Vol. 21, No. 21; Thursday, March 11, 2021

by | Mar 11, 2021 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.
How do you measure a year in a life?

A full year ago tomorrow was the day everything started to unravel. The governor (despite what she claims over and over again now) directed all the schools to close temporarily, then till the end of that month, then through all of April, and then through the rest of the school year. Tournaments were being canceled, churches called off the weekend’s in-person services, and we thought it would be a two-week inconvenience, a month at the most. Too many of us demanded—and expected—normalcy within a few days. What little we knew! The pandemic that affected everyone became a political election-year football, and now we know how divided this state became and continues to be. How many times did we hear the talk about freedoms and infringements on rights. “If you’re living scared, just stay home,” they told us. Hard to do if everything is open and we have to go to work! Caring for others’ health and welfare—a quality one would have assumed South Dakotans would put at the forefront of the fight—was set aside as a sign of weakness. There were anger, bitterness, downright cruelty instead. Now a year later, the pandemic is still alive despite what the one side says. A mask is either a badge of honor or a reason for scorn. And people—not just those old people we can live without but younger humans, too—continue to test positive for COVID-19 and continue to die. Have we learned anything? Months from now, even a year from today will anything have changed? Probably not if each of us cares only about himself. May it not be so.

STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENTS

Girls tournaments run today (Thursday) through Saturday. Boys tournaments will be March 18-20. Here are all of the quarterfinal pairings:

Class “B” girls at Huron: (Televised on SDPB1)
12:00—Castlewood vs. Waverly-South Shore.
2:00—Hanson vs. Ethan.
5:00—White River vs. Viborg-Hurley.
7:00—Corsica-Stickney vs. Herreid-Selby Area.

Class “A” girls at Watertown: (Televised on SDPB2)
12:00—St. Thomas More vs. McCook Central/Montrose.
2:00—Aberdeen Roncalli vs. Sioux Falls Christian.
5:00—Winner vs. Dakota Valley.
7:00—Hamlin vs. Belle Fourche.

Class “AA” girls at Sioux Falls: (Televised on SDPB3)
12:00—Sioux Falls Washington vs. Rapid City Central.
2:00—Sioux Falls O’Gorman vs. Mitchell.
5:00—Aberdeen Central vs. Brandon Valley.
7:00—Harrisburg vs. Rapid City Stevens.

Class “B” boys at Aberdeen:
12:00—De Smet vs. Lower Brule.
2:15—Viborg-Hurley vs. Lyman.
5:00—Canistota vs. Aberdeen Christian.
7:45—White River vs. Dell Rapids St. Mary.

Class “A” boys at Sioux Falls:
12:00—Vermillion vs. Dell Rapids.
2:30—Sioux Falls Christian vs. St. Thomas More.
5:00—Dakota Valley vs. Winner.
7:30—Sioux Valley vs. Chamberlain.

Class “AA” boys at Rapid City:
12:00—Sioux Falls Washington vs. Aberdeen Central.
2:00—Sioux Falls O’Gorman vs. Harrisburg.
5:00—Yankton vs. MItchell.
7:00—Sioux Falls Roosevelt vs. Brandon Valley.

HOCKEY UPDATE

State boys varsity tournament: The Oahe Capitals head into state tournament play in Sioux Falls as the #2 seed, opening play against #7 Huron at 11:35 a.m. Friday. The tourney begins with #3 Rushmore vs. #6 Sioux Center at 9:05 a.m. The opposite bracket will have the two Sioux Falls clubs facing each other as #4 Team 2 faces #5 Team 1 at 2:05 p.m. Top-seed Brookings takes on #8 Watertown at 4:35 p.m. Saturday’s consolation semis will be played at 11:35 (that’s when the Capitals would play) and 2:05. The championship semifinals will be at 4:35 (that’s when the Caps would play) and 7:35. On Sunday the fifth-place faceoff will be at 9:35, the third-place match at 12:35 and the championship game at 3:35.

Oahe Capitals girls varsity: At the state tournament the Capitals had the misfortune of having to play undefeated, top-seeded Aberdeen in the quarterfinals, and the Cougars won by 11-0, outshooting Oahe 55-7. In goal Abigail Stewart Fromm made 37 saves, and Sophia Peschong had seven saves. In the consolation semifinals the Capitals girls lost to Sioux Center, 4-2, to end their season. The goals were scored by Brylee Kafka and Olivia Swenson, and Fromm made 30 saves. The only senior lost via graduation this year will be Jenna Keyser.

Oahe Capitals girls varsity: Olivia Swenson, who is a junior, will be playing on Team South Dakota at the U16 national tournament in April.

Aberdeen Wings: Rolling along almost uncontested, the Wings swept Austin, 6-1 and 6-2. Aberdeen plays Friday and Saturday games at St. Cloud.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Herd lost twice to Fargo, 8-2 and 4-1. Sioux Falls, after a game vs. Lincoln last night, hosts Des Moines Friday and Saturday.

Rapid City Rush: In a home series vs. Greenville, S.C., the Rush lost 8-5, won 2-1, and won again 2-1, this time in overtime. Rapid City stays home Friday, Saturday and Sunday to play Kansas City.

Minnesota Wild: In the highly competitive division where the Wild and six other teams are nip and tuck vying for the four available playoff spots, the Wild went 2-2 this week. Minnesota split with Vegas, losing 5-1 and winning 2-0, and split with Arizona, winning 5-1 and losing 5-2. After another Vegas game last night, the Wild hosts Arizona for three straight games Friday, Sunday and Tuesday.

