Vol. 21, No. 19; Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021

Feb 25, 2021 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments


The mind is like water. When it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.
— Prasad Mahes


State Class “A” team duals tournament: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center ice arena; quarterfinals 3:30 p.m. MST Thursday; semifinals 5:30 p.m. Thursday; championship and third-place matches 5 p.m. Friday. Quarterfinal pairings: #1 Brandon Valley vs. #8 Tea Area; #4 Mitchell vs. #5 Pierre; #2 Rapid City Stevens vs. #7 Chamberlain; #3 Watertown vs. #6 Harrisburg.

State Class “B” team duals tournament: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Barnett arena; quarterfinals 3:30 p.m. MST Thursday; semifinals 5:30 p.m. Thursday; championship and third-place matches 5 p.m. Friday. Quarterfinal pairings: #1 Winner Area vs. #8 Lyman; #4 McCook Central/Montrose vs. #5 Redfield Area; #2 Canton vs. #7 Howard; #3 Kimball-White Lake/Platte-Geddes vs. #6 Wessington Springs/Woonsocket/Wolsey-Wessington.

State Class “A” individual tournament: Pierre captured another Region 3A team championship at Chamberlain Saturday and qualified all 14 wrestlers for this weekend’s state tournament in Rapid City. Winning individual regional titles were Noah Williams at 113 pounds, Kahlor Hindman at 132, Hayden Shaffer at 138 and Regan Bollweg at 220. The other Pierre placers and state tourney qualifiers are Lincoln Schoenhard, third place at 106; Nathan Williams, second at 120; Blake Judson, third at 126; Tyson Johnson, second at 145; Deegan Houska, second at 152; Jayden Wiebe, third at 160; Lucas Chamberlin, fourth at 170; Gavin Stotts, fourth at 182; Jacob Larson, third at 195, and Preston Taylor, second at 285.

State Class “B” individual tournament: Stanley County placed seventh as a team with 81.5 points in the Region 4B tournament at home. Three Buffaloes qualified for the state tournament, including Chase Hanson, second place at 113 pounds; Levi Stover, fourth at 160, and Dylan Endres, third at 285. Sully Buttes had one qualifier as Chase Yellowhawk placed fourth at 138 pounds.

Boys individual tournaments schedule: Thursday—first round, 10 a.m.; Friday—quarterfinals and first-round consolation, 10 a.m.; second-round consolation to follow; Saturday—third-round consolation, 10 a.m.; fourth-round consolation to follow; place matches, 3:30 p.m.; championship matches to follow.

State girls individual tournament: Pierre will have eight girls wrestling in the first-ever state tournament for girls. They are Sydney Uhrig, 112 pounds; Mary Chessmore and Gianna Stangeland, 131 pounds; Hattie Baldwin, 143 pounds; Mary Mehlhaff, 167 pounds; Emalee Larson and Marlee Shorter, 185 pounds, and Ciara McFarling, 275 pounds. Sully Buttes will have one wrestler in the girls tournament—Cateri Yellowhawk at 129 pounds.

Television coverage: All three days of the wrestling tournaments will be streamed online at sdpb.org/wrestling. The team duals tournament championship Friday night and the individual championship matches Saturday night will all be televised live. (“A” matches Saturday on SDPB1, the “B” matches on SDPB2.)


Class AA girls: The top 16 of the 18 “AA” teams qualify for the SoDak 16 games on Friday, March 5, with 16 playing at 1, 15 at 2, etc. As of early this week, Pierre looked likely to finish 10th or 11th and would play at Rapid City Stevens or Brandon Valley. The eight SoDak 16 game winners advance to the state tournament. Right now Yankton and Douglas would be the two teams not making it to the postseason.

Region 6A girls: Stanley County and the other three teams in this region who are playing basketball compete in what amount to regional semifinal games Thursday. SCHS goes to Mobridge-Pollock while Chamberlain plays at Miller. The two winners advance to the SoDak 16 next Thursday, March 4.

Region 2B girls: Sully Buttes’ season ended Tuesday with a 56-47 loss at Faulkton Area in the regional quarterfinal round. Stevie Wittler led the Chargers with 16 points, and Lydia Hill contributed 12. The final record was 10-11. Advancing to Thursday’s two semifinal games are Faulkton vs. Highmore-Harrold and Herreid-Selby vs. Lower Brule with the two winners going into the SoDak 16 games on Friday, March 5.

Class AA boys: The top 16 of the 18 “AA” teams qualify for the SoDak 16 games on Saturday, March 6, with 16 playing at 1, 15 at 2, etc. As of early this week, Pierre looked likely to finish 14th or 15th and would play at Sioux Falls Roosevelt or Yankton. The eight SoDak 16 game winners advance to the state tournament. Right now Huron and Sturgis would be the two teams not making it to the postseason.

Region 6A boys: With only four teams in this region playing basketball, there are only two regional semifinal games to be played with both winners advancing to the SoDak 16 round on Tuesday, March 9. The regional games will be next Thursday, March 4, with #4 at #1 and #3 at #2. Right now Stanley County would be the third seed and would go to Mobridge-Pollock for its game.

Region 2B boys: The nine-team region begins play Monday, followed by four quarterfinal games Tuesday and two semifinal games next Thursday from which the two winners advance to the SoDak 16 round Tuesday, March 9. Sully Buttes will likely be the fifth or sixth seed and would play its game Tuesday at Highmore-Harrold or Ipswich.

Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference: The NSIC women’s and men’s tournaments begin Thursday and run through Sunday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. Only 8 of the 16 teams qualify for the tournament. On the women’s side North #1 Minnesota-Duluth plays Sioux Falls while South #1 Augustana plays MSU-Moorhead on Thursday. On Friday in the other two quarterfinals Concordia-St. Paul takes on Bemidji State, then St. Cloud State plays Minnesota State-Mankato. In the men’s tournament Northern, the #1 North seed plays Augustana while South #1 Wayne State plays St. Cloud State on Thursday. The Friday games for the men are Upper Iowa vs. Minot State and MSU-Moorhead takes on Minnesota State-Mankato. All 14 tournament games will be televised live on Midco Sports Network with games starting at 10 a.m. the first three days and the championship games at 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday. In normal years all 16 men’s and all 16 women’s teams play in the postseason tournament, but this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, only eight of each were allowed to play.


3 days: Twins spring-training opener (Feb. 28).
3 days: Golden Globes awards, NBC (Feb. 28).
4 days: Pierre Zesto opens (March 1).
6 days: NAIA indoor track-field national meet, Yankton (March 3-6).
8 days: State JV boys hockey tournament, Expo Center (March 5-7).
8 days: State girls hockey tournament, Watertown (March 5-7).
9 days: Summit League basketball tournaments, Sioux Falls (March 6-9).
10 days: Critics’ Choice awards, CW network (March 7).
14 days: Last day of legislative session (March 11).
14 days: State girls basketball tournaments, B Huron, A Watertown, AA Sioux Falls (March 11-13).
15 days: State boys hockey tournament, Sioux Falls (March 12-14).
16 days: NCAA Div. II men’s basketball Central Regional, Aberdeen (March 13-14, 16).
17 days: Daylight Saving Time begins (March 14).
17 days: NCAA Div. I men’s basketball Selection Sunday (March 14).
17 days: Grammy awards, CBS (March 14).
18 days: NCAA Div. I women’s basketball Selection Monday (March 15).
21 days: State boys basketball tournaments, B Aberdeen, A Sioux Falls, AA Rapid City (March 18-20).
21 days: NCAA Div. I wrestling national championships, St. Louis (March 18-20).
27 days: NCAA Div. II men’s basketball Elite Eight, Evansville, Ind. (March 24-27).
29 days: All-State Band, Mitchell (March 26-27).


Oahe Capitals girls varsity: Idle again last weekend, the girls finish the regular season at home against Sioux Center at 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday.

SDAHA girls varsity standings (wins-losses-ties-OT losses=points):
(1) Aberdeen 14 – 0 – 0 – 0 … 28
(2) Sioux Falls 13 – 1 – 0 – 1 … 27
(3) Brookings 9 – 4 – 1 – 0 … 19
(4) Mitchell 8 – 7 – 0 – 1 .. 17
(5) Sioux Center 8 – 6 – 0 – 0 … 14
(6) Watertown 5 – 8 – 2 – 1 … 13
(7) Huron 5 – 1 – 0 – 0 … 10
(8) Oahe 3 – 9 – 1 – 1 … 8
(9) Yankton 0 – 15 – 0 – 0 … 0

Oahe Capitals boys varsity: Hockey will be king this weekend on the local scene as the Capital boys have three home games—Friday vs. Rushmore at 8 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m. vs. Sioux Falls #2, and Sunday at 2 p.m. vs. Mitchell. The Capitals and Brookings tied for first place in the race for the regular-season championship and the #1 seed with each having three games to play. Oahe has Rushmore, Sioux Falls #2 and Mitchell remaining this weekend while Brookings plays Sioux Falls #2, Watertown and Sioux Center. As for the Caps’ games last weekend, at Rapid City Saturday the Caps lost 6-1 to the Thunder. Elliot Leif scored off Raef Briggs’ assist for the only Oahe goal. Carter Schulz made 41 saves as the Caps were outshot 47-29. (One of the Thunder goals was scored by Mason Martin, son of Pierre native Stuart Martin.) Back home Sunday the Capitals won a spine-tingler as Keenan Howard’s slap shot from the blue line in overtime found the net for a 2-1 O.T. win over Brookings. Leif had tied the game with a goal in the second period. Kieran Duffy made 25 saves in goal.

SDAHA boys varsity standings (wins-losses-ties-OT losses=points):
(1) Oahe 15 – 1 – 0 – 1 … 31
(1) Brookiings 15 – 1 – 0 – 1 … 31
(3) Rushmore 14 – 3 – 0 – 0 … 28
(3) Sioux Falls #2 14 – 3 – 0 – 0 … 28
(5) Sioux Center 10 – 6 – 0 – 2 … 22
(6) Sioux Falls #1 10 – 8 – 0 – 0 … 20
(7) Huron 5 – 12 – 0 – 2 … 12
(8) Watertown 5 – 13 – 0 – 0 … 10
(9) Aberdeen 4 – 13 – 0 – 1 … 9
(10) Yankton 3 – 14 – 0 – 1 … 7
(11) Mitchell 2 – 14 – 0 – 1 … 5

Aberdeen Wings: The Wings swept Minot, 6-1 and 5-0, and still have lost only twice all season. Aberdeen plays at Austin Friday and Saturday.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Stampede lost to Des Moines, 6-2, then took two at Tri-City, 5-4 in overtime and 4-2. Sioux Falls plays Friday and Saturday at Fargo and next Wednesday at Lincoln.

Rapid City Rush: Utah took two of three from the Rush. Rapid City won 3-2 in a shootout, then lost 5-4 in overtime and lost 4-3. The Rush play Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday at Wichita.

Minnesota Wild: After missing a string of games due to COVID-19 concerns, the Wild have come back on a mission, now with four straight road victories. Minnesota beat Anaheim, 3-1 and 5-1; won over San Jose, 6-2, and defeated Colorado last night, 6-2. The Wild play Los Angeles at home Friday and Saturday, then go to Las Vegas for games Monday and Wednesday.


