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S T R O SP

W E I V E R P

1 2 0 2 Fall Spearfish Spartans • Lead-Deadwood Golddiggers Belle Fourche Broncs Sturgis Scoopers • Newell Irrigators

CROSS COUNTRY | SOCCER | DANCE | VOLLEYBALL

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FOOTBALL | SOFTBALL | GOLF | CHEER | TENNIS


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Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

EDITOR’S NOTE: The schedules listed were provided by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. Some opponents and locations may change as the season progresses as schools grapple with COVID-19 exposures and confirmed cases.

Spearfish football sees change in culture By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Spearfish Spartans’ football team finished 0-11 in 2020. Even though they didn’t record a win in the standings, they showed heart, determination, and a never-give-up mentality. “First and foremost, I think our seniors that left a great foundation for Spartan football going forward,” said Dalton Wademan, entering his second season as the Spartans’ head coach. “As a group, as a whole, as a Spartan family, players, families, parents, kids, everybody that was involved with Spartan football last year bought into what we were doing. They bought into our culture, and bought into what we believed in was very fun to see, and now those guys that were younger last year have a year of experience.” The Spartan athletes have been busy during the offseason. “That’s another thing about buying in. Our kids did a great job of if they weren’t playing a sport in the winter or the spring, they were participating in our offseason weightlifting program,” said Wademan. Wademan was pleased with his players’ offseason commitment. “Over the summer, I asked for 90% attendance in everything we do over the summer. We got most of our kids there

doing that,” said Wademan. “We had the Black Hills State University football camp. The weight room was a good thing. We learned a lot about ourselves; we learned as a team, we saw who our leaders are. The weight room teaches us a bunch. I truly believe we have to thrive in order to have a successful season, and our kids did that this summer,” The Spartans saw a good turnout in the number of players. “We’ve got between 55 to 60 kids out this fall. We have a big freshman class. As coaches our goal is to recruit players, get kids out and excited for football, and we have some kids that didn’t go out last year that are out this year and we are excited about our numbers,” he said. Bigger numbers means giving younger players a chance to play. ”I think one of the biggest things about our numbers is, we are able to give our younger kids their own schedule. They’ll have a junior varsity schedule, and we will have a freshmen schedule as well. We’ll have three teams playing football throughout the week and we are excited to see that development, and see those kids come together and play football, and compete,” Wademan said. The Spartans began football practice on Aug. 9.

“I think our team came in to fall practices in great condition. You could definitely tell that everything that we did from the end of last year up until now, winter, spring, and over the summer, has paid off,” said Wademan. “It paid off knowing our playbooks, being conditioned. Just how much bigger physically we are. How much stronger we are. It’s all paid off and it showed off this week.” Wademan said the team has been working on all facets of the game. “We have worked on all three aspects of the game. We believe that you have to work on offense, defense, and special teams. We don’t believe one is more important than the other,” Wademan said. The Spartans’ first game is Aug. 27 at Mitchell. “We talk about it every day. We have to trust the process and keep climbing that mountain. Our leaders have to continue to lead our group and not let us drop down into a gully. We have to continue to take steps up,” said Wademan. “I understand we might go back a little bit, but with our leaders stepping up with energy, focus, leading our team in the right direction and keep chugging along, and get better each day.”

SPEARFISH football schedule Aug. 27 at Mitchell...................................... 6 p.m. Sept. 3 hosting Huron.................................. 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at Yankton...................................... 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at Sturgis Brown .......................... 6 p.m. Sept. 24 hosting Custer (Homecoming) ...... 6 p.m. Oct. 1 hosting St. Thomas More................. 6 p.m. Oct. 8 at Douglas........................................... 6 p.m. Oct. 15 hosting Tea Area............................. 6 p.m. Oct. 21 at Belle Fourche.............................. 6 p.m.

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Fall 2021

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

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Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School football team are, front row left: Caden Langenfeld, Chase McArthur, Logan Gosse, Trent Culver, Izaak Limbo, Brayden Delahoyde, Ryan Heinert, Seth Hamilton, Hunter Walters, Hudson Walters, Cody Chapman, Connor Winieckie, Peyton Millis, and Jaden Guthmiller. Second row left: Cole Malo, Ian Rath, Brady Hartwig, Will Brien, Dalton Ferrel, Mason Schmitz, Riley Swisher, John Jeffery, Bridger Niehaus, Carter Lyon, Drace Eisenbarth, Cadence Jones, Haven Bissell, and Danner Craig. Third row left: Heith Brownell, Jonah Donner, Preston Shandley, Carson Tetreault, Isaiah Lahoe, Dawson Wood, Ruben Lucio, Pierce Miller, Aiden Meverden, Ethan Frey, and Ashton Eixenberger. Fourth row left: Drason Craig, Aiden Haught, Quinton Carlson, Brodie Tetreault, Kolter Robbins, Matthew Marrs, Zander Brost, Michael Gonzalez, TaShaun Bad Bear, Jonathan Bloom, Brayden Wickenhagen, and Jacob Brewer. Fifth row left: Assistant coaches Jim Martin, Kade Walter, Tom Tieszen, Jaxon Parker, Zac Zandstra, head coach Dalton Wademan, and assistant coaches Cody Powers, Bailey Norton, and Brady Sudbeck. Not pictured are: Coach Darin Douglas, Dylon Doren, Sam Gaddis, Payton Storbech, Aiden Kracht, Evan Wilson, Markus Medina, Matthew Medina, Layton Loup, Kadyn Loup, Sam Moore, and Devon Heinbaugh. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

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Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

L-D football adjusting to new head coach By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer LEAD — The early going has pleased Kyle Kooima as he gets ready for his first season of coaching the LeadDeadwood varsity football team. “Kids are learning a lot. They’re really been doing a great job of picking up the new stuff, working hard, and giving their best effort,” Kooima said. Kooima takes over for Tom Tieszen, who stepped down after last season. Kooima came west after spending seven years in the Castlewood school system. Official practices began on Aug. 5. Focal points include learning new terminology, installing the basic offense, and starting to prepare for the opener at Bennett County. Numbers have varied in the early going, but Kooima estimated 30 to 34 players have attended practice sessions. Players on the offense feature senior quarterback Rocke Rainey, sophomore tailback Sam Kooima, junior running back Ryan Rantapaa, senior running back-wide receiver Tristen Fierbach, junior lineman Brady Neill, and senior lineman Eli Heisinger.

“Our line is going to be relatively young,” Kooima said. “We’ll have an underclassman or two potentially starting, depending on how kids wind up.” Kooima said a willingness to work together and be good teammates serves as a Golddiggers’ strength. “We’re really focusing on effort, hard work, working not just for yourself but for your teammates as well,” he added. Players will need to get stronger and faster as games and practices progress, Kooima said. He added they have been eager in learning how to lift weights and start work on improving their strength. Lead-Deadwood’s next home game is Sept. 3 against Upton-Sundance. The Golddiggers will also host Lakota Tech on Sept. 10, Rapid City Christian in the Oct. 2 Prospector Bowl, and Custer in the Oct. 8 homecoming game. “Every game is a battle, and it’s going to be tough,” Kooima said when asked about the strength of LeadDeadwood’s schedule. He added some have told him the slate is not as difficult as it has been in past years. As for the Black Hills Conference

race, Kooima said Custer and Hot Springs should be good contests. “I think we’ll have a lot of competitive games,” he said, adding the early focus is on the non-conference opener against Bennett County. “The biggest thing when you define success in a high school varsity sport is growth,” Kooima said. “Did we set small goals? Did we meet those goals, whether individual or team goals? Did we get better each week?” Kooima describes his desired style of play as hard-nosed, tough, and physical. “We want to be known as a team that isn’t just going to lay over and get steamrolled,” he said. “We want to be competitive; we want to hit; we want to be physical.” The Golddiggers finished 2-6 last season and fell 53-0 to Bridgewater/ Emery-Ethan in a Class 11B playoff game. Charlie Hanel, Dawson Janke, Tyler Rohn, Brevan Morris, Gage Mau, Cody Rakow, Domenic Lucero, Jake Hallock, Jacob Harris, Mekieh Hon, and TK Rainey graduated from that squad.

LEAD-DEADWOOD football schedule Aug. 20 hosting Bennett County ............... 6 p.m. Aug. 27 at Miller/Highmore-Harrold........ 6 p.m. Sept. 3 hosting Upton/Sundance .............. 6 p.m. Sept. 10 hosting Lakota Tech..................... 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at Hill City................................. 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2 hosting RC Christian (Prospector Bowl). . TBD Oct. 8 hosting Custer (homecoming) ........... 6 p.m. Oct. 15 at Hot Springs ................................. 6 p.m.

Lead-Deadwood’s football team includes, back row left: Stryder Greenfield, Rocke Rainey, David Morris, Eli Heisinger, Carter Estes, Tyler Percy; third from left: Kashton Dillman, Tyler Williams, Brody Neill, Crew Rainey, Jacob Smith, Ethan Van Tassel; second row left: Sam Kooima, Dylan Meade, Connor Harrison, Beau Wichterman, Ethan Finn, Kaden Lefler; front row left: Mekhi Hayes, Trystian Greenfield, Drew Janke, Tanner Millard, James Pierce, Cruz Mollman, John Thomas Gifford, and Connor Bender. Not pictured are: Miles Crippen, Ryan Rantapaa, Tristen Fierbach, Pete Reynolds, Ethan Hess, Winter McMahon, Baelyan Greenfield, Ben Wichterman, and head coach Kyle Kooima. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Fall 2021

Page 5

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Broncs returning experience to gridiron By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer BELLE FOURCHE — Belle Fourche’s football team returns quite a bit of experience for a football season that opens with three perennial powers. “We’ve got some good talent in the right positions. We just have to put it all together,” Broncs’ head coach Scott Slotten said. He is in his eighth season as the head coach. Junior quarterback Anthony Budmayr, senior tight end-linebacker Aidan McCarty, senior tackle Brooks Clooten, senior wide receiver-linebacker Gabe Heck, junior linebacker Jayden Sechser, sophomore linebacker Kyren Nulle, and senior guard-nose tackle Dagan Burns are the key returning players Slotten cited. “Offensively, we have four good running backs,” Slotten said in outlining the team’s strengths. “They can carry the ball and pass-protect.” Slotten said the defense returns a number of knowledgeable linebackers. “We have a lot of them flying around,

ready to make plays,” Slotten said. “You can really see in the early days that those guys are hungry on defense.” Belle Fourche opens its season Aug. 27, when it hosts Sioux Falls Christian. The Broncs then visit West Central on Sept. 3 and visit Douglas, Wyo., on Sept. 10. “If we want to continue to build our program, we have to learn how to compete against those guys,” Slotten said. “I think a lot of our older boys want to fight for that.” Belle Fourche’s schedule includes four other home games: Sept. 17 against Custer, Sept. 24 against Chamberlain, Oct. 5 against Douglas (Box Elder), and Oct. 21 against Spearfish. Official practice sessions began on Aug. 9. Fundamentals and non-contact basics were among the focal items, and Slotten said the players are working hard. Slotten said the Broncs need a greater sense of urgency in getting off the ball. He added more precise outside routes, plus tackling, are also areas needing improvement.

Slotten tabbed Sturgis Brown as the favorite in the Black Hills Conference’s Mt. Rushmore Division. He said St. Thomas More can never be counted out. Belle Fourche has team goals, but Slotten said they would not define success this season. He wants the Broncs playing their best at season’s end, the players having fun, and the team to end on a strong note. The Broncs won their 2020 season finale on a last-play field goal. Slotten said he would like the players to take that feeling and build on it for 2021. “If you get one of those three, we could find a high note and build off that,” Slotten said in describing the early schedule. He added players must find their own motivation. Belle Fourche finished 3-6 last season and did not qualify for the Class 11A playoffs. Logan Goeders, Aiken Crowley, Brextin Garza, Lan Fuhrer, Gage Kracht, Blake Vissia, and Austin Wood graduated from that squad.

BELLE FOURCHE football schedule Aug. 27 hosting Sioux Falls Christian ..... 6 p.m. Sept. 3 at West Central . .............................. 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at Douglas, Wyo. ........................... 6 p.m. Sept. 17 hosting Custer (Homecoming and Hall of Fame)... 6 p.m. Sept. 24 hosting Chamberlain ................... 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at Sturgis Brown .............................. 6 p.m. Oct. 8 at St. Thomas More........................... 6 p.m. Oct. 15 hosting Douglas............................... 6 p.m. Oct. 21 hosting Spearfish (Senior Night)..... 6 p.m.

Belle Fourche’s football team includes, back row from left: Andrew Newlander, Tatin Yackley, Anthony Budmayr, Ryker Audiss, Brooks Clooten, Cade Bickerdyke, Daniel Krajewski, Jayden Sechser, JT Hahne; third row from left: Logan Tyndall, Nolan Wahlfeldt, Carter McKenna, Jaimen Sechser, Sean Wahlfeldt, Aidan McCarty, Cayden Wolfe, Lucas Green; second row from left: Kyren Nulle, Riley Newman, Lane Longbrake, Ryan Evans, Gabe Heck, Devin Burns, Devin Nowowiejski, Dagan Burns, William Juelfs, Dalton Davis; front row from left: Earl Jordan, TJ Henwood, Owyn Schreder, Payton Jackson, Soren Kopp, Andrew Tonsager, and Gunnar Geib. Jet Jensen, Anthony Staley, Trey Smeenk, and Haydon Nickerson are not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Fall 2021

Scoopers are looking to open up the offense By Jim Holland Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS – The Sturgis Brown Scoopers are banking on an improved line and a more dynamic offense, led by a maturing young quarterback, to lead them to gridiron success this year. Last year Sturgis Brown started 0-3, with losses to Pierre, St. Thomas More, and Brookings. The Scoopers then won five of six, starting with wins over Douglas and Huron. A loss to Yankton was followed by wins over Mitchell, Belle Fourche, and Spearfish to round out the regular season. Sturgis Brown head coach Chris Koletzky said the Scooper offense struggled in those three first outings, but deciding to go with sophomore Owen Cass at quarterback helped open up the offense. Now a junior, Cass will likely be under center again this year. “Owen really gave us some weapons and some tools to really start changing our offense last year, once he showed

us what he could do throwing the football, and his quick release,” Koletzky said. The Scoopers lost Kaden Phillips, Sander Graham, Wren Jacobs, and Talon Elshere to graduation. “We graduated some really athletic seniors, talented-wise, some kids we’re not going to be able to replace,” Koletzky said. The Scoopers return 16 experienced seniors this season. Koletzky said the offensive and defensive lines look solid, and he hopes that will allow Cass and a to-be-determined cast of running backs and receivers to help the offense spread the defense more. “There’s probably seven or eight (players) that could start at corner or could start on offense at receiver, and they’re competing for those spots right now,” he said. With written permission from the SDHSAA for the second straight year, the Scoopers got in a week of fall drills

early before taking the week of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally off. “It’s early right now. We’ll see how it comes together. I like the kids we have,” Koletzky said. Goals for the Scoopers include contending for a Black Hills Conference title, and making a run in the Class 11AA playoffs. St. Thomas More won last year’s Black Hills Conference crown, while Sturgis Brown lost to Huron in the Scoopers’ home playoff opener. “That’s always the barometer for our program. The ESD (Eastern South Dakota Conference) SD teams we beat. We beat a couple of those schools last year. Those are high points that we’re certainly proud of,” Koletzky said. “For me and the other coaches, it’s how do we get over that hump and into the second round. In Class AA if you win in the second round, you’re going to the dome.” The Scoopers open at home against Watertown on Aug. 28.

