Vol. 21, No. 10; Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020

Dec 17, 2020 | Parker's Midweek Update | 1 comment

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A THOUGHT FOR THE SEASON (borrowed from the Women of the ELCA website)

In this season of Advent, what does it mean to prepare? Maybe preparation means simply adjusting our eyes to see light when there seems to be none.
— Karoline Lewis


Athletes of the Week: Last week the Pierre Athletic Coaches Association selected Blake Judson of the boys wrestling team and Emalee Larson and Ciara McFarling of the girls wrestling team for its Athletes of the Week recognition.

Boys wrestling: The first day of the Rapid City Invitational was an individuals tournament with wrestlers divided into two pods. Rapid City Stevens won the Blue Pod followed by Sturgis, Mitchell and Watertown among 10 teams. Pierre was the champion of the Red Pod with 203 points, followed by Harrisburg, Brandon Valley and Spearfish among 10 teams. Noah Williams at 113 pounds and Blake Judson at 120 won individual titles for the Governors. Other placers: Jamin McGray, fourth at 106; Nate Williams, third at 126; Kahlor Hindman, third at 132; Hayden Shaffer, second at 138; Tyson Johnson, third at 145; Deegan Houska, third at 152; Daniel Tafoya, third at 160; Lucas Chamberlin, third at 170; Gavin Stotts, second at 182; Jacob Larson, third at 195; Preston Taylor, second at 285.

Boys wrestling: The second day of the Rapid City invitational saw the teams divided into three pods for team dual competition. Pierre was in a class by itself in its pod as the Governors defeated Beresford/Alcester-Hudson, 66-6; Douglas, 83-0; Spearfish, 57-18, and Lead-Deadwood, 84-0.

Girls wrestling: The first day of the Rapid City Invitational featured nine classes of competition for the girls. Mary Mehlhaff, Marlee Shorter and Ciara McFarling earned first places for Pierre. The Governor placers: Sydney Uhrig, second in group 1; Mary Chessmore, second in group 3; Gianna Stangeland, second, and Hattie Baldwin, third in group 4; Taylor Warriner, fourth in group 5; Mary Mehlhaff, first, Emalee Larson, third, and Mylie Taylor, fourth in group 7; Marlee Shorter, first in group 8; Ciara McFarling, first in group 9.

This week’s schedules:
Wrestling: home vs. Aberdeen Central, 7 p.m.
Girls basketball: at Sturgis, 7 p.m.
Boys basketball: home vs. Douglas, 7 p.m.
Wrestling: at Sioux Falls Washington invitational.
Gymnastics: at Mitchell, 9 a.m.
Girls basketball: at Spearfish, 2 p.m.
Boys basketball: home vs. Spearfish, 2 p.m.
— DEC. 31:
Boys basketball: home vs. Sioux Falls Lincoln, 2 p.m.

Gymnastics: At Mitchell’s quadrangular the Governor girls were fourth with a 126.1 score behind Mitchell, Yankton and O’Gorman. Pierre’s best placers were Emmy Loe, 10th in the vault; Neveah Karber, 11th on the beam, and Ryen Sheppick, 10th in floor exercise and 13th on the bars. At Aberdeen Central’s meet Pierre was seventh of 11 teams with a 128.400 score. Aubre Westover tied for 16th in the all-around standings with a 31.250 total. She tied for 12th on the beam for Pierre’s highest individual placing. Sheppick was 8th in the all-around at 30.900.

Girls basketball: In their season opener the Governor girls led Harrisburg at halftime, 26-24, but lost 61-46. Caytee Williams had 13 points and Remi Price 10. On Tuesday the girls led Huron by two points with 30 seconds left but lost 72-71. Price scored 23, Hannah Sazue 143 and Ayvrie Kaiser 14.

Boys basketball: The young Governor squad has lost its two season openers by a total of three points. In a 45-43 loss to Harrisburg the Govs rallied from a 12-point deficit to have a chance to win. Lincoln Kienholz scored 26 points, and Jackson Edman had nine points and 11 rebounds. Pierre led Watertown by 16 in the third quarter Saturday but lost to the Arrows, 59-58. Kienholz scored 14. Watertown won the game on a three-point buzzer-beater.


This week’s schedules:
Wrestling: at Faulkton triangular (with Potter County).
Boys basketball: at Philip.
Girls basketball: at Philip.
Wrestling: at Mount Vernon/Plankinton.
Girls basketball: home vs. Jones County.
Boys basketball: home vs. Jones County.