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 column 1, 5, 6 and 7 from top to bottom.

(1) The State Farm guy.
(5) Indonesian Visual Art Archive (abbr.).
(6) Yankton basketball star.
(7) “Pay — for what you need.”
(1) Voice of the Stampede hockey team.
(2) South Dakota home of the Pirates.
(3) The Adam kids’ dad.
(4) “—- Rider,” Peter Fonda movie.


Two weeks of winter like they have never known struck the state of Texas and other states to the north and east this month. The disaster has been fatal to some, caused damages to millions and inconvenience to just about everyone in that state. The Midweek Update asked some former Pierre area residents what their experiences have been like.

John and Jean Lakner and their three daughters’ families all live in the suburbs on the northeast and east sides of Dallas. “We lowered our heat as requested to save power,” Jean said. “I dragged a blanket with me from room to room, and we never left the house. We dealt with frozen pipes that did not burst.”

Katie (Lakner) and Brent Dill, who are teachers, and their three daughters were at home in Sachse since all schools were closed. There could be no virtual learning either because of the power outages, so the Dills went sledding and built snowmen. They were fortunate in not losing water or electricity.

Nearby in Murphy Sara (Lakner) Almaraz and her family had nearly four days of rolling blackouts with electricity on and off day and night. Jean said the Almarazes all stayed in one area of their home with their four dogs and lots of blankets. “Their girls thought this was quite an experience and were racing to the microwave, racing to charge their I-pads and racing everywhere whenever the power came on,” Jean said. “They read and played games with their flashlights.”

A bit to the south in Heath, Kim (Lakner) Crowder, husband Greg and their son enjoyed playing in the snow with their four dogs and two foster dogs. Greg, son Braeden and neighbors took swimming pool tubes to nearby hills for rides. “Shortly after that, they realized they didn’t have much gas pressure while warming up by the fireplace,” Jean said. “Later that night they lost electricity for 61 hours. Layering clothes brought new meaning.” The Crowders were thankful for warm, snuggly dogs. They left their house only once during the stretch to take hot showers.

The Crowders were the only people on their street who stayed home, and their house temperature stayed in the 50s. Greg was glad he had installed energy-saving windows and extra insulation when their home was built. He helped neighbors deal with frozen tankless water heaters and other critical issues.

Friends and relatives have major damage to their homes due to broken water pipes. Some people had to sleep in their cars with the garage doors open to stay warm. “We feel for those who died from hypothermia, car crashes on icy roads, and all,” Jean said. “Whoever thought South Dakotans who made fun of Texans’ idea of cold would endure their worst blizzard experiences in Texas!”

Jean (Sargent) West lives in Oklahoma where things were “not quite as bad,” she posted on Facebook, but her granddaugher is in nursing school in San Angelo, Texas. There they had no electricity for four days. They had water but of course no hot water.

Blunt native Matt Massey and his family, his sister and her family, and their parents, Marvin and Dorothy, all live in the north suburbs of Dallas. When Matt wrote to us on Monday, he said the temperature was in the 60s and there was not a trace of ice or snow remaining. “Most of us had spells of no electricity for from two to eight hours,” Matt said. His younger son lost electricity for four days because of ice breaking power lines.

The elder Masseys spent one night at Matt’s home when the heat went out in their building. “Lots of folks we know camped in their living rooms with tents,” Matt said. “With the pandemic it seems like just another adventure.”

At Horseshoe Bay, Texas, just northwest of Austin, Onida native Vicki (Kinder Ripley) Rapp posted on Sunday morning, “Day 7 without water. Had 48 hours of no power. First blizzard in our area ever.” Vicki said that, for awhile, they were able to melt snow in order to flush their toilets, but the snow was all gone by last weekend. Water service was restored yesterday, and the warning that all water should be boiled before being used has been lifted.

“I never experienced anything like this through many South Dakota blizzards,” Vicki said. “Emergency recovery is definitely not Texas’ long suit.” She added that her palms and greenhouse didn’t fare very well.

Inside the city of Austin Pierre native Laurie (Johnson) and Cody Tibbs and their son had no electricity or water for three days. They had two broken pipes but were fortunate to acquire a plumber’s service quickly.

Laurie pointed out that the fact that there are no snow plows or sand and salt trucks in most Texas locations make for a disaster. “Six inches of snow, temperatures as low as 6 degrees, a -5 wind chill, freezing rain and an ice storm made for horrible conditions,” she said. “I was stuck in the house for a week.”

Timing is everything, they say, and Laurie went to the hospital early this week and delivered her baby daughter Tuesday morning.

Out in West Texas in the city of Abilene, where Onida native Julie Bright lives with her husband, Mike Smith, she described the timeline of how it all went down. “It has been an adventure, and when I comment on how cold it was, please don’t roll your eyes. It all began on Feb. 9 with freezing rain, then an ice storm. The freezing precip continued until the blizzard began on the morning of Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile, the temperatures hovered at or near zero for the next two days. We received two feet of snow in our yard, and then the power outages began Sunday evening. The entire city lost water after supper Monday (Feb. 15).”

Julie said she had stocked up on provisions, remembering her experiences with typhoons when she was stationed on Guam during her military service. “We and the kittens did fine. Stable power and water were restored Wednesday afternoon.”

She said they were “looking forward” (not really!) to seeing how much their power bill is going to be.

Julie and Mike were the envy of their street in Abilene with their genuine South Dakota snow shovel. “I had purchased it at Hardware Hank’s in Pierre one hot August day while I was up home,” she said. “They’re not sold here.”