STURGIS BROWN football schedule Aug. 28 hosting Watertown ...................... 6 p.m. Sept. 3 at Tea Area ...................................... 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at Pierre T.F. Riggs ....................... 6 p.m. Sept. 17 hosting Spearfish ......................... 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at RC Stevens (Rushmore Bowl)........ 8:15 p.m. Oct. 1 hosting Belle Fourche (Rushmore Bowl).... TBD Oct. 8 at Yankton ......................................... 6 p.m. Oct. 15 hosting St. Thomas More .............. 6 p.m. Oct. 21 at Douglas . ...................................... 6 p.m.

Members of the 2021 Sturgis Brown Scoopers’ football team are, back row left: Revan Wilde, Carter Williams, Dylan Dschaak, Landon Urbanec, Zak Juelfs, Hunter Harrison, Aidan Hedderman, Tyler Brandner, Jake Vliem, Bradley Williams, Buck Fickbohm, Slade Keierleber, Xander Heller, Zane Heller, Conner Schmidt, Noah Schaefers and Jadon Blair. Middle row left: Peter Pulling, Paul Pulling, Caleb Weishaar, Hayden Wright, Caleb Dorn, Owen Cass, Aiden Werlinger, Lance Septka, Braden Temple, Cale Jolley, Caelden Kennedy, Reese Jacobs, Konnor Berndt, Tyan Buus, and Jayden Rahn. Kneeling from left: Levi Meirose, Preston Ray, Caleb Benson, Jacob Avery, Gavin Ligtenberg, Gunner Rohloff, Max Vliem, Chase Temple, Tanner Ortlieb, Dawson Inhofer, Byron Holt, Benjamin Storm, Caleb Pilatos, Yaden Miller, Jake Krog, Blade Walker, and Jesse Lane. Sitting from left: Barrett Patterson, Madison Schaefer, Morgan delaPena, Taiton Ortlieb, Gunner Sarkela, George Hamer, Austin Atyeo, Gavin Sundstrom, Owen Udager, Demetrious Daniels, Thayne Elshere, Luke Ross, Cade Willnerd, and Gage Studer. Not pictured are: Dominik Smith, Chris Neilan, Kalvin Ketelson, and Landyn Davis. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

2021 Fall 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. © 2021 BLACK HILLS PIONEER, all rights reserved.


Fall 2021

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Well-rounded Irrigators to take to field By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer NEWELL — A well-rounded Newell football team will try to move forward following an 0-8 record last season. Irrigators’ head coach Tyrel Bonnet said 11 players have attended the early practices. The fourth-year coach added a few more might join the squad once school starts; that number is now at 16.” “Practices have been going well,” Bonnet said. “We’re just trying to get everybody back in the swing of things, everyone in shape.” Newell starts its season Aug. 20 at Herreid-Selby Area. The Irrigators have three home games on the slate: Sept. 10 against Dupree, Oct. 1 against Faith, and the homecoming game Oct. 15 against Edgemont to end the campaign. Bonnet said Newell looks forward to the new opponents. Herreid-Selby Area, Potter County (Gettysburg), and Edgemont are in that situation. “There isn’t anybody that is new to the squad other than the one or two freshmen that we have,” Bonnet said. “Everybody out is returning, and a couple of them are

coming off injuries that limit how much they could play.” Bonnet agreed every player is key for the Irrigators. He said the small numbers prompt everyone to step up and do what they can. “We have a couple of very good-sized linemen and some good, well-rounded athletes,” Bonnet said in addressing team strengths. “All in all, we’re kind of a well-rounded team.” Bonnet said speed, execution, and agility will need work this season. In addressing speed, he refers to linemen being able to get off the ball a split second before the opponent does. “Our schedule is always tough,” Bonnet said. The first two games (Herreid-Selby and Potter County) force Newell to travel for at least four hours. Faith, Harding County (who is co-opting with Bison), Dupree, Timber Lake, and Lemmon-McIntosh are familiar Irrigator opponents. Bonnet sees Harding County-Bison as the probable favorite in the Little Moreau Conference. He said every week will be a toss-up.

“I think we can compete,” Bonnet said. “We don’t have a heck of a lot of guys, but the ones we have want to be there.” Bonnet said building a solid nucleus will be Newell’s definition of success for this season. Camaraderie, keeping everyone on the same page, and moving forward will be required in Bonnet’s view. Official practice sessions began Aug. 5. Conditioning served as a primary emphasis. “When you only have 10 or 11 guys on a weekly basis, it’s hard to get some of them a breather,” Bonnet said. “I’m pretty keen on being in optimum shape.” Defensive coverage and agility were also addressed. Bonnet said a number of players look back on last season’s defeats and think about how they may try to turn that into a victory. He added the team must improve on communication and cohesiveness from last year. “The team that stays together is a team that gets along,” Bonnet said. “When one of them fights a battle, they’re all fighting the battle.” Neuly Mahaffy graduated from last season’s team.

NEWELL football schedule Aug. 20 at Herreid/Selby Area . ................ 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at Lemmon/McIntosh . .................. 6 p.m. Sept. 10 hosting Dupree ............................. 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at Timber Lake ..............................Noon Oct. 1 hosting Faith...................................... 2 p.m. Oct. 8 at Harding County-Bison................. 7 p.m. Oct. 15 hosting Edgemont (Homecoming). . 6 p.m.

Newell’s football team includes, back row left: Devon Jones, Chase VanDerBoom, James Duncan, Colton Burtzlaff, Colton Niles, Gavin Tesch; front row left, Orin Bender, Abrym Heinert, Charlie Clements, Chase Johnston, and Devon Winter. Not pictured are: Nate Randolph, Payton Johnston, Quinten Brist, Joe Olson, Jamin Davidson, and head coach Tyrel Bonnet. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Lady Spartan volleyballers looking to improve By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Spearfish High School girls’ volleyball team is looking to improve in 2021. The Lady Spartans finished 8-16 in 2020 after posting a 6-26 mark the season before that. Spearfish fell three games to zero to top-seeded Sioux Falls O’Gorman in the SoDak 16 tournament, ending the 2021 bid for a state title. “We were very happy with the success of our season last year, especially getting to the SoDak 16 tournament at the end of the season,” said Christine Skoglund, Spearfish’s head coach. “Of course we are sad we didn’t make it to the state tournament, but that’s another goal that we are going to strive for this season.” The Lady Spartans return a veteran team, especially upfront. “This year we’ve got a lot of good returners coming back. We have a middle hitter, Karstin DuPont. We have returning outside hitters, Stella Marcus, Maria Bouman, and KyleeJo Symonds. We also have an experienced libero

coming back too, and that’s Callie Wince,” Skoglund said. Spearfish is hoping to run an up-tempo offense this season. “We our going to run quicker sets. We are going to run faster tempo so that we can draw the other team’s defense off kilter a little bit. So we can get more kills, more points faster, and win more games,” Skoglund said. Spearfish began practicing on Aug. 12. “The first two days was fundamentals, fundamentals, along with tryouts,” said Skoglund. “Now we are working on a lot of defense. Especially when we come up against Class AA schools, we need to make sure we are blocking well, and reading the opponents’ hitters well so we can play better defense and get more wins.” The Lady Spartans got off to a slow start at the beginning of fall practices. “Today (Aug. 17) was our best day so far. I think the girls are acclimating to the two-a-day practices; they are working hard, and they are focused,” said Skoglund. “We don’t have to work

so much on the little things this year. We are working on more strategy type things, more of the little things that we really need to tweak the roster so we get more wins.” The Lady Spartans still need to get better before they open their season Aug. 28 at the Huron Tourney. “One thing we will continue to work on is the quicker, faster offense. A more solid defense, definitely in our back row, and also our mindset going up against those Sioux Falls teams,” said Skoglund. “That’s our biggest drawback I think, and in Spartan volleyball we have to know we can win those games. We are just as good as those teams, especially this year. We have a lot of height this year, so I’m looking forward to it.” Depth will also be a factor this season. “I am very happy with our depth. We have a really good junior class and a good sophomore class, and I am not afraid of bringing girls up at all,” Skoglund said.

SPEARFISH volleyball schedule Aug. 26 at Red Cloud ................................... 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at Huron .........................................8 a.m. Aug. 31 hosting Hill City............................... TBD Sept. 7 at RC Christian ............................... 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at Aberdeen Central . .................. 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at Pierre T.F. Riggs .................12:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Lead-Deadwood ........................ 7 p.m. Sept. 18 hosting Mitchell ...................... 3:30 p.m. Sept. 18 hosting Douglas ............................ 6 p.m. Sept. 21 at Sturgis Brown........................... 7 p.m. Sept. 23 hosting Custer .............................. 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at St. Thomas More....................... 7 p.m. Oct. 5 hosting Sturgis Brown .................... 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Watertown East/West Tourney...5p.m. Oct. 12 hosting Belle Fourche . .................. 7 p.m. Oct. 19 hosting Hot Springs ....................... 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at RC Central .................................. 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at RC Stevens .................................... 7 p.m. Nov. 4 at Douglas . ........................................ 7 p.m.

Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School volleyball team are, front row left: Halle Parks (manager), Justine Mitchell, Callie Wince, Tayler Duncan, and Lillian Gallegos (manager). Middle row left: Assistant coach Heidi Work, Vaida Pettersen, Alivia Heairet, Stella Marcus, Faith Steedley, and Antonia Hill. Back row left: Assistant coach Gretchen Weir, Karstin DuPont, Maria Bouman, KyleeJo Symonds, Sam Allred, assistant coach Shelbie Budmayr, and head coach Christine Skoglund. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

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Fall 2021

Page 9

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Golddigger VB team boasts starting experience

By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer LEAD — Lead-Deadwood’s varsity volleyball team returns four players for a season set to begin Aug. 24 against Newell. Golddiggers’ head coach Kim Hansen said senior middle hitter Jayna Prince, senior middle hitter Rachel Janssen, junior setter Allison Mollman, and junior right-side hitter Tilli Katon will shoulder a great deal of the load. “I’m really going to look to those four for not only experience, but leadership,” said Hansen, who is in her sixth season as head coach. “They are going to be our top players all the way around.” Hansen said that group is brilliant on the court as well as in the classroom. “It was so fun to push them and to do something a little out of their comfort zone,” she added. Hansen really looks forward to seeing what they are able to do. The Golddiggers also boast a good group of younger players who could

gain quite a bit of playing time, Hansen said. “We grew so much as a team,” Hansen said in recapping 2020. “It’s hard to not look at wins and losses as a coach, but I think these girls are hungry to not only get better, but they’re hungry to win.” Hansen said Lead-Deadwood will need to address unforced errors this season. She added the players must always be aware of passing and hitting percentages. “We’re going to be doing stats and a lot more of being aware of when those mistakes happen on the court,” Hansen said. “How we can quickly fix them directly relates to how we will play on the court.” Lead-Deadwood opens its season Aug. 24 against Newell, with six other home events on the slate. Those are Sept. 7 against Edgemont, Sept. 14 against Spearfish, Sept. 16 against St. Thomas More, Sept. 23 against Hot Springs, Sept. 28 against Red Cloud, Oct. 12 vs. New

Underwood, and Oct. 26 against Custer. Black Hills Conference newcomer Rapid City Christian will host the Golddiggers on Oct. 22. Hansen said the Comets are doing a lot of good things. Hill City earns Hansen’s nod for top Black Hills Conference honors. “With the rest of us, it’s going to be a battle to try to beat Hill City,” Hansen said. “A lot of our teams are kind of in the same boat. We have some experience but need a little bit of rebuilding,” Hansen said. Success for the Golddiggers includes on-court improvement, but Hansen also cited buy-in to the program from players and parents. Official practice sessions began Aug. 12. Hansen said one of the focal points would include increased aggressiveness on serving. She added this summer’s game play included terrific initial serves. “In the past, we’ve tended to see a

huge difference in our serving percentage in practice and our serving percentage in the game,” Hansen said. “There should not be any difference there.” Hansen said the Golddiggers will start off where they left off last season. She added some other players would step in. “We cannot have a negative hitting percentage if we’re going to go play anyone,” Hansen said when asked about one of the biggest improvements she would like to see from last season to this. Lead-Deadwood finished 2-20 during a 2020 season that ended with a loss to Hill City in the Region 7A-8A tournament. Kailee Bertrand, McKinly Kyte, Lexie Schroeder, Madi Rystrom, Lillie Wittmayer, Taya Burleson, and Alex Pearson graduated from last season’s team.

