Vol. 23, No. 40; Thursday, July 20, 2023

Jul 20, 2023 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments


To everyone who complained in the wintertime that it was too cold, are you happy now?


With the regular season completed, the Class “A” Legion teams begin best-of-three play-in series today (Thursday). The winners of the seven matchups advance to the state tournament in Yankton starting next Wednesday and continuing through Sunday, July 30.

Pierre Post 8 finished as the #12 seed and will play its best-of-three series at Rapid City Post 22. Game #1 is tonight at 7 p.m. MDT; Game #2 Friday morning at 11 a,m., and Game #3, if necessary, immediately following.

The play-in series matchups:
* #15 Sturgis at #1 Sioux Falls East.
* #14 Sioux Falls West at #2 Harrisburg Gold.
* #13 Huron at #4 Brookings.
* #12 Pierre at #5 Rapid City Post 22.
* #11 Harrisburg Maroon at #6 Rapid City Post 320.
* #10 Brandon Valley at #7 Renner.
* #9 Aberdeen at #8 Watertown.
* #3 Yankton has a bye this week and will be host team in the state tournament.

The winner of the state tournament advances to the Central Plains Regional in Rapid City two weeks from now. However, if Rapid City Post 22 is the state champion, the runner-up in the state tournament also advances to the Central Plains Regional.


Little League: Four teams have qualified for the South Dakota state Little League tournament to be played in Sioux Falls this weekend. Pierre’s Capital City Little League all-star team beat Brandon Valley, 3-0, and lost to Sioux Falls LL, 3-0, in the East River subdistrict tournament but qualified as one of the two representatives out of that subdistrict to go to state. Capital City will play Rapid City Little League at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday) after Sioux Falls LL plays Rapid City Harney LL at 5 p.m. The champion of the tournament to be decided Sunday will advance to the Midwest Regional in suburban Indianapolis where the champion goes to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., next month.

Sioux Falls Canaries (Spencer Sarringar): Spencer has been starting catcher several times for the Canaries since joining the team two weeks ago. Scores of Canaries games since the last Update with Spencer’s individual statistics for games in which he played:
* W Chicago 6-4.
* L Chicago 11-7 (2 for 4, 1 stolen base, 1 RBI on a 4th-inning single).
* W Chicago 7-1.
* W Kansas City 3-2.
* W Kansas City 13-2 (0 for 4).
* W Kansas City 5-2.
* L Kansas City (1 for 3, 1 walk, 1 RBI on a fifth-inning fielder’s choice).
* W Kane County 8-1.
* L Kanbe County 20-1 (0 for 3).
* L Kane County 5-4.
The Canaries play at Lake Country Friday, Saturday and Sunday; at home vs. Fargo-Moorhead Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; at home vs. Lake County July 28-29-30 and at Gary-South Shore Aug. 1-2-3.

Pierre Post 8: The team finished with a regular-season record of 6-18. Games since the last Update:
* L Omaha Skutt 9-1.
* L Mankato National.
* W Minneapolis Washburn 10-5.
* W Lakeville North 16-8.
* L Middleton, Wis. 7-5.
* L Bismarck 18-8.
* L Bismarck 10-0.
* L Brandon Valley 18-4.
* W Brandon Valley 11-3.

Oahe Zap: The Zap had a stretch two weeks ago when they won six out of seven games—two of three over Sawtooth and three in a row over Fremont and one over Hastings. Since then the Zap have lost four straight—two to Hastings and two the last two nights at Fremont. Scores since the last Update:
W Sawtooth 10-8
W Sawtooth 5-4
L Sawtooth 6-1
W Fremont 12-7
W Fremont 2-1
W Fremont 8-7
W Hastings 7-6 (10)
L Hastings 7-3
L Hastings 9-3
L Fremont 13-0
L Fremont 5-2
The Zap finish the series at Fremont tonight, then go out to Casper for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They will be home to finish the regular season—next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday vs. Casper and July 28-29-30 vs. Badlands.

Minnesota Twins: Just prior to the all-star break, the Twins were swept at Baltimore, but since the break they have had a successful 5-1 West Coast road trip. Scores of Twins games since the last Update:
L Baltimore 3-1
L Baltimore 6-2
L Baltimore 15-2
W Oakland 5-4
W Oakland 10-7
W Oakland 5-4
L Seattle 7-6
W Seattle 10-3
W Seattle 6-3
The Twins finish the trip at Seattle this afternoon, 2:40 p.m. (BSN). Upcoming games:
Friday: Chicago, 7:10 (BSN).
Saturday: Chicago, 6:15 (Fox).
Sunday: Chicago, 1:10 (BSN).
Monday: Seattle, 6:40 (BSN).
Tuesday: Seattle, 6:40 (BSN).
Wednesday: Seattle, 12:10 (BSN, MLBN).
July 28: at Kansas City, 7:10 (BSN, MLBN).
July 29: at Kansas City, 6:10 (BSN).
July 30: at Kansas City, 1:10 (BSN).
Aug. 1: at St. Louis, 6:45 (BSN).
Aug. 2: at St. Louis, 6:45 (BSN).
Aug. 3: at St. Louis, 6:45 (BSN).