Girls basketball: The Buffalo girls are 0-4 after three more losses this week. SCHS lost to Lyman, 52-51; to White River, 68-27, and to Winner, 72-24.

Boys basketball: The Buffaloes lost to Lyman, 60-50, and lost to Winner, 68-56, to fall to 0-2 for the new season.

Wrestling: At the Lyman quadrangular last Thursday, the Buffaloes lost to Lyman, 51-23, as Hayden Roggow, Chase Hanson and Levi Stover picked up wins. In a 39-12 loss to Miller/Highmore-Harrold the only SCHS points came on forfeit wins. In a 20-3 win over Sully Buttes in the only weight class actually wrestled, Levi Stover won his match in a decision.


This week’s schedules:
Boys basketball: at Winner.
Girls basketball: home vs. Aberdeen Roncalli.
Boys basketball: home vs. Aberdeen Roncalli.
— DEC. 29:
Girls basketball: at Parkston Classic.
Boys basketball: at Parkston Classic.

Boys basketball: The Chargers lost their season opener to Lyman, 63-33. Rafe Wientjes was high scorer with 13 points for the Chargers, who committed 33 turnovers.

Girls basketball: The Sully Buttes girls defeated North Central, 64-35, after leading at halftime by 32-11. Lydia Hill was high scorer with 20 points, and Stevie Wittler added 14. On Tuesday the girls gave Coach Mark Senftner a going-away present as he heads off to medical treatment as they whipped Lyman, 52-30. Stevie Wittler had 20 points, Jill Hofer 12 and Ally Wittler 11.


Mark Senftner, the long-time football and girls basketball coach at Sully Buttes High School and one of the winningest coaches in South Dakota, now faces a new opponent.

Senftner, a McLaughlin native, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Late in November Senftner was accidentally struck in the head by a kicked soccer ball while teaching a sixth-grade gym class. He fell to the floor, had a seizure and was taken to the hospital. A later visit to doctors led to the discovery of the tumor.

“What we found out is that I have a brain tumor on the left side of my brain,” Senftner wrote in an e-mail to his fellow teachers. “The accidental hit with the soccer ball that day was how it was found. A blessing in disguise.”

Since the tumor was found, Senftner has told the players on his girls team and coached the Chargers during their first two games of the year. He was on the bench for Tuesday’s game against Lyman and then will step aside before Sully Buttes’ next game against Aberdeen Roncalli Monday. That will be the first game he has missed in a 35-year career that has included stops in Roscoe, Gregory, Timber Lake and the last 14 years in Onida.

Senftner will be examined Monday at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The treatment option has not yet been determined. He said surgery is possible.

While Senftner is not sure when he will return to the classroom and the court, he is optimistic that he will. “I am choosing to stay positive and hoping for the best-case scenario,” Senftner wrote in an e-mail.

Senftner and his wife, Lynn, have appreciated the support they have received. The two have had a strong presence in both education and athletics. Each year they present a scholarship in memory of their son, Tate, to athletes in Onida and around the state. During his career Senftner has won four girls basketball state championships and taken the Chargers to three state football championship games.

Several players he has coached have gone on to play in college. They include Remi and Racquel Wientjes (the RMAC Offensive Player of the Week) at Black Hills State University and Alexis Yackley and Chloe Lamb (the Summit League Player of the Week) at the University of South Dakota as well as other basketball and football players.

Assistant coach Susie Rilling will serve as head girls basketball coach in Senftner’s absence.


4 days: Georgia Morse Middle School band/choir concert (Dec. 21).
5 days: NBA season begins (Dec. 22).
8 days: Christmas Day (Dec. 25).
9 days: Last day of “Christmas at the Capitol” trees display (Dec. 26).
15 days: College football national semifinal games (Jan. 1).
20 days: Joint session of Congress to count electoral votes for President (Jan. 6).
23 days: NFL playoffs begin (Jan. 9).
25 days: College football national championship game (Jan. 11).
26 days: First day of legislative session (Jan. 12).
34 days: Inauguration Day (Jan. 20).
45 days: Grammy awards (Jan. 31).
49 days: State one-act play festival, Brandon (Feb. 4-6).
52 days: Super Bowl LV (Feb. 7).
57 days: State gymnastics meet, Watertown (Feb. 12-13).
68 days: Georgia Morse Middle School musical (Feb. 23, 25).
70 days: State A and B wrestling tournaments, Rapid City (Feb. 25-27).
71 days: Pierre Players’ “A Little Piece of Heaven” (Feb. 26-28, March 4-6).
73 days: Golden Globes awards (Feb. 28).