College hockey: If college hockey is your thing, Midco Sports Network will broadcast three of the four quarterfinal games of the NCHC Frozen Faceoff tournament from Grand Forks this weekend—Colorado College vs. St. Cloud State, Friday, 2:30 p.m.; UND vs. Miami Ohio, Friday, 7:30 p.,m.; and Minnesota-Duluth vs. Western Michigan, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday’s semifinals and Monday’s championship game will be on CBS Sports Network.

COUNTDOWN

1 day: State boys hockey tournament, Sioux Falls (March 12-14).
2 days: NCAA Div. II men’s basketball Central Regional, Aberdeen (March 13-14, 16).
3 days: Daylight Saving Time begins (March 14).
3 days: Grammy awards, CBS (March 14).
3 days: NCAA Div. I men’s basketball Selection Show, 5 p.m., CBS (March 14).
4 days: NCAA Div. I women’s basketball Selection Show, 6 p.m., ESPN (March 15).
7 days: State boys basketball tournaments, B Aberdeen, A Sioux Falls, AA Rapid City (March 18-20).
7 days: NCAA Div. I wrestling national championships, St. Louis (March 18-20).
13 days: NCAA Div. II men’s basketball Elite Eight, Evansville, Ind. (March 24-27).
15 days: All-State Band concerts, Mitchell (March 26-27).
21 days: Twins opener, Milwaukee (April 1).
22 days: Pierre high school baseball openers at Rapid City Stevens (April 2).
22 days: NCAA Div. I women’s basketball Final Four, San Antonio (April 2, 4).
23 days: NCAA Div. I men’s basketball Final Four, Indianapolis (April 3, 5).
23 days: Major League Soccer season openers (April 3).
24 days: Easter (April 4).
24 days: Screen Actors Guild awards, TBS (April 4).
28 days: The Masters golf tournament, Augusta, Ga. (April 8-11).
28 days: NCAA Div. I men’s hockey Frozen Four, Pittsburgh (April 8, 10).
33 days: Fort Pierre city election (April 13).

PIERRE GOVERNORS SPORTS ROUNDUP

Football: Instead of only eight schools in Class 11AA in recent seasons with all eight making the playoffs, this class will have 11 schools this coming fall with only the top eight qualifying for the playoffs. Pierre is joined in 11AA by Aberdeen Central, Watertown, Brookings, Yankton, Mitchell, Douglas, Sturgis, Huron, Spearfish and Tea Area.

Football: This fall’s Governors schedule—Week 1 (Aug. 20), open; Week 2 (Aug. 27), at Harrisburg; Week 3 (Sept. 3), Mitchell; Week 4 (Sept. 10), Sturgis; Week 5 (Sept. 17) at Douglas; Week 6 (Sept. 24) at Yankton; Week 7 (Sept. 30), Huron; Week 8 (Oct. 7), Watertown; Week 9 (Oct. 14), at Aberdeen Central; Week 10 (Oct. 20), Brookings. (Note: The dates listed are all Fridays except for Thursday, Oct. 20, but the exact dates of these games have not yet been determined. Some could be on Thursdays or Saturdays.)

Girls basketball: At the SoDak 16 game at Rapid City Stevens, the Governor girls ended their season with a 49-34 loss. Pierre fell behind by 28 points early in the game. Stevens had 29 points when Pierre got its very first field goal. Remi Price had 11 points and Jessica Lutmer nine as the team’s high scorers. The final record was 8-13. Lost via graduation this year will be Lutmer, Caytee Williams and Kenzie Gronlund.

Boys basketball: Held without a field goal in the first period and trailing 12-3 eight minutes in, the Governors fought an uphill battle in the SoDak 16 game at O’Gorman, but the Knights pulled away for a 71-41 win. Lincoln Kienholz was high scorer with 20 points. Pierre loses Houston Lunde, Bennett Dean, James Mikkonen and Denton Beck via graduation.

Basketball: Lincoln Kienholz of the boys team and Caytee Williams of the girls team were Pierre’s representatives on the ESD’s all-conference teams. Lincoln is a sophomore guard and Caytee a senior forward.

Athletes of the Week: Honored by the Pierre Athletic Coaches Association with Athlete of the Week recognition this week were the boys and girls wrestling teams and Allison Cumbow of the girls basketball team.

ZESTO SHERBET SCHEDULE

Thursday: coffee.
Friday-Sunday: raspberry.
Monday-Tuesday: root beer.
Wednesday-Thursday: lime.

STANLEY COUNTY BUFFALOES SPORTS ROUNDUP

Football: If the proposed SDHSAA alignments for the next school year are approved, Stanley County will remain in Region6A for basketball and volleyball, and Dupree will join the region, making for a total of eight schools. In football the Buffaloes drop to nine-man ball and will be in Region 3 of Class 9AA along with Bon Homme, Lyman, Parkston, Platte-Geddes and White River.

Football: This fall’s Buffaloes schedule—Week 1 (Aug. 20), at Timber Lake; Week 2 (Aug. 27), Parkston; Week 3 (Sept. 3), at Bon Homme; Week 4 (Sept. 10), at Sully Buttes; Week 5 (Sept. 17), Potter County; Week 6 (Sept. 24), White River; Week 7 (Sept. 30), at Lemmon-McIntosh; Week 8 (Oct. 7), Sunshine Bible; Week 9 (Oct. 14), open. (Note: The dates listed are all Fridays although the exact dates of the games have not yet been determined. Some could be on Thursdays or Saturdays).