Thursday: almond.
Friday-Sunday: tutti fruitti.
Monday-Tuesday: pineapple.
Wednesday-Thursday: coconut.
July 28-29-30: strawberry.
July 31: blue mood.


The band’s last Steamboat Park amphitheater concert of the summer will be next Wednesday, July 26, at 8 p.m. The selections will be those chosen by director Larry Johnson for a concert theme of “Our Director.”


Sunday evening music on the deck at the American Legion cabin continues each week through August from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Upcoming musicians will be:
— July 23: Dead End Friends.
— July 30: Wasting Light.


“The Drowsy Chaperone” concludes its run at the Playhouse with 7:30 p.m. shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week and at 2 p.m. Sunday. The next week the stage is dark until the opening of “9 to 5: The Musical” at 7:30 p.m. July 29 and 2 p.m. July 30. That show, the last of the season at the BHP, continues at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12 and at 2 p.m. Aug. 1, 2, 6, 8, 9 and 12. For ticket reservations call 605/255-4141 between 10 a.m. and non MDT and 1 and 4 p.m. MDT or go to www.blackhillsplayhouse.com.


Minnesota Lynx: The Lynx beat Phoenix, 75-64, then lost three in a row—113-89 to Las Vegas, 107-67 to Dallas and 82-73 to Atlanta. Minnesota continues the WNBA season with home games vs. Los Angeles tonight, Las Vegas Saturday and Washington next Wednesday, then goes to New York July 28 and to Connecticut July 30 and Aug. 1.


CONCACAF Men’s Gold Cup: The USA team came out of group play into the quarterfinals against Canada. After the game was tied 2-2 after extra time, the USA won on penalty kicks, 3-2. In the semifinal the game was tied 1-1 after extra time, but Panama won on penalty kicks by 5-4 to advance to the final.

Women’s World Cup: The USA women’s national team is defending its 2019 World Cup championship as this year’s World Cup begins in New Zealand and Australia. The USA’s group-stage games: Friday vs. Vietnam in Auckland, 8 p.m. CDT; next Wednesday vs. the Netherlands in Wellington, 8 p.m. CDT; Tuesday, Aug. 1, vs. Portugal in Auckland, 2 a.m. CDT.

Minnesota United FC: The Loons lost to Austin, 4-1; beat Houston, 3-0, and tied LAFC, 1-1. Minnesota is home vs. the Puebla team from overseas Sunday and vs. Chicago July 27.


Missouri Valley Football Conference: Murray State, located at the far western tip of Kentucky, joins the league this fall, making the MVFC a 12-team conference this year only. Western Illinois leaves the league after this season. Holdovers are UND, NDSU, USD, SDSU, Northern Iowa, Missouri State, Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Indiana State and Youngstown State. Meanwhile, the Summit League for basketball, volleyball and other sports this coming year will stay a 10-team conference of NDSU, UND, SDSU, USD, St. Thomas, Omaha, Western Illinois, Kansas City, Oral Roberts and Denver.

Sioux Falls Storm: The Storm defeated Iowa, 54-47, then won last weekend over Massachusetts, 62-59, scoring the winning touchdown with 11 seconds left. The latter win lifted Sioux Falls to the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference. As such the Storm will host Massachusetts in the first round of the playoffs at 7:05 p.m. this Saturday.


Sept. 16: “M” Day at School of Mines.
Sept. 16: Trojan Day at Dakota State.
Sept. 16: Blue & White Day at Dakota Wesleyan.
Sept. 23: Viking Day at Augustana.
Sept. 30: Cougar Day at USF.
Sept. 30: Homecoming at NDSU.
Sept. 30: Homecoming at Minnesota.
Sept. 30: Homecoming at Mount Marty.
Oct. 7: Homecoming at UND.
Oct. 7: Dakota Day at USD.
Oct. 7: Gypsy Day at Northern.
Oct. 7: Swarm Day at Black Hills State.
Oct. 7: Homecoming at Northwestern (Iowa).
Oct. 14: Hobo Day at SDSU.
Oct. 28: Homecoming at Nebraska.


“Economic growth without social progress lets the great majority of people remain in poverty while a privileged few reap the benefits of rising abundance.”
— President John F. Kennedy


6 days: State ‘A’ Legion baseball tournament, Yankton (July 26-30).
9 days: Sioux Falls air show (July 29-30).
9 days: Oahe Blues Festival (July 29).
10 days: Black Hills Playhouse’s “9 to 5: The Musical” (July 30-Aug. 12).
13 days: Legion baseball Central Plains Regional, Rapid City (Aug. 2-6).
15 days: Sioux Empire Fair, Sioux Falls (Aug. 4-12).
15 days: Sturgis motorcycle rally (Aug. 4-13).
21 days: Sully County Fair, Onida (Aug. 10-13).
22 days: Trader Days, Fort Pierre (Aug. 11-13).
22 days: Pierre Governors girls tennis opener (Aug. 11).
22 days: Pierre Governors boys/girls soccer openers (Aug. 11).
25 days: Pierre Governors boys golf opener (Aug. 14).
28 days: Central States Fair, Rapid City (Aug. 17-26).
29 days: Sully Buttes and Stanley County football opener (Aug. 18).
30 days: BluntFest (Aug. 19).