Directions: Draw a box of 16 squares in a 4×4 format. Number the boxes in your top row 1, 2, 3 and 4 from left to right. Number the boxes in your left-hand row 1, 5, 6 and 7 from top to bottom.

(1) Fruit in holiday pudding.
(5) Netflix series “—- Fist”.
(6) Exclamation of approval.
(7) Earth System Science Pathfinder (abbr.).
(1) Jackson —-, Motown group.
(2) Flower; also part of the eye.
(3) Pierre teams.
(4) Food assistance program.

Puzzle answer at the bottom of this Update.


(1) The single-day toll of 3,100 deaths in the U.S. made it the deadliest day yet.
(2) The city of Yankton joined Huron, Brookings and Mitchell in passing a mask mandate.
(3) AARP reported South Dakota had the highest nursing home resident death rate in the nation in November.
(4) The Hoop City Classic basketball event, which had games scheduled in Mitchell, Yankton and Sioux Falls and which involved 14 South Dakota teams and several out-of-state teams, was canceled.
(5) This week’s death toll from the Freedoms State:
— Thursday: 30 new deaths for a total of 1,177; 704 new cases.
— Friday: 33 new deaths for a total of 1,210; 945 new cases.
— Saturday: 33 more deaths for a total of 1,243; 735 new cases.
— Sunday: 16 more deaths for a total of 1,259; 632 new cases.
— Monday: For a change, no deaths reported; 317 new cases with the active case total down a bit to 12,623.
— Tuesday: 2 new deaths reported today for a total of 1,261. Imagine considering two deaths to be good news! 345 new cases today.
— Wednesday: 39 more deaths, bringing the toll to 1,300. There were 908 new cases reported today, and the state’s active-case total is 10,987.
(6) The NCAA women’s basketball tournament in March and April will be held at one site rather than campus sites and major arenas around the country. Right now San Antonio looks like a good bet as host.
(7) The national death toll reached 300,000 on the first day of vaccine injections among health-care front-line workers across the country.
(8) On Monday the nation of New Zealand lifted all COVID-19 restrictions with a final nationwide death toll of 25.
(9) The Pierre school board heard at its Monday meeting that there are 12 active cases among students and one among the staff at the two-week mark after Thanksgiving break.
(10) Phase 1 workers at Avera’s hospital in Pierre and health center in Gettysburg will likely get their COVID-19 vaccine next week.
(11) The Sioux Falls city council voted to extend that city’s mask mandate through March.


  • Go online to phoenixchoir.com/albums and search for “For the Longest Time!” A smile in your day is guaranteed.
  • The next Midweek Update will be available Thursday morning, Dec. 31, two weeks from today.
  • I found a set of revised lyrics to my favorite secular Christmas song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” There was no attribution for the words, so I don’t know to whom to give the credit, but here’s a message appropriate for this year:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light.
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yuletide gay.
From now on our troubles will be miles away.
Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Will be near to us once more.
Some day soon we all will be together
If the fates allow.
Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow,
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.


Rapid City Rush: The Rush opened the season with a split of two home games vs. Utah, winning 6-4 and losing 3-1. Rapid City plays at Allen, Texas, Friday and Saturday. The next home game is Jan. 6.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Stampede lost in overtime, 3-2, to Fargo. Sunday’s Lincoln game was postponed. Sioux Falls is home vs. Waterloo Saturday, goes to Des Moines Monday, hosts Sioux City next Wednesday, then is home vs. Fargo Dec. 26 and Dec. 31.

Aberdeen Wings: The unbeaten Wings were idle last weekend. They are home Friday and Saturday vs. St. Cloud.

Oahe Capitals boys varsity: Idle last weekend, the Caps play at Yankton this Saturday and Sunday.

Oahe Capitals girls varsity: The girls lost a 4-3 overtime game to Huron Sunday. Scoring goals were Micah Buffalo, Brylee Kafka and Olivia Swenson. In goal Abigail Stewart-Fromm made 46 saves. The Oahe girls were outshot 50-27. They host Brookings for an 8 p.m. faceoff Friday, then go to Yankton Saturday and Sunday.


Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves lost their first two preseason games to Memphis, 107-105 and 123-104. The last preseason game is tonight at Dallas. The regular season opens at home next Wednesday vs. Detroit, followed by a rugged western road trip to Utah Dec. 26, the Lakers Dec. 27 and the Clippers Dec. 29.


Minnesota Vikings: A week after moving into the seventh NFC playoff spot, the Vikings lost at Tampa Bay, 26-14, as kicker Dan Bailey missed three field-goal tries and an extra-point kick, so Minnesota is now outside the playoffs looking in with only three games remaining, one of them at New Orleans. Now 6-7, the Vikings are home vs. Chicago at noon Sunday.

Denver Broncos: Denver won at Carolina, 32-27, to improve to 5-8. Denver hosts Buffalo Saturday afternoon.

NFL games on local TV this weekend (games subject to change by the networks):
Thursday—Los Angeles Clippers at Las Vegas, 7:20 p.m., Fox and NFL Network.
Saturday—Buffalo at Denver, 3:30 p.m., NFL Network.
Saturday—Carolina at Green Bay, 7:15 p.m., NFL Network.
Sunday—Chicago at Minnesota, noon, Fox.
Sunday— New England at Miami, noon, CBS.
Sunday—Kansas City at New Orleans, 3:25 p.m., CBS.
Sunday—Cleveland at New York Giants, 7:20 p.m., NBC.
Monday—Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 7:15 p.m., ESPN.


Everyone is welcome! Send your winners of these games to parkerhome16@hotmail.com by Saturday morning. For our season-long competition standings we will count the first 10 of these games that are actually played:

(1) Big 10 championship: Northwestern vs. Ohio State.
(2) Big 12 championship: Iowa State vs. Oklahoma.
(3) ACC championship: Notre Dame vs. Clemson.
(4) SEC championship: Florida vs. Alabama.
(5) American championship: Tulsa vs. Cincinnati.
(6) Minnesota at Wisconsin.
(7) Michigan at Iowa. (already canceled)
(8) NFL: Seattle at Washington.
(9) NFL: Kansas City at New Orleans.
(10) NFL: Chicago at Minnesota.
(11) NFL: San Francisco at Dallas.
(12) NFL: Tampa Bay at Atlanta.
(13) NFL: New England at Miami.
(14) Sun Belt championship: Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Coastal Carolina.
(15) NFL: Cleveland at New York Giants.


PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): The Champions Tour has been idle since early November. The last 2020 tournament on the schedule is the PNC Championship at Orlando Dec. 17-20.


Thursday, Dec. 17:
Ryan Nuttall, Edna Brunmeier, Austin Mammenga, Kade Anderson, Mason Frohm, Jessica Jockheck, Kathie Patten, Jackson Palmer, Molly (Robertson) Golla.

Friday, Dec. 18:
Jeff Swartz, Jordan Jarvis, Kai Hanson, Calvin Hofer, Joseph Bock, Ruth Smith, SuzMarie Squires, Devan Bruns, Ross Olson, Gary McMath, Sandy Tillman, Jayne Parsons, Kirsti (Garrett) Cuppy.
— 16th anniversary, Jamison/Cathy Rounds.

Saturday, Dec. 19:
Blake Hemminger, Alexander Meagher, Tim Bjorneberg, Dianne Noyes, Karin (Unkenholz) Hansen, Jim Costello, Breanna Costello, Georgia Hanson, Miles Hunsleyu, Elise Titze, Lisa Dorschner.
— Anniversary, Casey/Alyssa Kahler.

Sunday, Dec. 20:
Henry Melius, Conor Getty, Steve Hosman, Dustin Garber, Michaela (Thompson) Novak, Louis Mehlhaff, Joel Schwader, Marcie (Lyngstad) Long, Mathis Joens, Maddy Jo Sayer, Valori (Kunsman) Floyd, Mary Sarvis, Jean Cowan, Josh Lamb, Nicole Neal, Kari Dale, Luke Studer, Rick Dopps.

Monday, Dec. 21:
Eric Sprenkle, Isaac Voel, Sarah Gran, Delaney Uecker, Matt Jahraus, Laura (Winter) Anderson, Timaree (Ice) Axlund, David Zellmer, Chris Frost, Jamie Goff, Allison Guindon, Erica Schipper, Tyler Moodie, Brad Moore, Colt Norman, Caitlin Bingner, Evan Nielsen.

Tuesday, Dec. 22:
Seneca Hertel, Susan (Erickson) Ogan, Jeff Adel, Twila Merkwan, Cameron Bullard, Neil Eichstadt, Gerad Johnson, Brandon Rausch.