Boys basketball: The Buffs’ season ended at Mobridge-Pollock with a 54-40 loss in the Region 6A semifinal round. SCHS led at halftime by 25-24. Lathan Prince was high scorer with 14 points. SCHS ends the year at 11-9.

SULLY BUTTES CHARGERS SPORTS ROUNDUP

Football: If the proposed SDHSAA alignments for the next school year are approved, Sully Buttes will remain in Region 2B for basketball and volleyball, and Miller will be a newcomer to the region, making for a total of 10 schools in the region. In football the Chargers will be part of Region 3 in Class 9B along with Colome, Jones County, Potter County and Sunshine Bible.

Football: This fall’s Chargers schedule—Week 1 (Aug. 20), Colome; Week 2 (Aug. 27), at Corsica-Stickney; Week 3 (Sept. 3), Lyman; Week 4 (Sept. 10), Stanley County; Week 5 (Sept. 17), at Sunshine Bible; Week 6 (Sept. 24), open; Week 7 (Sept. 30), at Herreid-Selby Area; Week 8 (Oct. 7), Langford; Week 9 (Oct. 14), at Potter County. (Note: The dates listed are all Fridays although the exact dates of the games have not yet been determined. Some could be on Thursdays or Saturdays.)

CROSSWORD PUZZLE

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.

Clues:
— ACROSS
(1) Lingle, the lottery guy.
(5) Baby bed furniture.
(6) —- mater.
(7) Yes votes.
— DOWN
(1) College sports body.
(2) Paris airport.
(3) Coleridge’s ancient mariner tale.
(4) Graduate business degrees.

Puzzle answer at the bottom of this Update.

WEDDING DAYS

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

COLLEGE SPORTS ROUNDUP

Northern State men’s basketball: The Wolves will host the Central Region tournament this weekend as the Division II men’s tournament begins. Northern will be the #1 seed and will play in Sunday’s semifinal against the winner of Wayne State vs. MSU-Moorhead. The #2 seed is defending national champion Northwest Missouri State, and that team will play in the semifinal against the winner between Washburn (Kan.) and Missouri Western. The two semifinal victors will play in the championship game Tuesday for the right to go to the national tournament in Evansville, Ind.

South Dakota women’s soccer (Janaina Zanin, Joana Zanin, Emily Mikkelsen): The Coyotes had a tough weekend, losing two home matches to Omaha by identical 1-0 scores. The latter of the two games was in overtime. Now 1-5, USD is home Friday and Sunday against Western Illinois.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (Bradley Dean, Nick Wittler): The Tigers were holding out for hope that they might be selected for an at-large bid into the NAIA national tournament, but they were not, so the season ended with their upset loss at the hands of Mount Marty in the semifinals of the GPAC tournament.

North Dakota State football (Grey Zabel): The Bison rebounded from their loss to Southern Illinois with a 25-0 shutout win at Missouri State. Grey got into the game and saw his first college football action. As a freshman center on the roster, his name will never appear in the statistics, so we will continue to check the participation list to see when he gets to play. NDSU returns home Saturday for a 2:30 game vs. Illinois State.

Morningside men’s bowling (Alex Badger): The Mustangs rolled in Salina, Kan., at the NAIA team regional meet. In match play Morningside was pitted against Missouri Baptist and lost 3-1. This weekend Morningside bowlers go to Lawrence, Kan., to the KU Jayhawk Challenge.

South Dakota women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): Chloe has now played in 126 consecutive games as a Coyote, and now there will be more. USD swept three opponents and won the Summit League tournament title for the second straight year, and Chloe was a large part of the triumphs. She was named the tournament MVP. In the quarterfinals USD ran away from Oral Roberts, 89-66, as Chloe was 9-of-14 (4-of-7 in three-pointers) for 22 points with six rebounds and three assists. Chloe moved into 14th place in career scoring and is now sixth in career three-point baskets. In the semifinal win over North Dakota State, Chloe scored eight of the first 10 USD points on the way to an 81-55 win. The Yotes led 42-26 at halftime. Chloe went 7-of-12 (3-of-6 in threes) and 1-of-1 for 18 points with six boards and four assists. In Tuesday’s championship win over #8 seed Omaha, 66-43, USD jumped out to a 13-0 start, saw Omaha claw back to within 21-20, but went on a 20-9 advantage in the third quarter to pull away from a 29-21 halftime lead. Chloe was 6-of-10 (3-of-6) and 2-of-2 for 17 points along with an assist and six rebounds. The Yotes will find out Monday night at 6 p.m. CDT whom they will play in the NCAA Tournament when ESPN airs the Selection Show.

South Dakota women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): Chloe, senior from Onida, earned a first-team spot on the Summit League’s all-conference team after earning a second-team honor there last year. Teammate Hannah Sjerven, the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, was also on the first team, Liv Korngable was named to the second team, and Maddie Krull was on the all-newcomer team. Chloe was first in the Summit League in three-point percentage (43.1%), which ranks her 24th in the nation. She was also second in the league in steals. In Summit League-only games Chloe averaged 15.9 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and 2.4 steals per game, shot field goals at a 51% clip and shot three-pointers at 47.9%.

