Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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It was not what you would call a perfect golf swing. The ball rolled down the rough at Mitchell's Wild Oak Golf Club not much farther than 10 feet. A little embarrassed, I looked over at Dakota Wesleyan University golf coach Adam Anderson, my playing partner for the day. He had some nice words of encouragement. It was also a bit of a joke, explaining what he believes to be the three keys to a good golf stroke. "The first is your ball is closer to the hole," he said. He was right.
WINNER -- Frank Leahy's name and accomplishments on the football field have lived long after his death. Today is the 40th anniversary of Leahy's death. The successful Notre Dame football coach and Winner High School graduate died on June 21, 1973. Leahy, born in O'Neill, Neb., grew up in Winner and was a Warrior through his junior year of high school. He played football, baseball and basketball in Winner then spent his senior year in Omaha, Neb. After graduating from high school, Leahy headed to the University of Notre Dame.
The Mitchell Girls' Fastpitch Association began a new program this year as a way to focus on player development. The program -- Mitchell Attack -- was formed to ensure girls play to their abilities on a team that suits them. In the past, youth softball teams were formed by parents of players where they had to figure out scheduling, a field, umpires for games, equipment and sponsorships. "With this program, we want to provide those things for the teams," said Jim Misiaszek, the association's vice president.
SALEM -- Kristin Rotert saw herself in the eyes of many young girls' basketball players who filled the McCook Central High School gymnasium Wednesday. The former South Dakota State women's basketball standout and Salem native held a youth basketball camp -- which had 55 kids in attendance -- and remembered being a young player and working hard to improve her skills. "I wanted to come back and do this, and I feel like I have so much to give back to the community that has helped me out so much," Rotert said.
Former Major League Baseball player Joe Jackson is normally known as the shoeless one. But it was "Shoeless" Mike Miller on Tuesday. During Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the Mitchell native hit a 3-pointer for the Miami Heat with one shoe on early in the fourth quarter. The Heat were down 75-65 entering the fourth quarter and began their comeback with a 5-2 run to open the frame. With just under 11 minutes to play, Miller lost his left shoe while defending Tiago Splitter's shot in the paint.
CHAMBERLAIN -- This year will be the first time Savanna and Moriah Glaus compete against each other in the same three events at the South Dakota High School Rodeo State Finals, which begins today in Belle Fourche. The Glaus sisters, who are a year apart, ride alongside each other every day, practicing and critiquing each other in their rodeo arena. "It's very competitive," said Moriah, who qualified for state for the third straight year.
By BROOKE CERSOSIMO The Daily Republic Ethan Parr and McKenzie Jendersee spend well over 20 hours a week practicing their respective rodeo events. And with that, they've each improved their skills in the arena from last year.
The frequent rain in the area has pulled many youth baseball teams to Mitchell this weekend. The annual Harve Johnston/Bryan Wilson Memorial Baseball Tournament will play host to 35 teams, which is one-third more teams than any previous year. Todd Cavanaugh, Mitchell Baseball Association vice president, said the greatest amount of teams the tournament has had was 28. "It's better than normal," said Cavanaugh, who added he had to deny entry to two teams because they registered late.
In his high school days, Mike "Skinny" Miller put on a show time and time again, and former Mitchell Kernel boys' coach Gary Munsen was on the sideline to witness it all. Miller's dedication to the game put him on the fast track to reaching stardom status on the basketball court. "Skinny spent a lot of time in the gym and would just go shoot by himself night after night," Munsen said. "That's why he's making $5.8 million a year." And it has paid off for the now-Miami Heat shooting guard and Mitchell native during the NBA Finals.
The Mitchell Legion baseball team had opportunities to pull away with the victory, but Brookings scored five unanswered runs to beat Post 18 Wednesday. After Mitchell led 6-2 at the end of the fifth inning, Brookings scored four runs in the next three innings to tie the game and send it into extras. With two outs and bases loaded, an RBI single lifted Brookings to a one-run lead.