Wednesday, Dec. 23:
Dietrich Johnson, Kesiah (Pearson) Frederick, Susan Culberson, Jeremy DeWitt, Terry Mattke, Maranda Ehrenfried.
— 11th anniversary, Eddie/Reina Welch.
— 14th anniversary, Kyle/Jeannie Kafka.

Thursday, Dec. 24:
Andrea Bauer, Kolton Durkin, Chris Anglin, Sonny Reed, Bill Gingrich, Bruce Kessler, Landon Schumacher, Mary Huckins, Melisa Forest, Jeff Fahey.

Friday, Dec. 25:
Sheila Gould, Josh Golden, Alicia Burchill, Chuck Libby, Katie (Skrondahl) Melius, Hudson Rohrbach, Kathy (Beemer) Cruse, Randy Barth, Kathy (Marso) Harford, Reid Turner.

Saturday, Dec. 26:
Jaclyn Clown, Kathy Lucas, Angel (Hanson) Martin, Shelby Stadel, Bernie (Ripperger) Hanson, Taylor McGee, Matt Blaseg, Amy (Stahl) Jones, Yutzil (Rodriguez) Becker, Nathan Blaseg.
— 34th anniversary, Pat/Brenda Jolley.
— 11th anniversary, Adam/Samantha (Dockter) Gallagher.

Sunday, Dec. 27:
Alaire Palmer, Wendy Guindon, Stuart Stofferahn, Alana Stars, Sean Colleran, Elizabeth (Lamb) Salonson, Brian Hermanson, Ann Thompson, Chris Iverson, Graham Hunsley, Gary Heintz, Cole Cruse.
— 11th anniversary, Jason/Eva (Schmidt) Reed.
— 8th anniversary, Michael/Natasha Kendall.

Monday, Dec. 28:
Dalila Timmons, Dayna Timmons, Rob Miller, Andrew Van Houten, Kaylyn Pitlick, Morgan Ellefson, Todd Peterson, Kelsey Dykstra, Lynette James, Jonas Heard, Owen Knutson, Helen Bright, Troy Jones, Hazel Van Camp, Serena (Buhler) Swenson.
— 18th anniversary, Jon/Michelle Hofer.
— 18th anniversary, Conrad/Mary (Storsteen) Dieken.
— 46th anniversary, Lari/Linda Ott.

Tuesday, Dec. 29:
Tane Bramblee, Rodger Hartley, Kent Kinkler, Thad Fonck, Kristi Jordan, Donielle Gustafson, Tyson Bramblee, Geryd Erbele, Lindsay (Potts) Strohfus, Brandon Haag, Ava Briese, Guy Hunter, Nedra (Eddy) Strouf.

Wednesday, Dec. 30:
Crystal (Byrum) Frost, Chad Lahman, Sonja Christensen, Brian Bondy, Betty Lindbloom, Christy Kramer, Brian Lowery, Justin Trebesch, Jim Gerdes, Michael Fuchs, Casey Keller, Doug Runge, Lyndsey Harrowa, Shane Severyn.
— 14th anniversary, Todd/Mollee (Hewlett0 Madden.

Thursday, Dec. 31:
Andy Zarecky, Prentice Weaver, Nicole (Cholik) Namken, Jess Wright, Logan Hall, Bryce Palmer, Sean Getty, Hannah Albertus, Caroline Denton, Brian Harrington, Debby Bouchie, Melissa (Huber) Hundstad, Carrie (Kinkler) Smith, Amanda Garrett, Kellan Ogan.
— 15th anniversary, Kyle/Meaghan (Anderson) Neuberger.
— 21st anniversary, Kris/Calyn (Cronin) Hauck.
— 21st anniversary, Brian/Carolyn Deal.
— 15th anniversary, Jon/Lindsey (Riter) Rapp.
— 11th anniversary, Derek/Katlyn Gustafson.
— 7th anniversary, Jon/Pati Kotilnek.
— 32nd anniversary, John/Vicki Hagemann.
— 26th anniversary, Norm/Sarah Lingle.
— 17th anniversary, Rob/Bethany Nill.
— 4th anniversary, Logan/Rachel (Howard) Sulentic.