While the worst may be over in Abilene and elsewhere, the aftermath of the past 2 1/2 weeks remains. “There are literally hundreds of broken pipes and water mains in the city,” Julie said. “There are no storm drains here, so the streets are flooded in some areas due to snow melt.”

Pierre native Suzi Stein lives in Tyler in the Piney Woods area of east Texas where a bit of snow or ice usually causes powerline problems. She said she took the first warnings to cover one’s outdoor pipes seriously and bought extra firewood. “I don’t ever recall forecasts of single-digit temperatures here, so I bought groceries and settled in.”

The first storm came at night, and Suzi said she could hear pellets of ice hitting windows. The surprise in the morning light was eight inches of snow—dry stuff that could be shoveled on top but wet stuff on the bottom. As the temperature kept dropping that day, the bottom layer was ice by the next morning. Then came the next round of storms, dumping a wet layer on top, and that froze overnight.

Electricity was spotty, but Suzi’s came back on after a couple of hours. What she hadn’t considered, however, was that water service would be interrupted.

“For almost three days all I could get was a stream of muddy-looking water from the faucet,” she said. “I boiled all I could get.” She brought in snow to her bathtub, then hauled in buckets of hot water from her hot tub with which to melt the snow with which to flush the toilet.

Suzi said her friends all over the city of Tyler had it much worse. One of them had no electricity for three days, and the temperature in his house was 40 even with a gas fireplace in operation. Suzi put sheets over her windows as a buffer, and she plans to seal her doors better this weekend.

“I’ll keep extra bottled water in the pantry from now on,” she said as she sat on her patio in 75-degree weather while writing to us. “I still have coats and plenty of warm clothes for visits to South Dakota, but I can’t imagine what it was like for people who have never seen this kind of weather before.”

Suzi said to tell all of her Pierre friends that she survived on frozen lizards.


This week’s schedules:
Wrestling: at state team duals and individual tournaments, Rapid City.
Wrestling: at state team duals and individual tournaments, Rapid City.
Wrestling: at state individual tournament, Rapid City.
Boys basketball: at Sioux Falls O’Gorman, 3 p.m.

Boys basketball: The Governors lost to Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 60-38, led by Jack Merkwan’s 12 points. Lincoln Kienholz sustained an ankle injury early in the game and returned later. On Tuesday the Govs defeated Brookings, 62-41, led by Kienholz with 26 points and Jackson Edman, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Girls basketball: The girls went 1-2 this week, losing to Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 48-45, and to Sioux Falls Lincoln, 41-36, and winning over Brookings, 56-38. Remi Price had 19 points in the Brookings game as the Govs forced 23 Bobcat turnovers. Pierre stands at 8-12 as the regular season ends. The girls will play in a SoDak 16 game on Friday next week.

Athletes of the Week: This week’s students honored by the Pierre Athletic Coaches Association are Gianna Stangeland and Kahlor Hindman of the wrestling teams.


Wrestling: at state individual tournament, Rapid City.
Boys basketball: at North Central (in Bowdle).
Girls basketball: at Mobridge-Pollock in Region 6A semifinal (winner advances to SoDak 16).
Wrestling: at state individual tournament, Rapid City.
Wrestling: at state individual tournament, Rapid City.

Girls basketball: The Buffaloes ended the regular season with a 68-32 loss to Mobridge-Pollock, the same team they have to play in their first postseason game Thursday.

Boys basketball: Stanley County assured itself a winning regular-season record with two wins this week. The Buffs are now 10-8 with one game remaining Thursday vs. North Central. The Buffaloes won at Langford, 60-53, led by Lathan Prince’s 28 points and Nathan Cook’s 20 points and 17 rebounds. On Monday the Buffaloes swamped Miller, 68-42, jumping out to a 20-6 first-quarter lead and a 41-16 halftime advantage. Cook scored 21, Prince 16 and Cormac Duffy 10.


This week’s schedules:
Boys basketball: home vs. North Central.
Boys basketball: at Region 2B quarterfinal game.

Girls basketball: The Chargers dropped to 10-10 for the season after a 53-47 loss at Faulkton Area. Stevie Wittler scored 19 points and Ally Wittler 11.

Boys basketball: Sully Buttes lost to Faulkton Area, 62-36, after falling behind 18-3 in the first quarter. Garrett Petersen was high scorer with 10 points. The Chargers then lost to Lower Brule in the Warner Classic, 55-50.


  • The Minnesota Department of Transportation has trimmed 2,400 submissions down to 50 finalists in its “Name the Snowplow” contest. The MDOT will name one plow in each of its eight districts after voters determine the winners. Here are some of my favorites among the 50 finalists: Frosty the Snowplow, Plow Bunyan, Blizzard Wizard, Road Carew, Snowbi Wan Kenobi, Buzz Iceclear, Blizzard of Oz, Flake Superior, Mary Tyler More Snow, Lake Snow Begone, Kent Brrr-bek, Joe Plow-er, Darth Blader, F. Salt Fitzgerald, Luke Snowalker. Meanwhile, the South Dakota DOT has chosen the 12 plow names, one in each of its 12 areas of the state. You can see there are some duplications. The South Dakota “winners” are Darth Blader, Art, Mt. Plowmore, Snow Mater, Blizzard Wizard, Lewis & Clark, Polar Patroller, SnowBeGone Kenobi, Thaw Enforcement, Walter the Salter and Frosty the Snowplow.
  • Continuing to make voting more inconvenient, if not more difficult, Republicans—this time in Iowa—are moving through the Legislature a bill that would shorten early voting, both by mail and in person, from 29 days to 18 days. Meanwhile in the South Dakota Legislature, four of the major crises facing this state—abortion, transgender athletes, the Kristi Noem civics curriculum, and sex toys—were up for discussion this week. A good thing we don’t have some of the major problems other states have! Rest assured that, with this Legislature, you don’t have to worry that your girls basketball team will get beat by a team of transgender students. Whew, what a relief it is to know that! Hold your breath, if you can, for 14 days. Two weeks from today the session ends, and we will be relatively free of harm from this body till next January.
  • Baseball is back with the college teams opening up last weekend and the major leaguers starting spring training games this weekend. Nobody will have a more glorious beginning than Florida Atlantic freshman Caleb Pendleton. In his first two at-bats in his first-ever college game, Pendleton hit two grand-slam home runs, both in the first inning.
  • Remember that Governor Noem’s fund-raiser at the Trump estate in Florida is this week. Set aside as many bucks as you can!