  • At USD Night at the Black Hills Playhouse last weekend, we learned that the USD marching band, the Sound of USD, has been invited to play in the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans next February. To celebrate that fact, all of the Dakota Days homecoming activities in October will have a Mardi Gras theme.
  • Our first football contest of the season is only four weeks away. You will find it in the Update on Thursday, Aug. 17, but each week’s games are listed on my own Facebook page on the preceding Sunday night, so that would be Aug. 13.
  • With the Legion baseball playoffs beginning tonight, it’s time—for the last time, I promise!—to recall what happened at Hyde Stadium 29 years ago two weeks from now. How can that one Wednesday in August 1994 be 29 years in the past already! Those “kids” in their late teens are now in their late 40s and approaching 50 years of age! At the bottom of this Midweek Update is my column from the Capital Journal, which I have reprinted on each anniversary of The Game. For you who are new to Pierre and new to the Update, let us review the situation. The state Legion tournament was being held at Hyde Stadium. Rapid City Post 22 was a powerhouse, more so then than now. They had won the national championship at the Legion World Series the previous summer of 1993. They never ever lost to a South Dakota team. With Rapid City set to host the Central Plains Regional the following week, we knew that, even if Post 22 won the state tournament, the runner-up would also advance to the Central Plains Regional. On Tuesday, the fourth and next-to-last day of the state tournament, Pierre Post 8 eliminated Mitchell and clinched a spot on championship day. Post 22 was still unbeaten in the tournament, and had in fact clubbed Pierre by a 12-2 score earlier in the tournament, and Pierre would have to beat them twice on championship day. Baseball nationally was at a standstill that week. The major leaguers were on strike, and that stalemate would continue into the fall, and there would be no World Series at all. But baseball on that one Wednesday afternoon was something special in Pierre. So read the story down below at the bottom of the Update and, if you were at the ballpark that day, relive it all.
  • Just for the record, the members of that Post 8 team that summer of 1994 were Chance Stoeser, Ryan Merriam, Tyson Lindekugel, Dabe Gordon, Derek Larson, Nate Kuchta, Clint Fouts, Jason Sulzle, Kirk Van Roekel, Jeff Larson, Brandon Conzemius, Tom Pier, Toby Bryant, Justin Gilmore and Nathan Weber. For those who don’t remember, the story below is about the first of the day’s two championship games. Pierre won it over Post 22, forcing a second championship game at night. Mark Ellis, who went on to a major-league career with the Oakland A’s, led off the game with a homer for Post 22, and they held on to win. But Pierre Post 8 as runner-up also advanced to the Central Plains Regional the following week and showed they belonged there. Pierre eliminated the Minnesota state champion, New Brighton, and eliminated the Iowa state champion, Cedar Rapids, along the way. Eventually they became one of the final three teams left in the field and lost to the Omaha team that went on to the Legion World Series.


July 14, 2022: Patrick Wellner defended his championship of the Fort to Field 50 paddle battle canoe race from Fort Randall Dam to Springfield. His time was 7 hours, 52 minutes.

July 21, 2022: Joan Adam and Jessica Lewis were sworn in as members of the Pierre school board, Joan for a new term and Jessica for her first. Cari Leidholt, outgoing board member, was honored for 12 years of service on the board.


Thursday, July 20:
Karsin Garrigan, James Marie Nold, Damon Thielen Jacque Hahn, Brandi Hahn, Marcy Fifield, Michelle Leidholt, Kellie (Englehart) Beck, Molly (Huber) Hausmann, Phil Sheffield, Siri Segrud, Audrey Moodie, Harper Yackley, Carol (Marshall) Crain, Mike Tveit, Chase Bolte, Miranda Tracy, Brandon Swenson, Steven Cronin, Patrick Wellner, Pamela Bonrud, Colton Hanson, Amy LaFave.
— 11th anniversary, Tyler/Chelsey Coverdale.
— 16th anniversary, Joe/Lisa Martin.
— 49th anniversary, Dennis/Lois Ries.
— 16th anniversary, Lance/Megan (Ulmen) Fravel.
— 21st anniversary, Travis/Amber (Osnes) Antholz.

Friday, July 21:
Mandi Wharton, Maclin Hayes Schmidt, Adriane Wegman, Starla Curtis, Bill Stahl, Michelle (Bartel) Chenoweth, Ciara Tipton, Rhett LeBeau, Tyrel Larson, Brayden Stoeser.
— 5th anniversary, Sam/Ashley Leidholt.
— 5th anniversary, Mike/Charlotte Snyder.
— 17th anniversary, Brent/Katie (Lakner) Dill.
— 23rd anniversary, Dusty/Jacquelyn (Dyce) Johnson.