Mount Marty men’s basketball (Lincoln Jordre): The Lancers lost GPAC games to Concordia, 82-71, and to Dakota Wesleyan, 78-66. Lincoln did not get into either contest. MMC took a 6-6 record into last night’s Doane game. The Lancers host Dordt Saturday and visit USD for an exhibition game Sunday to end pre-holiday play.

South Dakota State track/field (Addison Eisenbeisz): There are currently no further indoor meets listed on the SDSU website.

Morningside bowling (Alex Badger): The Mustang rollers are off until Jan. 16-17 at Addison, Ill.

South Dakota men’s basketball (Max Burchill): The Coyotes lost their first two games at the three-day round-robin Dakota Showcase in Sioux Falls, falling to North Dakota, 73-71, and to North Dakota State, 74-67. However, USD made up for those disappointments with a 91-78 throttling of South Dakota State. The Yotes’ Stanley Umude was 17-of-26 in field goals (3-of-6 in threes) and 4-of-5 in free throws for 41 points with 11 rebounds. Max didn’t get into any of these games. Now 1-5, USD’s game vs. Drake last night was postponed and rescheduled for 5 p.m. Friday in Vermillion. Then USD will be home vs. Mount Marty Sunday.

Tennessee women’s basketball (Caleb Currier): The Lady Vols defeated Furman, 90-53. Sunday’s game vs. Texas was postponed. Now 3-1, Tennessee hosts Jackson State Sunday, then is off until Dec. 28 vs. Lipscomb.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (Bradley Dean, Nick Wittler): Since a season-opening loss, the Tigers have rolled to nine straight wins. They defeated Northwestern (Iowa) in GPAC play, 82-76. In a 78-66 win over Mount Marty, Bradley was 1-of-2 and 3-of-3 for five points with three rebounds and an assist. DWU played at Morningside last night, hosts Midland Saturday, then plays at Dakota State Dec. 30.

Black Hills State women’s basketball (Racquel Wientjes): What a weekend Racquel had! She had back-to-back 28-point, seven-rebound games as BHSU defeated Colorado-Mesa, 60-50, and Westminster, 71-68. In the first game she was 7-of-16 (3-of-6 in threes) and 11-of-12 at the stripe and had an assist and a steal. Against Westminster she was 11-of-21 (4-of-7 in threes) and 2-of-3 and added three blocks, five assists and two steals to her stats line. Now 3-1, BHSU plays at UC-Colorado Springs Saturday.

South Dakota women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): The Coyote women won at Wichita State, 62-54, giving Coach Dawn Plitzuweit her 300th coaching career win. USD never trailed in the game as Chloe had a career night with 29 points and 11 rebounds, her first double-double. She was 10-of-22 in field goals, including three three-pointers, and hit seven of her first eight shots. Chloe was named Summit League Player of the Week for her performance. Now 2-2, USD faces another stiff challenge against Bradley in Peoria, Ill., then goes to Oklahoma Sunday.


This winter’s inductees into the Pierre Athletics Hall of Fame are Geoff Gross, Brad Lowery and Torry Zeller. A formal ceremony will be held at a later date. Gross coached Pierre track teams to fifth-place finishes at the state meet in 2004 and 2005 and to state and ESD Conference championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008. He had 18 individual state champions, four state relay champion teams, and four Gatorade South Dakota Athlete of the Year from 2005 through 2008. Gross is now athletic director at Beresford. Riggs alumnus Brad Lowery placed second in the state cross country run his junior year, won the 800-meter run at the state meet his senior year and anchored the state medley champion team as a senior. Lowery was an eight-time All-American in track and cross country. He, his wife and their son live in Sioux Falls where Brad is a professor of math and physics at the University of Sioux Falls. Zeller placed fifth, 12th, seventh and third in state cross country meets and was an ESD conference champion in cross country twice. He was ESD champion in the 1600 and 3200 in track and also wrestled for the Governors. Zeller went on to an outstanding collegiate career in cross country and track at USF where he was a two-time All-American. He and his wife and two children live in Pierre where he is training director for the Department of Corrections.

At the National Finals Rodeo in Arlington, Texas, Jace Melvin placed 11th in Round 7 of steer wrestling in a time of 4.6 seconds.

Call him Dr. Blake Dean now. The Riggs High and SDSU alumnus completed his doctor of physical therapy two-year program through Baylor University Thursday night with a virtual graduation ceremony.

