hamilton, Ty Sieber, Dawson Wood, Jadon Guthmiller, Carter Gibbs, Brennan Aga, Boone Williams, Michael Gonzalez, and Kaden Kirk. Third row left: Teysean Eaglestaff, Bridger Niehaus, Drason Craig, Alec Sunsted, Peyton Millis, Conner Comer, Nick Hamman, Brayden Delahoyde, Lucas Skogund, Aiden Haught, Rylan Palmer, and Trey Wood. Back row left: Tyler Huber, Kaidon Feyereisen, Tommy Enos, Tim Moore, and Bradyn Wickenhagen. Not pictured are: Logan Langenfield, Will Brien, Drew West, Tayt Schatz, Tony Serrano, and Ryan Heinert. The Spartans are coached by Erik Skoglund. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles


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Winter 2020-2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Young Golddiggers preparing for season By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer LEAD — Prospects for the LeadDeadwood varsity girls’ basketball team look markedly different as compared to a season ago. The Golddiggers used a senior-dominated, experienced lineup to forge a 15-7 record during the 2019-20 campaign. This season’s lineup for head coach Tim Hansen’s squad does not include as much. “We’re really low on numbers this year,” said Hansen, who is beginning his fifth season here. “That’s going to be an issue for us.” Lead-Deadwood is scheduled to open its season Dec. 12 at home against Harding County. That is the first of nine regular-season home contests for the Golddiggers. Other home games are against Bennett County (Dec. 21), Sturgis (Jan. 2), New Underwood (Jan. 8), Belle Fourche (Jan. 26), Spearfish (Feb. 2), Hot Springs (Feb. 9), Bison (Feb. 13), and Rapid City Christian (Feb. 16). Hanson listed seniors Kailee Bertrand, Madelaine Rogers, Madi Rystrom, Lillie Wittmayer, and Lexie Schroeder; juniors Jayna Prince and Rachel Janssen; and sophomore Allison Mollman as members who will play a lot of minutes this season.

Hansen said a number of other players could also find varsity time. They are sophomores Clarissa Heisinger and Gayle Thompson; ninth-graders Alayna Bauernfiend, Angel Chipman, LaRee Crawford, Erica Hansen, and Haylee Jankord; and eighth-graders Jerzee Artz, Emily Farmer, Taylor Hansen, Delaney Mattson, Erica Murray, Hailey Rogers, and Piper Rogers. “We have to find someone to step up and replace all that senior leadership, scoring, and rebounding that left with those six seniors,” Hansen said. Anna Campbell, Natalie Janssen, Hannah Campbell, Blake Mehlberg, Raygan Mattson, and Rebecca Groeger graduated from that team. LeadDeadwood fell 44-16 to St. Thomas More at the Region 8A tournament to end the campaign. Hansen hopes versatility will emerge as a team strength. “We’re going to have more girls on the court that are going to have to be looking to score,” Hansen said. He added the squad lacks a dominant scorer. Lead-Deadwood prides itself on strong defense, according to Hansen. He said a team can play solid defense each game even when the offense has an off night. Shooting serves as an area of con-

cern in Hansen’s eyes. He said the team must maximize its scoring opportunities. “Another key area for us is going to be rebounding,” Hansen said. “We’ve got to be able to limit the offenses that we play to one shot and done as much as possible.” St. Thomas More is the favorite in the Black Hills Conference, Hansen said. He added Hill City should also contend. Hansen said it will be hard to tell how the Golddiggers compare to other conference teams. He added the squad could be scrappy if members play confidently. Official practice sessions began Nov. 23. Players worked on the basics and drills that emphasize skills and decision-making that are needed. Strength and agility work are also emphasized. Hansen said players would likely see greatly increased court time from last season. “What we’re trying to do is establish the type of culture we want,” Hansen said. That features players passionate about the sport and wish to compete but understand the importance of camaraderie, he added. Desired improvements from last year to now center on shooting percentage, according to Hansen.

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Dec. 12 hosting Harding County....... 1:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at Newell..................................4:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Upton Stateline Shootout ........TBA Dec. 19 at Sundance Stateline Shootout...TBA Dec. 21 hosting Bennett County .......3:30 p.m. Jan. 2 hosting Sturgis Brown .................5 p.m. Jan. 8 hosting New Underwood.........5:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at Douglas................................6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Hill City....................................6 p.m. Jan. 19 at St. Thomas More ....................6 p.m. Jan. 23 at Hot Springs.........................3:30 p.m. Jan. 26 hosting Belle Fourche........... 5:30 p.m. Feb. 2 hosting Spearfish......................5:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Philip.......................................... 3 p.m. Feb. 13 hosting Bison ...............................2 p.m. Feb. 16 hosting RC Christian ............5:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Custer........................................6 p.m.

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

The Lead-Deadwood girls’ basketball program includes, back row from left: Madi Rystrom, Kailee Bertrand, Erica Hansen, Haylee Jankord, Delaney Mattson, Taylor Hansen, Jayna Prince, Rachel Janssen; middle row from left: Erica Murray, Lexie Schroeder, Madelaine Rogers, Lillie Wittmayer, Allison Mollman, LaRee Crawford, Angel Chipman; front row from left: Piper Rogers, Hailey Rogers, Emily Farmer, Clarissa Heisinger, Alayna Bauernfiend, and Jerzee Artz. Gayle Thompson and head coach Tim Hansen are not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Winter 2020-2021

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Young Diggers to take court this week By Jason Gross BlackHills Pioneer LEAD — Lead-Deadwood will bring a rather young team into its boys’ basketball season set to open Dec. 12 at home against Harding County. Travis Rogers is beginning his third season as Golddiggers’ head coach. He listed senior T.K. Rainey, senior Mekieh Hon, and junior Rocke Rainey as key returning players. Rogers said other players could make significant contributions. He cited sophomore Crew Rainey, sophomore James Pierce, and ninth-grader Dylan Hon. Seniors Kurt Primo, Gene Claymore, and Brevan Norris; junior Jager Smith; sophomores Ethan Keehn, Alken Aguilar, Clyde Primo, Tyler Williams, and Asher Lawver; and ninth-graders Jaxson Burleson and Noble Claymore are also battling for varsity spots as of press time. Work ethic stands out as the

Golddiggers’ strong suit, according to Rogers. “They’re really going to hustle on defense, and they’re going to work hard,” Rogers said. Shooting is an area needing work, said Rogers. He said the team is installing a new defense that should improve as the season progresses. “It’s going to be pretty rough because we’re going to be so young,” Rogers said in describing Lead-Deadwood’s schedule. He added the team does not have a very deep bench. Lead-Deadwood’s home slate tentatively features games against Bennett County (Dec. 21), Sturgis (Jan. 2), New Underwood (Jan. 8), Hill City (Jan. 21), Belle Fourche (Jan. 26), Spearfish (Feb. 2), Rapid City Christian (Feb. 16), and Lakota Tech (Feb. 22). The Golddiggers finished 6-15 last season, with its final game was a 66-23 loss

to Rapid City Christian at the Region 8A tournament. Rogers said the team will try to surpass that win total this season. St. Thomas More is Rogers’ pick in the Black Hills Conference race. He said Spearfish, Sturgis, and Custer should also contend. Rogers described how he sees the Golddiggers faring against conference teams. “It just depends on how well we can play this defense that I want to play,” he said. Rogers added the Golddiggers want to play up-tempo and force many turnovers. He cited goals of 20 turnovers per game but said that would not be able to do. Players had two practices per day starting with the first day on Nov. 30. Focal points included working on the defense. Rogers said the Golddiggers did not shoot well last season but always worked hard. He added the team must duplicate that effort in 2020–2021, limit the number

of points allowed, and improve shooting. Jordy Stulken, Payton Grodzin, Kayd Varland, Kevin Primo, and Lane Sandidge graduated from last season’s squad.

LEAD-DEADWOOD boys’ basketball schedule Dec. 12 hosting Harding County ............3 p.m. Dec. 15 at Newell..................................7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Upton Stateline Shootout.........TBA Dec. 19 at Sundance Stateline Shootout..TBA Dec. 21 hosting Bennett County .............5 p.m. Jan. 2 hosting Sturgis Brown ............6:30 p.m. Jan. 8 hosting New Underwood .............7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Hill City...............................7:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at St. Thomas More ...............7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 hosting Hill City..........................7 p.m. Jan. 23 hosting Belle Fourche.................7 p.m, Jan. 26 hosting Belle Fourche ................7 p.m. Feb. 2 hosting Spearfish...........................7 p.m. Feb. 4 at Philip ..........................................3 p.m. Feb. 16 hosting RC Christian...................7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Custer...................................7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 hosting Lakota Tech ...................7 p.m.