May 1: Dan Nielsen/Kim Borbely.
June 18: Chris Rumrill/Katya Vakshteyn.
July 31: Jack Carpenter/Leesa Johnson.
Oct. 2: Jordan Lamb/Abbey Fjeldheim.


Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves lost to Toronto, 86-81, and lost to New York, 103-99. Then they fired Coach Ryan Saunders and replaced him, and since that action the team has lost twice more—to Milwaukee, 139-112, and to Chicago last night in overtime, 133-126. Minnesota plays at Washington Saturday then comes home to face Phoenix Sunday and Charlotte next Wednesday.


PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): After several weeks off the men on the Champions Tour return to the links in Tucson this weekend for the Cologuard Classic running Thursday through Sunday on Golf Channel.


Missouri Valley Football Conference standings: NDSU 1-0, SDSU 1-0, UND 1-0, USD 0-0, Illinois State 0-0, Missouri State 0-0, Western Illinois 0-0, Southern Illinois 0-1, Youngstown State 0-1, Northern Iowa 0-1. This Saturday’s games: SDSU at UND (Midco Sports Network, noon); USD at Illinois State, noon; NDSU at Southern Illinois, noon; UNI at Youngstown State; Missouri State at Western Illinois.


Minnesota Twins:
— Sunday: Boston, 12:05 p.m. (ESPN2 and TBS).
— Monday: at Tampa Bay, 12:05 p.m.
— Tuesday: at Atlanta, 12:05 p.m.
— Wednesday: Boston, 12:05 p.m. (Fox Sports North).
— Thursday: Tampa Bay, 12:05 p.m. (Fox Sports North).


Thursday, Feb. 25:
Tom Gerken, Max Hunsley, Chandra (Lesmeister) Miller, Caitlyn McKay, Patsy Handcock, Christy (Sobolik) Luskey, Steve Thompson, Willie Gloe, Marvin Massey, Len Cooper, Julie Smith, Clara (Stoeser) Kinzie, Glynnes Sargent, Troy Buschbom, Greg Campbell.

Friday, Feb. 26:
Justin Stephens, Jade Bartel, Tyson O”Daniel, Amelia Rounds, Austin Gross, Peyton Shibley, Adelyn Steele, Diane Deis, Stacey Mancuso, Zach Parsons, Tye Johnson, Evelynn Dekker, Torey Garrett, Jill (Taylor) Bischoff, Kit Bramblee, Valerie (Coyle) Hawley.

Saturday, Feb. 27:
Patrick Olson, Nick Marso, Tyson Pierce, Terry (Lamster) Horning, Seth Deal, Vada Smith, Isaiah Shoup, Leah Parsons, Sheryl Johnson, Macy Bryant, Sara (Stulken) Kehrwald, Amanda Barber, Jim Bright, Andrea (Viken) Urbach.

Sunday, Feb. 28:
Terry Miller, Dawn (Henderson) Holmes, Mitch Irion, Harry Decker, Karen (Van Camp) DeJabet, Anna (Van Duzer) Yost, Bre Ripperger, Derek Van Roekel, Kiyler Tieszen, Nancy Peck, Kayla Klemann, Andrew Chick.

(Feb. 29: No birthday this year!) — Warren Albertson, Malik Hachem, Karen (Rawstern) LaFurge, Marj (Schmidt) Thompson.

Monday, March 1:
Dan Cahill, Laura Louder, Jeb Bruzelius Nathaniel Buscher, Karen Schaefer, Robae (Cook) Robinson, Caleb McKinley,
— 7th anniversary, Alan/Ann Hess.
— 21st anniversary, Brady/Emily Smith.
— 18th anniversary, Adam/Jami Chick.

Tuesday, March 2:
Curt Roddewig, Rev. Teri Johnson, Lindsey (Lower) Uecker, Fletcher Ruby, Kate Boyd, Brianna Neuhauser, Sawyer Weinheimer, Julie Morris-Holter, Sandy Zimmerman, Karen Gerdes, Pat Labahn-Kuchta.

Wednesday, March 3:
Jesse Flottmeyer, Justin Flottmeyer, Will Vogel, Jacob Wagoner, Brooke Goff, Alena Axlund, Amanda Redden, Chad Pitlick, Kenyon Kuiper, Lori Fisk-Neitzel, Carol (Sanborn) Koehn, Leah (Anglin) Hammersley, Kollyns Gorter.
— 3rd anniversary, Kyle/Ali (Meister) Cichos.
— We fondly remember Brooks Monfore, who passed away 9 years ago today.

Thursday, March 4:
Tamra Downs, Claribel (Seaman) Stahl, Holly (Curtis) Thompson, Nanch (Lamb) Weischedel, Jon Gober, Ken Starks, Becca Jordre, Chris Schumacher, Drew Nafus, Lauren Jarvis, Kadin Johnson, Sheena Erickson, Sarah (Shepherd) Schulte.