South Dakota men’s basketball (Max Burchill): The Coyotes won their Summit League tournament quarterfinal easily, 86-69 over Western Illinois. They led NDSU in the semifinal throughout most of the second half, but a 17-3 Bison run allowed them to pull away as their big men continually scored and drew fouls, hitting 19 of 23 free throws when it counted. The Bison ended up outscoring USD 22-9 in the last seven minutes. Their two big men, Kreuser and Griesel, scored all 19 of their team’s points over the last 6:10 and had 15 offensive rebounds between them. USD, which had earned the #2 seed in the tournament, finishes the season with a record of 14-11.

Tennessee women’s basketball (Caleb Currier): The Lady Vols won over Mississippi, 77-72, in their quarterfinal game at the SEC Tournament, then lost to top-seeded South Carolina, 67-52, in the semifinals, so the Tennessee season ended with a 16-7 overall record, 9-4 in the SEC, pending the NCAA Selection Show on Monday.

Augustana track-field (Elizabeth Schaefer): Lizzie is in Birmingham, Ala., this weekend for the NCAA Div. II national meet where she will compete in the pentathlon. At the recent NSIC conference meet she had personal bests in three of her five events and won first place again with 3,709 points. She ranks eighth in the nation in pentathlon scores.

Black Hills State women’s basketball (Racquel Wientjes): The Onida senior and her teammates are into the NCAA Div. II Tournament, starting at a regional tournament in Grand Junction, Colo., this weekend. That came about because, when the Yellowjackets arrived at the arena in Golden, Colo., for the RMAC championship game against Colorado Mines, they learned the game had been ruled a “no contest” due to COVID-19 problems in the Colorado Mines program. So BHSU was awarded the RMAC tourney title and an automatic bid into the regional. At Grand Junction BHSU will be the #6 seed out of six teams and will open up against fellow RMAC opponent Westminster (Utah) in Friday’s first round. That winner will play #2 Western Colorado in Saturday’s semifinal. On the other side of the bracket are #1 Colorado Mines #4 Azusa Pacific and unbeaten #5 Hawaii Pacific. The tourney champion out there goes to the Division II national tournament in Columbus, Ohio. BHSU, which had already upset #2 in the first round, upset #3 seed Colorado Western in the RMAC semifinals Friday, 67-62, hitting 11 of 23 three-point tries and making 14 of 14 free throws. Racquel went 8-of-10 in field goals (4-of-6 in threes) and 8-8-of-8 in free throws for 28 points with three rebounds and an assist. Racquel last week was named a first-team all-conference team member as well.

Colorado Mines women’s basketball (Liz Holter): The Orediggers won their RMAC tourney semifinal over Colorado Mesa, 50-47. Liz was 4-of-11 (2-of-3 in threes) for 10 points with two rebounds, an assist and two steals. Mines was set to face BHSU in the championship game on its home floor in Golden, but due to a COVID problem in their own program, they had to forego that game. Nevertheless Mines was still deemed to be the #1 seed in this weekend’s NCAA Div. II tournament regional in Grand Junction. Mines will play Saturday in the semifinal round against the winner of Friday’s first-round matchup between unbeaten Hawaii Pacific and Azusa Pacific.

Augustana women’s basketball (Aislinn Duffy, Katie Bourk): The Vikings thought they might have an outside chance at an at-large bid into the NCAA Division II tournament, but that did not happen.

Iowa Western baseball (Peyton Zabel): The Reivers swept Dakota County Technical College of Minnesota in four weekend games. In a seven-inning 7-1 in the series opener Peyton pushed his pitching record to 2-0, going five innings, allowing three hits and one earned run, walking two and striking out none. He faced 20 batters, throwing 78 pitches, 48 of them strikes. Iowa Western won the next three games of the series, 14-0 in five innings, 10-0 in five innings and 15-4 in five innings. Now 6-2, the Reivers are home for four games Saturday and Sunday against Mott Community College of Flint, Mich.

Dakota Wesleyan baseball (Bradley Dean): With his basketball season ended, Brad is on the baseball field for the Tigers now as a senior outfielder. To open the season DWU won four out of four over Graceland in Missouri, but Brad was still playing basketball at the time. This past weekend the Tigers went 0-4 in a series at Benedictine College in Kansas, and Bradley got into the fourth game as the right-fielder and went 1-for-4 at the plate. On Monday DWU split a home pair with William Penn of Iowa. In a 2-0 win Brad had a double in three at-bats and scored one of the two runs. DWU lost the nightcap, 4-3, to stand at 5-5 heading into a game at Mount Marty today (Thursday) and a twinbill at Dakota State next Tuesday.

Rochester Community & Technical College baseball (Cade Hinkle): The Pierre freshman has begun his collegiate baseball career as the starting catcher for the team in Rochester, Minn. On Monday RCTC took a pair over Vermilion Community College from Ely, Minn. In the 5-1 opener Cade was officially 0-for-0 as a batter but walked three times and stole a base. His team won the nightcap, 8-0, and he was 1-for-1, walking two more times. Next on the schedule for the varsity will be four games March 19-20 against Rainy River Community College from Wisconsin with two of those games slated for the Vikings’ US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

South Dakota State baseball (Landon Badger, Garrett Stout, Brady Hawkins): The Jacks are in the midst of a rugged spring-break road trip. Through Tuesday they were 0-4 on the trip which continued with another game at Kansas State last night and concludes with Friday-Saturday-Sunday games against Creighton in Omaha on the field where the College World Series is played. At Southern Illinois-Edwardsville the Jacks lost all three games. In an 11-3 defeat Landon went 2-for-3 and walked once, and Garrett was 0-for-1 as a pinchhitter. In a 6-1 loss at SIU-E, Landon was 0-for-4, and Garrett hit his first college home run in the ninth to put SDSU on the board. In a 4-3 loss Landon was 0-for-5, and Garrett was 1-for-2, driving in a run with a seventh-inning double for a temporary 2-1 lead. Garrett was a pinchhitter, then played second base in that game. At K-State the Jacks lost by 15-4. Landon was 0-for-3, walked once and drove in a run with a bases-loaded ground-out. Garrett, who played second base and third base, was 1-for-4 and scored once. SDSU was 5-6 for the year heading into last night’s K-State contest.

