Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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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.
Tyler Manning had every intention of catching walleye May 23 on the James River, near Rockport Colony in Hanson County. As he stood there waiting for a bite with his pole, Manning, 22, looked down at the biggest gar he'd ever seen. "When I saw it, I grabbed my bow, drew it back and got it," he said. "I'd never even seen a gar half that size." After the catch, Manning took the fish to Shorty's Locker in Mitchell to get it officially weighed.
The baseball is finding the open field for the Mitchell Legion baseball team this season as four players are hitting over .400. Jared Schmidt leads the way for Post 18 with a batting average of .483. Matt Larson is batting .455, Lakin Neugebauer is .414 and Dylanger Pierson is .409 from the plate. During the spring season, Mitchell only had one player -- Schmidt -- bat over .400 when the team used wood bats.