— 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., NSIC women’s quarterfinals. (UMD-USF and Augustana-MSUM)
— 4 and 7 p.m., NSIC men’s quarterfinals. (NSU-Augustana and Wayne State-St. Cloud State)
— 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., NSIC women’s quarterfinals. (CSP-Bemidji State and St. Cloud State-Minnesota State)
— 4 and 7 p.m., NSIC men’s quarterfinals. (Upper Iowa-Minot State and MSUM-Minnesota State)
— 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Kansas City at SDSU women’s and men’s basketball (MSN2).
— 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., NSIC women’s semifinals.
— 4 and 7 p.m., NSIC men’s semifinals.
— 1 and 3:30 p.m., NDSU at USD women’s and men’s basketball (MSN2).
— 1 and 4 p.m., NSIC women’s and men’s championship games.


Black Hills State women’s basketball (Racquel Wientjes): The Yellowjackets lost a heart-breaker at School of Mines, 61-60, as the Hardrockers sank four clutch free throws in the final half-minute. Racquel was 7-of-17 (1-of-4 in threes) and 5-of-6 for 20 points with three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Now 12-6 in the RMAC, BHSU closes the regular season with a Denver road trip to play Colorado Christian Friday and Metro State Saturday.

Mary wrestling (Lincoln Turman): Some of the Marauders will be in Aberdeen Saturday or the Super Region V tournament.

South Dakota Mines track-field (Theron Singleton, Erick Colman): At BHSU’s Stinger Open in the 5,000-meter run Theron placed ninth in 16:56.79. The Hardrockers go back to Spearfish Friday and Saturday for the RMAC conference meet.

South Dakota men’s basketball (Max Burchill): The Coyotes escaped Oral Roberts, 86-84, at home Saturday, led by A.J. Plitzuweit’s 37 points, including two free throws with :02.6 left to win it. Sunday’s game vs. ORU was canceled due to a COVID-19 positive case among the USD staff that morning. Now 12-9 overall and 10-3 in the Summit, USD finishes the regular season at home vs. NDSU at 3:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Black Hills State track-field (Kelsey Van Den Hemel, Frank Becker): At the Stinger Open at home Frank placed fifth in the 400 in :53.66. The Yellowjackets stay home for the RMAC conference meet Friday and Saturday.

Augustana wrestling (Jebben Keyes): The Vikings go to Aberdeen for the Super Region V tournament Saturday.

Colorado Mines women’s basketball (Liz Holter): In a 67-62 loss to Westminster, Liz went 2-for-10 (0-for-2 in threes) for four points with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. In a 70-51 win over Colorado-Mesa, she was 1-of-6 (0-for-3) and 2-of-2 for four points with two boards and one assist. The Orediggers are 14-3 overall and 13-3 in the RMAC. They finish the regular season on the road to Adams State Friday and to CSU-Pueblo Saturday.

Iowa Western baseball (Peyton Zabel): Weather permitting, the Reivers will open the season with back-to-back doubleheaders at Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., Saturday and Sunday.

Augustana women’s basketball (Aislinn Duffy, Katie Bourk): The Vikings continued a late-season surge with a sweep of Wayne State and thus clinched the NSIC South title for the third time in five seasons. Augie won the Wayne State opener, 87-73, as Aislinn went 3-for-7 (1-of-2 in threes) for seven points with eight rebounds, five assists and a steal. The Vikings then won by 87-76 as Aislinn went 10-of-15 (2-of-2 in threes) for 22 points with seven rebounds, three assists, a block and two steals. Now 11-4 overall and 10-3, Augustana begins NSIC tournament play at the Pentagon Thursday.

South Dakota State track-field (Addison Eisenbeisz): At the SDSU last-chance meet Addy placed third in the high jump with a leap of 5’7″ and was third in the triple jump at 37’2 1/4″. The Jackrabbits host the Summit League indoor track-and-field championship meet Saturday and Sunday.

South Dakota women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): The Coyote women, playing at home for the first time in seven weeks, swamped Oral Roberts twice, 77-54 and 76-54. In the Saturday game which USD led 43-17 at halftime, Chloe was 5-of-9 (4-of-4 in threes) for 14 points with six rebounds, five assists and three steals. On Sunday she was 4-of-8 (1-of-4 in threes) and 3-of-4 for 12 points with three boards, three steals and three assists. The two wins clinched the No. 2 seed in the tournament for the Coyotes. Now 14-5 overall and 10-2 in the Summit, USD finishes the regular season with home games vs. NDSU at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Morningside bowling (Alex Badger): The Mustangs go east to Coe College’s tournament in Cedar Rapids Saturday.

North Dakota State football (Grey Zabel): The Bison, who won a game over Central Arkansas last October, improved to 2-0 with a 25-7 win over Youngstown State in their conference opener. NDSU goes to Southern Illinois for a noon game Saturday.

Tennessee women’s basketball (Caleb Currier): The Lady Vols won over #2 South Carolina, 75-67, but then lost to Georgia, 57-55. Now 13-6 overall and 7-4 in the SEC, Tennessee finishes the regular season at Missouri Thursday and at home Sunday vs. Auburn. The SEC tournament starts next Wednesday at Greenville, S.C.

Northern baseball (Spencer Sarringar): The Wolves are getting ready for the spring season in frigid Aberdeen, but their openers are still a month off at Wayne State March 20-21.

South Dakota State baseball (Landon Badger, Garrett Stout, Brady Hawkins): The Jackrabbits went 1-2 against Kansas of the Big 12 in the season-opening series played at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Landon started in center field in all three games and also played some at first base in the third game of the series. Landon was 0-for-4 in Friday’s 7-3 loss, 0-for-5 in Saturday’s 8-5 win, and 0-for-4 in Sunday’s 13-1 loss. SDSU plays four games this weekend at Northern Colorado in Greeley.

