Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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BROOKINGS -- Led by individual champion Kellie Winckler, Andes Central won its school's first team state title in any sport at the Class B girls' state golf tournament Tuesday, coach Tom Cooney said. "I keep waiting for somebody to wake me up from this dream," said Cooney, whose team beat second-place Deubrook by eight strokes. "We were happy to get here as a team, and all of a sudden the girls just turned it on and this is the best we've ever played." Winckler, a senior who will join the Mount Marty Lancers golf team next year, trailed by three strokes heading into Tuesday's second round.
BROOKINGS -- As sophomores and juniors, Howard's Cal Wiese and Freeman's Arron Licktieg finished in the top two spots at the Class B boys' state golf tournament, with each winning the individual title once. This year as seniors, the pair tied for second with a total two-round score of 153 after a drenched final round Tuesday at Brookings Country Club. Rain peppered the course all day, and when the regulation 18 holes were completed and Wiese and Lickteig were tied, officials called the course unplayable.
SIOUX FALLS -- Alex Hegg was feeling great after his final singles match of the season with good reason. Hegg won the Flight 5 singles championship match over Rapid City Stevens' Mason Schultz at the state boys' tennis tournament Saturday to finish the season 24-0. "Alex has steely determination," said Mitchell coach Pat Moller, whose team finished in fifth place.
SIOUX FALLS -- For the second time in three years, the Mitchell Kernel boys' tennis team was announced the winner of the Sportsmanship Award at the state tennis tournament Saturday at McKennan Park in Sioux Falls. The award is given every year to the team that displays honesty, unselfishness, fairness and responsibility on and off the court. The winner is voted on by the tennis coaches and umpires at the state tournament. "Ever since we've entered this program in Mitchell, we've been taught that sportsmanship comes before everything," Mitchell senior Tate Crago said.
The Parkston girls' golf team and Sydney Bormann return to the Class A state tournament to defend their titles today. Their quests for back-to-back titles begins at 9 a.m. today at Pine Hills Golf Course in Milbank. The tournament concludes Tuesday. "I don't think the girls are feeling any pressure," said Parkston coach Tyler Hockett, whose team has played the course several times this season.
Mitchell High School girls' golf coach Rob Marchand said his team has continually improved this season. And the Kernels couldn't have timed it better with the Class AA state girls' golf tournament starting today. The first groups are set to tee off at 9 a.m. at Hillcrest Golf and Country Club in Yankton. The state tournament concludes Tuesday. The Kernels were scheduled to play at the state tournament site in April, but the event was snowed out.
Mitchell's Alex Hegg was crowned a state champion at Flight 5 singles at the state boys' tennis tournament Saturday in Sioux Falls. The freshman, who did not lose a singles match all season, defeated Rapid City Stevens' Mason Schultz 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the championship. The Kernel boys took fifth place as a team with 406 points, returning to the top five for the first time since 1995. Watertown won the team title with 604 points, Stevens was second with 580 and Sioux Falls O'Gorman was third with 563 points. Mitchell also won the sportsmanship award, which is voted on by coaches.
SIOUX FALLS -- Mitchell's Flight 5 Alex Hegg and Flight 6 Brenden Lehr both advanced championship after beating the fourth-seeded players in their flights Thursday at the state boys' tennis tournament. "They are the top seeds and are where they should be," Mitchell coach Pat Moller said. "Both had points in their matches where they weren't playing their best tennis but were mentally strong. They proved that they deserved to be in the championship." The duo helped the Kernels to fifth place in the team standings after two days of tennis.
SIOUX FALLS -- Every seeded singles player and doubles team went undefeated Thursday for the Mitchell High School boys' tennis squad at the state tournament in Sioux Falls. "That's what good teams do," Mitchell coach Pat Moller said. "They handled the pressure well and the season we went through has prepared us for this tournament." In Mitchell's first- and second-round victories, it never dropped a set and was taken to a tiebreaker once. The Kernels suffered two losses on the opening day of the state tournament. The Kernels finished the first day in sixth place with 236 points.
HARTFORD -- Ethan/Parkston's Weslee Dvorak won two individual Region 5A track and field titles and helped two relay teams to second-place finishes Thursday. Dvorak's efforts helped the Ethan/Parkston boys win the Region 5A team title. "Wes was instrumental in helping us win the boys' title," Ethan/Parkston coach Shawn Spurrell said. "He had two good days for us." Ethan/Parkston won with 141 points, beating West Central (129) and Bon Homme (112). West Central won the girls' team title with 204.5 points.