Lead-Deadwood boys’ basketball players include, back row from left: T.K. Rainey, Mekieh Hon, Rocke Rainey, Crew Rainey; middle row from left: Dylan Hon, Ethan Keehn, Alken Aguilar, Brevan Norris, Clyde Primo; front row from left: Jaxson Burleson, Kurt Primo, Tyler Williams, Jager Smith, and Asher Lawver. Gene Claymore, Noble Claymore, James Pierce, and head coach Travis Rogers are not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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2020-2021 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 Melissa Barnett, 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. © 2020 BLACK HILLS PIONEER, all rights reserved.


Winter 2020-2021

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Broncs face tough foe in girls’ BB opener By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer BELLE FOURCHE — Belle Fourche’s varsity girls’ basketball season is slated to tip off Dec. 11 at Hill City. Broncs’ head coach Bill Burr said that contest would show if the Broncs are able to contend with a team of that caliber. The Rangers were one of three area teams qualifying for last season’s state tournament. Burr returns for his ninth season. He listed key returning players including seniors Bella Jensen, Jazmyn Jensen, Hayley Wilbur, and Kylee Crago. Juniors and sophomores should also be quite strong, according to Burr. The junior class features Kaylin Garza, Dru Keegan, and McKenzie Lyons. Sophomores are Dylan Stedillie, Chloe Crago, Tia Williamson, Charlie Henwood, and Grace Clooten. The Broncs forged a 14-8 record last season. They fell 61-54 in overtime to

Hill City at the Region 8A tournament. “They don’t quit,” Burr said in describing the Broncs’ strong suits for this season. “They don’t care what the score looks like, or who they’re playing. They don’t back down and are going to be strong that way.” Burr said the team always discusses shooting as an area to work on. He added players started on footwork and getting good looks at the basket. The Broncs’ schedule includes eight home games as of press time. Belle Fourche hosts Sturgis on Dec. 15 followed by Wall (Jan. 2), St. Thomas More (Jan. 4), Chadron (Jan. 8), Spearfish (Jan. 14), Hot Springs (Jan. 22), Douglas (Feb. 5), and New Underwood (Feb. 18). “We’re going to have to come out and play at our best every game we play this year,” Burr said. St. Thomas More received Burr’s nod as the Black Hills Conference favorite, followed by Hill City. He said Custer

should be strong, along with Rapid City Christian, Spearfish, and Sturgis. Burr said the Broncs must take care of the ball and play solid defense to stay in some of the games. As for the other conference opponents, Burr added defense would be key. “We’ve got a lot of defensive goals that we set,” Burr said. “That’s what the girls really pride themselves on, hang their hat on: playing good team defense.” What will be required for Belle Fourche to enjoy a successful season? “If we can improve on our shooting from where we started to when the season ends,” Burr said. He re-emphasized the need for solid defensive play. Official practice sessions began Nov. 30. Areas of emphasis during two-adays focus on shooting, ball handling, footwork, and defensive fundamentals. The season-ending loss to Hill City last season is motivating players for this time around.

“We lost that game in overtime, and the girls left there knowing they should have won,” Burr recalled. “They felt like they had left something on the court.” Harley Fischer, Bree Pierce, Taryn Stedillie, and Savannah Rosales graduated from last season’s team.

BELLE FOURCHE girls’ basketball schedule Dec. 11 hosting Hill City ....................5:30 p.m. Dec. 15 hosting Sturgis Brown...........6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Lead Stateline Shootout ..........TBA Dec. 19 at Lead Stateline Shootout ..........TBA Jan. 2 hosting Wall ..............................2:30 p.m. Jan. 5 hosting St. Thomas More .............7 p.m. Jan. 8 hosting Chadron, Neb. ............5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at Sturgis Brown ......................1:30 p.m. Jan. 12 hosting Spearfish ...................5:30 p.m. Jan. 16 hosting Wright, Wyo. .............2:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Douglas ...............................7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 hosting Hot Springs ....................7 p.m. Jan. 23 at Bowman County, N.D. ..............TBA Jan. 26 at Lead-Deadwood ..................5:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at St. Thomas More..................7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 hosting Douglas............................. 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at RC Christian ..............................6 p.m. Feb. 13 at Custer .......................................2 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting New Underwood ...........7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Faith ..........................................6 p.m

The Belle Fourche varsity girls’ basketball team features, back row from left: Dylan Stedillie, Bella Jensen, Kaylin Garza, Hayley Wilbur, Grace Clooten, Tia Williamson; front row from left: Jazmyn Jensen, Dru Keegan, McKenzie Lyons, Chloe Crago, Charlie Henwood, and Kylee Crago. Head coach Bill Burr is not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Winter 2020-2021

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Versatility remains BF boys’ trademark By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer BELLE FOURCHE — Belle Fourche’s varsity boys’ basketball team should bring a traditional look to the court for the season, set to begin Dec. 11 against Hill City. “We’ve got a lot of guys that are versatile and can do a lot of different things offensively,” Broncs’ head coach Clay Pottorff said. The sixth-season Broncs’ head coach added that also allows the team to vary things on defense. The lineup includes returning starters Brextin Garza (senior) and Aiden Giffin (junior). Senior Lan Fuhrer, senior Logan Goeders, senior Gage Kracht, and sophomore Anthony Budmayr should also make significant contributions, according to Pottorff. Pottorff said juniors Gabe Heck and Ryker Audiss would also fill key roles. Four other players are on the roster as of press time. They are seniors Bryton Oedekoven and Blake Vissia, junior Cole Hockenbary, and sophomore Anthony Staley. Pottorff said the Broncs need to work

on gaining experience this season. He said returning players other than Garza, Giffin, Fuhrer, and Goeders did not really play in other than late-game situations a season ago. “It’s always a pretty tough schedule,” Pottorff said. The slate includes some class AA schools along with solid class B schools. Nine home games are featured on the Broncs’ regular-season schedule. St. Thomas More (Jan. 5), Chadron (Jan. 8), Sturgis (Jan. 9), Spearfish (Jan. 14), Hot Springs (Jan. 22), Harding County (Jan. 28), Douglas (Feb. 5), and MobridgePollock (Feb. 26) follow the home opener. Pottorff selected St. Thomas More as the Black Hills Conference favorite. He said the Broncs should be able to compete with everyone if they continue to improve each day. “It will be interesting to see how the season progresses and how teams adjust to this unusual year,” Pottorff said. A 64-57 loss to Custer at the Region 8A tournament ended Belle Fourche’s season last season at 12-9. Taking care of the ball is required for

success in Pottorff ’s eyes. He also said shot selection must be good, and defense must be played hard. “We just want our boys to develop that competitive mindset,” Pottorff said. Practice sessions officially started on Nov. 30. Defense, and returning to the fundamentals, took center stage. Pottorff said the players did not have the customary access to work on what it normally does in the offseason. He added that did not give the chance to sharpen skills. Kelby Olson, Colby Nowowiejski, Tate Larson, Jackson Tyndall, and Keaton Benson graduated from last season’s team. “That class last year really showed kids the level that you need to compete at all the time to turn into a competitive team,” Pottorff said. He added he would like to see this year’s squad build on that. Pottorff said he would like to see shot selection improve this season, adding it hurt at times in 2019-20. He added ball handling was not the best during close games.

BELLE FOURCHE boys’ basketball schedule Dec. 11 hosting Hill City .........................7 p.m. Dec. 15 at Sturgis Brown ....................7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 Lead Stateline Shootout ...............TBA Dec. 19 Lead Stateline Shootout ...............TBA Jan. 2 at Lemmon..................................... 4 p.m. Jan. 5 hosting St. Thomas More ........5:30 p.m. Jan. 8 hosting Chadron, Neb. .................7 p.m. Jan. 9 hosting Sturgis Brown............ 1:30 p.m. Jan. 12 hosting Spearfish ........................7 p.m. Jan. 16 hosting Wright, Wyo. ..................4 p.m. Jan. 22 hosting Hot Springs ...............5:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Bowman County, N.D. ..............TBA Jan. 26 at Lead-Deadwood ..................7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 hosting Harding County ............7 p.m. Feb. 5 hosting Douglas ........................4:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at RC Christian .........................7:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at Custer ..................................3:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Faith ....................................7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at St. Thomas More ...............7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 hosting Mobridge-Pollock .........6 p.m.

Belle Fourche’s varsity boys’ basketball team includes: back row from left: Anthony Budmayr, Cole Hockenbary, Logan Goeders, Aiden Giffin, Anthony Staley, Ryker Audiss; front row from left: Bryton Oedekoven, Blake Vissia, Brextin Garza, Gage Kracht, and Gabe Heck. Lan Fuhrer and head coach Clay Pottorff are not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Lady Scooper basketball team prepares for season with lofty goals By Tim Potts Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS — The Sturgis Brown Lady Scoopers basketball team has been preparing for the 2020–2021 season for over a week now, and have set some lofty goals for the season. “Our goal this season, besides actually having a season, is too be much improved from last season, we went 5-15 last season,” said Jordan Proefrock, beginning her eighth season as the Lady Scoopers head girls’ basketball coach. “A goal we have set is to be in the top tier of the Black Hills Conference.” This year’s girls Black Hills Conference is very competitive, with Hill City returning everyone from their 20-19-20 state tournament qualifying team. St. Thomas More will be the team to beat in Class A, and Spearfish, in Class AA, will also be much improved from last season. Proefrock, said she is pleased to have 35 ladies out fighting for positions on the team. “We are very fortunate to have the girls that we have in our program that show up, work hard, and are coachable every day.