Joan Albaugh died Dec. 8 at the age of 93. Funeral arrangements are pending through Feigum Funeral Home. She and her late husband, Herb, lived in eastern states. After his death in 2004, she came to Pierre to be close to her daughter, Sharon Helbig, and her family. While she was in Pierre, Joan was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church. She is survived by her daughter, Sharon Helbig and her husband Bruce of Pierre; grandsons Christopher Helbig and his wife Zoe of Spring Hill, Fla., and Alex Helbig and his wife Alicia of Pierre, and Alex’s three children.

Northern State University’s winter commencement included the awarding of degrees to these local students:
* Cordell Ring, bachelor of science in education/history.
* Will Ellwanger, bachelor of science in accounting (magna cum laude).
* Haelly Pease, bachelor of science in management.

Our sympathy to the Fosness and Melmer families on the death of a South Dakota sports legend. Gordon Fosness died Tuesday at the age of 85 in Sioux Falls. Public viewing will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at the Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell, followed by a private funeral at the Sherman Chapel on the DWU campus. A processional will begin at 2 p.m. and go past the Corn Palace en route to Graceland Cemetery. Fosness, who called Presho and Lyman County “The Holy Land,” was a basketball star at Presho High School and Dakota Wesleyan University. After a pair of high school coaching jobs, he was hired as head men’s coach at DWU at the age of 26 and served in that capacity for 22 years from 1961 to 1983. He later was state director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame and the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. Among those who preceded him in death was his wife, Carol. Fosness is survived by five children, including Valerie Melmer and her husband Rick, Tonja Lezon and her husband Jon, Chris Fosness and his wife Laura, Jennifer Spears and her husband Shad, and Kathy Fosness, as well as 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

At the state oral interpretation tournament Levi McKinley of Riggs High earned a superior rating in the serious reading division. Mia Fernandez of Stanley County High also earned a superior in superior reading.

John and Jean Lakner, who live now near several of their family members in Texas, have their first great-grandson. McCoy Elliott Rupe is the son of Eric and Lindsey Rupe of Sioux Falls. Eric is the Lakners’ grandson. The baby boy joins big sisters Mollie and Margo in the Rupe family.

Pierre-Fort Pierre’s representatives at the state Snow Queen festival in Aberdeen have been selected. The Capital Area Senior Snow Queen is Shantay Waldron of Fort Pierre, and the Junior Snow Queen is Sydney Uhrig of Pierre.

The ticket-booth/dressing rooms building at the old Pierre municipal swimming pool just west of Maryhouse was demolished Tuesday.

Josh and Kassi (Schuetzle) Wilson are the parents of a fourth son. Cruze was born Dec. 14, weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and measured 21 inches. He joins brothers Jaxten, 7; Cooper, 5, and Lincoln, 2, in their family. The Wilsons live at Sturgis. Kassi is a third-grade teacher at Sturgis Elementary.

Donnette Anderson, 69, Fort Pierre, died at home Dec. 9. A celebration of her life will take place at a later date through Feigum Funeral Home. Donnette came with her family from Albert Lea, Minn., to Fort Pierre in 1959. She married Dave Anderson in 1972. She worked at various jobs but especially loved caring for her residents at OAHE Inc. She battled lung cancer for 16 years. Among her survivors are four children, Dena Schaefer and her hus and Donnie of Fort Pierre, Dwayne Anderson and his wife Shalista of Tea, David Anderson and his wife Kaishia of Pierre, and Darin Anderson and his wife Lynsey of Pierre; 15 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, and her sisters, DeAnn Sutley and Debra Stutesman.

Seven faculty members of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at St. Mary’s College of Maryland authored seven chapters for a recently-released American Chemical Society Symposium Series book, “Integrating Professional Skills into Undergraduate Chemistry Curricula.” One of those seven is associate professor Dr. Kelly Neiles. Neiles said she and colleagues began presenting what their department was doing to incorporate these skills into their programs and noticed colleagues and students from other institutions taking an interest. “That’s when I knew we had something,” she said.

Lynn Metzinger passed away Monday at the age of 79. Memorial Mass will be celebrated at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church at 10 a.m. Saturday. A prayer service will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at the Isburg Funeral Chapel, preceded by visitation starting at 5 p.m.

Chris and Karla (Grueb) Kendrick are the parents of another son. Creed Christopher Kendrick was born Dec. 15, weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and measuring 18 inches. He joins a brother, Cruz, 4, in their family. His maternal grandparents are Rod and Tawana (Zebroski) Grueb of Onida, and his maternal great-grandmother is Beverly Zebroski.