Saturday, July 22:
Benjamin Roberts, William Brakke, Tenley Heiss, Tom Johnson, Tamie Brandt, Mia Schrank, Jon Sailer, Mark Burger, Gayle (Kozel) Evans, Ashlee (Roemen) Keyes, Don Stars Sr., Dawn (Kilian) Bradley, Jason Schumacher.
— 6th anniversary, Connor/Michaela (O’Daniel) Landberg.
— 6th anniversary, Travs/ Megan Newling.
— 46th anniversary, Rod/Tawana (Zebroski) Grueb.
— 34th anniversary, Leo/Terry Disburg.
— 12th anniversary, Brent/Grace Chittum.
— 17th anniversary, Tyler/Megan Bryant.

Sunday, July 23:
Nick Kruse, Eve Heard, Janet Penticoff, Becca (Fossen) Mehlhaff, Zack Word, Kyle Weiger, Carson Carlisle, Adam Spellman, Caleb Currier, Ashley Richter, Mike Mehlhaff, Kylie Nystrom, Kristi (Schultz) Brakke, Jalen Lamb, Ryan Geraets, Jacob Sass.
— 12th anniversary, Justin/Karli (Larsen) Williams.
— 29th anniversary, Steven/Maggie Stofferahn.
— 18th anniversary, Jason/Erin Bisbee.
— 7th anniversary, Travis/Elizabeth (Lamb) Salmonson.
— 7th anniversary, Michael/Kimmie Bumann.

Monday, July 24:
Jon Kotilnek, Patrick Conway, Chris Bell, Grant Hoover, Alexander Flynn, Jon Pier, Carol Pickering, Erin (Ryan) Bush, Tate Stoeser, Brecken Fuller, Barry Jennings.
— 14th anniversary, Joel/Liz (Edman) Stauss.
— 13th anniversary, John/Brittany (Kroll) Bergeson.
— 22nd anniversary, Jason/Wendy (Kaiser) Wulf.
— 19th anniversary, Chris/Kristina Bauck.
— 41st anniversary, Shane/Nancy Mundt.

Tuesday, July 25:
Tanna Zabel, Elizabeth Knutson, Zachary Bruzelius, Angie Johnson, Heidi (Larson) Shives, Jon Rapp, Kenzie Clark, Brad Lowery, Chuck Hanson, Lincoln Wilson, Cole Prunty, Cienna Tipton, Clara Ann Watson, Cheyenne Tyree-Ragsdale, Ranae Hoffman, Michaela Bear, Benjamin Jacobson, Kim Stoeser, Diane (Curtis) Nuttall, Kim Brakke.
— 13th anniversary, Anthony/Tiana Johnson.
— 8th anniversary, Rhener/Nicole (Loosbrock) Gordon.
— 8th anniversary, Chip/Kendall King.
— 8th anniversary, Tye/Sabrina Johnson.
— Anniversary, Travis/Sarah Hendrix.

Wednesday, July 26:
Ellana Jorgenson, Brynle Jo Hlavacek, Danielle McGee-Campbell, Lindsey Riter-Rapp, Brayden Maskovich, Tony Mangan, Bob Sutton, Conrad Adam, Kathy Riedy, Morgan (McLain) Willard, Meghan (Drewes) Hall, Rio Reeves, Annie Lueders, Austin Bishop, Laycie Williams.
— 20th anniversary, James/Crystal Dvorak.
— 9th anniversary, Evan/Angie Protexter.
— 9th anniversary, Jared/Alex (Voeltz) Little.
— 10th anniversary, Tyler/Tevan (Wenbourne) Newman.

Thursday, July 27:
Jered Stars, Amanda Hodgin, Kate Stahl, Kalen Miller, Brandon Coyle, Casey Placek, Austin Darrington, Ross Jones, Marsha Kucker, Krista Weyrich, Russell Jennewein, Lucas Zimmerman, Austin Blair, Jay Miller, Trey Montana, Kristi (Kunsman) Lloyd.
— 21st anniversary, Michael/Melissa (Hitchcock) Maxwell.
— 20th anniversary, Chad/Pam Kringel.
— 10th anniversary, Tanner/Jamie (Dykstra) Fitzke.
— We fondly remember Mickey Thomsen on her birthday.

Friday, July 28:
Ellis McKittrick, Karsten Withers, Kendra Kuiper, Dave Dulas, Mary DeVany, Taylor Becker, Kessler Decker, Melissa (Luers) Hansen, Stuart Jones, Joni Boub, Feleica Pullman, Alex Allison, Allison Zuercher, Tiffany (Winkler) Carr, Nick Neuhauser.
— 13th anniversary, Jesse/Rachel (Hermanson) Knutson.

