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Mitchell teams head to Huron for unique doubleheader

Two different fan bases can get a taste of a different sport when Huron hosts Mitchell in a wrestling and boys' basketball doubleheader at today at Huron Arena.

The event will start at 5:30 p.m. when the Tigers and Kernels hit the wrestling mat for an ESD dual.

After the conclusion of the meet, the mats will be rolled up and Gary Munsen and the undefeated, No. 1-ranked Kernels will play the Tigers at about 7:30 p.m.

"With the rivalry between the two schools, it seemed like a natural fit," Mitchell Activities Director Geoff Gross said. "I'm expecting to see a lot of people there."

Huron Activities Director Terry Rotert said the doubleheader made scheduling the two events easier, and in his 19 years with the school, it's the first-ever wrestling-boys' basketball doubleheader.

He said the key factor was the Mitchell wrestling team was willing to travel to Huron two years in a row, as usually road teams alternate each year.

"This should add excitement to the different programs," Rotert said. "In Mitchell at least, and in Huron, boys' basketball draws the biggest crowds. So, we're hopefully getting some people to the wrestling match who normally couldn't come."

As of Monday night, the weather forecast in the Mitchell and Huron areas predicted snow and wintry conditions for today, and Rotert said one of his biggest concerns for the doubleheader is if it will even take place.

"I'm just hoping to get the games in," Rotert said. "If we reschedule, it probably won't be a doubleheader."

If everything goes as planned, Gross said he's going to see how smooth it runs and how successful it is. Then, next year the Corn Palace could possibly host the same event.

Because Huron will have hosted the wrestling dual two years in a row, Mitchell will get to do the same for the next two years.

A wrestling-boys' basketball doubleheader would be the first time a high school wrestling meet has ever taken place in the Corn Palace.

In the early '90s, the Corn Palace held an annual state youth wrestling tournament, but was eventually moved out as more wrestlers participated and the arena became too small.

"I'm going to see how this goes," Gross said. "We have (a doubleheader) here in the works in Mitchell if everything goes well. I'm going to learn from Terry's mistakes and take what does work and use it."

There will be one admission for today's event of $5 for adults and $2 for students. The JV wrestling meet and the freshmen and JV basketball games will all be at 4 p.m. Admission for those events will be the same and will also pay for the varsity events.

The basketball game will start 25 minutes following the final match of the wrestling meet.

"If there are a lot of pins, we'll probably start on time," Rotert said. "If there's not, we'll be a little late, but that's OK."

In ESD wrestling duals, Mitchell is 1-0 this season. The Kernels edged Yankton Thursday, 32-30. Mitchell and Huron dueled at the Watertown tournament in early December, and the Kernels won, 34-31.

The Mitchell boys' basketball team is 4-0 this season. The Kernels are ranked No. 1 in the state and just got back from a West River road trip where they defeated Rapid City Stevens and Central.

Huron is 3-1. The Tigers' only loss came to Central on Saturday.