The hope is for these girls to have a season and especially for this group of seniors as well,” Proefrock said. The Lady Scoopers will look for Megan Petrocco, who has played varsity basketball for four years, and Makayla Keffeler, who saw a lot of varsity time last season, to be the team leaders. Sturgis Brown will also see two other returning starters from last season in point guard Tatum Ligtenberg, and forward Kaylee Whatley. “Ligtenberg and Whatley are juniors this season who put in a ton of time this offseason with us, AAU, and Benson Workouts. Lexi Long and Reese Ludwick will be key players in our post position,” Proefrock said. Sawyer Dennis, a sophomore, played a lot as a freshmen last season, and has shown a lot of improvement over the offseason, so the coaches are excited to see what she can bring for us this season. “One of my team goals this year is to have a winning season. I think we are going to have a strong team this year,” said Petrocco, a senior. “We have good underclassmen that will play a big role on the team this year. I’m super excited for

the season and I think we are going to be ready to play our first game on December 11.” Proefrock talked about how Covid-19 will be presenting challenges this season. “Our approach as a staff and a program is to go full steam ahead as normal as possible. We follow the protocols that have been given. We literally are taking it one day at a time. The fact that we get to start basketball season and hopefully continue it is a blessing,” she said. Proefrock talked about the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s team. “Overall strength will be an improved style of play this season. We want to push the ball on offense and play more aggressively on defense,” said Proefrock. “The girls have bought in and are getting better every day. A potential weakness for us will be lack of experience from a varsity standpoint overall and that will improve throughout the season. We want to be playing our most competitive basketball come the end of the season giving ourselves a chance for post-season play.” The Lady Scoopers will travel to Douglas for its season opener on Dec. 11.

STURGIS BROWN girls’ basketball schedule Dec. 11 at Douglas ....................................8 p.m. Dec. 15 hosting Belle Fourche ................7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Aberdeen Central ...................5 p.m. Dec. 22 at RC Central ..........................6:30 p.m. Jan. 2 at Lead-Deadwood .....................6:30p.m. Jan. 5 at Custer .........................................6 p.m. Jan. 12 at Pierre T.F. Riggs .................4:30 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting RC Central .....................6 p.m. Jan. 19 at Spearfish .............................6:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Yankton....................................5 p.m. Jan. 26 at Hill City....................................6 p.m. Jan. 28 hosting St. Thomas More......6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at RC Stevens ...............................1 p.m. Feb. 5 hosting Mitchell .......................5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 hosting Huron ...............................noon. Feb. 9 hosting Spearfish .....................6:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Hot Springs ..............................6 p.m. Feb. 16 at Red Cloud .................................6 p.m. Feb. 23 hosting Douglas......................5:30 p.m. Feb. 25 hosting RC Stevens.................6:30 p.m.

Members of the Sturgis Brown High School 2020-2021 girls varsity and junior varsity basketball team are, back from left: Landry Haugen, Lexi Long, Elisabeth Ortiz, Reese Ludwick, Makayla Keffeler, Joellen Cano, Kaylee Whatley, and Payton Hedderman. Kneeling from left: Cali Ewing, Keeley Heikes, Trinity Legner, Megan Petrocco, Jesaca Gallosa, Bea Gallosa, and Sawyer Dennis. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2020-2021

Young Scoopers looking forward to the season By Tim Potts Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS — The Sturgis Scooper boys’ basketball team started practice on Nov. 29, with 19 athletes competing for varsity and junior varsity positions. Derris Buus is in his third year as head coach of the Scoopers and looks forward to the season and talked about his top three goals. “We need to be better in practice, you are only as good as the people you practice against, you need to play and grind in practice to make each other better each day,” Buus said. Other goals include, continuing to improve each day, and not worrying about the outside noise, this will be a process from day one until tournament time and how much better did we get, and understand the process as the team will be young. Final goal discussed was to be competitive each and every game. “There is a lot of unknowns, especially this year, 2020, so why don’t we surprise some people, let’s show everyone this is a

viable, quality program,” Buus said. The Scoopers lost six seniors from last season: Josh Fowler, Gabe Legner, Connor Korth, Marcus Myrick, Zach Shoun, and Ryder Ladner. “We will miss that experience the most and the ability for the big guys to shoot the ball,” said Buus. This year’s team will have three returning seniors, Thor Sundstrom, RJ Andrzejewski, and Kaidyn Meyers. RJ Andrzejewski commented on the upcoming season. “I’m very excited for the season to start. I know that with this pandemic it won’t feel the same, but we have to make the best of what we got,” said Andrzejewski. “We are a young team with only three seniors, so these juniors, sophomores, and even freshman are going have to step up and do whatever it takes to help the team.” Andrzejewski talked about his goals for this season is to work hard every day, throughout the season, and to be better than the day before. “We have a bright future and i can’t wait to

start,” he added. Coach Buus addressed some of the issues that led to a 5-14 season last year. The team had 369 turn overs, just over 18 a game, three point shooting at 28 percent, and free throw attempts were at 59 percent. “The biggest thing that hurt us last year, and it is no fault of the kids, we struggled with point guard play, and a lot of times when that happens, you lose control, and we were just lacking in that area,” Buus said. “We are young, and we have to take care of the basketball, we will hopefully execute better and just get better on the offensive end, and with the time that will come,” Buus added. The pandemic has created so many unknowns for the basketball season. “We will just take one practice and games, one at a time, and play every game like it may be the last, and focus on getting some things done,” Buus added. The season will open on Dec. 11, when they travel to play the Douglas Patriots.

STURGIS BROWN boys’ basketball schedule Dec. 11 at Douglas ....................................8 p.m. Dec. 15 hosting Belle Fourche ................7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Aberdeen Central...............6:30 p.m. Dec. 22 at RC Central ...............................8 p.m. Jan. 2 at Lead-Deadwood .........................8 p.m. Jan. 5 at Custer ....................................7:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at Pierre T.F. Riggs ......................6 p.m. Jan. 14 at RC Central ...............................8 p.m. Jan. 19 at Spearfish ..................................8 p.m. Jan. 23 at Yankton...............................6:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Hill City...............................7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 hosting St. Thomas More ..........8 p.m. Jan. 30 at RC Stevens ..........................2:30 p.m. Feb. 5 hosting Mitchell ............................7 p.m. Feb. 6 hosting Huron ..........................1:30 p.m. Feb. 9 hosting Spearfish ..........................8 p.m. Feb. 12 at Hot Springs..........................7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at Red Cloud ............................7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 hosting Douglas...........................7 p.m. Feb. 25 hosting R.C. Stevens....................8 p.m.

Members of the 2020-21 Sturgis Brown High School boys boys basketball team competing for positions are, back row from left: Korbin Jenson, Aiden Hedderman, Dysen Peterson, Jake Vliem, Carson Pankratz, Thor Sundstrom, and Kaidyn Meyers. Kneeling from left: Connor Berndt, Connor Cruickshank, Zane Heller, Tyan Buus, Ridge Inhofer, Tayten Smeenk, and Owen Cass. Sitting from left: Cale Jolley, Gavin Lightenberg, RJ Andrzejewski, Connor Lurz, and Javen Looks Behind. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

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Winter 2020-2021

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Newell girls preparing for BB season By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer NEWELL — Newell is scheduled to tip off its varsity girls’ basketball season Dec. 11 at Harding County. Fourthyear head coach Scott Wince said high anticipation is tempered by the current COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re really nervous that all this could end tomorrow or next week,” Wince said. “There are a lot of emotions going through; it’s kind of a weird time.” Wince said team members are happy to be playing now but added that, in the back of their minds, they wonder if this could be the last time. Three seniors return to lead the Irrigators: Kayden Steele, Lexa Burtzlaff, and Kassidy Weeldreyer. “They will be a big part of our success,” Wince said in describing those starters. Junior Sydnee Kjellsen, sophomore Taylor Gaer, and sophomore Stacy Mahaffy also played on the varsity last season. Wince said some ninth-graders could play key minutes depending on how they develop. They are Mary Mahaffy, Jaelyn Wendt, Rachel Erk, and Kim Johnson. Eighth-graders Hailey McCann and Shannon Yates round out the roster as

of press time. Newell forged a 14-8 record last season. The Irrigators fell to Faulkton Area 56-47 in a Class B SoDak 16 tournament game. Returning experience is a strong suit for Newell as it prepares for this season. Wince said drills need no re-explaining, and the team is built for speed. Wince hopes the team will press and play full court, player-to-player defense. “We need an up-tempo game,” Wince said. “Our term has kind of been ‘controlled chaos’ the last several years. If we can control the chaos, I think we’ll be in good shape.” Wince said players will need to work on decision-making and learn how to read defenses and see options as practices and games progress. “We’re going to have to, fundamentally, come to a good jump stop and allow things to happen, and then attack as well. Slowing down at times will be a big thing for us,” Wince said. Newell’s schedule will not include the Big Bo Classic set for Dec. 30 in Wolsey, which has been canceled. “I think our conference (Little Moreau) is very balanced this year,” Wince said. The Irrigators will also face Black Hills Conference opponents