You think you have a long trip to get home for Christmas? Not compared to Jim McLain, you don’t. The Pierre graduate and former teacher at Georgia Morse Middle School is coming home for Christmas Friday. He teaches this year in Quito, Ecuador.



PARKER’S COLUMN (Reprinted from Dec. 21, 2011)

Enjoy the majesty of a quiet snowfall

Life in the department of music at the University of South Dakota goes at a breakneck pace, especially as the remaining days in a semester wind down to a precious few. That is even the case for those of us who are only part-timers up there on the west side of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

As the first Saturday of December dawned in Vermillion, we had yet to see snow this winter. Ice, yes; snow, no. But, there is an unwritten law that every year there must be snow that makes driving and walking hazardous on the day of USD’s Christmas concert. By show time more than two inches of the predicted “no more than an inch” had fallen on the campus.

Despite the nuisance of walking in tuxedos or long, black gowns and high heels across the patio from the warmup area in Farber Hall to the concert site in Slagle Hall, the show went on.

As I sat in the balcony at Slagle somewhere in the middle of that marathon concert, I happened to glance toward the outdoors and was blessed with the most incredible sight. The scene that greeted my eyes was straight from Currier & Ives except that this picture had movement.

I saw that the evergreen trees to the west toward the music museum had, in the past hour, been flocked by the falling snow. The wind had stopped, but the snow had not, and as I watched, the big flakes were just fluttering down, ever so slowly, so peacefully, so silently. I managed to shut out the sounds of whatever group was performing down on the stage at that moment and instead soaked in the magnificence of the scene outside the window.

The frantic pace of life of the past few weeks was forgotten—well, at least set aside—as the soothing, mesmerizing effect of the gently falling snow wafted over me.

The week that followed was filled with a series of days filled with vocal students’ juries and competitions, preparations for a church music carol concert, rehearsals for an upcoming recital and the return of high school basketball, but, despite all of that craziness, the picture I viewed from inside the concert hall has remained with me.

The pastor of our Vermillion church preaches regularly the need for us to slow down, calm down and quiet down. He literally makes it happen, for a couple minutes at least, in a mandatory period of silence during each service. Despite the beauty of this time of year and the happiness that comes to so many people over Christmas, it is also a stressful time.

This fall has had some really stressful moments for most of us. For me? Absolutely. For you? Surely for many of you. But as my mind keeps going back to the fluttering flakes of snow creating a picturesque campus scene, I have become determined not to let the current rigors of life get the best of me over this holiday period.

School will be out by the time you read this, and that means nearly four full weeks before the students return, classes resume and life gets crazy again. The other night I got a jump on my upcoming solitude. It’s hard to believe, but I sat down in the easy chair and read a book cover to cover, getting up only to pour a cup or two of hot chocolate and to let Oliver outside to do his thing. The only noise for more than three hours was Christmas music quietly playing in the background. It was almost heaven on earth!

One would think that a person such as I who lives alone (except for my German shepherd) would have a lot of quiet times, especially since there’s no TV set at my place. But there’s something going on almost every night that I either must or want to attend. For the next month, however, that won’t be the case. A church choir practice now and then, a pair of Christmas services at church, a few Coyote ballgames, but lots of time for Oliver and me to walk back and forth across the vacant campus and for me to sit—perhaps reading, perhaps listening to some bowl games, perhaps doing nothing.

You should do the same. And if your response to that is, “I still have so much shopping to do,” consider the following list I clipped from somewhere many years ago, a list of eight gifts that don’t cost a cent and yet are nourishment for the giver’s soul:

— The gift of listening. But you must really listen, no interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

— The gift of affection. Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, handholds and pats on the back.

— The gift of laughter. Clip cartoons share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

— The gift of a written note. It can be a simple “thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note that can be read and re-read may be remembered for a lifetime.

— The gift of a compliment. A simple and sincere “You look great in red” or “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

— The gift of a favor. Every day go out of your way to do something kind.

— The gift of solitude. Be sensitive to those times when people want nothing better than to be left alone and give that gift of solitude to others.

— The gift of a cheerful disposition. The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. You may not know the stuff going on in his or her life, but it’s there. Lend a smile.

— Enjoy your time alone and your time together this Christmas season. And let it snow. Ever so silently.

Merry Christmas!

1 Comment

  1. Shirley

    We are blessed to have you in our lives Parker! Happy holidays. (Merry Christmas) Stay healthy, stay safe.


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