Saturday, July 29:
Joshua Dykstra, Alyssa Bump, August Mortenson, Mariah Fuchs, Megan Farris, Jeff Garrett, Carson Knudson, Sheila Clark, Aaron Hoelscher, Jace Anderson, Miranda Panzer, Twila (Larson) Reding, Cole Kayser, Libby Thorne.

Sunday, July 30:
Lainey Nuttall, Beau Holsteen, Karla (Richards) Blemaster, Pat (Caldwell) Miller, Dan Barringer, Keith Garrigan, Barbara (Thomas) Kinder, Meara Hauck, Kent Skrondahl, Dave Koenig, Linda (Kern) Anderson, Mark Zabel.
— 18th anniversary, Tim/Kristi (Kunsman) Lloyd.
— 18th anniversary, Matt/Daisha (Seyfer) Finke.
— 12th anniversary, Matt/Amanda (Kusser) Mitchell.
— 13th anniversary, JD/Megan (Rapp) Deal.
— 7th anniversary, Mitch/Theresa (Gabriel) Kleinsasser.
— 7th anniversary, Shane/Jessica (Parsons) Big Eagle.
— We fondly remember firefighter Dave Ruhl, who died on duty 8 years ago today.

Monday, July 31:
Jeremy Ripperger, Sarah (Zinter) Detwiler, Julia (Guhin) Yach, Laficia Leftsich, Gabriella Herbert, Adalynn Gustafson, Linda Geraets, Pat Parlin, Jeanine Maskovich, Makenna Nystrom, Rhett Miller.
— 2nd anniversary, Jack/Leesa (Johnson) Carpenter.
— 2nd anniversary, Chad/Ann Grunewaldt.
— 13th anniversary, Kyle/Kayla (Prince) Kusek.
— 52nd anniversary, Dennis/Judy (Metzinger) Pullman.
— 13th anniversary, Trent/Brandi Barth.
— 18th anniversary, Luke/Jennifer Steece.
— Anniversary, Lance/Nicole (Rathbun) Kuper.
— We fondly remember Kier Murphy on his birthday.

Tuesday, August 1:
Ryan Merriam, Dustin Bonnett, Otis Rosenau, Loni Shoup, Camden Vogel, Scott Heibel, Brooke Bjorneberg, Craig Eichstadt, Charlotte Hofer, Kevin Hall, Galen Stolp.
— 2nd anniversary, Seth/Kim (Hipple) Hastings.
— 14th anniversary, Blake/Randi (McQuistion) Norman.
— 8th anniversary, Sam/Morgan (McLain) Willard.
— 20th anniversary, Jay/Ann (Schroyer) Schwartz.
— 19th anniversary, Eric/Danielle (Scott) High Bear.
— 8th anniversary, Hunter/Cait Johnson.

Wednesday, August 2:
Matthew Hardwick, Parker Linn, Rachel (Lundeen) Bailey.
— 20th anniversary, Matthew/Kayla (Crawford) Fisher.
— We fondly remember Rapid City policemen Nick Armstrong and Ryan McCandless, who were shot on duty 12 years ago today.

Thursday, August 3:
Karen (Strickland) Jones, Faun Van Bockel, Robyn (Chase) Thorpe, Brad Urbach, Eric Titze, Scott Bailey.
— 38th anniversary, Guy/Kim DiBenedetto.
— 21st anniversary, Rob/Jan Kittay.
— 21st anniversary, David/Jennifer (Lomheim) Sieveking.
— 21st anniversary, Richard/Lynn (McQuistion) Siedschlaw.
— 49th anniversary, Chuck/Kathy Anderson.


“Summer nearly does me in every year. It’s too hot and the light is unforgiving, and the days go on way too long.”
— Anne Lamott


Jerry Jacobsen, 80, who with his wife Fee owned and operated Zesto in Pierre from 1977 to 1988, died July 13 under hospice care. At his request no services will be held. Condolences can be sent to 331 N. Grand Ave., Pierre SD 57501. Jerry grew up on the family sheep ranch in northwestern South Dakota and graduated from Newell High School. He attended San Fernando Valley State in California. During his service with the Peace Corps in India, he met Fee Erani, and they later married. They came to Rapid City in 1968, and a month later his father died. Jerry stayed on to help his mother and brothers operate the ranch, and they stayed there until the sheep were sold and the ranch leased. In 1969 Jerry took a job in economic development with the state in Pierre. After the Jacobsens’ tenure at Zesto, Jerry worked for the Department of Transportation from 1989 to 1999 and then for the Bureau of Technology from 1999 until he retired in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Fee; his sons, Henry “Eric” Jacobsen of Pierre and Zak Jacobsen of Denver; four grandchildren; his sister, Rosa Lee (Gerald Fabricius) of Twentynine Palms, Calif., and his brother, Danny Jacobsen of Omaha.

In the “4 on the 4th” run on Independence Day, Jared Lutmer set a course record in winning the male division in 21:20. Pierce Baumberger was second in 22:18 and Martin Bailey third in 23:22. Jessica Lutmer set a course record in winning the female division in 25:24. Devyn Van Roekel was second in 30:17, and Mason Berg and Harper Shaffer tied for third place in 30:20.