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like Lead-Deadwood, Hill City, and Custer. Wince tabbed Faith as the Little Moreau Conference favorite. He said Newell compares very favorably to the rest of the squads that include Lemmon, Harding County, and Timber Lake. Newell’s preliminary schedule includes five home games: Dec. 15 against Lead-Deadwood, Dec. 21 against Lemmon, Jan. 21 against Custer, Feb. 4 against Hill City, and Feb. 12 against Timber Lake. “We just have to slowly build ourselves up and be playing good basketball in February, and don’t get wrapped up about what’s happening in December,” Wince said. Wince said the Irrigators will need to go deep into their bench to experience success. Another aim is to return to the SoDak 16, but some team goals have nothing to do with basketball. “The way our world is going right now, to understand and enjoy things a little differently,” he said. Practice sessions began Nov. 23. Conditioning and fundamentals took central stage. Wince said players bought into the “process of being successful” a bit last

NEWELL girls’ basketball schedule Dec. 11 at Harding County ......................3 p.m. Dec. 12 at Bison ........................................1 p.m. Dec. 15 at Lead...........................................3 p.m. Dec. 18 at Tiospaye Topa......................... 3 p.m. Dec. 21 at Lemmon ...................................3 p.m. Dec. 30 at Big Bo Classic ...........................TBA Jan. 2 at McIntosh ....................................1 p.m. Jan. 5 at Wall ........................................5:30 p.m. Jan. 14 hosting West River Tournament..6 p.m. Jan. 15 hosting West River Tournament...3 p.m. Jan. 16 at West River Tournament ...9:30 a.m. Jan. 21 at Custer .......................................3 p.m. Jan. 29 at Faith .........................................3 p.m. Jan. 30 at Philip ........................................1 p.m. Feb. 4 hosting Hill City ............................6 p.m. Feb. 5 at Edgemont ...................................2 p.m. Feb. 9 at Oelrichs .................................5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 hosting Timber Lake ..................3 p.m. Feb. 16 at New Underwood ................5:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Dupree ......................................3 p.m.

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Winter 2020-2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

NEWELL GIRLS from page 11

season. He added the road to a goal is more important than the goal itself. Desired improvements for this season include better rebounding, according to Wince. “We have to continue getting better fundamentally and mentally, and understanding the process,” he said. Austin Alexander graduated from last season’s squad. Kyla Emmert started last season but moved to Minnesota.

The Newell girls’ basketball team features, back row from left: Lexa Burtzlaff, Kayden Steele, Jaelyn Wendt, Kassidy Weeldreyer, Rachel Erk; middle row from left: Stacy Mahaffy, Taylor Gaer, Hailey McCann, Kim Johnson; front row from left: Shannon Yates, Sydnee Kjellsen, and Mary Mahaffy. Head coach Scott Wince is not pictured. Courtesy photo

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Former coach returning to Newell sideline By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer NEWELL — Newell principal and activities director Steven Schoenfish recently expanded his duties by agreeing to coach the Irrigator varsity boys’ basketball team. Schoenfish succeeds Trev Fiedler, who stepped down to spend more time with his family that includes a very young child. “We did not have any other applicants, so I figured this was a great time: no time like the present,” Schoenfish said. He believes every player on a team may become successful. “My belief is that work ethic is everything, no matter offensively or defensively,” Schoenfish said. Schoenfish is no stranger to Newell sidelines, having coached football for 15 years and served as a basketball assistant for almost two decades. Ryan Hohenberger and David Morell represent the senior class on the roster. Schoenfish said they are vital to the team’s effort and added that Jaden

Tennis (junior), Colton Burtzlaff (sophomore), Jameson Duncan (ninth-grader), and William Juelfs (ninth-grader) should also contribute significantly. Four others are on the roster as of press time. They are sophomores Quinten Brist, Kobe Shaykett, and Devon Jones; plus ninth-grader Abrym Heinert. “We’re going to have to get up and down the floor,” Schoenfish said. He added the team must push the ball and score in transition. Conditioning is a focal point, as Schoenfish envisions a varsity with only seven or eight players compared to other teams’ having 10 to 12. Newell’s tentative schedule includes 10 home games, including the first two rounds of the West River Tournament (Jan. 14-15). Other home opponents are Lead-Deadwood (Dec. 15), Tiospaye Topa (Dec. 19), Lemmon (Dec. 21), McIntosh (Jan. 2), Custer (Jan. 21), New Underwood (Jan. 26), Hill City (Feb. 4), and Timber Lake (Feb. 12). “We might be the underdogs going in,” Schoenfish said. “If we continue to

do our little things and we work hard, we’ll be OK.” Harding County and Faith should contend for the Little Moreau Conference title, according to Schoenfish. He said the Irrigators could be in the top half of the standings, but some things may have to align a bit. The Irrigators finished 3-17 last season following a 69-51 loss to Wakpala in the Region 8B tournament. Schoenfish has told his players that wins and losses do not measure success. He said hard work, a good team atmosphere, and related things will gauge that, along with controlling what can be controlled. Practice sessions officially began on Nov. 30. Ball handling drills, and working on fundamentals like rebounding, have taken center stage. “We’re just going to go out there, and we’re going to do what we can do, and do it well,” Schoenfish said. He added overall team attitude is very strong. John Jackson, Huttson Weeldreyer, Nathaniel Kirby, and Kai Banks graduated from last season’s team.

NEWELL boys’ basketball schedule Dec. 11 at Harding County .................4:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Bison ...................................2:30 p.m. Dec. 19 hosting Tiospaye Topa ..........4:30 p.m. Dec. 21 hosting Lemmon ....................4:30 p.m. Jan. 2 hosting McIntosh .....................2:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at Sundance, Wyo. ....................5:30 p.m. Jan.14 hosting West River Tournament.7:30pm Jan.15 hosting West River Tournament..4:30pm Jan. 16 at West River Tournament ......11 a.m. Jan. 21 hosting Custer ........................4:30 p.m. Jan. 26 hosting New Underwood.......5:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at Faith ....................................4:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Philip ...................................2:30 p.m. Feb. 4 hosting Hill City .......................7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 Edgemont ..................................3:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Oelrichs ......................................7 p.m. Feb. 12 hosting Timber Lake............. 4:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Dupree..................................4:30 p.m.

The Newell boys’ basketball team for this season features, back row from left: Ryan Hohenberger, David Morell, Colton Burtzlaff, Jaden Tennis, Will Juelfs; front row from left: Quinten Brist, Abrym Heinert, Kobe Shaykett, Devon Jones, and Jameson Duncan. Head coach Steven Schoenfish is not pictured. Courtesy photo

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Winter 2020-2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Lady Jackets excited about 2020-21 season By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Black Hills State University women’s basketball team is chomping at the bit to play the 2020– 2021 women’s basketball season. Last season the Lady Yellow Jackets finished 14-8 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and 17-10 overall. They lost in the first round of the RMAC tournament to Colorado Mines, 66-44. “I thought we definitely had some highs and lows. I thought if we could have been more consistent from game to game, I really felt like we could play with anyone,” said Mark Nore, who is beginning his 19th season as the Lady Yellow Jackets head coach. ”I just thought the inconsistency got us in the end, but we definitely had a lot of shared great memories with the team, and I enjoyed coaching those women, and I look forward to this year, and figuring that out and being more consistent.” Nore said he is looking forward to this year’s team and learning from the past about things he has done and can change to help the team play better. Nore has compiled a 318-203 record in his 18 seasons at Black Hills State, and is the school’s winningest coach. Returning for the Lady Yellow Jackets are Morgan Ham and Racquel Wientjes, both all-conference players last season.