LEAD-DEADWOOD volleyball schedule

Lead-Deadwood’s varsity volleyball team includes, back row from left: Tilli Katon, Ashley Lary, Rachel Janssen, Jayna Prince, Erica Hansen; front row from left: Maddie Rogers, Rebekah Casias, Allison Mollman, Gayle Thompson, Allison Lester, and Allison Keehn. Sydnie Percy and head coach Kim Hansen are not pictured. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Page 10

Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Bronc VB team set to begin season By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer BELLE FOURCHE — Belle Fourche’s varsity volleyball squad is preparing for its season opener Aug. 24 against Sturgis Brown. Official practice sessions began on Aug. 12. Two days of tryouts launched that slate, with individual meetings set for the next evening. Skill work took center stage on Aug. 14, when teams were more finalized. “I think we have a wide variety of girls that, depending on how we get things put together, are going to be doing some nice things for us,” Belle Fourche head coach Loree Schlichtemeier said. She is starting her 14th season. Schlichtemeier said every varsity player is key right now. She anticipates some will stick out a bit, but a collective effort will be required for the season. Eleven players are on the varsity roster as of press time. Seniors are defensive specialists Terlin Cazer and Allison Labrier, setter McKenzie Lyons, and middle hitter Kaylin Garza. Six juniors are also representing the Broncs: setter Lily McCarty, defensive specialist Chloe Crago, outside-right side

hitter Dylan Stedillie, middle hitter Grace Clooten, right side hitter Tia Williamson, and outside-right side hitter Adryana Hovland. Sophomore Mataya Ward rounds out the roster as an outside hitter. “They want to improve, and they want to be better this year,” Schlichtemeier said in outlining team strengths. “I think they’re going to work hard for us in the gym.” Schlichtemeier said some younger players who gained experience last season will return. She added the juniors and seniors will bring an extra year to the table. “Defense is going to be our big thing that we need to improve on,” Schlichtemeier said. “Getting ready to play, and being ready to go: we’ve got some tough matchups right away.” Belle Fourche will host Hill City on Sept. 4. Other Broncs’ home matches are Sept. 9 against Winner Area, Sept. 25 at the Belle Fourche Invitational, Sept. 30 against Bowman County, Oct. 2 against Douglas, Oct. 5 against Faith, Oct. 14 against Red Cloud, Oct. 19 against St. Thomas More, and Oct. 28 against LeadDeadwood. Rapid City will host the state Class A

tournament set for Oct. 18-20. “I think our schedule’s pretty tough,” Schlichtemeier said. The Broncs face Aberdeen Roncalli, Winner Area, and Hill City (twice). Schlichtemeier looks for Hill City to have a tough squad in the Black Hills Conference race. She said many teams graduated some really good seniors from last season. “It will be interesting to see how teams fill in spots,” Schlichtemeier said. “Like always, I think our conference is going to be very competitive.” She agreed it would be impossible to tell who will emerge. Schlichtemeier hopes the Broncs are very competitive in the conference, and the potential does exist. “It’s going to depend a lot on how hard the girls are willing to work, and maybe make some changes on some things they’ve been doing,” she said. Success is not always measured in wins and losses for Schlichtemeier. She said teams and players want to accomplish certain goals. “It was a crazy season, just with the different things with COVID and stuff,” Schlichtemeier said in describing 2020. “This year, we’re getting to start kind of

normal, which will be nice.” Schlichtemeier said the players want to be more competitive this season. Belle Fourche finished 7-14 in a 2020 season that ended with a loss to Winner Area at the Region 7A-8A tournament. Amity Middleton, Kylee Crago, Hayley Wilbur, Layla Hockenbary, and Katie Mailloux graduated from that squad.

BELLE FOURCHE volleyball schedule Aug. 24 hosting Sturgis Brown.................. 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at Custer .......................................... 7 p.m. Sept. 4 hosting Hill City ............................. 3 p.m. Sept. 7 at St. Thomas More ........................ 7 p.m. Sept. 9 hosting Winner ............................... 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Lennox Tourney ................. 7:30 a.m. Sept. 16 at Hot Springs .......................... 6:15 p.m. Sept. 21 at RC Christian ............................. 6 p.m. Sept. 25 hosting Belle Fourche Tourrney.....9 a.m. Sept. 30 hosting Bowman, N.D. ................. 6 p.m. Oct. 2 at Custer Tourney ............................ 9 p.m. Oct. 2 hosting Douglas ................................ 6 p.m. Oct. 5 hosting Faith ..................................... 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Aberdeen Roncalli ....................... 3 p.m. Oct. 9 at Redfield Tourney . ........................8 a.m. Oct. 12 at Spearfish ..................................... 7 p.m. Oct. 14 hosting Red Cloud .......................... 6 p.m. Oct. 16 at Douglas Tourney .................. 8:30 a.m. Oct. 19 hosting St. Thomas More .............. 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Hill City ....................................... 7 p.m. Oct. 28 hosting Lead-Deadwood ................ 7 p.m.

Belle Fourche’s varsity volleyball squad features, back row left: Mataya Ward, Dylan Stedillie, Kaylin Garza, Grace Clooten, Tia Williamson, Adryana Hovland; front row left: Terlin Cazer, Lily McCarty, McKenzie Lyons, Allison Labrier, and Chloe Crago. Not pictured is head coach Loree Schlichtemeier. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Fall 2021

Page 11

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Lady Scooper volleyball team prepares for season By Tim Potts Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS – The majority of the 12 senior Sturgis Brown volleyball players playing this season have played together since middle school, and with that experience, they are looking forward to a successful season. “This should be a competitive season for the Lady Scoopers,” said Deb Cano, Sturgis Brown’s head coach. “The majority of this group of seniors have played together for several years. They are a very talented group, and I am looking forward to seeing them compete this year.” Cano, in her second year as head coach, said the team numbers are up a little at the start of practice this season, with 50 individuals competing for positions. There are 12 seniors, nine juniors, 19 sophomores, 18 freshmen,

and one eighth-grader. Cano talked about several areas the Lady Scoopers will be concentrating on this season. “We are looking to improve our passing game to allow our offense to be effective and consistent,” she said. This year’s seniors include: Tatum Ligtenberg, Dezmond Rhodes, TyLee Oswald, Ysabela Gallosa, Joellen Cano, Lexi Long, Hannah Aston, Dylan Reman, Sam Shaw, Olivia Schaefers, Tacey Tieman, and Sydney Sobolewski. Ligtenberg talked about the upcoming season. “I am very excited to play with my team this year. We have played together throughout our youth and have been waiting to play together as a varsity team. Our goal as a team is to push each other every day and to become the best players and team that we can be,”

said Ligtenberg. “This season we are gonna miss the girls from last season, but we have a solid roster of girls working hard to return to the Sweet 16 and hopefully beyond that,” said Long. “I think some of our goals this year is to improve the speed of our sets and keep the momentum in our favor.” Cano said the goal for this season is to be in the top three teams in the Black Hills Conference. Sturgis Brown ended last year’s season with an 8-15 record, and will miss six senior players from last year’s squad that have graduated. Joellen Cano is a returning AllConference player from the 2020 season. Cano will be assisted this year by assistant coaches Amber Burgdoerfer and Timmi Keisel.

STURGIS BROWN volleyball schedule Aug. 24 at Belle Fourche ............................ 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Mitchell ...................................... 4 p.m. Aug. 28 at Huron Invite ..............................9 a.m. Aug. 31 at St. Thomas More ...................... 7 p.m. Sept. 2 hosting RC Christian ..................... 7 p.m. Sept. 4 hosting Red Cloud .......................... 5 p.m. Sept. 10 at Pierre ......................................... 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at Aberdeen Central . .............. 1:30 p.m. Sept. 16 hosting Hill City ........................... 7 p.m. Sept. 21 hosting Spearfish ......................... 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at Douglas ...................................... 7 p.m. Sept. 30 hosting Douglas ............................ 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at Spearfish ....................................... 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Brookings Tourney . .................... 3 p.m. Oct. 9 at Yankton Tourney .........................9 a.m. Oct. 14 hosting Lead-Deadwood ................ 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at RC Central .................................... 7 p.m.

Members of the Sturgis Brown High School 2021 volleyball team are, back row left: Olivia Schaefers, Tacey Tieman, Joellen Cano, TyLee Oswald, Dylan Reman, and Hannah Aston. Front row left: Dezmond Rhodes, Ysabela Gallosa, Sam Shaw, Tatum Ligtenberg, Sydney Sobolewski, and Lexi Long. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

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Page 12

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Team play key for Newell VB squad

By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer NEWELL — Newell head volleyball coach Tysha McDonald will emphasize strong team play for this season. “We play better when we play together as a team,” said McDonald, who is in her fourth season as head coach. “I think we have a closer team this year than we have in years’ past.” McDonald listed senior setter Sydnee Kjellsen, junior outside hitter Taylor Gaer, and sophomore defensive specialist Kim Johnson as key returning players for the Irrigators this season. “We have a lot of leaders, a lot of opportunities for girls to step up,” McDonald said in outlining the team’s strengths. “When you have girls in that situation, you’ll see a lot that grow.” McDonald said this season’s team is young and lacking in experience. She added several have not played a lot of high-skilled varsity games. “As long as we make our practices very high-level and high-competitive, they’ll

get there and be ready for the season,” McDonald said. Younger players are doing well in adapting to the Irrigators’ culture. “They’ve come into that gym, especially with open gym, and they’ve seen what’s expected,” McDonald said. “They know this isn’t easy and practices aren’t easy, but we’re here to win and have fun.” McDonald added that also means playing tough and well. Newell will open its season Aug. 24 at Lead-Deadwood, with the first home match set for Sept. 2 against Oelrichs. Six other home events are on the regular-season schedule. They are a Sept. 16 triangular, Sept. 23 against Hill City, Oct. 5 against Dupree, Oct. 12 against Edgemont, Oct. 14 against Moorcroft, and Oct. 22 against Timber Lake. The Little Moreau Conference tournament is slated for Sept. 25 in Timber Lake. Region 8B tournament play will begin Nov. 1, with the state B tournament set for Nov. 18-20 in Rapid City.

McDonald said the Irrigators face tough opponents each season, along with matches where they know they must be ready from the start. Playing some opponents twice appeals to McDonald. “If we have a rough (first) game, we know what we need to do for the next one,” she said. “That always makes our schedule better and more fun.” McDonald said Newell, Faith, and Harding County should battle for the conference title. “I think we’ll be as competitive as we were last year,” McDonald said in describing conference matches. She added more teams are ready for Newell as the year progresses and the team improves. What will define success for the Irrigators this fall? “The biggest thing is having that young group of girls step up, play tough, and be ready to play,” McDonald said. She added having those highly competitive practices will help them be ready during matches.

Fall 2021

Official practice sessions started on Aug. 12. Fundamentals have been emphasized, along with older players refreshing their skills and younger players to learn what is expected. Many teams can take something from a season to start setting a foundation for the next one. “The biggest thing they need to take is a lot of our confidence,” McDonald said in describing the Irrigator players. “I really started to see that build last year: our confidence in our team and players, and our togetherness.” McDonald said she would like to see the players connect more as a team this season. She added this year’s squad is closer than in past seasons. Newell forged a 16-11 record last season, which ended with a setback against Faith in the Region 8B tournament. Kassidy Weeldreyer, McKaylee Mahaffy, Kayden Steele, and Lexa Burtzlaff graduated from that squad.

NEWELL volleyball schedule

Newell’s volleyball teams are getting ready for a season scheduled to begin Aug. 24. Pictured are: back row left, Eirelyn Bender, Mary Mahaffy, Sophia Johnston, Kianna Mailloux, Megan Jackson, Hailey McCann, Rachel Erk, Payge Oakes; middle row left, Shannon Yates, Kaira Stomprud, Taylor Gaer, Kimberly Johnson, Kianna Miller, Kelsi Clements; front row left: Maddy Mailloux, Katie McTaggart, Sydnee Kjellsen, and Stacy Mahaffy. Not pictured are: Rylee Nelson, Bejae Teschae, and head coach Tysha McDonald. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

Aug. 24 at Lead-Deadwood ......................... 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Custer Tourney . ....................... 3 p.m. Aug. 28 at Custer Tourney . .......................9 a.m. Sept. 2 at Oelrichs ....................................... 5 p.m. Sept. 14 at Bison .......................................... 5 p.m. Sept. 16 hosting Lemmon .......................... 4 p.m. Sept. 16 hosting Tiospaye Topa . ............... 4 p.m. Sept. 21 at New Underwood ...................... 5 p.m. Sept. 23 hosting Hill City ........................... 6 p.m. Sept. 25 LMC Tourney at Timber Lake....9 a.m. Sept. 28 at McIntosh ................................... 5 p.m. Sept. 30 at Wall ........................................... 6 p.m. Oct. 2 at Lead-Deadwood Tourney ............9 a.m. Oct. 5 hosting Dupree ................................. 5 p.m. Oct. 8 at Harding County ........................... 4 p.m. Oct. 12 hosting Edgemont .......................... 5 p.m. Oct. 14 hosting Moorcroft .......................... 5 p.m. Oct. 18 at Takini .......................................... 5 p.m. Oct. 22 hosting Timber Lake...................... 5 p.m. Oct. 23 at Dupree Tourney......................... 9 a.m.

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Fall 2021

Page 13

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Spearfish cross country teams looking to build unity By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Spearfish High School cross country program enjoyed increased team unity during the 2020 season. “The season really went well. They came together at the end at the state meet. We had all of our girls have PR’s (personal records) and stuff,” said Andy VanDeest, the Spearfish head coach. “On the boys’ side we had a really young team. Keenan (Urdiales) was our top-runner, so just getting some experience and getting some experience at meets was key.” Spearfish finished eighth in the girls’ division at the 2020 state Class AA meet. The Spartan boys finished 14th. Madie Donovan placed 24th, Josie Tobin (43rd place), Maria Eisenbraun (61st), Kori Keil (65th), Madison Viergets

(80th), Halle Fjelland (84th), and Elizabeth Van Osdol (93rd) also ran on the girls’ team. Keenan Urdiales paced the Spearfish boys’ team by earning 15th place at state. Other state finishers were: Evan Roles (79th place), Paul Hourigan (85th), Max Ensor (99th), Ben Baloun (108th), Casey Nauta (115th), and Noah Bailey (117th). Spearfish returns everyone from the 2020 squad. “We’ve got everybody back from the boys’ and girls’ teams, so we are just looking to build off last season,” VanDeest said. Spearfish started practicing for the cross country season on Aug. 12. “Just get in as much work as we can, but not do too much. We want to get a nice base,” Vandeest said. VanDeest said he was happy with his teams’ conditioning when they arrived

Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School boys’ cross country team are, front row left: Paul Hourigan, Max Ensor, Casey Nauta, Thomas Anglin, and Chase Dowdy. Back row left: Jackson Faulkner, Clay Donovan, Will Scharf, Will Williams, and Ben Baloun. Not pictured are: Natalee Bruner, Owen Bruner, Braden Leuders , Finn Hamilton, Keenan Urdialis, and Preston Davis.