Jake and Taylor (Hyde) McLennan are the parents of a newborn daughter, McKinlee Kae.

Pierre native and distinguished playwright Larissa FastHorse has been named one of the 54 “Most Creative People in Business 2023” by FastCompany.com.

Riggs High alumnus Rob Nill, after 16 years in the Beaver Dam School District in Beaver Dam, Wis., is taking a new job nearby as athletics and activities director at Randolph, Wis.

Barb Johnson, who worked for many years as admissions director at Capital Area Counseling Service, died July 8 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital at the age of 74. A celebration of her life took place July 15 at the Missouri Avenue Events Center. Barb married Daryl Johnson in 1981, and they moved to Pierre the following year. She is survived by her daughters, Traci (Mike) Schmitz of Valentine, Neb., Kari Scheil of Pierre and Mindi (Bob) Johnson of Valentine; her “adopted daughter,” Terri Morin of Pierre; five grandchildren; her sisters, Becky (Brent) Thayer of Britton and Josie (Tim) Hornaman of Aberdeen, and many other relatives.

A GoFundMe account was established two weeks ago for Fred and Betty Hanson and their children, Michael and Kelcey, after they lost their home, pets and all possessions in a house fire at the corner of N. Taylor Ave. and Pasque Dr. There is also a benefit account for the Hansons at BankWest locations. Checks should be made payable to “Hanson Family Benefit Account” and sent to the bank at 420 S. Pierre St., Pierre SD 57501.

Will John and Kylie (Lamb) Johnson are the parents of another daughter, Winnie Jo. The Johnsons operate their own Whitewood Creek Chiropractic business in Whitewood.

Monte Curry died July 14 at the Avantara nursing home in Pierre. Memorial services are pending. For details go to the www.isburgfuneralchapels.com website.

The Pierre school board reorganized for the new school year at the July meeting. Randy Hartmann was elected chairman and Joan Adam vice chairman. Dan Cronin was sworn in for a new term.

Former Pierre resident Mary Potter reported on Facebook that she underwent surgery for a new right hip on June 30. Former Pierre/Fort Pierre resident Lynette Frederickson of Rapid City underwent a mastectomy on July 10.

Dr. James O. Hansen died July 5 at the Avantara nursing home in Pierre. Services were held at First Congregational United Church of Christ, followed by inurnment at Black Hills National Cemetery. As a young person Dr. Hansen lived with his family in Black Hills towns and graduated from Spearfish High School in 1946. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and rose to the rank of staff sergeant. Then he earned his education degree at Black Hills Teachers College. He married Dora Helmer in 1950, and they were married for 65 years until she died in 2015. Mr. Hansen taught in Philip and was superintendent at Wessington and Gregory. After earning his doctorate in education at USD in 1968 he served 25 years with the Lake Central district at Madison as teacher and administrator. In 1976 he came to state government and held numerous positions in the Department of Education, ending his 24 years there as secretary of the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. He retired in 1990. Dr. Hansen served 28 years on the board of the South Dakota Retirement System and 18 years on the Board of Regents. From 1992 until his death he was a member of the Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Commission. He is also enshrined in the South Dakota Hall of Fame. Dr. Hansen is survived by his daughters, Linda (Steve) Whitney of Mitchell, Diana (Leland) Buseman of Canistota and June Hansen of Pierre; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren, and his aunt, Evelyn Mattson.

Kelli Buscher is leaving state government employment to work for Banner Associates, an engineering consulting firm.

Ben Gloe, who has been in the U.S. Army since high school years, has been moved from South Carolina to El Paso, Texas, for 10-plus months while he attends the Sergeant Major Academy. After that the Army will decide where his next duty station will be.

Riggs High alumnus and local optometrist Dr. Matt Blaseg, only a year out of Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, found himself testifying before a South Dakota Senate committee in favor of an optometry scope expansion bill this past session. He was recognized this month in the SCO alumni magazine for his efforts. The bill in question passed committee but failed in the full Senate by one vote.

Pierre attorney Brad Schreiber, 65, died July 16 after a short battle with T-cell leukemia. A prayer service is planned for 5 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at Community Bible Church. A celebration of his life will take place at the church at 10:30 a.m. Monday. The son of Marion and Lola Schreiber grew up on a farm west of Agar and graduated from Agar High School in 1976. He attended Huron College, then worked as a patrol officer with the Pierre Police Department. He attended the USD law school and earned his degree there in 1988. He first practiced law at Belle Fourche until moving to Pierre in 2008. That same year he and Christal Zabel were married. Brad is survived by his wife, Chris; his daughter, Lyndsey (Andrew Norten) Schreiber, Asher and Aiden Heinzerling; his sons, Erich Schreiber, Alec (Megan) Espeland, Stetson and Wyatt, Brayden (Courtney) Espeland and Stella, and Camden (Britney Hicks) Espeland; his mother, Lola Schreiber of Pierre; his brother, Shawn (Connie) Schreiber; his parents-in-law, Cam and Jan Zabel, and many other relatives.