“Morgan and Racquel are very talented women,” said Nore. “I also think Nicki Van Wyk, Dana Kocer, Ashlee Beacom, Katie Messier, and Megan Engesser, who is new to the team, are players we are really excited about. Cody Robinson brings edginess to our team.” Nore said COVID-19 has caused a lot of problems for the Lady Jackets as they were preparing for the upcoming season. “I think the biggest change is dealing with the adversity, not of playing, but all the extra factor of COVID-19. It is a definitely a rollercoaster of emotions for the kids. It’s you’re playing, you’re not playing, and it can change within the hour,” Nore said. “I think the mental challenge that this has definitely made us grow as a team being able to experience these things together and understand that this is a game, but things happen.” More said that COVID-19 has affected the team’s practices. “We were suppose to start practicing Oct. 15, and I don’t think we had a full week until the end of November, so it’s hard to implement anything when you’re adding players, then taking some away. It’s hard to stay on top of that, but I think they’ve attacked and we’ve handled it really well, and I’m proud of them for doing that.” Nore said. Nore added the Lady Jackets have

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had only one scrimmage, and that’s when they had only half their team. Nore said depth will be a strength for the Lady Jackets. “Our depth for sure, and our commitment to play hard, I think we’ve got some talent, all those things,” Nore said. Nore said early season games he will be used to see how the team handles adversity. “I want to see them handle the adversity. Be able to deal with it and move on quicker, and growing as a team. I won’t be perfect, but I’ll be OK with just keeping our minds right and playing the next play. Staying in the present,” Nore said. The Lady Jackets opened its season Friday with an 81-74 loss at Western Colorado. Morgan Ham’s scored 27-points, including four 3-pointers. Racquel Wientjes scored 19 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Saturday, Black Hills State defeated Fort Lewis College 72-69, on a last second 3-pointer by Alyssa Martinez. “They couldn’t have made a cleaner execution,” Yellow Jackets’ head coach Mark Nore said in describing the final moments. “It was just players making plays.” Megan Engesser scored 17 points, Racquel Wientjes added 13 points, and Morgan Ham chipped in 11 points for the Lady Jackets, now 1-1.

BHSU women’s basketball schedule Dec. 11 hosting Colorado Mesa .........5:30 p.m. Dec. 12 hosting Westminster College ....4 p.m. Dec. 18 at New Mexico Highlands.....5:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at U-C Colorado Springs .......5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at Colorado Mesa .....................5:30 p.m. Jan. 16 hosting Western Colorado University................................. 4 p.m. Jan. 19 at Chadron State ....................5:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at South Dakota Mines ..........5:30 p.m. Jan. 29 hosting Metro State-Denver....5:30 p.m. Jan. 30 hosting Colorado Christian ......4 p.m. Feb. 5 at Adams State ..........................5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at CSU-Pueblo ...........................5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 hosting U-C Colorado Springs...5:30p.m. Feb. 13 hosting New Mexico Highlands...4 p.m. Feb. 16 hosting Chadron State ...........5:30 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting South Dakota Mines...5:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at Colorado Christian .................5 p.m. Feb. 27 at Metro State-Denver .................4 p.m

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Winter 2020-2021

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Members of the 2020 basketball team are, front row left: Lindsey Wilken, Racquel Wientjes, Cody Robinson, Ashlee Beacom, Danica Kocer, Racquel Wientjes, Alyssia Martinez, Raven Cournoyer, Niki Van Wyk, Summer Fox, Reyna Beck, and Megan Engesser. Back row left: Ashley Davis, Celsey Selland, Kassie Hoyer, Noora Parttimaa, Katie Messler, Morgan Ham, Molly Strub, Morgan Hammerbeck, and Mandee Williamson. Photo courtesy BHSU Sports Info Department

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Winter 2020-2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Jackets ready to compete for another RMAC title By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Black Hills State University men’s basketball team has another Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship in its sights. Last season Black Hills State finish 20-9 overall, and 17-5 in the RMAC, tying Dixie State for first place as regular season conference champions. The Yellow Jackets earned a No. 2 seed in the RMAC Tournament, but were upset by South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in the first round. “The season did not end the way that we had hoped. We dealt with some injuries down the stretch, but we gutted it out to win enough games, and that was certainly a huge accomplishment for us, to the first team at our school to win an RMAC title,” said Ryan Thompson, who is ion his 3rd season as the Yellow Jackets head basketball coach, having amassed a 38 – 19 record. “This year we are just trying to build on that. We have five key returners back from last year that played big minutes, and we are just trying to keep this thing moving forward.” Returning for the Yellow Jackets are sophomore Joel Scott, who lead the team in scoring and was first team all-conference, and was the Freshman Player of the Year in the RMAC; Trey Whitley, who will be a senior guard, and was second leading scorer for the Yellow Jackets and was sec-

ond all-conference; Sava Dukic, Tommy Donovan, Sandnjolfur Stefansson. “So we’ve got our two leading scorers (Scott and Whitley), and Dukic, Donovan, and Stefansson played big minutes for us last year. Those are our five returners,” Thompson said. Black Hills State had another successful recruiting season, and Thompson said some of those incoming freshmen are expected to play quality minutes this season. “We have two transfers that look like they are going to make an immediate impact, and then I think we have at least two freshmen that are in our rotation who have solidified spots,” Thompson said. Thompson they have five other freshmen who he thinks can be major contributors at some point in their career. COVID-19 has already wreaked havoc on the Black Hills State basketball team forcing the cancelation of four games due to the COVID-protocol. “This has been extremely challenging. Just the uncertainty of not knowing when you are going to get to play a game, and trying to do everything you can to avoids getting the virus, doing those things and sacrifice seeing family, and just avoid being around people,” said Thompson. “I feel for our guys. They are doing everything they can to avoid trying to get the virus, and then sometimes it’s pretty difficult to avoid getting it. But it

has certainly been an emotional roller coaster, having games cancelled, and so forth.” The Yellow Jackets will rely on its athleticism this season. “I think our athleticism is a strength for us. Our ability to play in the open court offensively and defensively I think will play a more up-tempo brand of basketball this year., and I think we are pretty deep in depth. We have more guys who can contribute than we ever have in the past,” Thompson said. Thompson knows it will not be easy to stay at the top of the RMAC standings. “Right now in practice we just have to get sharper, limit turnovers, limit mistakes, and pick up some understanding of our new guys,” said Thompson. “But I think a major weakness for us is we aren’t going to be as big inside defensively as we have been in the past, so finding ways to make up for that is a key for us.” Thompson sees Colorado Mines as one of the teams to beat in the RMAC “I think Colorado Mines is a no brainer. I think one of the national polls has them 13th in the country. They have everybody back. They are well coached. Last year I think they finished third in the RMAC. Then you have Colorado Mesa as a program that is really moving in the right direction, they have some key pieces back, so I think those two will be our strongest opponents,” Thompson said.

BHSU men’s basketball schedule Dec. 11 hosting Colorado Mesa .........7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 hosting Westminster College ....6 p.m. Dec. 18 at New Mexico Highlands ....7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at U-C Colorado Springs .......7:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at Colorado Mesa .....................7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 hosting Western Colorado University................................. 6 p.m. Jan. 19 at Chadron State ....................7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at South Dakota Mines ..........7:30 p.m, Jan. 29 hosting Metro State-Denver....7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 hosting Colorado Christian...... 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at Adams State ..........................7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at CSU-Pueblo ...........................7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 hosting U-C Colorado Springs.. 5:30 p.m. Feb. 13 hosting New Mexico Highlands....4 p.m. Feb. 16 hosting Chadron State ...........7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 hosting South Dakota Mines...5:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at Colorado Christian..................7 p.m. Feb. 27 at Metro State-Denver.................6 p.m.

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Winter 2020-2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Page 17

Members of the 2020-21 Black Hills State University men’s basketball team are (not in order): Sindou Cisse, Joel Scott, Ethan Forrester, Trey Whiteley, Sava Dukic, Adam Moussa, Snjolfur Stefansson, John Shanklin, Michael Russell, Luke Feely, Tommy Donovan, PJ Hayes, Ryder Kirsch, Spencer Ederhoff, Ryker Cisarik, and Kevin Senghore-Peterson. Photo courtesy BHSU Sports Info Department

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2020-2021

BHSU track opener delayed to January By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — Black Hills State University’s indoor track and field season will not begin until mid-January. This campaign traditionally starts in early December, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed that. Yellow Jackets’ head coach Seth Mischke said Jan. 16 is the potential first day of competition. He added that may be at Chadron State, or the team may elect to not compete that day and set its sights on the Myrle Hanson Open on Jan. 22-23. The Dave Little Alumni Mile is scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 29-30. Mischke said another event is slated for Feb. 12-13. Black Hills State athletes are engaging in workouts over the holiday break. Mischke said Jan. 11, 2021 is the tentative starting date for preseason practices. Everyone is following a singular philosophy, according to Mischke. “You just have to prepare as if a normal season is going to take place,” Mischke explained. “Or, opportunities are going to be in place for you to take advantage of them when and if the time comes.” Getting used to everything athletes must do on a daily basis poses one of the biggest challenges for the team, Mischke said. He expressed hope athletes will have a good sense of what they need to do when they return from the holiday break. Mischke said he hopes they will be able to maintain in the spring and be able to compete in some meets. Practice sessions will be different. “It’s kind of relative to how your sport is viewed in terms of low risk, moderate risk, or high risk,” Mischke said. He added spring indoor track is a moderate-risk sport, which requires testing every other week. “As far as practices go, we’re certainly going to try to maintain our distance as best we can, which is relatively easy to do in our sport,” Mischke said. He added athletes will wear masks in the field house while not working out.