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Have a safe and fun season.

for the first day of practice. “We had quite a few this summer that participated in our running program that we put on through the summer and stuff,” said VenDeest. “Had a good chunk of them that got the miles in, and came in in better shape than they did last year.” So far, the Spearfish runners have avoided getting any serious injuries. “So far so good. Nobody is really hurt. Trying to ease them into it, trying to keep them healthy,” VanDeest said. VanDeest wants to see his teams come together the first couple of meets of the season “I want to see team unity,” said VanDeest. “Having the kids have fun, pushing each other, and kind of working as a team, and hopefully that will pay off at the end of the year.”

SPEARFISH cross country schedule Aug. 27 at Douglas Early Bird ...................9 a.m. Sept. 3 hosting Northern Hills Invite . ... 10 a.m. Sept. 9 at Belle Fourche Invite . ..................Noon Sept. 18 at Clyde Cotton Invite ..................9 a.m. Sept. 24 at Hart Ranch Invite .................... 1 p.m. Sept. 28 at Tomahawk Invite ..................... 2 p.m. Sept. 30 at Sturgis Invite ........................... 1 p.m.

Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School girls’ cross country team are, front row left: Madelynn Schlup, Jonnie Jensen, Kori Keil, Nyra Schultz, and Madie Donovan. Back row left: Anissa Pietzyk, Genesis Raysor, Elizabeth VanOsdol, Maria Eisenbraun, Josie Tobin, and Halle Fjelland. Pioneer photos by Dennis Knuckles

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Page 14

Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

L-D runners preparing for XC season By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer LEAD — Lead-Deadwood’s cross country squads are getting ready for their traditional season opener, set for Aug. 27 in Newcastle, Wyo. Golddiggers’ head coach Will Malde listed senior Landon Williams and junior Clarissa Heisinger as key returning athletes from the 2020 campaign. Williams qualified for last season’s state Class A meet. “After that, we’re really young,” said Malde, who is beginning his seventh season as Lead-Deadwood head coach. “We have a decent number of freshmen.” Malde said the Golddiggers should have solid leadership this season, with a good mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen. He added he looks forward to the depth the teams should have. Work ethic emerges as another LeadDeadwood strength. “A lot of the kids that we have, we’ve had for quite a while,” Malde said. “They’re some of the hardest-working kids I’ve had.” Malde agreed increasing mileage

base is always something that can be worked on. He said the middle school runners are working hard, but it is a big jump from the middle school to the high school competition level. “They have a great group of people to lead by example and help push these new kids through,” Malde said of the younger runners. “If they take to it pretty quick, we could have a pretty good season.” Region 5A is well-documented in cross country circles as being among the state’s best. That forms the backbone of Lead-Deadwood’s schedule, which also includes the Sept. 3 Augustana Twilight Meet in Sioux Falls, the Sept. 28 Lead-Deadwood Invitational at Tomahawk Country Club, the Oct. 7 Black Hills Conference meet at Tomahawk, the Oct. 14 Region 5A meet at Red Cloud, and the state Class A meet Oct. 23 in Sioux Falls. “You’re really going to get the picture of how good the kids are, and how good everyone else is,” Malde said in describing the schedule. “We’re prepared for our postseason meets because all the other weeks challenged and prepared us.”

Malde picked the Hill City and Custer girls as contenders, with Red Cloud and St. Thomas More also in the mix. He said St. Thomas More and Custer look really solid in the boys’ division, along with Belle Fourche. “I really think we’ll be able to hold our own,” Malde said. He added the squad could contend with some of the top-tier opponents. Growth and improvement always spell success. Malde said he looks for the older team members to show their mates what is required to be successful. He also cited the importance of team unity. Official practice sessions started Aug. 12. Speed work will take up part of that, along with increased intensity and longer runs. Malde said team members showed a lot of adaptability in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a lot of things. He added he would like to see that adaptability continue this season. Madelaine Rogers, Zariah Jones, and Taylor Arehart graduated from last season’s teams.

LEAD-DEADWOOD cross country schedule Aug. 27 at Newcastle Invite .......................9 a.m. Sept. 3 at Augustana Twilight meet, Sioux Falls.....6 p.m. Sept. 9 at Belle Fourche Invite....................Noon Sept. 16 at Custer Invite.............................. 2 p.m. Sept. 21 at Hot Springs Invite .................. 10 a.m. Sept. 24 at Hart Ranch Invite .................... 1 p.m. Sept. 28 hosting Lead-Deadwood Invite... 2:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at Sturgis Invite ............................ 1 p.m. Oct. 7 hosting Black Hills Conference meet at Tomahawk............... 12:30pm Oct. 14 Region 5A Meet at Red Cloud........ 3 p.m. Oct. 23 State Class A meet at Sioux Falls... 10 a.m.

Lead-Deadwood cross country team members include, back row left: Phillip Sneesby, Tyler Todd, Garvon Golden, Jonas Runge, Alexandrea Sukstrof, Claire Hannah, James Pierce; front row left: Harlow McCauley, Ezias Nelson, Kale Williams, Hallie Person, Landon Williams, and Clarissa Heisinger. Not pictured are: Nevada McMahon, Seeley Fuller, Zayah Thorpe, Greyson Baumberger, and head coach Will Malde. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Fall 2021

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Bronc XC teams look to keep progressing By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer BELLE FOURCHE — The Belle Fourche cross country program aims to continue the growth it has recently enjoyed as it gets ready to open its season Aug. 27 at the Newcastle Invitational. Head coach Jeremy Elsom begins his first full season as Broncs’ head coach. He takes over for Chris Riley, who stepped down late in the 2020 campaign. The Bronc boys’ team includes junior Sawyer Clarkson, sophomore Aiden Voyles, sophomore Harley Rivera, junior Dustin Kolb, and ninth-grader Zach Tonsager. Clarkson placed third at last season’s state Class A meet, with Voyles placing 36th. Rivera and Kolb also qualified for state. Sophomore Ava Allen, sophomore Allison Hayes, and junior Alannah Pomrenke are among the returning athletes for the girls’ team. Allen finished

23rd at last season’s state Class A meet; Hayes placed 25th. “I believe our greatest strength is the determination of our athletes,” Elsom said. He added the program has generated quite a bit of momentum, with athletes enjoying increased success. When asked what the team will need to work on, Elsom looked at things from a long-term perspective. “Improving the boys’ team’s placing and getting girls to state are the big goals for this season,” Elsom said. He added he would like to see more girls’ athletes or a girls’ team reach state. The Broncs will compete at the Augustana Twilight Meet in Sioux Falls on Sept. 3 for its second meet. Belle Fourche will host its invitational at Belle Fourche Country Club on Sept. 9. Red Cloud is set to host the Region 5A meet on Oct. 14. The state Class A meet will be held Oct. 23 in Sioux Falls.

“With a meet a week or so on average, we’ll be busy,” Elsom said. He added the coaching staff has assembled a challenging training schedule for this season. Elsom said he has not formed any opinions about the Black Hills Conference team races. Lead-Deadwood will host that meet on Oct. 7 at Tomahawk Country Club. He sees success for this season in terms of team improvement from last season. Official practice sessions began Aug. 12. Team members have run over the summer. “The momentum of success this team has experienced the past several years is a great source of inspiration,” Elsom said. He added team members may use that to start setting a foundation for 2021. Isaac McKenney and Jasmyn Jensen graduated from last year’s teams.

BELLE FOURCHE cross country schedule Aug. 27 at Newcastle Invite .......................9 a.m. Sept. 3 at Augustana Twilight meet, Sioux Falls.... 6 p.m. Sept. 9 hosting Belle Fourche Invite . ........Noon Sept. 14 at Broadus Invite......................... 10 a.m. Sept. 28 at Lead-Deadwood Invite.......... 2:30 pm. Sept. 30 at Sturgis Invite ............................ 1 p.m. Oct. 7 at Black Hills Conference meet, Tomahawk..................... 12:30 p.m. Oct. 14 Region 5A meet at Red Cloud........ 3 p.m. Oct. 23 State Class A meet at Sioux Falls... 10 a.m.

The Belle Fourche cross country program includes, back row left: Jadon Jensen, Dustin Kolb, Owen Erhart, Harley Rivera, Aiden Voyles, Sawyer Clarkson, Zach Tonsager; front row left: Justus Funk, Gray Carlson, Ava Allen, Allison Hayes, Jordan Sandoval, Ayse Hockenbary, and Alanah Pomrenke. Not pictured are: Wyatt Keegan, Nic Lambert, and head coach Jeremy Elsom. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Experience a key for small Sturgis cross country roster By Jim Holland Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS – Sturgis Brown High School’s cross country team may not boast large rosters this fall, but key experience on both the boys’ and girls’ side gives Sturgis Brown head coach Blake Proefrock reason for optimism. “The outlook is more of the same: continue to improve,” Proefrock said. The girls’ team consists of three freshmen and two eighth-graders, including a state meet medalist, eighth-grader Iris Zylstra (21st last year), and freshmen Paige Willnerd (60th) Josie Reedy (76th), Gracie Sauer and eighth-grader Lucy Hamer. “A lot of them were on the same relay teams at track that were able to medal in a couple of events, so they’ve got a little bit of experience there,” Proefrock

said. On the boys’ side, returning state placers include the lone senior on the roster. Ray Henderson (58th at state last year), juniors Deron Graf (48th), and Beck Bruch (74th), sophomore Morgan Papenfuss (39th), and freshman Ty Petrollo (49th). Gavin Dunn, Connor Lurz, Hunter Barnhardt, Manny Juranillo, and Cash Daigle round out the roster. The Scooper boys’ team is coming off a win in last year’s Black Hills Conference meet, as well as a solid performance at state. “They’re a little older and more experienced, and I think they have a little more lofty goals, some they could reach. They want to medal as a team at state, and I think that’s possible,” Proefrock said.

A strong slate of Black Hills Conference teams and other stout regional competition will test the Scoopers as the season progresses toward the state meet in Sioux Falls on Oct. 23. The regular season schedule includes an invitational at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls; site of this year’s state meet. “Our conference is pretty good at any level. There are some of the best runners in the state,” Proefrock said. A team to watch is Rapid City Stevens. The Raider boys are a team title favorite, he said. “They’re going to be good, and we’re going to see them a lot. In the end, we’re going to be sitting pretty good, I hope.” he said.

Members of the 2021 Sturgis Brown High School boys cross country team are, from left: Morgan Papenfuss, Darin Graf, Ty Petrocco, Beck Bruch, Connor Lurz and Cash Daigle. Not pictured are: Ray Henderson, Gavin Dunn, and Hunter Barnhardt. Pioneer photos by Jim Holland

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STURGIS BROWN cross country schedule Aug. 27 at Douglas Early Bird....................9 a.m. Sept. 3 hosting Northern Hills Invite .... 10 a.m. Sept. 9 at Belle Fourche Invite . ..................Noon Sept. 18 at Clyde Cotton Invite ..................9 a.m. Sept. 24 at Hart Ranch Invite .................... 1 p.m. Sept. 30 at Sturgis Invite ............................ 1 p.m.

Members of the 2021 Sturgis Brown High School girls cross country team are, from left: Josie Reedy, Paige Willnerd, Iris Zylstra, and Lucy Hamer. Not pictured is Gracie Sauer.


Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Irrigators preparing for cross country season By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer NEWELL — Experience and leadership will step to the forefront for Newell’s cross country squads this fall. The campaign opens Aug. 27 in Douglas. Irrigators’ head coach Kyle Sanderson listed senior Garrett Winkler and sophomore Rachel Erk as key returning athletes for this season. Winkler finished seventh at last season’s state B meet to set the school standard, with Erk placing 34th. Newell’s boys’ team earned fourth place at that state meet. The Irrigator girls finished fifth. “We do have some experience coming back, and I think they’re going to be great leaders,” said Sanderson, who is in his ninth season as head coach. He added they should help the younger runners get acclimated to things rather quickly. Official practice sessions began Aug.

12. Sanderson said some team members ran during the summer and have a good base coming into the fall. Newell will be a bit short on numbers this season, Sanderson said. “We’re kind of rebuilding there, but we have some pretty good middle-school numbers turned out so far,” he said. Sanderson also listed enthusiasm as a strong suit, with team members excited to begin the campaign. Continuing to bolster each athlete’s running base will continue to need work. Sanderson cited something else he would like to see. “We also need to work on getting out of our comfort zones early in the season,” he said. “This is so we can be ready to race our best once conference, region, and state time come around.” Sanderson said Newell’s early schedule includes teams like Douglas and Belle Fourche. Black Hills Conference

schools in Class AA and Class A are also included on the slate. The campaign begins Sept. 3 with the Ryan Day Memorial in Faith. Newell hosts its invitational Sept. 17 at Newell Golf Club, which is also the Little Moreau Conference meet. Philip will host the Region 5B meet on Oct. 13. The state Class B meet is scheduled for Oct. 23 in Sioux Falls. “It should be a fun year,” Sanderson said in analyzing the Little Moreau Conference race. “I think it’s going to be opened up with a lot of people graduating.” Sanderson sees Lemmon as the favorite in the girls’ division, with Timber Lake and Bison boasting good athletes in the boys’ division. “On the boys’ side, we’re going to be pretty similar to a lot of the other teams,” Sanderson said. He added they will have low numbers with a strong top

Page 17 runner. Sanderson said the girls’ team does not have the depth of past seasons. He added the team enjoys a solid one-two combination of Erk and junior Stacy Mahaffy. Exiting the comfort zone and running with more confidence will define success for the girls’ team, Sanderson said. He added the boys’ squad will use season-long improvement to measure success. Early practice sessions will check the athletes’ fitness levels and work on form and technique. “The thing to take from last year is working hard throughout the whole season and putting yourself in a good position at the end,” Sanderson said. He cited what he would like to see the key runners try to achieve this season. Winkler earned state medals in past years. Sanderson said he would like to see Winkler try to get into the next group of runners. Getting to the medal stand (top 25) will be a significant aim for Erk, according to Sanderson. Lexa Burtzlaff and Wyatt Winkler graduated from last season’s teams.