PARKER’S PERSONAL NOTES

  • My pet peeve of the week (among many): Sportscasters who say “unbelievable” as if it were two words. You know, “UN . . . . . . (pause, pause, pause) . . . . . BELIEVABLE!” I’ve given up on the other pet peeve—you know, “punched their ticket” to the tournament. My count since last Thursday of the number of times I’ve had to listen to or read that comment is up to 59. Let me know the next time you go somewhere where you have a ticket punched. It’s absolutely UN …………………………. BELIEVABLE.
  • Last time three Black Hills schools qualified for the state “AA” boys tournament played in Sioux Falls. So this year the “AA” boys tourney is in Rapid City, and the closest school which qualified is Mitchell. Do not expect sell-out crowds! So all you folks from Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls, Brandon and Harrisburg as well as Mitchell, Yankton and Aberdeen, come out west and bring lots of money. Now if we had regional tournaments so it was really a “state” tournament, we wouldn’t have this problem, would we!
  • You few who follow every word I write know that I despise the SDHSAA’s SoDak 16 system of determining who plays in state basketball tournaments. But they didn’t ask me, so we carry on. In the six SoDak 16s in the past two weeks there were obviously 48 games to determine the eight teams that play in the six state tourneys. You know how the work it—in their seeding system #16 has to play #1, #15 has to play #2, and so on, so the so-called best teams get to play the so-called worst teams among the 16 who qualified. So in these 48 games a lower seed beat a higher seed only six times—a #9 beat a #8 three times, a #10 beat a #7 twice, and a #13 (Lower Brule) beat a #4 (Potter County), which, if you know the potential of Lower Brule teams, is no big surprise. In the 48 games in the SoDak 16 contests, only 14 times was the margin of victory in single digits (9 or less). The margin of victory was more than 20 points in 18 of the 48 games (one game had a 40-point margin, and 10 others had margins of 30 points or higher). Not exactly exhilarating basketball! The worst of the six classes was Class “AA” boys where there was one 5-point win and one 14-point win along with blowouts by 29, 26, 28, 26, 30 and 32 points.
  • Guess which political party came up with this idea: In Georgia it has been made a misdemeanor to provide food or water to persons waiting in line to vote. Yes, you’re right. And in Iowa the Republican governor has signed a Republican bill to make it harder to vote early.
  • When we joined you last week, the bill in the South Dakota legislature to punish transgender girls and women for being who they are and laughingly “to protect women’s sports” was dead. The sponsors couldn’t cite a single case where a transgender girl had played girls sports and taken the place of a so-called true female. But enough senators smoked it back into existence, and now it has passed the Senate. Governor Noem gleefully posted Tuesday that she can’t wait to sign it into law in “celebration” of International Women’s Day. What a pathetic state this has become because of its political “leadership” and its ultra-conservative nature! Whether the law Noem signs ever comes into existence, however, may be decided in a federal court somewhere. And if the governor’s signing the bill causes us to lose the Summit League tournaments and other NCAA events, I hope you will remember that fact the next time she and these wacko legislators run for re-election.
  • In Mitchell the big tough guy who sat in the front row at a school board meeting last year, refusing to move and refusing to wear a mask as mandated for that building until removed from the meeting by two police officers, is now, of course, a candidate for the school board. That is his right, to be sure, but fortunately there are as of now at least four other candidates.
  • Oh how major injuries affected the Summit League tournaments this year! Who knows what we might be celebrating today, for example on the men’s side, if USD’s A.J. Plitzuweit’s season-ending knee injury had not occurred three weekends ago. His absence obviously made a huge difference. The same is true of the injury to big man Nikola Zicic. His height might have helped counteract NDSU’s tall trees under the basket. On the women’s side losing Myah Selland for the season and Tori Nelson for several down-the-stretch games left the SDSU women wounded, and then they ran into a red-hot Cinderella team in Omaha. And the champion USD women have been without Monica Arens all year. Injuries are a part of athletics, ’tis true, but these in particular were painful for our in-state teams who could be on their way to their respective NCAA tournaments this week. Perhaps the SDSU women will still get in, based on their season-long body of work, but they won’t have Selland, and that’s a problem for which there is no solution.
  • We can’t have this! Don’t the Summit League tournaments belong to us South Dakotans? This was the third straight year that neither of the South Dakota teams made it to the men’s tournament championship game. This year it was NDSU vs. Oral Roberts, last year NDSU vs. UND and two years ago NDSU and Omaha. You have to go back to 2018 when SDSU played USD in the men’s final. That was the fourth straight year the Jacks had made it that far and the sixth time in seven years. Over the past decade the only other times the men’s championship game did not involve USD or SDSU were in 2014 when it was NDSU (again!) against Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne and in 2011 when Oral Roberts faced Oakland (Mich.).