Katherine (Van Gerpen) Cedeno Torres of Sioux Falls has secured a spot sponsored by Avera Health in the 2024 Leadership South Dakota class which will begin monthly meetings this fall.

A pair of Pierre alumni who attended Northern State University, Joe King and Tori Thorpe, have become engaged.

Kyle and Leslie (Mewes) Sarringar are the parents of a daughter, Isla Rhea, born July 18.

Miranda Panzer is the new tourism director at the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce.

At Dakota Wesleyan University two Pierre student-athletes have been named NAIA Scholar-Athletes for track and field. They are Cobey Carr in men’s track and field and Abby Ferris in women’s track and field.

Lauren Bourk, 74, died July 12. Services will be held in the coming weeks. For information go to www.feigumfh.com.

Spencer Easland, multi-sport athlete who will be a senior at Riggs High this fall, has committed to attend Wayne State College in Nebraska a year from now and play football for the Wildcats.

Julie Lautt, currently Avera Health’s chief financial officer, has been named interim president and CEO of the health system and will take that position Aug. 5. She replaces Bob Sutton, who is stepping away from the president/CEO position for health reasons. Lautt has been with Avera for 24 years.


With the beginning of the school year only a month away, ponder this thought: The start of the school year is the chance to create new rituals, events that have meaning because they are repeated and because they mark the crossing of the threshold from one kind of time to another. In marking that boundary, they say: this place is special, and this time we have with each other is special and you get to be part of it.


(By Parker Knox, first published in the Capital Journal in August 1994)

Never mind, for the time being at least, all the crud and slime associated with sports on the big-time level these days.

The place to which the sports fan can cast his gaze instead is the hometown sports scene where, once in awhile—and more often than we realize—there comes along an instant so glisteningly pure, so absolutely perfect when everything that is wonderful about athletics comes together and creates a moment to be savored, a scene ensconced in our memory bank, a happening to be recalled with joy, a lump in the throat and yet another tear in the eye, over and over for a lifetime.

There was the 1991 Lady Govs state basketball tournament that totally defied any logical explanation. There were Toby Bryant’s and Chance Stoeser’s state wrestling championships last winter with their dads at mat-side, the kind of stuff about which they write movie scripts.

And then there was Wednesday afternoon in the midday sun of beautiful old-turned-new Hyde Stadium.

The third inning became the fourth, and the fourth became the fifth, and still the underdog home boys were playing the gods of American Legion baseball dead even. A Miracle on Ree Street was in the making.

In the early going a play great enough for ‘Plays of the Week” kept Post 8 even. With a man on second base, a sharp ground ball went third to first and back to third—Ty to Ry to Ty—for a marvelous double play to wipe out an early Rapid City threat.

But one knew it wouldn’t continue. It couldn’t possibly continue. Something would happen. After all, what were the odds! This was Rapid City Post 22 in the red uniforms—the national champs the best team in this country or probably any other, a team that certainly doesn’t lose a big game to a fellow South Dakota ballclub. There was their ace on the mound, the best player in the whole nation, for heaven’s sake, sent to the hill on this day to close out the whipper-snappers who dared to believe they might be good enough to even stand on the same diamond with Post 22.

He wouldn’t have, because really they’re rather nice people out there and they wear their baseball tradition well, but if a Rapid City player or fan had tapped me on the chest with his finger and said “You can’t beat us, and you won’t beat us because we’re better than you are,” I probably would have said, “Yes, sir, sorry, sir,” and sat down.

Ten to one? 100 to one? What were the odds that these kids we know in blue jeans and T-shirts as well as in Post 8 green and black could handle this insurmountable challenge? Three days earlier they had been somewhat embarrassed by the same team, 12-2, in a game that lasted only five innings. Post 22 had, in fact, taken over the 10-run rule as its own personal piece of baseball legislation, clubbing anybody and everybody into submission, doing it to perfection and doing it early.

But nobody has yet devised a way to place odds on the hearts and souls and potentials of young athletes. So they go ahead and play a game, even when its final result is a foregone conclusion.

So here we were on this midweek afternoon—some of us with weightier things on our minds because it was also “pull the plug on the video lottery” day, and a rather large number of us were taking a busman’s holiday from the office. In fact, a stadium full, would you believe. And as the 2 o’clock hour wore past 3, that foregone conclusion was nowhere to be found. Rhyme and reason had also taken a holiday.

Rapid City had gone ahead, but only 1-0, in the fifth, but there before our very eyes in the sixth inning were Chance Stoeser and Dave Gordon churning around third on Ty Lindekugel’s blast to the right-field wall on an 0-2 count. Pierre now led Rapid City 2-1 in the sixth inning? This late in the game?

The Black Hills bombers were set down in order in the sixth by Justin Gilmore.

Across the city people must have begun to pay closer attention to their radios. The crowd continued to grow. The Capitol Avenue bridge railing became lined with people, elbow to elbow.