South Dakota women’s soccer (Joana Zanin, Janaina Zanin, Emily Mikkelsen): The Coyotes began their season by splitting a pair of games vs. Kansas City, losing 3-2 and winning 5-0. Joana is listed as a junior forward, Janaina a freshman midfielder and Emily a redshirt-freshman forward. USD plays Friday and Saturday at Denver University.

Mount Marty men’s basketball (Lincoln Jordre): The Great Plains Athletic Conference postseason tournament began last night with a stunning upset as the #8 seed, Mount Marty, won on the home court of #1 seed Morningside, 76-73. The game was not that close as the Lancers led by as many as 20 points. However, Morningside crept back to within two points with a minute left. Mount Marty advances to the tourney semifinals with a game at Dakota Wesleyan at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (Bradley Dean, Nick Wittler): The Tigers won at home over Concordia, 70-58, last night in the quarterfinals of the GPAC postseason tournament. The Tigers figured they would have to play #1 seed Morningside next in the semifinals, but Mount Marty’s upset of Morningside last night sends Mount Marty to the Corn Palace to play DWU at 3 p.m. Saturday. In the regular-season finale Saturday DWU defeated Jamestown, 77-70. Bradley was 2-for-2 at the free-throw line for two points.


— The South Dakota COVID-19 death scoreboard:
* Through last Wednesday: 1,844 deaths.
* Thursday: 3 deaths; 1,847.
* Friday: 6 deaths; 1,853.
* Saturday: 6 deaths; 1,859.
* Sunday: 4 deaths; 1,863. (1,966 active cases in the state was the lowest number in more than six months)
* Monday: 0 deaths; 1,863.
* Tuesday: 0 deaths; 1,863.
* Wednesday: 1 death; 1,864.
— St. Paul’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been canceled for the second straight year.
— The Ivy League has canceled all spring sports for the second straight year.
— The McDonald’s All-American high school basketball game has been canceled again.
— The El Riad Shrine circuses for this year have been canceled in Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Chamberlain, Yankton, Winner and Windom, Minn.
— Carnegie Hall in New York has canceled all performances through July.
— The Rapid City school district canceled the high school proms for the second straight year, but cries from parents were heard. The Homeslice Media group of radio stations and other businesses will work with the school district to sponsor a prom after graduation when the threat of spreading the virus among more than a thousand students won’t matter so far as school is concerned. But mommies and daddies are not happy about that. They want the prom at the regular April time and say they will sponsor one whether the school district approves or not.
— Canada has maintained its border restrictions along the U.S. border at least until March 21 for non-essential travel.
— An estimated 6,000 people attended the Sioux Falls Snocross Nationals last weekend at the fairgrounds in Sioux Falls. The event was moved because o COVID-19 restrictions from New York to South Dakota where, of course, there aren’t any restrictions.
— This week the United States death toll reached 500,000—a half million. The fall surge came after the national death toll through September was only 200,000. The current death toll compares to the entire population of Kansas City or 192 9/11 attacks or five full University of Alabama football stadiums.
— Six Flags plans to open all 26 of its theme parks and water parks across the country this summer.
— By two votes the House of Representatives in North Dakota passed a bill that would make mask mandates illegal in the future.
— Freeman has canceled its Schmeckfest dinner and theater event again this spring, but Tabor plans to go ahead with its summertime Czech Days.
— The Department of Health said that through Tuesday nearly 63,000 South Dakotans have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
— Movie theaters in New York City will open in March with 25% capacity allowed.


Former Pierre resident Joan (Connolly) Rychtarik, passed away at the age of 70 Feb. 17 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. Funeral Mass was celebrated Monday at St. Michael Catholic Church in Sioux Falls. Joan grew up in Canistota and earned degrees at SDSU. She taught in the special education field in several locations, including Sioux City, Sioux Falls and Flandreau. When she married John Rychtarik in 1977, they moved to Pierre and three children. They raised their family in Sioux Falls, then later Joan and John moved to Brookings. She is survived by her husband; her daughter, Jana Maxwell and her husband Kevin of Harrisburg; her son, Jarid Rychtarik and his wife Aleksandra of Brookings; two grandsons; her sister, Pat Berg of Sioux Falls; her sister-in-law, Patty Parlin of Bluffton, S.C., and her brother-in-law, Robert Rychtarik of Buffalo, N.Y. Among those who preceded her in death were her parents, a sister and her son, Jordon Rychtarik.

The 45th annual Pierre-Fort Pierre Kiwanis Club pancake feed will take place next Tuesday, March 2, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. It will be a take-out event only with serving taking place out of First United Methodist Church’s Trinity Center at the corner of W. Capitol and Central. Prices are $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-12. All proceeds go to various community projects, including college scholarships.

We mentioned last week that Austin Hillestad, Jed Hillestad’s son, was leaving for Hill Air Force Base in Utah after spending some leave time at home. Meanwhile, his sister, Hailey Hillestad, left last Monday for Air Force basic training. The Air Force got her as far as Sioux Falls, but from there all flights toward San Antonio where Lackland AFB is located had been canceled by the Texas winter storm. The Air Force drove Hailey and another recruit down to Omaha to Offutt Air Force Base, hoping to find them a way to get to Lackland from there. They eventually did get flights to Texas. Now Hailey and the other basic-training recruits can receive mail but can’t send any for seven or eight weeks, so the Hillestads won’t know till then just what the conditions were when Hailey arrived at Lackland.

