Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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Blarney's Sports Bar and Grill will be hosting its fifth annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament Saturday. The most teams the tournament has hosted was 34 and has had as few as 16 teams other years. The players vary from grade school kids to adults. Blarney's Manager Scott Morgan expected up to 25 teams to play in the event this year. Three Dakota Wesleyan University basketball players joined to create a team for the tournament. "We like to be in a different atmosphere," DWU forward and Corsica native Luke Bamberg said.
Local businesses have donated nearly 96 percent of the Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association's Twice the Ice Fund. The fund was put in place to raise money for the new ice sheet, which is being built south of the Mitchell Activities Center. The addition -- which is projected to finish Oct. 1 -- costs an estimated $2.8 million and the association will pay the city $500,000 toward the project. "We have met our $500,000 obligation to the city," Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association President Doug Beck said.
The Mitchell High School volleyball program is hosting two camps this week. The first is the MHS volleyball camp, which begins today and concludes Tuesday and is at the high school. There are 65 pre-registered players, including local and area girls in grades seven through 12. The second camp the program is hosting is the Kernel Klassic Team Camp of Champs. "It's the biggest volleyball camp in the state," Mitchell Kernel head coach Deb Thill said, adding this is the 20th year of the team camp. This year, 62 teams from around the state will compete in four divisions.
For the last nine years, Mitchell gymnasts have come to know the teaching style, passion and knowledge of Tom Jones. Jones, who grew up in Ohio, recently became a resident of Woonsocket after moving from Cable, Wis., this week. Since 2004, Jones has served as a volunteer coach and offered his knowledge with MEGA gymnasts and staff. "At first, he was helping me see the errors the kids were making in high-level skills," MEGA and Mitchell High School gymnastics coach Audra Rew said.
Before the fireworks began Thursday night, many people were out enjoying the day with a golf club in their hands. For Mitchell's two golf courses -- Lakeview Golf Course and Wild Oak Golf Club -- it was one of the busiest mornings of the season. "Usually the morning is five times as busy as a regular day," Lakeview manager Dan Sabers said. "And the afternoon is a lot slower." Tee times between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.
On your marks. Get set. Go. Fifty-four runners set out Thursday morning during the Dakota Plains Running Club's second annual Freedom Run at the Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex in Mitchell. "It's about the same number we had last year," said Scott Loecker, who is head of the local running club and race director. "With the fourth of July being on a Thursday, we were worried that people might be headed out of town for a four-day weekend, but it was a good turnout." Matt Heesch, who is a former Mitchell High School runner, was the top finisher in the 5K with a time of 16 minutes, 40 seconds.
After accepting the Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball coaching position, Matt Wilber jumped in head-first. He was hired June 20 and on June 21, he was already recruiting for his future Tiger teams in Marshall, Minn. Along with recruiting, Wilber is finding time to interact with the team, university and the community just 12 days into the job. "It's definitely been a whirlwind," the Miller native said. "When you get hired at this time, there are a lot of things going on in the program.
After the city began assigning fields and practice times to local youth baseball and softball teams one year ago, coordinators and coaches think it's running smoothly. Before the change in 2012, teams had to show up way ahead of time to reserve practice times and fields because it was a first-come, first-served basis. "It got to be pretty ugly between teams," said Kevin DeVries, of the Mitchell Parks and Recreation Department.
Cheylee Nagel and Madi Moody made the most of their trips to the National Junior High Finals Rodeo. Springfield native Nagel and partner Scott Halverson, of Fairview, finished eighth in ribbon roping, while Letcher native Moody and partner, Brock Belkham, of Flandreau placed 20th in the event. "We were really happy, surprised and excited," Nagel said about when she found out she and Halverson finished eighth.
It looks like Mike Miller will likely continue playing for the Miami Heat. Heat Team President Pat Riley doesn't anticipate using the amnesty provision this offseason. An amnesty clause is a bargaining agreement that allows teams to eliminate player contracts under certain conditions.