Athletes currently wear masks while in the weight room, according to Mischke. “I think we got a good amount done in the fall relative to all the changes that we did have to put in place along with the extended break,” Mischke said. “We’re anxious to see how this extended break treats us.” Yellow Jackets’ assistant coach Scott Foley said each school must follow its own city, state, and county guidelines. The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference features schools from New Mexico to South Dakota. “We’re all in the same storm, but we’re definitely not in the same boat,” he added. “We’re all facing our own issues, for sure.” Foley said athletes sometimes do not know exactly what they are training for, and that is especially when training gets difficult. “We crave structure and schedules. This year has kind of thrown us off to where sometimes we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes we can’t.”

BHSU indoor track schedule Jan. 16 hosting Myrle Hanson Open........TBA Jan. 30 hosting Dave Little Alumni Mile...TBA Feb. 6 at University of South Dakota ......TBA Feb. 12 at South Dakota State University...TBA Feb. 13 at SDSU Indoor Classic.................TBA Feb. 20 hosting BHSU Stinger Open........ TBA Feb. 26-27 at RMAC Championships March. 12 at NCAA DII Indoor Nationals


Winter 2020-2021

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Spartan grapplers looking to improve By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Spearfish Spartans wrestling team is looking to improve from its ninth place finish, out of 33 teams, at the 2020 state Class A wrestling tournament. “I thought we started out kind of slow,” said John Bokker, entering his fifth year as the Spartans head wrestling coach. “We were trying to get some guys in our lineup and trying to stay healthy throughout the year, and we peaked right at the right time, and I think we finished at the top of our game at the end of the season. We placed six out of seven guys at state.” Bokker said he is excited about the upcoming wrestling season. “We have four returning state placers, and another returning state qualifier, so we are pretty excited about that. Well have a couple of new editions, and Austin Crotteau is back from a knee injury he suffered at the end of last season,” Bokker said. Also returning for the Spartans is

senior Max Sailer, a two-time defending state champion. “Max is a huge part of our team. He’s a leader, and people follow him, and they look up to him,” Bokker said. Wrestling practice started Oct. 16 and Bokker said they are doing their best to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re just getting back to basics. Getting in our stances, in our positions, and kind of setting our base for the rest of the year,” said Bokker. “Because of the pandemic we are making adjustments. We are putting guys in pods. They all have their own water bottle, they are working on distancing from each other, and they practice with certain guys.” Bokker said practice hasn’t been that different from the way they they’ve done things in the past. “You can only practice with guys in your own weight class. For us there are little adjustments, but not a huge big adjustment from years past,” he said.

The Spartans numbers are about the same as they have been in years past. “We started out at 26, but we’ve had some close contacts, and things like that, so our numbers are about where they usually are, in the mid-20’s,” Bokker said. The Spartans will have depth in some weight classes, and not much depth in others. “In the mid weight classes we’ve got quite a bit of depth, said Bokker. “In the upper and lower weight classes we don’t have very much depth. In the three lowest weight classes and the three highest weight classes we are about one deep. We don’t have a 182 pounder right now.” Bokker said he wants to see his team be mentally and physically prepared before matches. “I want to see mentally toughness. I want to see them be aggressive, and I want to see them finish matches,” Bokker said.

SPEARFISH wrestling schedule Dec. 11 at RC Invitational .......................2 p.m. Dec. 12 at RC Invitational ...................... 8 a.m. Dec. 17 hosting Rapid City Central .......7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Harrisburg Invitational ..........TBA Dec. 19 at Harrisburg Invitational ..........TBA Dec. 29 at SF Lincoln Invitational ........ 8 a.m. Jan. 7 hosting Triangular....................... 4 p.m. Jan. 14 at RC Central Triangular ..........5 p.m. Jan. 16 at Belle Fourche BH Conference..10 a.m. Jan. 21 at Hot Springs Triangular .........7 p.m. Jan. 23 at Pierre East/West Duals ...........TBA Jan. 28 at RC Stevens ...............................7 p.m. Jan. 29 at Belle Fourche Invitational......noon Jan. 30 at Belle Fourche Invitational. 8:30 a.m. Feb. 6 at Hill City Invitational ...........8:30 a.m. Feb. 12 at Sturgis Brown .........................7 p.m.

Members of the 2020-21 Spearfish Spartans wrestling team are back row left: Sam Moore, Austin Crotteau, Landon Norman, Zac Adler, AJ Veldman, Dawson Craig, Cael Citrowske, Max Sailor, Mason Schlup, and Oakley Blakeman. Front row left: Elijah Shank, Mason Schmitz, Taylor Graveman, Josh Hoffman, Bailey Badwound, Dylan Irion, Maraia Kruske, Christian McCarty, and Clay Donovan. Not pictured are: John Jeffery, Quinten Carlson, Fisher Chandler, and Danner Craig. The Spartans are coached by John Bokker, and assistant coaches Cody Powers, Joel Martin, Cory Neuharth, and Max Donovan. Courtesy photo

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2020-2021

Digger wrestlers preparing for season By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer LEAD — Lead-Deadwood High School’s wrestling team returns three state qualifiers for the 2020–2021 wrestling season. Rob Lester, Pratt Williams, Max Johnson, and Kadden Dillman graduated from last season’s team. Junior Tristen Fierbach, and seniors Dom Lucero and Cody Rakow, represented the Golddiggers at the state Class B tournament last season. They are among the returning athletes for the Golddiggers, guided by head coach. “They are all starting off the season healthy right now, which is really nice,” said Philip Thomas, who is beginning his second season as the Golddiggers head wrestling coach. Senior Jacob Harris and junior Landon Williams are among the others who should contribute to the squad, said Thomas. Other athletes competing for the Golddiggers are senior Gage Mau; juniors Preston Lawery and Carter Estes; ninth-graders Miles Renner, Trinity Zopp, Mekhi Hayes, Cope Williams, Dylan Meade, and Isaac Foster; eighth-graders Cruz Mollman and Drew Janke; seventh-grader Tyrel Seaman; and sixth-grader Chase Williams.

“We’re going to be in good shape,” Thomas said of the team’s strong suits going into the season. “A lot of our guys aren’t going to try to cut as much weight this year, so they’ll be healthier and stronger.” Thomas said Lead-Deadwood wrestlers also do well on their feet, but Golddigger wrestlers struggled a bit last year with getting off the bottom, and that’s something they will be addressing a lot this season. Conditioning also serves as an early focus for Thomas. He said wrestlers are out of shape for the first few weeks, and physical soreness results. Official practice sessions began Nov. 16. Thomas said the athletes are working on the basics, such as starting on their feet and working on basic takedown moves. “We don’t really have a complete schedule. We go week by week, day by day,” Thomas said. Lead-Deadwood’s schedule includes the Rapid City Invitational (Dec. 11-12), Lyman Invitational (Jan. 8-9 in Presho), and Black Hills Conference Tournament (Jan. 16 in Belle Fourche). Thomas sees Lucero, Rakow, Harris, and Williams competing for top honors. He tabbed Custer and Spearfish as the

teams to beat. “We’re going to compete,” Thomas said, when asked how the Golddiggers stack up against other conference teams. He added each team boasts some really talented athletes. Thomas said completing the season would mark success in light of COVID-19 and shutdowns. “We have to keep our bodies healthy,” said Thomas. “We’ve got to try to keep skin infections out, try to keep COVID out.” Six athletes qualified for state last season, and Thomas said he would like to match that number. He cited the importance of controlling attitude and effort each day, plus getting something out of each day. Last season’s state experience would start setting a foundation for this season. “They know how to get there and what it takes to get there,” Thomas said of Fierbach, Lucero and Rakow. “Those guys now are setting the foundation for those younger kids, preaching to work hard every day, staying healthy, and getting better.” Desired improvements center on controlling attitude and effort, according to Thomas. “Go out there, do your thing, and wrestle,” Thomas said.

LEAD-DEADWOOD wrestling schedule Dec. 11 at RC Invitational .......................2 p.m. Dec. 12 at RC Invitational ..................9:30 a.m. Dec. 18 at Hot Springs Invite ..................3 p.m. Dec. 19 Hot Springs Invite ..................... 9 a.m. Jan. 8 at Lyman Invite ...........................10 a.m. Jan. 9 at Lyman Invite ............................ 9 a.m. Jan. 15 at Philip Invite ..........................11 a.m. Jan. 16 at Belle Fourche BH Conference .........................................10 a.m. Jan. 21 at Hot Springs Triangular .........5 p.m. Jan. 29 at Belle Fourche Invite ................noon Jan. 30 at Belle Fourche Invite .............. 9 a.m. Feb. 2 at Newell Invite .........................5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at Hill City Invite ......................8:30 a.m. Feb. 11 at St. Thomas More Triangular. 5 p.m.