BASKETBALL UPDATE

Minnesota Timberwolves: Idle the past week during the NBA’s all-star break, the Wolves return to action tonight at New Orleans, then host Portland Saturday and Sunday and play at the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday.

GOLF UPDATE

PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): The next event on the Champions Tour schedule is the Chubb Classic at Naples, Fla., April 16-18.

SOCCER UPDATE

Minnesota United FC: The Loons’ season opener is less than a month away. The team will have four preseason matches, starting March 27 against Charleston. Then the team will play Columbus, Cincinnati and Orlando to finish the preseason.

WORDS OF WISDOM

“I have a lot to accomplish but nothing to prove. There’s a subtle difference there.”
— Pro basketball star Steph Curry

BASEBALL UPDATE

Minnesota Twins schedule:
— Thursday: Boston, 12:05 p.m., FSN.
— Friday: Atlanta, 12:05 p.m., FSN.
— Saturday: at Tampa Bay, 12:05 p.m., FSN.
— Sunday: Boston, 12:05 p.m.
— Monday: at Atlanta, 12:05 p.m.
— Tuesday: Pittsburgh, 12:05 p.m.
— Wednesday: at Boston, 12:05 p.m.

Pierre Trappers: Added to the 2021 roster this week were infielder Braeden Cordes from Spokane, Wash., and right-handed pitcher Brent Bramlet from Meridian, Idaho. Both play their college ball for Spokane Falls Community College.

Pierre high school baseball: Suddenly baseball is almost here, weather permitting. Pierre is slated to open the high school season at Rapid City Stevens with a 5 p.m. MDT doubleheader Friday, April 2, and stay overnight to play two vs. Central the next day. The home schedule will include seven doubleheaders, starting with a Brookings twinbill April 23. Steve Gray is beginning his ninth year as head coach, and assistant coaches Derk Campbell and Ryan Krueger are back for their ninth and third years, respectively. The roster of players includes:
— Seniors: Aaron Booth, Collin Brueggeman, Bennett Dean, Andy Gordon, Jacob Larson, Elliot Leif, Jacob Mayer, Isaac Polak, Maguire Raske.
— Juniors: Brady Getz, Matt Hanson, Spencer Letellier, Gary Nedved.
— Sophomores: Christian Busch, Jackson Edman, Deegan Houska, Lincoln Kienholz, Brecken Krueger, Jack Merkwan, Jayden Wiebe.
— Freshmen: Cade Kaiser, Jett Zabel.

FOOTBALL UPDATE

Missouri Valley Football Conference standings: UND 3-0, NDSU 2-1, Southern Illinois 2-1, Northern Iowa 2-1, SDSU 2-1, USD 1-1, Missouri State 1-1, Illinois State 0-2, Western Illinois 0-2, Youngstown State 0-3. This Saturday’s games: Missouri State at USD (1 p.m., Midco Sports Network), Youngstown State at SDSU (2 p.m., Midco Sports Network 2), Illinois State at NDSU (2:30 p.m.), Northern Iowa at Southern Illinois, UND at Western Illinois.

BIRTHDAYS/ANNIVERSARIES

Thursday, March 11:
Tad Perry, Layla Stoeser, Doug Osnes, Kelley (Bechtold) Larson, Marlin Smith (#87), Stacie (Zastrow3) Dumford, Micah Rounds, Sam Maurice, Andy Ogan, Starla (Ludwig) Luoma, Tricia Heien, Rebekah (Lawver) Boyer, Samantha Dewell, Parker Ripperger, Cheryl Stoeser, Maya Herrscher, Garrett Boe, Lee Ferguson, Zach Edman. LiAnn (Nuttall) Currier.
— 6th anniversary, Tom/Megan Lehmkuhl.
— 23rd anniversary, Bob/Lynette McCarty.
— We fondly remember Shane Cronin, who passed away seven years ago today.

Friday, March 12:
John Morris, Kyle Rausch, Vicki Brooks, Jena Forsch, Alan Dale, Hallie Getz, Nathan Brakke, Aurelia Kerver, Alison Kennedy, Layne Heller, Susan Stahl.
— We fondly remember Whitney Barnett, who passed away three years ago today.

Saturday, March 13:
Myron Bryant, Bobby Oleson, Jvonne Heard-Ellingson, Brian Cazan, Elise Holcomb, Deanna Sutton, Lexie Rausch, Alicia (Hicks) Malstrom, Sharla (Cass) Steever, Anne Severson, Vicki (Fosheim) Dant, Carole Olerud.
— 6th anniversary, Adam/Courtney Korkow.

Sunday, March 14:
Lucas Lindholm, Maria Melius, Tara Hiller, Kevin Huxford, Jim Iverson, Ann (Beemer) Candler, Mary Voeltz, Darcy Sorenson, Jennifer (Lomheim) Sieveking, Kenley Boyer, Dee Dee Raap, Isaiah Melius.
— We fondly remember Jon Olinger, who passed away nine years ago today.

Monday, March 15:
Justin Elrod, Mariah Heiss, Loren Thompson, Nora Wheeler, Kasey (Anderson) Cappellano, Brooks Hanson, Tavis Weidenbach, Lance Spears, Cassie (Rausch) Stgoeser, Allison Klucas, Ward Judson, Arlene DeVany.
— 7th anniversary, Andy/Rachel Lampy.