NEWELL cross country schedule Aug. 27 at Douglas Early Bird ...................9 a.m. Sept. 3 at Ryan Day Memorial meet, Faith.... 10 a.m. Sept. 9 at Belle Fourche Invite . ..................Noon Sept. 17 hosting LMC meet/Newell Invite... 2 p.m. Sept. 24 at Hart Ranch Invite .................... 1 p.m. Sept. 27 at Lemmon Invite .................... 3:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at Lead-Deadwood Invite, Tomahawk..... 2:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at Sturgis Invite.............................9 a.m. Oct. 13 Region 5B meet at Philip.................Noon Oct. 23 State Class B meet in Sioux Falls... 10 a.m.

Members of the Newell boys’ and girls’ cross teams are, back row from left: Josh Stomprud, Garrett Winkler, Stacy Mahaffy, Sarah Kirby, Rachel Erk, head coach Kyle Sanderson; front row from left: David Kirby, Clint Winkler, Cody Winkler, Bethany Mahaffy, Brilee Heath, and Natalie Yates. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Spartan soccer looking for redeption By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Spearfish High School boys’ soccer team is looking for redemption. The Spartans finished the season 131-2 in 2020; the only loss coming to SF O’Gorman, in double overtime, in the quarterfinals of the Class AA state soccer tournament. Jim Hill, entering his ninth season as the Spartans’ head coach, still has not gotten over that loss. “We just didn’t play well. Honestly when you watch the film, when we got into the second overtime, we quit taking chances. We had chances to possibly go score, but we were more hesitant because it was 2-2, and suddenly they get a penalty kick. After that it was just a scramble; there was just four minutes left in the game. At that point, it was tough,” Hill said. Hill said his team played tight in overtime because they didn’t want to lose. He said that was a mistake. “You don’t lose by going out and taking chances. You don’t win if you don’t take chances. Just like in life, you have to take chances and sometimes they pay off, sometimes they don’t,” said Hill. Spearfish started practice Aug. 2 in preparation of their first game against Yankton, Aug. 13, in Spearfish. “The first day, I had to waste 20 minutes of practice going over “this has to happen and that has to happen.” Then we got out there and it was kind of lackluster,” said Hill. “It was like the first day, it was

hot, and with the electronic trackers they were wearing, it was very evident. It racks the percentage of the gain energy, and they only put in about 40%. The second they came out and we had nobody on our trackers who was under 110%.” The team is using electronic trackers to help evaluate how the players perform in practices. It tracks how many yards they sprint every day, how many total miles they run every day, the number of impacts they’ve taken, the number of power players which means you are running at a sprinting speed and cut at an angle. “I like using the electronic trackers because you can go to the kids and say ‘hey, here it is.’ The highest tracker percentage on Aug. 2 was 43. The lowest was 33. How many games guys are we going to win if we only work this hard.” They said not too many and I told them exactly, so you’ve got to change it around. Come in tomorrow with a different attitude. They came out and they proved that they could do it.” This season, the Spartans return a good nucleus of players from last year’s team. “We have six seniors back this year, and five of the six started. They are towards our defense, so we aren’t losing anything defensively,” said Hill. “Our guys up front will be different, but they are very experienced so I’m not too worried about that.” Hill said the team also has a good group of sophomores. “They are a very good group. Number wise physically, mentally, they’ll be the

kids to push the other kids in front of them. If the other kids in front of them don’t play real well, or don’t want to do what we asked, they’ll step right in,” Hill said. Hill added there were six or seven out of the group he wouldn’t be afraid to put in the starting lineup. Hill said the team also has six juniors. Hill is excited about the upcoming season. “I’m really looking forward to the year to see how good we can be. We are going to have some ups and downs this season, I don’t think we will be undefeated. I don’t care to go undefeated honestly. It’s great, but the focus goes on the wrong things then,” he said. Hill said this team has the potential to be as good as the 2016 state championship team. ‘The key for them is getting comfortable to what we want. Like Yohannes Peterson, who has always been a midfielder. He works so hard, He is one of those kids who have a relentless engine. He just goes, goes, goes, goes. We have moved him up top to help us score goals,” said Hill. “He may be there until we score two or three goals and then drop back in the midfield. Kids are going to have to be more dynamic in their play, not just play a position. They might have to play two or three positions.” Hill said this year’s team wants to compare themselves as defenders to the 2016 championship team. “During the 2016 campaign we only had four goals scored on us and they included

all the playoff games, and two penalty kicks. We only got six goals scored on us in 18 games. That’s what this year’s defense is shooting for,” Hill said, The Spartans opened their season Friday, Aug. 13, at home against Aberdeen Central.

SPEARFISH boys’ soccer schedule Aug. 13 hosting Aberdeen Central ........... 7 p.m. Aug. 14 Hosting Pierre T.F. Riggs ..............Noon Aug. 20 at Mitchell ...................................... 5 p.m. Aug. 21 at Huron ....................................... 11 a.m. Aug. 27 hosting O’Gorman ........................ 7 p.m. Aug. 28 hosting Yankton .............................Noon Sept. 4 hosting Sturgis Brown . ..................Noon Sept. 7 at Belle Fourche .............................. 6 p.m. Sept. 16 at Douglas/RC Christian . ........... 4 p.m. Sept. 21 at Sturgis Brown .......................... 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at RC Central . ............................... 6 p.m. Sept. 28 hosting St. Thomas More ............ 7 p.m. Sept. 30 hosting RC Stevens....................... 7 p.m.

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Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School boys’ soccer team are, front row left: Riley Skavang, Ethan Croff, Owen Schave, Evan Duncan, Jayce Sanford, Christian McCarty, and Dagoberto Rodriguez. Second row left: assistant coach Zoe Jones, Jaden Hunt, Coy Hamilton, Mason LaLonde, Carter LaLonde, Riley Pollreisz, Khy Volk, Isaac Ranek, and Connor Troutman. Third row left: Jayden Domogalski, Brady Williams, Kaleb Ranek, Yohannes Peterson, Tayte Schatz, Ashton Covell, Connor Kline, and Trey Ludens. Fourth row left: assistant coach Avery Geenwalt , Logan Larsen, Rudy Isburg, Brody Janvrin, Jacob Donner, Nicholas Wise, Max Engen, Layke Roberdeau, Ayden Verhulst, and Leo Isburg,. Back row left: head coach Jim Hill, Lucas Skoglund, Nathan Allred, Kjellen Bogard, Robert Erskin, Gabe Feeser, Jensen Damberg, Bridger Meyer, Tyler Borchgrevink, Reagan Niesent, and Lucas Rogers. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

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Fall 2021

Spearfish girls soccer looking to continue winning ways By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH —Spearfish High School’s girls’ soccer hopes to continue its winning ways, after finishing 10-6 and winning the Black Hills Conference championship. It was the first season ever for the Lady Spartans since soccer became a sanctioned sport at the school in 2014. It was also their first conference championship as well. Justin Griffith is the new Spearfish head coach, replacing Katrina Huft, who resigned in February. Griffith was the interim head women’s soccer coach at Black Hills State University earlier this spring before taking the coaching position with Spearfish. Griffith said he was excited to be the new Lady Spartan head coach. “There was a lot of enthusiasm around the program. I think we have a really strong set of girls that are motivated to show that last year wasn’t a

fluke, and to build on that. So yeah, we are pretty excited,” Griffith said. Spearfish started practice Aug. 2. “Early on we are just trying to get our system implemented and make sure the girls kind of understand what we are trying to do,” said Griffith. “We want to make sure we are prepared to play as a team.” Griffith said he is happy with the effort the team is giving at practices. “The girls worked really hard this summer. I think they came in fit. They came in technically strong, and now it’s really on us to try and get the tactical side implemented from the system. But again, the effort they put out over the summer has really been evident in our first few days,” Griffith said. The Lady Spartans are looking to improve in every aspect of their game this season. “I don’t know if there’s any one thing we need to improve on. It’s just a lot of small things we need to improve on every element of the game,” said Griffith.

“We’ve got things we are working on trying to get better, and I think that’s the thing as a coaching staff we’ve asked them to just bring the effort every day, and let’s continue to find little things and make incremental improvements over the course of the season. That’ll translate into big improvements.” Griffith said he was happy his team showed up in shape, ready to go. “They worked hard and it was evident. Again, we put them through a gamut of fitness tests, and you can tell they put in the work,” Griffith said. Griffith said he has two expectations for his team. I just want to see them show the effort every day in practice, and certainly that will translate into games. And I want to see them play as a team. I think if we can do those two things the rest will take care of itself,” he said. Spearfish opened their 2021 season at home Friday, Aug. 13, against Aberdeen Central.

SPEARFISH girls’ soccer schedule Aug. 13 hosting Aberdeen Central ........... 7 p.m. Aug. 14 hosting Pierre T.F. Riggs................Noon Aug. 20 at Mitchell ...................................... 5 p.m. Aug. 21 at Huron .........................................9 a.m. Aug. 27 hosting O’Gorman ........................ 7 p.m. Aug. 28 hosting Yankton .............................Noon Sept. 4 hosting Sturgis Brown ....................Noon Sept. 7 at Belle Fourche............................... 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at Douglas/Rapid City Christian... TBD Sept. 21 at Sturgis Brown........................... 4 p.m. Sept. 23 at RC Central ................................ 6 p.m. Sept. 28 hosting St. Thomas More ............ 5 p.m. Sept. 30 at RC Stevens ................................ 7 p.m.

Front row left: McKenna Ardis, Ashley Mailloux, Cora Pierson, Madison Donovan, and Mallery Mailloux. Second row left: Kate Keller, Kate Scharf, Daniela Rodriguez, Hailey Ardis, and Charlie Nickles,. Third row left: Dillan Richards, Hanna Bjorkman, Adi Bouman, Ava Gooch, Sierra Sanford, Sofie Guthmiller, and DeSaide Gates. Back row left: head coach Justin Griffith, Lauren Peotter (manager), Halle Fjelland, Breanna Dietrich, Lily Simek, Tessa Lucas, Natalie Dean, Brooke Peotter, assistant coach John Michael Elder, and assistant coach Lexie Lisenbe. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

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Broncs bring new head coach into boys’ soccer season By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer BELLE FOURCHE — Belle Fourche boasts a new head coach as it begins its varsity boys’ soccer season. Lucas Trimble served as a Broncs’ assistant under Anthony Carbajal, who stepped down after the 2020 campaign. He played on the Broncs’ squad and graduated from high school in 2017. He is now at the helm of the program. The Broncs opened their 2021 season against Hot Springs, which was the first of five home games at the Black Hills Roundup complex. Other home games are Aug. 17 against Douglas/Rapid City Christian, Aug. 31 against St. Thomas More, Sept. 7 against Spearfish, and Sept. 16 against Sturgis Brown. Trimble listed senior attacking midfielder Tristin Hendricks, senior center-front player Charles Alberts, and ninth-grade right-front player Drake Sutter as key returning players for the Broncs.

“The biggest strength I see is the passion they all have,” Trimble said in describing the Broncs’ team strengths. He added players hold each other accountable and work together really well. Trimble said players will need to work on conditioning as practices and games progress. “It’s definitely a step down from last year,” Trimble said of the Broncs’ schedule. “We drop Rapid City Central and Rapid City Stevens, and one Spearfish game.” Trimble said the slate will help the Broncs gain a bit more rest time than in past seasons. He added it would aid in the team’s focus on games a bit more critical to the season. Spearfish, Sturgis Brown, Douglas/ Rapid City Christian, and St. Thomas More compete in the Black Hills Conference along with Belle Fourche. When asked who he sees as a favorite, Trimble said Sturgis Brown boasts a great program and plays consistently.

“Based on what I’ve seen so far and what we plan on doing, I think we’re going to do well against everyone,” Trimble said. Season success for the Broncs centers on setting controllable goals, Trimble said. They include physical aspects. Official practice sessions got underway on Monday, Aug. 2. Soccer-specific conditioning occurred in the mornings; technical skills took center stage in the evenings. “The previous coach (Carbajal) did a very good job at drilling in the fundamentals to them,” Trimble said. That included respect for officials, opponents and others. Trimble agreed familiarity with the Belle Fourche program persuaded him to apply for the head spot. “It’s a similar group of kids (from last season), and so I wanted to be in development with them,” Trimble said. He added he wanted to be able to make the executive decisions that a head coach does.

Trimble’s coaching philosophy centers on putting players in game-like experiences during training sessions. “The transfer from practices to games is a lot easier for them,” he said. Belle Fourche finished 6-9 last season. That included a 4-3 overtime loss to St. Thomas More in a Class A first-round playoff. Josiah Trimble and Conrad Schreier graduated from that squad.

BELLE FOURCHE boys’ soccer schedule Aug. 13 hosting Hot Springs ...................... 5 p.m. Aug. 17 hosting Douglas . ........................... 4 p.m. Aug. 20 at Groton .......................................... TBD Aug. 21 at Sioux Falls Christian ...............9 a.m. Aug. 24 at Sturgis ........................................ 7 p.m. Aug. 31 hosting St. Thomas More . ........... 6 p.m. Sept. 3 at James Valley Christian ............... TBD Sept. 7 hosting Spearfish . .......................... 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at St. Thomas More ...................... 1 p.m. Sept. 16 hosting Sturgis Brown ................ 6 p.m. Sept. 28 at Hot Springs ............................... 4 p.m.

The Belle Fourche varsity boys’ soccer team features, back row left: assistant coach Mike Ryan, Elijah Pomrenke, Tristin Hendricks, Anthony Staley, Ethan Staley, Drake Sutter, Radley Wendt, head coach Lucas Trimble; middle row left: Hunter Cherveny, Ethan Jensen, Cody Foos, Charles Alberts, Brayden Carbajal, Darian Pesicka, Billy Bryan; front row left: Josh Brill, Hunter Brown, Isaac Voyles, Griffen Biehl, Logan Willert, and Keagan Walker. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Bronc girls aiming for wins in 2021 By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer BELLE FOURCHE — The Belle Fourche varsity girls’ soccer team looks to enter the win column in 2021 after posting a 0-13 mark last season. “We still have a very young unit,” Broncs’ head coach Rob Creed said in describing this year’s team. He is in his third season here and sees positive things in that youth. “The good news is, the core of the team — all of my eighth-graders (from 2020) — are returning. They will now be freshmen,” Creed said. Key players for the Broncs will include senior defender Dru Keegan, junior midfielder Tori Brill, ninthgrade defender/midfielder Lydia Main, ninth-grader Tessa Stearns, ninth-grade defender Lexa Swaney, and eighth-grade forward/midfielder Jazlyn Olson.