Nick and Ally (Kraemer) Formanek of Rapid City are the parents of another daughter. Blaire Jean Formanek was born Feb. 21, weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces. She joins a sister, Maren, 3, in the family. Maternal grandparents are Clark and Jayne (Knox) Kraemer of Rapid City, and maternal great-grandparents are John and Linda Knox of Onida.

Laura Nemec, 50, passed away Feb. 19. She had been a resident of Avera Maryhouse since July 2019. Visitation will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Isburg Funeral Chapel and again from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Midland, followed by a graveside service at the Midland Cemetery at 3:30 p.m. Laura had three brain tumors and a stroke during her lifetime. She attended Pierre Head Start as a child and the Crippled Children’s School from 1976 to 1980 after which she made her home with her parents. Laura is survived by her parents, Larry and Mary Nemec, and her brother, Neil Nemec and his wife Kelsey.

Riggs High’s spring band concert will be held at 7 p.m. next Tuesday.

The Texas A&M International women’s basketball team, coached by Tracie Seyfer’s husband, Nate Vogel, played their first home game since Jan. 14 and won over UT-Tyler, 98-60, clinching the Lone Star Conference’s South Division and a berth in the conference tournament for the first time ever. His team’s record is 9-7 overall and 7-4 in the league.

Esther (Thompson) Spears, 95, who worked as a cook at Pierre Indian Learning Center for 25 years, died Feb. 22. A graveside service was held Monday at St. George Cemetery. Esther went to two years of high school in Fort Pierre, then graduated from Chamberlain High School. She worked in San Diego during the World War II homefront war effort. She married Norman Spears in 1946, and they raised their six children in Presho. After retiring from her PILC job, Esther spent her retirement years in Pierre. She is survived by two daughters, Brenda Seeley and her husband John of Pierre and Tammy Friedrich and her husband Curt of Aurora; 20-some grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Among those who preceded her in death were her parents, seven siblings and four children—Michael, Patrick, David and Kathy Spears.

The Canistota boys team coached by Sully Buttes alumnus Pat Jolley finished the regular season with an 18-2 record, losing only to De Smet, the #1 team in Region 3, and Viborg-Hurley, the #2 team right behind Canistota in Region 5. The last game was a win over Howard, the #1 team in Region 4.

Mary Olson, who spent 23 years as a special education in the Stanley County schools, died Feb. 12 at the age of 75. A celebration of her life will be held in May. She was a graduate of Manning, Iowa, High School in 1974 and the University of Northern Iowa. Before coming to Stanley County, Mary taught for 17 years in special education at Todd County in Mission. She and Ricky Olson were married in 1985. Mary is survived by her husband; her sons, Noah Olson, Robert Olson, Craig Wesergren and Thomas Metzler; her sisters, Martha Heinicke, Rebecca Heinicke and Sandra Hespe; her brothers, Philip Heinicke, Mark Heinicke, John Heinicke and Peter Heinicke, and her mother, Marilyn Olson.

Chloe Ann Tibbs was born in Austin, Texas, Feb. 23, weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and measuring 19 1/2 inches. She is the daughter of Cody and Laurie (Johnson) Tibbs. Chloe joins her brother, Landon, 8, in the family.

Last fall’s accident on the edge of Highmore in which a Highmore man walking along U.S. 14 in the dark was killed by the car driven by Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg reached the boiling point this week. Ravnsborg will be charged with three misdemeanors, it was announced by the Hyde County state’s attorney, a decision which met with much disapproval. Governor Noem, who would appoint a successor if Ravnsborg were to leave office, said Ravnsborg should resign. In the Legislature articles of impeachment are being filed by District 24’s Rep. Will Mortenson, co-sponsored by the House majority leader and minority leader. Impeachment and removal of Ravnsborg from office would require an approval vote in the House and then a trial in the Senate, with a two-thirds vote there required for conviction. If we reach the point where a trial in the Senate is necessary, a waiting period of 20 days must occur between the time when the attorney general receives the impeachment resolution and when the trial can begin.




“It’s (still) time to vote off the weakest link!”

I had one response to last week’s column, which is more than enough encouragement to keep going with this.

To refresh your memory, on the NBC trivia show “The Weakest Link,” host Jane Lynch makes that statement—“It’s time to vote off the weakest link”—just before the remaining contestants decide which of their own to remove from the show. How to determine which one gets the boot? Jane asks these questions just before the contestants have to vote:

“Whose seasons are winter, spring, summer and fail?”

“Who tried to study for a paternity test?”

“Who thinks Elon Musk is a cologne?”

“Who thinks Bigfoot is real and the moon landing was fake?”

“Whose mental infrastructure has crumbled?”

“Whose brain is not a vital organ?”

“Whose smartphone wishes it had a smarter owner?”

“Who wears a wetsuit to surf the Web?”

“Who thinks Einstein invented bagels?”

“Who tries to text on a landline?”

“Who needs Google Maps to find their way to a correct answer?”

“Who needs a recipe to make water?”

“Whose brain likes to take things slow?”

“”Whose answer should be labeled ‘spam’?”

“Who thinks Pro Bono was married to Cher?”

” Who thinks deviled eggs are evil?”

“On a scale of 1 to 10, who is zero?”

“Whose cereal is all luck and no charm?”

“Who actually named their pet Peeve?”

“Who thought the bar exam was about making cocktails?”

“Who has wind whistling between their ears?”

“Who tried to reduce their carbon footprint by buying smaller shoes?”

“Who would lose if they were the only contestant?”

“”Who should always claim the right to remain silent?”

“Whose light bulb is getting dimmer?”

“Whose brain is still on hold with tech support?”

“Who should begin their answers by pleading the 1st?”

O.K., I’ll stop now. But I hope NBC is smart enough to bring back Jane Lynch and “The Weakest Link” for another season.


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