Tuesday, March 16:
Ava Bauck, Avery Askew, Patrick Burger, Deb Mortenson, Leah Ries, Jennifer (Brink) Anderson.

Wednesday, March 17:
Peggy Stout, Jack Aadland, Melissa Brock, Jackson Jennings, Chad Cooper, Bill Markley, Joe Gormley, Chris Derry, Nick Burke, Jesse Krell.
— We fondly remember Jon Olinger on his birthday.

Thursday, March 18:
Travis Benbow, Kendall Light, Daniel Mayer, Nickolas Rabern, Nash Hogan, Jane Brehe, John Palmer, Madeleine Lindberg, Asher Yackley, Ryker Schumacher, Jamey Howard, Jamie Karber.
— We fondly remember Kathy Valnes, who passed away six years ago today.

SOUTH DAKOTA’S COVID-19 SCOREBOARD

— South Dakota COVID-19 death toll:
* Through last Wednesday: 1,893 deaths.
* Thursday: 3 deaths, 1,896.
* Friday: 0 deaths, 1,896.
* Saturday: 2 deaths, 1,898.
* Sunday: 2 deaths, 1,900.
* Monday: 1 death, 1,901.
* Tuesday: 0 deaths, 1,901.
* Wednesday: 3 deaths, 1,904.
— In West Virginia, where the governor is a Republican, the state mask mandate will not be lifted.
— At the Idaho capitol in Boise at least 100 protesters marched and burned masks to protest measures to limit infections and deaths, citing the same old “restricting our freedoms” litany. Idaho does not have a statewide mask mandate, but seven counties and 11 cities do.
— Does this sound familiar? Thousands of motorcyclists began arriving early this week in Daytona Beach, Fla., for the annual Bike Week there. The city fears the event being a super-spreader but loves the incoming money.
— Reptile Gardens south of Rapid City is open for the summer. Masks are encouraged but of course not required. Social distancing is mostly possible due to the outdoor nature of the facility. A one-time paid admission gives a visitor an all-season access pass.
— The Sioux Falls school district will limit spectator attendance at spring sports to give students “the best opportunity” to complete their seasons and to reduce the likelihood of contributing to a potential community spread of COVID-19.
— At the Pierre school board meeting Dr. Kelly Glodt, superintendent, reported there were 12 positive COVID cases within the district on Feb. 15, the same number on Feb. 22, five cases on March 1 and on this past Monday six student cases and one staff case. At the board meeting a local couple spoke to the board, asking for the mask requirement to end.
— The Sioux Falls city council has declined to extend the city mask mandate there. Mayor Paul TenHaken cast the tie-breaking vote.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Sen. Helene Duhamel (Republican from Rapid City), speaking to the Senate on HB 1212, the stand-your-ground law: “I think this bill is taking us back to the Wild West. Don’t call the cops; just open fire.”

NEWS OF PEOPLE AND EVENTS

Rory Barth, who spent his senior year of high school in Pierre, died Feb. 26 due to complications from cancer. A private family memorial service is planned for June 12 at Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls. He grew up in North Dakota, but the family moved to Pierre just in time for his senior year of high school. He then earned undergraduate and law degrees at USD. He and the former Karn Brick were married in 1976. Rory spent most of his adult life in Sioux Falls, working as an attorney, a candy store owner, a financial planner and a field representative for National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association. He is survived by his wife; his children, Andrew Barth, Abigail Anderson and Allison Sanderson; four grandchildren; his brother, Mark, and his sisters, Toni, Pam and Mary Pat. Among those who preceded him in death were his parents, Al and Patricia Barth, and his brothers, Kirk and David Barth.

John Knox will be one of four inductees into the South Dakota High School Golf Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame this year. The four men will be officially inducted during state golf tournaments in June. John graduated from Onida High School in 1961 and from Huron College in 1966. He taught at Blunt from 1968 to 1972. After he took a CPA job in Onida he continued to volunteer as golf coach. He became business manager at Chase Ford in Onida in 1978. From 2000 to 2008 he worked as senior state auditor for the state of South Dakota. John was head boys and girls golf coach at Riggs High School from 2009 to 2018, and he continues to work at Hillsview Golf Course. His Governor girls teams won the state championship in 2013 and were runners-up in 2012, 2014 and 2015. He coached four individual state champions and two state runners-up during his tenure as Riggs coach. He and his wife Linda continue to make their home at Onida.

Riggs High and School of Mines alumnus Andy Smith has begun a new chapter in his life. Last week he relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he will be lead electric engineer for Danish Semco Maritime. The group he is joining specializes in design and construction of offshore substations used in conjunction with offshore wind farms.

The Fine Arts Performers of the Week at Riggs High School are three of the members of the one-act play cast which earned a superior rating at the state one-act festival. The honored students are Delaney Engbrecht, Michael VanDeWiele and Addisyn Gruis.