“All we can do from last year to this year is go up,” Creed said, referencing the squad’s winless record of 2020. What does Creed see as the strong suits for the Broncs? “Our defense is going to be fairly strong,” Creed said. “Since that core of the team and all of the young girls have returned, this will be our third year of playing together.” Creed said that familiarity will enable the Broncs to keep growing on top of what has been worked on. “We’re still continuing to work on our collections and our passing,” Creed said. “We’re trying to get stronger with our passes.” He added the overall fitness level also needs work. Creed said Belle Fourche must work on one thing above all else: making contests last the regulation 80 minutes (two halves of 40 minutes each). The Broncs had some games in 2020 where

they trailed by 10 goals, resulting in play ending before the final horn. “It’s going to be a difficult season, but we’ll just have to see how it goes,” Creed said in describing the schedule. Belle Fourche hosts Douglas/Rapid City Christian in its season opener: one of six home games during the regular season. Other games at the Black Hills Roundup complex are Aug. 27 against West Central, Aug. 28 against Dakota Valley, Aug. 31 against St. Thomas More, Sept. 7 against Spearfish, and Sept. 16 against Sturgis Brown. Spearfish and Sturgis Brown should be tough in the Black Hills Conference, according to Creed. St. Thomas More and Douglas/Rapid City Christian are the others; Creed envisions tough battles for his squad against that group. “I can see success already even though we had a difficult year last

year,” Creed said. “As a coach, I can see that the team is building and playing together.” Official practice sessions began Monday, Aug. 2. Focal points included collections, passing, and improving players’ physical ability. Addelaine Shockey, Jazmyn Hunt, Lauren Albrecht, and Heather Mitchell graduated from last year’s squad. Belle Fourche did not qualify for the state A playoffs.

BELLE FOURCHE girls’ soccer schedule Aug. 17 hosting Douglas . ........................... 6 p.m. Aug. 20 at Groton .......................................... TBD Aug. 21 at Sioux Falls Christian ............. 11 a.m. Aug. 24 at Sturgis Brown ........................... 5 p.m. Aug. 27 hosting West Central .................... 6 p.m. Aug. 28 hosting Dakota Valley.............. 2:30 p.m. Aug. 31 hosting St. Thomas More . ........... 4 p.m. Sept. 7 hosting Spearfish............................ 4 p.m. Sept. 11 at St. Thomas More .................... 11 a.m. Sept. 16 hosting Sturgis Brown ................ 4 p.m.

Belle Fourche’s varsity girls’ soccer team includes, back row left: assistant coach Rebekah Trimble, Ava Walker, Reese McKenna, Alexis Allen, Dru Keegan, Tori Brill, Tessa Stearns, head coach Rob Creed; middle row from left: Lynley Seaman, Lainna Ruby, Lydia Main, Jazlyn Olson, Joselyn Shockey, Jessica Dudley, Alexis Picket; front row from left: Leah Lambert, Alexa Swaney, Addilyn VanSickle, Kyra Vandenberg, and Annie Jensen. Not pictured are: Talia Biehl and Aleyah Carbajal. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Fall 2021

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Replacing a large senior class challenging for Scooper boys soccer By Jim Holland Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS – The challenge for the 2021 Sturgis Brown Scooper boys’ soccer team is to replace 14 graduated seniors from last year’s roster, including one of the top players in the state, and a pair of veteran goal keepers. But the good news, said varsity head coach Ty Louder, is a strong field of upand-coming players among 35 out for opening practices this year. “We lost 14 seniors, but we still have a big program. It just shows the growth of our program,” said Louder, who is starting his seventh season at the helm for the Scoopers. Lost to graduation were Jax Schuster, Kale Dennis, Kyle Cutts, Travis Cassen, Taylor Tobias, Jared Sailer, Brodie Eisenbraun, Brody Brink, Thor Sundstrom, Kaiden Meyers, Nathan Salazar, Pepe Abascal, Coy Fischer and Dawson Tratman. Dennis, a midfielder, was a first-team

all-state selection last year. Salazar, Fischer and Tratman were goalkeepers. “He was one of the top 11 in the state. I think he was the best player in the entire state,” Louder said of Dennis. The graduation bite to the roster means a chance for new and returning players to shine. “It puts in a situation where these boys are going to have to step up, find new leadership,” Louder said. Louder said the coachability of his younger players will be an asset. “We’re very young, so they’re going to absorb information very well,” he said. “And they’re going to get opportunities right away.” This year’s team captains will be seniors Ray Henderson and Dominik Smith. “They have the most varsity experience for us and they’re really going to be our anchors this year, just providing that leadership and the ability to make big plays on game day,” he said.

Another player to watch, Louder said, is freshman Carson Walter, who lit up the junior varsity as an 8th-grader last year. “He was fantastic on JV. He had close to double-digit goals and assists,” Louder said. “He’s looking to make a big impact his freshman year.” After having basically two starters in net for several season, the Scoopers will be all new at goalkeeper with Christian Lemcke, a freshman but quite capable, Louder said. “He’s able to play the field. We just think he’s going to provide us a good unique opportunity in goal. It’s going to be a learning curve, but he’ll be up for it,” Louder said. The Scoopers finished 7-5-1 last season, tied for the Black Hills Conference title with perennial rival Spearfish. Sturgis drew the 14th seed in the playoffs, and lost to Aberdeen Central in the opening round. The Scoopers opened on Aug. 20-21

with an East River road trip taking on Eastern South Dakota Conference stalwarts Huron and Mitchell. They open the home slate against rival Belle Fourche on Aug. 24. “It’s going to be an explosive game, lots of fouls and physical contact, a close tight game,” Louder said. Spearfish, which the Scoopers will face in home-and-home matchups in a week’s span from Sept. 14 to Sept. 21, provides a benchmark for the remainder of the schedule, Louder said. “If we can take them, we can take anybody in the state, because Spearfish has a fantastic program,” Louder said.

STURGIS BROWN boys’ soccer schedule Aug. 20 at Huron ......................................... 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at Mitchell.......................................9 a.m. Aug. 24 hosting Belle Fourche................... 6 p.m. Aug. 26 hosting Pierre................................. 6 p.m. Sept. 2 hosting RC Central.......................... 6 p.m. Sept. 4 at RC Stevens ..................................9 a.m. Sept. 7 hosting St. Thomas More ............... 6 p.m Sept. 9 at Douglas/RC Christian ............... 4 p.m. Sept. 14 hosting Spearfish.......................... 6 p.m. Sept. 16 at Belle Fourche ........................... 6 p.m. Sept. 21 at Spearfish ................................... 7 p.m. Sept. 23 hosting St. Thomas More ............ 6 p.m. Sept. 28 hosting Douglas............................. 6 p.m.

The 2021 Sturgis Scooper boys varsity soccer team members are, front row left: Carson Oedekoven, Evan Johnson, Talan Kullbom, Cruz Chavez, Carson Wolter, Ty Ferguson, and Dominik Smith. Back row left:  Karsen Berndt, Ray Henderson, Dash Schuster, Carson Pankratz, Christian Lemcke, Brock Foster, and Owen Hanks. Pioneer photo by Jim Holland

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Young Lady Scooper soccer team sets goal to reclaim conference title By Tim Potts Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS – The Sturgis Brown girls’ soccer team has set two goals this season that include reclaiming the conference title and to host a playoff game. The Lady Scoopers will be a young team again this season that includes varying levels of experience. “The primary goals for the season remains the same for us. To regain the Black Hills Conference (BHC) title and host a state playoff game. We’re looking to establish individual goals to build toward those larger goals,” said Adam Fitzpatrick, Sturgis Brown’s head coach. “We fully believe that if we can grow individually and continue to meet and exceed our individual goals that we will not only meet our team goals but exceed them.” Fitzpatrick said they have another very talented group of girls that play hard together and for the most part have worked with each other for a number of years so they’ve established a good camaraderie amongst them. “In addition to that, continuing to build a consistently winning team through the senior leadership. Our seniors have had a great tradition of passing the torch to their younger teammates in order to continue our

strong family team play year after year,” Fitzpatrick The Scoopers will start the season with five seniors, six juniors, six sophomores, five freshmen, and four eighth-graders. Fitzpatrick talked about several team members and the roles they will play. Jessica Matthew, a senior, is entering her final season as a Lady Scooper and continues to lead the team as the captain. Fellow seniors are Tayah Bertolotto, Mikayla Kullbom, Hope Fiddler and Braelynn Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick said they will be relied upon to lead the team through both word and action as the seniors that came before them have done. Top scorer from last season, Sawyer Dennis, returns for her third season looking to build on her team-leading goal scoring from a year ago. Maggie Brink, a junior, looks to continue to shine on the defensive end. Sophomore, Jenna Burke, is going to be leaned upon to anchor the midfield and step up into the leadership role. Newcomers Emilee Copeland, a junior, and Avery Marler, a freshman, will be counted on to make significant impacts, especially on the scoring end, in their first years.

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“I’m really excited about this upcoming season. I think we have a lot of younger talent that is coming in that is really going to benefit our team in the long run. One thing that I am really proud of as a four-year member of this team is seeing how far our team dynamic has come,” said Matthew. “We truly are like a little family, and we all support and care about each other. We all want each other to be better and it’s a really amazing thing to be a part of. I’m just excited to see what this season holds for us.” Sturgis Brown ended last season with five wins, four lossses, and one draw, and the first-round playoff loss to the eventual state champ Brandon Valley. “We can’t say we were happy with the season, as we did not achieve our primary goal of winning the BHC for a third straight season. Our focus is regaining that title back from Spearfish for this season,” Fitzpatrick said. “We have a younger team this season, but we are working hard to make it a great season,” said Kullbom. “We are learning every day to find the rhythm as a team. I am excited about the season as It is my senior year and we get to travel, also it will be good to see the team grow throughout the season.”

Fitzpatrick shared his thoughts on where his team stood up in the conference. “I believe that we still remain at the top of the conference with Spearfish coming in to this season and should be in a battle with them for the conference title again this year,” said Fitzpatrick. “Douglas improves every year and Belle Fourche always plays tough, so we anticipate a competitive season throughout.” All conference players returning from last season includes Matthew, Dennis and honorable mention was Brink. “This group of girls is a fun group that plays hard and has a passion for their sport. They represent Sturgis Brown High School very well and are a great group of girls for the younger soccer players in the area to look up to and emulate. We’re all looking forward to an exciting and rewarding season this year,” said Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is entering his eighth season as the varsity head coach, and is being assisted by Brendan Matthew and Bryce Richter.

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SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

STURGIS BROWN girls’ soccer schedule Aug. 20 at Mitchell ...................................... 3 p.m. Aug. 20 at Huron ......................................... 3 p.m. Aug. 24 hosting Belle Fourche .................. 4 p.m. Aug. 26 hosting Pierre T.F. Riggs .............. 4 p.m. Sept. 2 hosting Rapid City Central ........... 4 p.m. Sept. 4 at Rapid City Stevens .....................9 a.m. Sept. 5 at Spearfish . .....................................Noon Sept. 7 at St. Thomas More ........................ 4 p.m. Sept. 9 at Douglas/RC Christian . ............. 6 p.m. Sept. 16 at Belle Fourche . .......................... 4 p.m. Sept. 21 hosting Spearfish ......................... 4 p.m. Sept. 23 hosting St. Thomas More ............ 4 p.m. Sept. 24 at Hot Springs ............................... 5 p.m.

Members of the 2021 Sturgis Brown soccer team are, back row left: Rowan Swift, Maggie Brink, Chaylen Murphey, Emilee Copeland, Sawyer Dennis, and Cali Ewing. Middle row left: Mikayla Kullbom, Hope Fiddler, Nellie Wetsit, Jordyn Richter, Jenna Burke, and Iris Zylstra. Front row left: Tayah Bertolotto, Jessica Matthew, Lily Carlson, Avery Marler, and Isabella Tobias. Pioneer goto by Tim Potts

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Lady Spartans’ tennis has high expectations for 2021 By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Spearfish High Schools girls’ tennis team has high expectations for the 2021 season. Susie Mondloch is in her second season as the Lady Spartan’ head coach. She faced many challenges during the 2020 season. The first came on the first day of practice. ”I didn’t find out I was going to be the tennis coach until the first day of practice,” said Mondloch. She was referring to longtime Spearfish tennis coach Doug Dexheimer resigning just before the start of practices due to health concerns. Then there was dealing the pandemic. “I had to get different stuff ready, like travel with face masks, and all this stuff,” Mondloch said. Then was the task of communicating the safety guidelines, brought on by the pandemic, to the players.

“They were great on that part. I didn’t really have a big problem,” said Mondloch. “They did what I asked to do, and they followed all the safety guidelines.” Mondloch said once she realized she was going to be the head coach, she had to figure out what her expectations for the team were. “I hoped to make every girl better than they were last year, personal best kind of stuff. Also to work as a team, even though we are an individual sport. We are still working on that this year too, as a team,” Mondloch said. Mondloch said was pleased with how the players progressed during the 2020 season. “Yeah they got a lot better as the season went on,” she said. The Lady Spartans return everyone, except senior Anna Engen and Delaney Enso. They added Alison Kennedy to the team this year.

Mondloch said the team will miss Engen’s leadership skills. “She was a great leader, so I’m kind of feeling her loss. But we are excited for this year to come,” Mondloch said. The team began practicing Aug. 2, and Mondloch said she is happy with how the players are practicing. “The practices have gone well. We’ve been working on some endurance. They worked a lot and played a lot this summer,” said Mondloch. “I’m pleased how much my junior varsity cares and tries hard. I’m pleased with they are doing, what I am asking them to do. We started doing a different cardio thing to get in better shape, and they’ve been doing that. We are looking for a great season.” The first couple of matches, Mondloch has a couple of expectations. “I want to see my team really work hard the whole match,” she said. “I don’t want them to work hard in the beginning and settle in. We also want to keep working on getting our lineup set.”