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Page 21

Members of the 2020—2021 Lead-Deadwood High School wrestling tram are, back row from left: Preston Lawery, Gage Mau, Tristen Fierbach, Cody Rakow, Carter Estes, Dom Lucero, and Jacob Harris. Middle row, from left: Miles Renner, Trinity Zopp, Mekhi Hayes, Landon Williams, Cope Williams, Dylan Meade, and Isaac Foster. Front row from left, Cruz Mollman, Drew Janke, Tyrel Seaman, and Chase Williams. Not pictured is head coach Philip Thomas. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2020-2021

Bronc wrestlers almost ready for 2020-21 season By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer BELLE FOURCHE — The Belle Fourche High School wrestling team is preparing for the 2020-21, wrestling season. The Broncs return five state Class A wrestlers to its 2020-21 high school wrestling season. Thomas McCoy, a sophomore, finished sixth in the 126-pound weight class at last season’s state Class A wrestling tournament. Senior Colton Shelley (113 pounds), eighth-grader Owen Schreder (120), junior Cayden Wolfe (145), and junior Cade Bickerdyke (160) also competed for the Broncs at state a season ago. Head coach Bill Abell, in his eighth season as the Broncs head wrestling coach, said seniors Aiken Crowley and Hunter Quenzer; junior Brooks Clooten; sophomore Lane Longbrake; and ninth-grader Logan Tyndall should also make sizable contributions. Others on the roster are seniors Gunner Jensen and Isaac McKenney; juniors D’Angelo Garduna and Sean Wahlfeldt; and sophomores Hailey Rodriguez, Damian Park, Andy Tonsager, Devin Nowowiejski, Levi Melanson, Nic Lambert, and Gunnar Geib; and ninth-grader Stormy Kester. Belle Fourche’s wrestling program numbers are in the mid-20s, which

Abell described as being average. “It’s nice, especially with the uncertainty of the season and whatnot,” Abell said in describing those numbers. “You get kind of nervous about that stuff.” Belle Fourche’s perspective for this season is that each match is a blessing, said Abell. “Across the board, we’re strong; we’re eager,” Abell said in describing this season’s team. “This is a group that is starting to build with me, so we’re getting a little bit of experience under our belts.” Abell said athletes always need to work on technique, with mat time also being a concern, no thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has lost roughly five events from its slate, Abell said. “Trying to find matches for everybody is going to be a huge struggle this year,” he said. Some tournaments are limiting the number of entrants. That unpredictability makes it difficult for Abell to gauge the strength of his team’s schedule. Abell tabbed Spearfish and Custer as the favorites in the Black Hills Conference. Belle Fourche is slated to host that tournament Jan. 16. He said it is hard to say how the Broncs compare to the conference competition.

Success for Abell centers on athletes still wanting to wrestle when the season ends. Retaining wrestlers has served as one of his focal points. Official practice sessions started Nov. 16. Abell said the wrestlers are divided into practice pods and trying to limit exposure. Technique and live-situation wrestling have taken center stage. “We’ve been going pretty hard already,” Abell said in describing those sessions. “The kids are really chomping at the bit and ready to go.” Precautions also include extra sanitation in the wrestling room. Longsleeved shirts are mandatory. Safety measures extend to lower levels as well. Abell said the AAU wrestlers are working out at the middle school, not the high school as has been the case in past years. Abell cited McCoy’s example when it comes to setting a foundation for this season. He said it means an athlete does not have to wait until junior or senior year to place at state. “We need to keep focusing on, you’re getting through the season and finishing stronger than where we started,” Abell said. Walker Horn, Chase Bickerdyke, Jaredon Dosch, and Michael Streeter graduated from last season’s squad.

BELLE FOURCHE wrestling schedule Dec. 11 at Rapid City Invitational.......... 2 p.m. Dec. 12 at Rapid City Invitational.......... 8 a.m. Dec. 17 at Custer Triangular ..................5 p.m. Jan. 7 at Spearfish Invitational ..............4 p.m. Jan. 16 hosting Black Hills Conference Invitational...............................................10 a.m. Jan. 22 at Chamberlain Invitational..4:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Chamberlain Invitational....10 a.m. Jan. 29 hosting Belle Fourche Invitational...noon Jan. 30 hosting Belle Fourche Invitational. 9 a.m. Feb. 4 hosting Hot Springs.......................5 p.m. Feb. 6 at Hill City Invitational........... 8:30 a.m. Feb. 11 hosting Sturgis Brown...........5:30 p.m.

Members of the Belle Fourche High School 2020-21 wrestling team are, back row from left: Isaac McKenney, Gunnar Geib, Cade Bickerdyke, Sean Wahlfeldt, Brooks Clooten; middle row from left: Devin Nowowiejski, Levi Melanson, Nic Lambert, Thomas McCoy, Gunner Jensen, D’Angelo Garduna, and Lane Longbrake. Front row from left: Stormy Kester, Hailey Rodriguez, Logan Tyndall, Damian Park, Andy Tonsager, Colton Shelley, and Hunter Quenzer. Not pictured are: Aiken Crowley, Cayden Wolfe, Owen Schreder, head coach Bill Abell , and assistant coaches: Josh Schleusner, John McCoy, Andrew Deighton, Ramsay Norton, Mike Ryan. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross


Winter 2020-2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Page 23

Sturgis Brown wrestling prepares for the season with a strong leadership By Tim Potts Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS – The Sturgis Brown High School wrestling team is preparing for the 2020–2021 season, and they are looking forward to the strong leadership from the 10 returning state qualifiers from last season. The Scoopers also have great numbers and the future of the Scooper wrestling program has a very positive outlook. “Our future is bright with a strong group of young kids coming into the program. We have just under 60 kids in the room competing for starting spots,” said Mike Abell, Sturgis Brown’s head wrestling coach. “I look forward to seeing some new names in the lineup that will be there for long time.” Abell is now in his fifth season as the Scoopers head coach, and he said that practices have been going well, and pace and intensity is high in the room. “The kids seem to be glad they are even having a wrestling season,” Abell said. The Scoopers lost three seniors from last season, Clayton Smith, Brent Konst, and Cody Nelson. “We will have to replace some points

lost by our seniors, thankfully it was a small group of seniors,” Abell said. Abell talked about the Scoopers expectations for this season. “We expect good things from this group of kids. It’s a long season so we will see where we sit come February,” he said. The Scoopers had six place winners at last year’s Class AA state tournament. Evan Osborn at 106 pounds, Kaden Olson at 113 pounds, Kelton Olson at 120 pounds, Perry Ketelsen at 132 pounds, and Reese Jacobs at 160 pounds. Other returning Scooper wrestlers who competed at the 2020 state tournament are: Logan DeSersa, Zaven Osborne, Harrison Good, Peter Pulling, and Robert Merwin. Wren Jacobs suffered an injury early in the 2019–2020 season and wasn’t able to wrestle the rest of the season, so he is excited about the upcoming season. “I’m definitely excited for the season. I think we will have a competitive team for the year. Hopefully we can make it through the entire year without any major issues,” said Jacobs. “We have a lot of youth on the team which is exciting to see. And I can’t

wait to be back on the mat with my brother, Reese, a returning two time state placer, and Logan Desersa, another dark horse that I’m excited to have as a teammates for my senior year.” Abell said that last season was a lot of fun right up until they lost Jacobs. “That was a big blow to our dual and team state results,” said Abell. “We hope to keep him healthy this year and have him finish a strong senior year.” The Scoopers have a lot of relatives in the room and Abell said that always helps. Abell said this season will be different from seasons past due to COVID-19. “We are having to break our team into groups or pods during practice to limit the numbers on the mat at one time. This season could look very different this year with all the possible COVID changes,” said Abell. Abell talked about the favored team in the state. “Pierre and Brandon Valley are favored, with some other possible dark horses out there. With COVID this year, anything is possible,” he said. The Scoopers opens its 2020-21 wrestling season Dec. 11-12 at the Rapid City Invite.

STURGIS BROWN wrestling schedule Dec. 10 at Rapid City Invitational ..........5 p.m. Dec. 11 at Rapid City Invitational ..........2 p.m. Dec. 12 at Rapid City Invitational ..........8 p.m. Dec. 17 hosting Rapid City Stevens .......7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Dell Rapids Invitational . . . . TBA Dec. 19 Madison Invite ........................... 9 a.m. Dec. 28 at Floyd Farrand Tournament....9 a.m. Jan. 5 hosting RC Central........................7 p.m. Jan. 15 at Philip Invite ..........................11 a.m. Jan. 16 at Jerry Opbroek Invite ............ 9 a.m. Jan. 21 hosting Thunder Basin, WY....7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 hosting Campell County, WY ......TBA Jan. 23 at Pierre East/West Duals .......11 a.m. Jan. 29 at Belle Fourche Invite ...............noon. Jan. 30 at Belle Fourche Invite .............. 9 a.m. Feb. 2 at Douglas .......................................7 p.m. Feb. 6 at Hill City Tournament .........8:30 a.m. Feb. 11 at Belle Fourche .....................5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Spearfish...................................7 p.m.