Rebecca “Becky” Hiatt died March 3 at the age of 41. She was a 1998 graduate of Riggs High School. She married Clay Dorrenbacker in 2001, and they later divorced. With Joel Maillet she gave birth to her daughter in 2004. Later she married Christopher Driver, and they became parents of a son. Becky worked at Loopy’s, the Hospice Thrift Store, OAHE Inc. and River City Transit. She is survived by her children, Natalie Maillet and Kurt Driver; her parents, Mark and Deb Hiatt; her brother, Dan, and her sister, Katie. Her funeral service took place Monday at First United Methodist Ch

The Riggs High chapter of National Honor Society held its 2021 induction program last week. Spanish teacher Vashti Gibson was guest speaker, and Jay Schwartz was honored as Riggs High Teacher of the Year. This year’s class of NHS inductees includes these students: Vick Becker, Audra Bland, Aaron Booth, Raef Briggs, Kyla Brodkorb, Jenna Bush, Braedon Cross, Addison Cumbow, Edmund DeVaney, RyLee Fischer, Thomas Fischer, Griffin Gates, Gunnar Gehring, Adisyn Gray, Katelyn Harris, Xzaria Henderson, Aubrey Hofmeister, Madysen Hudson, Michael Jackley, Aydan Johnson, Blake Judson, Lucas Jones, Steven Juhar, Madelyn Jungwirth, Spencer Kelly, Claire Koenecke, Spencer Letellier, Zachary Letellier, Teyah Lewis, Emily Lingle, Houston Lunde, Marissa Mathews, Faith Maunu, Levi McKinley, Alexander Miller, Alexis Moran, Oksana Mutchelknaus, Keara Peplinski, Ela Petersen, Kayla Petersen, Abbie Pillen, Isaac Polak, Jacob Roberts, Sydney Roberts, Isaak Rombough, Emily Sattizahn, Drew Schuchard, Carter Schulz, Hayden Shaffer, Ellie Simpson, Ellie Smith, Noah Smith, Carmela Stangeland, Nevaeh Starr, Emerie Stephens, Devin Strutt, Olivia Swenson, Spencer Taylor, Nicole Turner, Ariana Vazquez, Madigan Vogeler, Maegan Walsh, Ella Ward-Zeller, Taylor Warriner, Nathan Williams, Noah Williams, Danessa Wilson, Draix Wyatt, Sydney Youngberg.

The annual mother-daughter tea in Blunt has been set for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 8, with Kentucky Derby as the theme. All Blunt area folks are welcome.

Pierre Players has announced the cast for its spring show, “Radium Girls,” which will be performed at Grand Opera House April 30-May 2 and May 6-8. Joshua Penrod is directing the show with directorial assistance from Jennifer Bieser and Roxanne Smith. Cast members are Alisa Bousa, Andrew Yeager, David Guild, Del Bartels, Emily Costar, Jack Mortenson, Kim Borge, Kristin Gabriel, Lydia Kanz, Matt McQuistion, Michelle Deyo-Amande, Miranda Roberts, Scott Lee and Willow Smith. Tickets will go on sale April 19.

John Hipple passed away in his sleep March 3. His funeral took place Tuesday at Trinity Episcopal Church. He and his twin brother George grew up in Pierre and attended Pierre High School. Together they entered the U.S. Army Air Corps, took basic training in Florida and were stationed together in Greenland. They attended Yale University. After college with its athletics and travels, they returned to Pierre and began work at the family’s Capital Journal. John became involved primarily in the news area of the newspaper. He married Dawn Young in 1952, and they had four children. John is survived by those children, Debra Bieser, Brad Hipple, Scott Hipple and Brian Hipple, all of Pierre; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Lois Hipple; his wife, and his brother.

Gerda (Jorgenson) and Aaron Baughn of Vancouver, Wash., are the parents of a daughter, Evangeline Marie Baughn. She was born March 5, weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and measuring 21 inches.

At the Pierre school board meeting Monday it was indicated the district plans a normal in-person prom next month and the traditional in-person graduation at Hollister Field.

The aftermath of the furor that developed when Northern State University announced plans to get rid of Gypsy Days as the name of its homecoming celebration is that the school will no longer pursue that move.

Wayne Wheeler, 87, died March 8 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Isburg Funeral Chapel. Interment will take place at 2 p.m. Monday at Black Hills National Cemetery. Wayne grew up in Arkansas. He served in Korea with the U.S. Army of which he was a member from 1951 to 1954. He worked as a mechanic and a charter pilot for several years. Hired by the Federal Aviation Agency, he was transferred to the Pierre office in 1971. Wayne married Dee Ackerman in 1976. When the FAA moved its headquarters out of the state, Wayne chose to stay in Pierre, taking early retirement from the FAA. He was a prominent square dance caller, and he and his wife taught round dancing. He acquired a real estate license and a life insurance license. He began his association with Hofmeister Funeral Chapel in 1987. Wayne is survived by his wife, Delores Wheeler of Pierre; his daughters, Cheryl Stoeser and her husband Randy of Pierre and Susan Wheeler of Rapid City; his stepdaughters, Debbie Neuberger of Encinitas, Calif., and Lori Shaffer of Rapid City; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Holly Knox-Perli, current board president of the Black Hills Playhouse, has signed on as choreographer for one of this summer’s shows, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” there.

Long-time Pierre barber Art Boyle, who gave kids nickels and pieces of Juicy Fruit gum after he cut their hair, died at home March 9 at the age of 94. His funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the Fort Pierre UCC Church, preceded by visitation there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Art and his wife, the former Betty McFarling, were married in 1950 and lived all of their 70-plus years of married life in Pierre. Besides his barber work, Art mentored young people in such activities as the Junior Rifle Club and the Archery Club. Survivors include his wife, Betty Boyle; his children, Kathy Pogany and her husband Reed, Cindy Brazzle and her husband John, Mike Boyle and his wife Carla, and Susan Colleran and her husband Mike; 17 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Rita Linn passed away March 7 at the age of 74. The Isburg Funeral Chapel will be announcing service details at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com.

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