SPEARFISH girls’ tennis schedule Aug. 27 at RC Invite .....................................Noon Aug. 28 at RC Invite ....................................8 a.m. Sept. 10 at Brandon Valley ........................9 a.m. Sept. 11 at Brandon Valley ........................9 a.m. Sept.16 hosting St. Thomas More ............. 4 p.m. Sept. 24 at Pierre Tournament ..................Noon Sept. 25 at Pierre Tournament .................8 a.m.

Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School girls’ tennis team are, front row left: Katie Mondloch, Allie Mondloch, Rebeccah Anglin, and Emma Frey. Middle row left: Emma Gottlob, Alison Kennedy, Lindsey Huck, Laura Frost, and Ava Berberick. Back row left: assistant coach Paul Soriano, Ava Iszler, Ava Gill, Jaydah Wickenhagen, Silvee McCoy, Ella Iszler, and head coach Susie Mondloch. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

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Spearfish girls’ softball on the rise By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Spearfish High School girls’ softball team continues to grow under the tutelage of first-year head coach Jeremy Merjil, who spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at Spearfish. “I’m really excited for this program for this year and for the future, building something for this high school, so we can represent this side of the state and the Black Hills,” Merjil said. Merjil said he is pleased with the number of players who came out for softball this season. “The turnout was good. We had a couple of girls that dropped off, but the turnout that we need as far as competitiveness has turned out for that,” said Merjil. “I think just as we grow and they continue to see, as far as parents and the people in the community, how we are growing this into a competitive nature, that this is going to grow into what we need it to be.” Spearfish started practice on Aug. 5. “We started the season with 33 players when we started practices. Now, we are

down a couple of girls who got hurt, but we still have our three teams, and going from there,” Merjil said. “On this current team we have one girl who has played all three years; six have played two years. This is huge for the program because that’s what I want it to be. I want this program to have the drive to work their way up. The growth of these girls in this program is huge.” Merjil said the players are divided into three teams this year. “We have a junior varsity team, which will be the highest team we have. The freshmen team will have a Maroon and a Gray team,” said Merjil. “On a talent level we aren’t ready for a full varsity team yet. This is our third year in doing this. As far as the last two years, this is my first year of being a full-time head coach.” He quickly added, “When we started this tryout, from A to Z what we had out there, they are more talented this year than we have been over the past two years.” Even though they became a club team in the fall of 2020, this year is the beginning of new era, with hopes of growing

the program in the future. “Last year was our first official year at the club level, but then this year it is a little bit different, because we are still working out the kinks, so we have a little better stuff going on this year,” said Merjil. “All the involvement with the community with the kids getting out there, that’s a huge part. Softball is a part of the community and people know about it, but then when you are doing this, it takes awhile to get the interest of other people, because it is new on this level.” Spearfish started its season Aug. 16. “All of our games will be consistently in Rapid City, because we play in the league there. I am working with Sturgis and Douglas to bring their JVs in so that we can have games here (in Spearfish). We’ll do like a doubleheader for the JVs and the freshmen here, then will go to Sturgis and do the same thing, so we can have some home games, because when this gets sanctioned as an official sport, hopefully it will be this year, then we are looking at having our own home field.” Merjil said they tried to become a sanctioned sport in 2020, but the SDHSAA tuned them down.

“It should be on the ballot this year with the state board for us to be a sanctioned sport,” said Merjil. “Last year it got passed on, but this year it should get sanctioned, and once it gets sanctioned, from what I know right now, we are the only state in the nation that softball is not a sanctioned high school sport.” To get ready for the season, Spearfish is working on hitting. “We are working on building our offensive side of it. Our defense can be good, but we still have to outscore the other team. We’ve been concentrating on hitting, and then we will get into our defense. I know our defense will be there, but our offense we have to work on the things we need to do to be productive,” Merjil said. Merjil wants to see his teams be competitive this season. “We will be playing a lot of varsity teams this year, and my biggest thing is I want us to be competitive. I don’t want to just stay at the JV level to just play and win games, I want to challenge these girls to a higher level, because eventually I want this team to go up to a varsity level, and we might be on the verge there,” said Merjil. “The first two years we definitely weren’t ready, this year with the girls here, we do have it could be more possible, but it’s still growth. We still need to see it and see what we can grow into.”

SPEARFISH softball schedule All games will be played at the Parkview Softball Complex in Rapid City.

Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School club junior varsity softball team are: front row left, Olivia Lyons, Alexis Grismer, Chloe Merjil, and Taylor Mills. Back row from left: Assistant coach Adrian Feyereisen, Abby Feyereisen, Alex Stevens, Laina Ornelas, Kiana Stahlecker, head coach Jeremy Merjil, and assistant coach Jeff Caldwell. Not pictured are: Sadie Ellingsen and Lorelei Seamon. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

Aug. 30 vs. RC Stevens Blue ...................... 7 p.m. Aug. 31 vs. RC Stevens Sub Varsity .......... 7 p.m. Sept. 2 vs. Sturgis Varsity .......................... 7 p.m. Sept. 13 RC Stevens Sub Varsity ............... 7 p.m. Sept. 14 vs. Sturgis Varsity ........................ 7 p.m. Sept. 16 vs. RC Stevens Blue ...................... 7 p.m. Sept. 20 vs. Douglas JV ......................... 5:35 p.m. Sept. 21 vs. Sturgis Varsity......................... 7 p.m. .

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Lady Scooper softball team looks forward to new season By Tim Potts Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS – The Sturgis Brown Lady Scooper softball team looks forward to the 2021 season, but will face big changes from last season. “After graduating nine seniors that had played varsity together for the last six years, we certainly will have some changes; however, this is a very talented group of young ladies,” said Dan Roe, varsity coach. “They all work hard and have great team chemistry.” This year, the Lady Scoopers will have one senior, four juniors, three sophomores, and two freshmen. Roe discussed the strengths of this

year’s team. “We are very athletic. This will be the fastest team we have ever put togethe, and this will assist us on offense and defense,” he said Sturgis Brown faced its most difficult schedule ever last season and placed third at the state tournament with 18 wins, and seven losses. The Lady Scoopers will be without some key seniors for the 2020 season; Shelby Roberts-Roe, Kaitlyn RobertsRoe, Ellie Buckmaster, Trinity Legner, Morgan Johnson, Jadyn Hamann, Megan Petrocco, Christina Cassidy, and Libby Niehaus. Sturgis Brown will field three teams:

varsity, junior varsity and a freshmen team. Brooke Wolf, a lady Scooper player, talked about the upcoming season. “I’m excited for the season because I get to bond with my new teammates, and create new memories in the sport I love the most,” Wolf said. “I think we will do great if we practice 110%, work as a team, and just have fun, it’s always awesome to win but when we lose it builds our team and strengths us to work harder.” Addisyn Jolley, a sophomore, said she is looking forward to the upcoming season. “We have big shoes to fill after losing

our seniors from last year,” said. “Our team has always been able to compete well with the Rapid City teams. After winning against Central for the first time in program history last year, we are looking for another win against them and Stevens this year. I believe that this season will be one to remember considering most of us played together this summer and we have gained new teammates with lots of talent,” Jolley said. Keeley Heikes, a junior, thinks the team will have a great season. “I think that we are going to have a lot of success this season and a lot of fun at the same time. This team works well together because we all have a great bond,” she said. The Scoopers will play their games at the Parkview Softball Complex in Rapid City, with the first game scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 19. Assistant coaches for the Scoopers are Vaughn Smith and John Bush.

STURGIS BROWN softball schedule All games will be played at the Parkview Softball Complex in Rapid City.

Members of the 2021 Sturgis Brown girls softball team are, back row left: Haleigh Frasier, Ireland Nacey, Abigail Tweedy, Keeley Heikes, and Addisyn Jolley. Front row left: Brooke Wolf, Haley Walker, Erin Sutton and Zabree Bush. Not pictured is Novali Dinkins. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

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Aug. 26 vs. Douglas Varsity........................ 7 p.m. Aug. 30 vs. RC Stevens Varsity . ........... 5:30 p.m. Aug. 31 vs. RC Central Varsity.............. 5:30 p.m. Sept. 2 vs. Sturgis Varsity........................... 7 p.m. Sept. 9 vs. Gillette Varsity TB.................... 7 p.m. Sept. 13 vs. Douglas Varsity ................. 5:30 p.m. Sept. 13 vs. Douglas Varsity ...................... 7 p.m. Sept. 16 vs. Gillette Varsity BJ .................. 7 p.m. Sept. 20 vs. RC Central Varsity ............ 5:30 p.m. Sept. 21 vs. Sturgis Varsity .......................... TBD Sept. 27 vs. RC Stevens Varsity ............ 5:30 p.m. Sept. 27 vs. Douglas Varsity ...................... 7 p.m.

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Spartan golfers are excited about 2021 fall season By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer SPEARFISH — The Spearfish High School boys’ golf team is excited to begin the 2021 fall golf season. The Spartans are returning from a good season in 2020. They won the Black Hills Conference championship, and finished 10th out of 18 teams at state. “I think we had a really good season last year. I thought we were one of the top two teams in the Black Hills and the region, with Rapid City Stevens being one of the better teams, with us being a close, solid second,” said Eric Ligtenberg, the Spearfish head coach. “Competition-wise, the team met my expectations of maintaining, kind of being dominate, winning a lot of tournaments.” Ligtenberg added that you can be competitive and not win, and still feel good about, but Spearfish was competitive at the very top, and winning the tournaments they were supposed to win, individually, and team wise. State is a different story. “State wise, I feel it’s very hard for us to compete in the Class AA system. We are kind of that small team that competes against the bigger schools, the

Sioux Falls schools, and the (Brandon) Valley’s, and we were right there in the middle of the pack. I think that’s where we should be,” Ligtenberg said. Ligtenberg said Spearfish finished right in the middle of 18 teams at state. “That’s right where I thought we should be, looking at my preseason expectations of them. They performed to my expectations, and I think they had a good season,” he said. Spearfish returns a core group of golfers from last year’s team. “I have five varsity kids returning from last year. Four of those five went to the state tournament, and they got a lot of playing experience last year. Spearfish started fall practice on Aug. 2. “I customize my practices according to ability. My varsity kids are not really practicing on drills; they’re going out and golfing,” said Ligtenberg. “We’re not the only team that does this. Pretty much every Class AA school follows the same procedure. You figure out who your varsity is, which is pretty simple, and then you send them out, and they play like little tournaments. Ligtenberg said that eight players play a nine-hole tourney with each other. “You just get a score, and we did that

every day the first week of practice. You don’t really do what football or volleyball, or soccer, or some other sports do. You send them out there and they just play. Not a lot of coaching. You play, and you play a tournament,” said Ligtenberg. “The other kids that play are junior varsity and need to work on some of those skills. They don’t play the course. They stay with me and my assistants and they do rules, outing, and pitching, and hitting on the driving range.” After the first week, things change. “After the first week, my varsity doesn’t ever play for practice. I don’t let them go out there and play the golf course, because they are playing so much in tournaments. Then we go back and we visit the drills, the skills, and the techniques,” Ligtenberg said. Ligtenberg said playing the course helps with conditioning. “You have to carry your bag, and you have to walk, and you have to feel that, and the only way to simulate it is to get out on the course and play,” he said. Ligtenberg thinks his team will once again be at the top of the Black Hills Conference. “Regionally, I think we are going to be very similar to what we’ve been in

the past few years. The last few years we’ve had a good run of things with a few of my boys’ teams,” said Ligtenberg. “Again I think Stevens and us will be the two teams (to beat) in the Black Hills area. If Stevens isn’t at a tournament in our area, I think Spearfish jumps straight to the top, and we honestly should be one of the teams to beat. We have a really solid core of five golfers, who played a lot last year, and they play a lot in the summer.” As far as how they rank at state, Ligtenberg said they might drop just a little bit, but not a lot. “State-wise we will probably going to be a little further down. We will get a real good clue where we are when we play in our first tournament against the Sioux Falls team, in Sioux Falls. “We graduated two really good seniors. We graduated one of the best golfers in the state, Sam Grout. Sam holds so many individual school records for golf. You can’t replace a player like Sam. He is a player that you get maybe once every 10 years, even more,” said Ligtenberg. “But we have a really good foundation of golfers so I feel comfortable with that,” Ligtenberg said.

SPEARFISH boys’ golf schedule

Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School boys’ golf team are, back row left: Preston Hazeldine, Jack Hight, Josh Sundsted, Trey Wood, Jacob Hasquet, and Caden Johnson. Front row left: Bennett Korean, Parker Reede, Dean Lafayette, and Charlie Rasmussen. Courtesy photo

Aug. 16 at Sioux Falls..................................7 a.m. Aug. 17 at Brandon Valley..........................8 a.m. Aug. 19 at RC Meadowbrook .....................8 a.m. Aug. 24 at Pierre T.F. Riggs........................ 9 a.m. Aug. 26 at Belle Fourche invite ................. 3 p.m. Aug. 30 at Sturgis Brown ...........................9 a.m. Aug. 31 at Belle Fourche Invite ................. 3 p.m. Sept. 2 at RC Meadowbrook ....................... 3 p.m. Sept. 7 at Sturgis Brown . ........................... 4 p.m. Sept. 9 at Douglas Invite . ...........................9 a.m. Sept. 11 at Yankton .....................................9 a.m. Sept. 14 hosting Spearfish Invite ............ 10 a.m. Sept. 17 at Mitchell ................................ 9:30 a.m. Sept. 20 at Belle Fourche BHC ................ 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at Douglas ......................................9 a.m. Sept. 27 at Sturgis Brown .......................... 3 p.m. Sept. 28 at RC Meadowbrook West River Invite... 3 p.m.