And in the seventh after their leadoff man got aboard, Gilmore retired three in a row on fly balls.

The breaks between half-innings became time to recover from having held one’s breath for 10 minutes without daring to exhale. Time to squeeze together because there were some more fans entering the park. Time to forget about announcements of lucky-number pizza and gas winners. Time to pat the arm of the player’s parent in the next seat who was holding her hands over her face or clenching his sweaty fist.

It went to the eighth, and who would you want coming up to the plate when having another base runner was crucial? Gordon, of course, and he waited out a 3-2 pitch for a walk. And Derek Larson did the same thing to advance Gordon to second. Nervous? Impatient? Heck, these kids were cool as cucumbers.

With two out and Gordon begging to be brought home, Lindekugel came through again and, good grief, it was 3-1.

A Pierre crowd reserved and conservative? Sometimes,but not on this day! There was a Pierre crowd, believe it or not, roaring on every pitch. There was a lanky blond named Gilmore staring down the barrels of Post 22’s artillery as he pitched the game of his life while his dad, the sportscaster upstairs, said to his colleague, “If I faint, you take over.”

There were the players’ buddies from high school, just above the dugout in the territory to which they had staked claim early in the tournament, up out of their lawn chairs, on their feet, yelling support.

There was their fiery coach, his face beet red as usual from sunburn or intensity or both, a chap who doesn’t demand a whole lot from his players except that they never let up, that they use their heads as well as their physical abilities, and that they, not for a second, do anything less than strive to do their best.

So there came the top of the ninth. The home kids (as the “visiting team” on the scoreboard) threatened to score but for the life of them couldn’t punch across any more insurance. But after that half-inning anyway, they were carried back out to their defensive positions on the wings of another roaring standing ovation.

Suddenly it was the bottom of the ninth. Of course, if it were to happen at all, it wouldn’t come easily. Of course Rapid City put its first batter on base. Of course, the tying run came to the plate.

But there was a well-stroked fly ball to center field, and that’s Gordon’s Ground. One out!

And then there was another fly ball to center. Two out!

And just like in the big-league parks, where there is only one out to go, the home crowd rose to cheer.

Even the players’ fathers who have to pace, pace, pace to keep their sanity stopped pacing, frozen to the press box floor.

Was it my imagination, or had the traffic on the streets come to a halt?

If, at that precise moment, the bottom had fallen out and the bubble had indeed burst, it would have been heartbreaking for these kids, to be sure, but it wouldn’t have mattered. They had triumphed in this game long before the ninth inning arrived.

If I had been on that field at that moment with a glove on my hand, I most certainly would have been praying aloud, “Please, God, don’t let them hit it to me.”

Whom they hit it to was Derek Larson at shortstop, and that’s not a bad choice. He scooped it up and fired it straight and true to first where Ryan Merriam would have caught it in his teeth if necessary.

Then the young pitcher came off the mound. By the time he reached the baseline, his teammates mobbed him and each other. They broke away to parade single-file for handshakes with the opponents. Then their broad smiles returned on their way to the dugout as the bleacher crowd roared.

There were hugs—player’s mom with player’s mom, not needing to say anything to each other. After years of dirty uniforms, coping with disheartened kids who had struck out with the tying run at third, after years of hot, sticky evenings on hard Little League bleachers, they knew. Words were unnecessary.

There were the young kids with the foul balls, taking them down for autographs from the patient Post 8 heroes. Eighteen-year-old sports stars are, after all, role models to 10-year-old Little Leaguers, whether they feel comfortable in that role or not. Somewhere in Pierre later that day, a kid burst into the house and held up a ball saying, “I got their autographs, Dad!”

There was the winning pitcher, grinning sheepishly as he autographed a pretty girl’s left arm.

And there were some of the rest of us just standing around, absorbing it all, too swept up in the moment to leave.

Yes, I know that victory didn’t do anything except require that a second championship game be played in the evening. Yes, I know that the sun would have risen Thursday morning no matter the outcome—3-1 or 33-1.

Yes, I know that it was just a ballgame and that Rapid City went ahead and won the night game and that Post 8 was going to the regional tournament anyway.

I also know however, that in a few days that game will not have been dismissed as history. It left an indelible memory on anybody closely connected with it—player, mom, dad, coach, friend, fan.

Some day when Coach Raue has grandkids and some of his players are bald and fat, they will have a reunion. The likes of Kuchta and Fouts and Sulzle, Gordon and Van Roekel and Lindekugel, Merriam and Stoeser and Larson, Gilmore and Bryant and Conzemius, Pier and Weber and Larson will tell tall tales about that Wednesday in August when they played Rapid City in the state tournament. No matter how exaggerated their recollections become, they will never be able to improve on the way it actually was that day

There will be other victories and certainly defeats for these young athletes in the real world. But for a couple of hours out of their young lives, they were part of a moment of sheer perfection.

And thankfully so were a thousand or so of the rest of us.



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