Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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RAPID CITY -- The Mitchell High School gymnastics team finished the marathon state meet in the exact spot coach Audra Rew predicted. The Kernels finished in third place in Class AA with a score of 141.975 at the state gymnastics meet Friday at Rapid City Stevens High School. "All of the girls worked together and had each other's back throughout the meet," Rew said. "I'm really excited for them." Mitchell finished behind champion Rapid City Central (151.7) and runner-up Watertown (145.85).
After battling weeks of illness, the Chamberlain gymnastics team is ready to give everything it has in its final meet of the season. "We've had several different girls who've been fighting sickness," Chamberlain head coach Sherri Knippling said. "We've worked hard this week and gave it all we had, and we're going into state with no regrets. We have to trust the hard work that we've done and hope for the best." The Cubs are set to compete in the state gymnastics meet, which begins at 11 a.m. mountain time today at Rapid City Stevens High School.
With the biggest meet of the season ahead, Audra Rew couldn't be happier with her team's rotation. The Mitchell High School gymnastics team drew Olympic order or the home rotation -- vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor -- for the state gymnastics meet, which begins at 11 a.m. mountain time today at Rapid City Stevens High School. The state meet will run differently this year as both Class AA and Class A teams compete simultaneously.
Brian and Starette Nash have put roughly 800 hours into the Mitchell Hockey Association since they first put their 11-year-old son Peyton in a Mitchell Marlin uniform in 2006. And the hours will continue to calculate as Mitchell hosts the Pee Wee A state tournament today through Sunday at the Mitchell Activities Center. "We do it for the kids because they enjoy it," Starette said. "It's become our livelihood and we look forward to hockey season and getting together with our friends.
BONESTEEL -- South Central boys' basketball coach Clayton Steele thinks he made the mistake of playing his some of his current starters when they weren't ready. "We felt like we started them too young," said Steele, referring to seniors Tyler Frank and Dakota Votaw, who saw regular starts as sophomores and earned varsity playing time as freshmen. Despite those early "mistakes," the experience gained by years of growing pains is paying off. The Cougars are having their best season since Steele took over the program in 2006 with a 17-1 record.
WHITE LAKE -- Jacob Kirsch suffered an elbow injury in the final football game of the season but that didn't stop him from competing on the court. "He is fiercely competitive and is playing injured," Kimball/White Lake boys' basketball head coach Kamden Miller said.
Nationwide, concussions in high school athletics are becoming more frequent, a trend a local athletic trainer says is followed in Mitchell. Mitchell High School athletic trainer Clayton Gropper, who has worked with the Kernels for 12 years, said concussions have been diagnosed more frequently within the past few years because people are more aware of them. "Things we wouldn't have considered a concussion five to seven years ago are taken seriously now," he said.
Does the six-quarter rule in high school basketball counteract its purpose at the Class B level? In an article published in Wednesday's edition of The Daily Republic, many basketball coaches agreed with the South Dakota High School Activities Association's rule, which essentially keeps players from participating in more than six quarters of basketball in one night.
Before every varsity basketball game, McCook Central/Montrose boys' basketball coach Bill Marquardt signs a roster participation form as a part of the six-quarter rule. And he's done this game in and game out to ensure his team doesn't violate the mandate set forth by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. The six-quarter rule has been around since the late 1970s, and many longtime coaches such as Marquardt, who's been involved in the sport for 33 years, are still in favor of the rule because of player safety.
After a slow start, the No. 3 Mitchell Kernels went on a 12-0 run to open the second quarter en route to a 49-34 victory over Brookings in an Eastern South Dakota Conference girls' basketball game Tuesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. With the win, Mitchell (13-2, 9-1 ESD) picked up its eighth straight win and has won the last 32 of its 34 games. Before the Kernels lost to Sioux Falls Washington and Aberdeen Central -- back-to-back in early January -- Mitchell stretched its win streak to 24.