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Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Experience returns for L-D boys’ golf team By Jason Gross LEAD — The Lead-Deadwood boys’ golf team brings a sizable returning nucleus into this fall season. Six players are on the roster as of press time. Four of those return from last season’s squad: Ethan Keehn, Walker Vande Velde, Christian Johnston, and Cooper Hansen. Keehn and Vande Velde represent the junior class, with Keehn qualifying for last season’s state Class A tournament. Johnston, a ninth-grader, also returns, as does seventh-grader Hansen. Sophomore Jaxson Burleson and eighth-grader Johnathan Burleson are new to the program. “Probably the biggest strength we have is that they all enjoy golf,” said Lead-Deadwood head coach Tim

Hansen, who is in his sixth season here. “They really enjoy being out on the course, really enjoy learning and working on the game.” All players will need to work on certain things as practices and tournaments progress. “One of the big things that all golfers strive for is to develop a consistent swing,” Hansen said, while adding the short game is also a definite priority. “We really try to focus on that 150 yards and in; we think that’s where we can really work to shave strokes off scores,” he added. Hansen said putting is a really tough skill, and a player may show some of the biggest improvement in overall scores in this area. “We get to play some beautiful courses out in the Hills,” Hansen said in

assessing his team’s schedule. They include Boulder Canyon Country Club at Sturgis, and Southern Hills Golf Course in Hot Springs. Lead-Deadwood’s slate includes a Sept. 16 triangular at Lead Country Club, the Black Hills Conference tournament Sept. 20 in Belle Fourche, and the Region 4A tournament on Sept. 27. Madison will host the state Class A tournament Oct. 4-5. Black Hills-area teams boast strong golfers, especially at event including conference teams, Hansen said. Hansen tabbed Spearfish as the Black Hills Conference favorite. He said St. Thomas More, Custer, and Hot Springs also field very competitive squads. Keehn will aim for a top-15 conference finish, Hansen said. He added

the focus for the others will center on building confidence and gaining experience for the future. “Golf has that uniqueness where you’re competing as an individual and also competing as a member of a team,” Hansen said. He added the Golddiggers would love to field a team, but it might be a bit difficult with numbers and first-year players’ experience levels. In-season success largely depends on what golfers do in the offseason, according to Hansen. He added he would like to see them reflect on where to make improvement and focus on those areas. Official practice sessions began Aug. 9. Players have met at Tomahawk Country Club and worked back and forth between the driving range, doing skill work, and playing the course.

LEAD-DEADWOOD boys’ golf schedule Aug. 26 at Douglas Invite ...........................9 a.m. Aug. 31 at Belle Fourche Pre-BHC/Region... 10 a.m. Sept. 7 at Sturgis Quadrangular.............. 10 a.m. Sept. 9 at Custer Invite.............................. 10 a.m. Sept. 13 Hot Springs Invite....................... 10 a.m. Sept. 14 at Spearfish Invite....................... 10 a.m. Sept. 16 Lead-Deadwood Triangular......... 2 p.m. Sept. 20 at Belle Fourche BHC................. 10 a.m. Sept. 23 Douglas Invitational.....................9 a.m. Sept. 27 at Belle Fourche Region ............ 10 a.m.

The Lead-Deadwood boys’ golf team features, back row left: Ethan Keehn, Walker Vande Velde, Cooper Hansen, head coach Tim Hansen; front row left: Jaxson Burleson, Johnathan Burleson, and Christian Johnston. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Work hard Diggers. Have a great season!


Fall 2021

Page 31

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Bronc golf team enjoys high numbers By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer BELLE FOURCHE — Thirteen athletes comprise the Belle Fourche boys’ golf team as it prepares for its season. That represents the high-water mark for fourth-year head coach Bill Burr. Burr cited sophomores Rexton Audiss and Lange Shockey as the key returning players for this season. Both earned letters last season. “They come back with a little bit of experience,” Burr said. “We’re going to be looking at them for leadership.” Burr said most of the other players are new to the Broncs’ program, but the cupboard is not bare. “I’ve got some kids that are coming out this season that play golf during the summer,” Burr said. “We look a lot different than we did last year.” Five or six of the aforementioned players competed during the summer, and Burr sees that as a team strength. “It just puts you that much further ahead for stuff to work on,” he said. That especially gratifies Burr, who

told last season’s team members about the importance of playing all summer and being ready in the fall. One of golf ’s constant refrains is the importance of working on the short game. “That is so important,” Burr said. “You can get away with hitting your driver right or left and getting out of trouble. But if you have a short game to cover for that, that’s going to make a big difference for you,” he added. Official practice sessions began Aug. 9. Evaluation of players’ swings, short game, and qualifying rounds for varsity are on the agenda. Belle Fourche will host the pre-Black Hills Conference/Region 4A tournament Aug. 31. Other home events are the Black Hills Conference tournament Sept. 20, a dual against Rapid City Central on Sept. 23, and the Region 4A tournament on Sept. 27. Madison will host the state Class A tournament Oct. 4-5. Burr said it is nice for the Broncs to be able to host the pre-conference/

region, conference, and region tournaments. Belle Fourche competed at Sturgis, Hot Springs, and the West River Invitational to begin the season. Burr said that pointed to the importance of summer play. Burr picked Spearfish as the Black Hills Conference favorite. He said the Spartans were young and talented last season. St. Thomas More, Hot Springs, and Custer should also contend, he added. “They didn’t play in a tournament format,” Burr said of those competing in the summer. “That’s going to be the tough part for us: to learn how to play that competition and mindset.” Growing as a team, handling pressure, and players learning will mark success for Belle Fourche this season, Burr said. He added a goal is for the Broncs to qualify for state as a team. Lance Sutter and Alex Voyles graduated from last year.

BELLE FOURCHE boys’ golf schedule Aug. 16 at Sturgis Invite . ...........................9 a.m. Aug. 17 at Hot Springs Invite ....................9 a.m. Aug. 19 at West River Invite ......................8 a.m. Aug. 26 at Spearfish .................................... 3 p.m. Aug. 31 at Belle Fourche Pre-Conference... 10 a.m. Sept. 7 at Sturgis Quad................................ 4 p.m. Sept. 9 at Douglas Invite . ...........................9 a.m. Sept. 14 at Spearfish Invite ........................9 a.m. Sept. 17 at L-D Tomahawk ......................... 2 p.m. Sept. 20 at Belle Fourche Black Hills Conference... 10 a.m. Sept. 23 hosting RC Central . ..................... 4 p.m. Sept. 27 at Belle Fourche Region 4A . ..... 10 a.m. Oct. 4-5 at State A (Madison)........................ TBA

The Belle Fourche boys’ golf team features, back row left: Daryn French and Rexton Audiss; middle row left: Harvey Walding, Harley Rivera, Brayden Carbajal, Isaac Voyles, Aiden Voyles, Lange Shockey, Brodie McNeese; front row left: Silas Carson, Landon Rave, Merik McNeese, and Jordan Sandoval. Not pictured is head coach Bill Burr. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Page 32

Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Young Scooper golfers must up their game to make state By Jim Holland Black Hills Pioneer STURGIS — Last year, Sturgis Brown High School boys’ golf coach Steve Keszler took a young foursome to the state Class AA golf tournament knowing they wouldn’t place very well, but he wanted them to gain the experience. The Scoopers placed last in the 17team field. In the past, Keszler said, Class AA teams were allowed to bring their varsity players to state without playing a regional tournament, or maintaining a qualifying score. But the addition of newly-opened Sioux Falls Jefferson has caused the Class AA field to get bigger this year, and would result in too many players at state.

“If everyone brings their kids that’s too many,” he said. Keszler said a South Dakota High School Athletic Association rule change for this year, implemented for Class AA boys’ golf fall season and the spring girls’ golf season, requires individual golfers to maintain a set average score in order to qualify for the state meet. Players must average 94 or better for 18-hole tournaments in which four or more teams compete. Any player exceeding the average score would not qualify. Sturgis Brown’s young golfers carded round scores in excess of 100 at state last year. Then-freshman Carter Kirk was the highest placer, finishing in a tie for 91st with a two-day 217.

“Yes, I have four kids returning that went to state, but If you look at last year, they wouldn’t have had an average under 94, so we’ve got some work to do if we want to have a representative from Sturgis,” Keszler said. Of the 12 golfers out this year for Sturgis, only one is a junior: Jackson Habrock, a transfer from Illinois. Kirk, Reeve Ross, Colton Matthews, and Jace Owens are sophomores. Freshmen include Braxton Tieman, Bennett Gordon, Kael Secrest, and Cason Sabers. Eighth-graders are Landon Bey, Carson Williams, and Eli Stroud. “We can remain young for a while, and hopefully get a little bit better at the game,” Keszler said. Keszler hopes his players, many of

which have been busy with other summer activities, will lock in on the golf season. “I hope they can get serious about golf and want to improve and compete,” Keszler said. ‘I need the kids to buy in and to be excited about the game.” The compressed fall schedule, while hectic, will give golfers plenty of opportunity to hone their game. “A week of practice and here we go,” Keszler said. ”It seems like it’s two to three times playing each week after that until the state tournament.”

STURGIS BROWN boys’ golf schedule Aug. 24 at Pierre Invitational .................. 10 a.m. Aug. 26 at Douglas Invitational . ...............9 a.m. Aug. 27 at Huron Invitational ................ 10 a.m. Aug. 31 at Belle Fourche Pre-BHC/Region...... 10 a.m. Sept. 9 at Douglas Invite . ...........................9 a.m. Sept. 10 at Custer Invite ........................... 10 a.m. Sept. 13 at Hot Springs Invite .................. 10 a.m. Sept. 14 at Spearfish Invite ...................... 10 a.m. Sept. 20 at Belle Fourche BHC ................ 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at RC Central Invite ................... 10 a.m.

The 2021 Sturgis Brown High School boys’ golf team members are, front row left: Braxton Tieman, Bennett Gordon, Landon Bey, and Jace Owens. Back row left; Jackson Habrock, Colton Matthews, Reeve Ross, and Carter Kirk. Not pictured are: Kael Secrest, Cason Sabers, Carson Williams, and Eli Stroud. Pioneer photo by Jim Holland

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Fall 2021

Page 33

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Spearfish Cheer Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School football cheerleading squad are, Standing, left to right: Laurie Vifquain, Ryleigh Harmon, Lele Enos, and Isabelle May. Sitting, left to right, Lillie Pridie, Coach Pam Waterson, and Ava Bailey. Courtesy photo

Lead-Deadwood Cheer & Dance Lead-Deadwood’s cheerleading and competitive dance squads are preparing for a very busy fall. Team members are, back row left: Chloe Myers, Julien Lyon, Miranda Kearns, Delanie Berglund; middle row left: Joslyn Kooima, J-Vette McKeown, Cameran Stoflet; front row left: Daytona Finch and Makayla Hunter. Not pictured is head coach Samantha Rogers. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Belle Fourche Cheer Belle Fourche’s cheerleading squad includes, back row left: Aubrie Hobbs, Baylee Clendening, Allison Jewett, Kiana Tingley, Kalika Nulle, Isabella Jackson; front row left: Masie Blankenship, Evany Estrada, Victoria Donovan, Ella Carlson, Naomi Bricker, and Hailey Anderson. Not pictured are: Eveyln Lyons and Glenn Wilson, on the sideline and competition cheerleading squads. Photo courtesy of Front Seat Photography

BELLE FOURCHE competitive cheer schedule Sept. 2 hosting Belle Fourche Invite . ....... 5 p.m. Sept. 4 at Pierre InviteCheerAway..... 10:00 a.m. Sept. 11 at Winner Invite ............................Noon Sept. 13 at Spearfish Invite ........................ 5 p.m. Sept. 20 at Custer Invite ............................. 5 p.m. Sept. 25 at RC Stevens Invite ................... 11 a.m. Sept. 27 at Sturgis Invite ............................ 5 p.m. Oct. 2 at Douglas Invite . ........................... 11 a.m.

Sturgis Brown Cheer Members of the 2021 Sturgis Brown High School football cheer squad, back row left: McKenzie Tarrant, Torre Buus, Ashlyn Krcil, Rio Snyder, Ashley Bear and Hannah Robertson. Kneeling left: Kristin Bernsdorf, McKayla Tarrant, Brenna Whitford, Kira Willnerd, and Abbey Gaeta. Not pictured are: Kierra Williams and Mya Jordan. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

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Fall 2021

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Page 35

Sturgis Brown Competitive Cheer Members of the Sturgis Brown High School 2021 Fall Competitive Cheer team are, back row left: Jess Teigen, Brenna Whitford, Zo Snyder, Rio Snyder, Kaylin Snow, Ashley Bear, and LaMeera Mills. Middle row left: Haley Mooney, McKyla Tarrant, Ashlyn Krcil, Torre Buus, Lilly Forbes, and Ashley Standen. Front row left: Kristin Bernsdorf, Hannah Robertson, Zara Wallace, McKenzie Tarrant, Kira Willnerd, and Abbey Gaeta. Not pictured are: Mya Jordan and Reese Jensen, student manager. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

STURGIS BROWN competitive cheer & dance schedule Sept. 2 at Belle Fourche Invite................... 5 p.m. Sept. 18 at Douglas Invite ....................12:15 p.m. Sept. 25 at RC Stevens Invite ................... 11 a.m. Oct. 4 at Lead-Deadwood Invite ................. 5 p.m. Oct. 7 hosting Sturgis Spirit Competition ...... 5 p.m.

Sturgis Brown Dance Members of the Sturgis Brown High School dance team are, from left: Allyson Tish, Jayda Evans, Brenna Whitford, Bella Cramer, and Jess Teigen. Not pictured is Mya Jordan. Pioneer photo by Tim Potts

BEST OF LUCK THIS SEASON!

GREG HOLLIBAUGH, CPA 617 Dahl Rd., Ste. B, Spearfish • 605.642.4473


Page 36

SPORTS PREVIEW/ BLACK HILLS PIONEER

Fall 2021

Spearfish Dance

SPEARFISH dance schedule Sept. 2 at Belle Fourche Invite . ................. 5 p.m. Sept. 11 at Winner ..................................... 11 a.m. Sept. 13 hosting Spearfish Invite............... 5 p.m. Sept. 20 at Custer Invite ............................. 5 p.m. Sept. 25 at RC Stevens .............................. 11 a.m. Oct. 4 at Lead-Deadwood Invite ................. 5 p.m. Oct. 7 at Sturgis Brown .............................. 5 p.m. Oct. 14 hosting BHC . .................................. 5 p.m.

Members of the 2021 Spearfish High School competitive dance team are, from left: Hanna Cofield, Alicia Rhoades, Aly Wilde, Maquelle Strawn, Kaelei Kapust, Lilly Gajdusek, Kate Heine, and Kelsey Keith. Pioneer photo by Dennis Knuckles

Profile for Black Hills Pioneer

2021 Fall Sports Review  

This special section features all area high school fall sports teams.

2021 Fall Sports Review  

This special section features all area high school fall sports teams.

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