Members of the 2020-2021 Sturgis Brown High School wrestling team are, back row, from left: Owen Udager, Aiden Werlinger, Jerrick Jajola, Tanner Gillespie, Kashton Ford, Hayden Wright, Kash Krogman, Buck Fickbohm, Peter Pulling, Perry Ketelsen, Wren Jacobs, Reese Jacobs, Zaven Osborne Robert Merwin, Mason Osowski, Zak Juelfs, Austin Ateyo, Hunter Harrison, Ryne Bostrom, Joseph Osowski, and Harrison Good. Kneeling, from left: Korbin Osborn, Maverick Simmons, Byron Holt, Paul Pulling, Joey Valle, Preston Ray, Jackson Ford, Logan Desersa, Evan Osborn, Kelton Olson, and Thane Elshere. Front row, left: Abbie Culver, Brooklyn Brant, Madison Snyder, Gavin Sundstrom, Dee Daniels, Lucas Lewellen, Cade Lemmel, Koyer Kelly, Jayden Rahn and Danielle Neiger. Not pictured are: Gunner Rohloff, Braden Temple, Kaden Olson, Tegan Zebroski, and Teryn Zebroski. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts


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New coach to guide Newell wrestlers By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer NEWELL — A familiar face will guide the Newell wrestling team for a 2020–2021 season. Dylan VanDerBoom succeeds Mike Phelps, who stepped down after last season. “I want these kids to feel comfortable,” VanDerBoom said. “They were comfortable with (Mike) Phelps coaching them. I was coached by him, so I kind of understand how he coaches.” VanDerBoom said wrestling is a hard sport, and the long season is grueling. “Every wrestler knows when you step out on the mat, you and your opponent, may the best man win,” he said. VanDerBoom added wrestling requires a lot of self-control. Junior Chase VanDerBoom earned sixth place in the 126-pound weight class at last season’s state B tournament. Classmate Caleb McGregor also represented the Irrigators. Coach VanDerBoom sees the two state qualifiers as key athletes for this season along with junior Garrett Winkler, ninth-grader Charlie Clements, eighth-grader Blaise McGregor, and seventh-grader Chase Johnston. “I’m excited to see what we can accomplish,” coach VanDerBoom said. “If we all put our minds to it, we can get

pretty far.” VanDerBoom said the Irrigators will not be a good dual team because of low numbers. He added they should do well in the tournaments they enter. Experience and camaraderie are Newell’s strong suits, said VanDerBoom. He said the athletes spend a lot of time together, and camaraderie is key to having a good team. “Wrestling is a whole different family,” coach VanDerBoom said. “I still talk to kids that I used to wrestle from high school.” VanDerBoom spends a lot of time on drilling. He said athletes work hard all during practice, and drill even when tired. “Technique is a huge thing,” coach VanDerBoom said. “Being able to flow with your body, flow with your opponent.” VanDerBoom said a wrestler can perform technique perfectly but may not be able to wrestle with feel. “One of the biggest successes is coming in and getting better every day,” coach VanDerBoom said. He added every wrestler can build off what they accomplished last season. Practice sessions official began Nov. 16. Drilling has taken center stage. “One of the biggest things is always being able to be in good position, al-

ways comfortable with where you’re at,” coach VanDerBoom explained. VanDerBoom said he would like to see last season’s state qualifiers duplicate that feat. He added he wants to see everyone stay healthy all season and be strong in their respective weight classes. Patrick Hamling graduated from last season’s team. Newell tied for 10th place at the season-opening Custer Invitational on Friday, Dec. 4. The Irrigators finished with 50 points. Three wrestlers earned top-eight placings. They were Chase VanDerBoom (second place at 138 pounds), Caleb McGregor (second at 220), and Garrett Winkler (fourth at 145).

NEWELL wrestling schedule Dec. 8 at Harding County Quadrangular ............................................5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Douglas Quadrangular .........5 p.m. Dec. 19 at Hot Springs Tourney............ 9 a.m. Jan. 8 Lyman Tourney .........................11 a.m. Jan. 9 at Lyman Tourney....................... 9 a.m. Jan. 26 at Lemmon Round-Robin ....4:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at Belle Fourche Tourney .........1 p.m. Jan. 30 at Belle Fourche Tourney ........ 9 a.m. Feb. 2 hosting Newell Round Robin..5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at Hill City BH Classic ................9 a.m. Feb. 13 at Kadoka Bad Land Classic..... 9 a.m. Feb. 20 at Rapid City Regions ............... 9 a.m.

Bound for Success! Wishing the Irrigators a successful season!

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605.456.2313

YOU’RE MORE THAN A CUSTOMER. YOU’RE A NEIGHBOR.

Newell’s wrestling team includes, back row from left: Chase VanDerBoom, Garrett Winkler, Caleb McGregor; front row from left: Charlie Clements and Blaise McGregor. Chase Johnston and head coach Dylan VanDerBoom are not pictured. Courtesy photo

Good Luck Scoopers! We’re Rooting for You!

Jerry Casteel Auctioneer/Broker/Owner 605-347-5110 Ryan Casteel Broker/Owner 605-423-6000 Call us at: 605-347-5110 or 605-347-9293 or Fax us at: 605-347-6680 E-mail us at jcasteel@rushmore.com Visit our Web page at www.casteelauction.com or www.sdauctions.com


Winter 2020-2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Page 25

2020-2021Spearfish cheerleaders

Spearfish’s cheerleading squad is preparing for a busy winter season. Members are, pictured from left: Chayse Keller, Nevaeh Foster, Morgan Johnson, Rachel Woods, Chloe Drolc, head coach Pamela Waterson, Kaitlyn Irvin, Jadyn Hamann, Shanna Ball, and Alira Termes. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

Good Luck to All Area Athletes

GhisOsOpDtsLsUeaCsKon

t Accounts Receivable

Payroll Processing

Accounts Payable

Monthly & Quarterly Tax Filings

Bank Reconciliations Notary Service

125 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 2E, Spearfish Office: (605) 717-5849 | Cell: (605) 645-4679 Fax: (605) 717-5859 | creedbookkeeping@gmail.com

Year-end Tax Preparation

to

area athletes!

ALL

CONSIGNMENT & PET SUPPLY

D O GO

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830 N. 3rd St., Spearfish | 717.2897

Have a safe and fun season.

S! E T E L TH A A E AR

ROCKET LUBE • 1718 North Ave., Spearfish • 605-642-8021


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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2020-2021

2020-2021 Lead-Deadwood cheerleaders

Lead-Deadwood’s cheerleading squad for this winter features, back row from left: Cameran Stoflet, Alexandria Valenzuela, Chloe Myers; front row from left: Delanie Berglund and Miranda Kearns. Head coach Samantha Rogers is not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

Hope this Season is a Hit!

Best wishes to a successful season!

ttoooo 820 E. Colorado Blvd., Spearfish

Three Cheers

611 E. Jackson, Spearfish

for our Student

Athletes

For their performance on the field, on the court and in the classroom, we recognize the students who go above and beyond to achieve academic and athletic success. We salute their hard work, and we hope for futures filled with wins! ~ Since 1876 ~


Winter 2020-2021

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

2020-2021 Belle Fourche cheerleaders

Belle Fourche’s cheerleading squad for this winter includes, back row from left: Victoria Donovan, Kalika Nulle, Ella Carlson, Serena Davis; front row from left: Neriah Aden, Hailey Anderson, Kiana Tingley, and Naveah Balderas. Evelyn Lyons and head coach Michaela Hallam are not pictured. Courtesy photo

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We would like to wish all area athletes a successful sports season. Tee off at the Center of the Nation

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10941 SD Highway 34, Belle Fourche • (605) 892-3472 • BelleFourcheCountryClub.com


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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Winter 2020-2021

2020-2021 Sturgis Brown cheerleaders

Members of the Sturgis Brown High School cheerleading squad for the 2020-21 basketball season are, back from left: Emma Isaacson, Sam Reicher, Arianna Gorczewski, Ashlyn Krcil, Sydnee Brown and Brenna Whitford. Middle sitting from left: Coach Brooke Passolt, McKenzie Tarrent, Mya Jordan, Lameera Mills, Haley Mooney, Hannah Robertson and Natalie Schryver. Front from left: Amara Reece, McKyla Tarrent, Lilly Fobes, Gracie Williams and Zo Snyder. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

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