Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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The South Dakota Rodeo Association Finals get under way Friday at the Event Center in Rapid City. There are 12 events in the final rodeo of the season. The rodeo season began at the end of March and the top 12 in each event, which have tallied the most points in each category throughout the season, earn a spot in the finals. SDRA Vice President Larry Powell said the final rodeo is highly anticipated by rodeo lovers throughout the state. "This kind of caps off the year of who's done the best from the year," Powell said.
The No. 5-ranked Mitchell Kernels supported cancer fighters and survived a four-set match over Pierre during the fourth annual "Team Pink" match Tuesday in Mitchell. Set scores were 25-21, 23-25, 25-15, 25-18. "We talked in the locker room about being fiercely competitive just like people with cancer have to be," Mitchell head coach Deb Thill said. "That's what we wanted to do tonight for those people.
Megan Farnham has not only broken the Mitchell High School volleyball record for the number of digs in a match this year, she's broken it three times. During the Kernels' first matchup with Huron Sept. 8, Farnham recorded 38 digs in the match, which broke the previous record of 35. The record was shared by Melissa Dorale, who set the record in 2006, and Taylor Piper, who tied the record in 2008. Last week, Farnham broke her own record in Mitchell's second match against Huron, recording 39 digs.
The Mitchell volleyball team rallied from 10-5 down in the fifth set to defeat Rapid City Stevens 17-15 Saturday in Mitchell, giving the Kernels their fifth five-set victory of the season. For the third time this season, Mitchell's Megan Farnham broke the school record for digs in a match. She recorded 41 in the win. "We have a lot of experience in five-set matches," Mitchell's Emma Schmidt said. "We came out and knew what we had to do.
Rapid City Central knocked off No. 5-ranked Mitchell 3-1 in a high school volleyball match Friday at the Mitchell High School gymnasium. "We've been waiting a long time to beat them," said RCC head coach Shelly Wolfe, whose team won 25-20, 29-27, 18-25, 25-14. "They've knocked us out in regionals two years in a row, and the kids had some pretty intense emotions from last year when they walked into the locker room.
The compliments about Betty McNeil ring loudly from Chad Larson. "She's a talented tennis player, a class act, a role model, an educator, a friend to many, the face of Mitchell and South Dakota tennis, and most importantly, a good sport," Larson, a Mitchell Tennis Association board member, wrote in a recommendation letter for a prestigious a United States Tennis Association award. McNeil, a Mitchell resident, was recently honored with the USTA Northern Section's 2012 Albert Teeter Adult Sportsmanship Award. The award began in 1963 and is given to a USTA member annually.
Following some criticism of a revised facility-use policy, Mitchell High School Activities Director Geoff Gross has met with affected parties to clarify the policy's intent. "There were some misunderstandings about who would be charged," Superintendent Joe Graves said, adding that it's not the intent of the district to keep people out of the facilities. Gross held a meeting Sept. 27 regarding the use of district facilities. "Some people contacted me with questions about the policy," Gross said.
The Dakota Wesleyan volleyball team dropped its fifth-straight match as it lost in straight sets to Northwestern College Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. With the loss, the Tigers' record dropped to 4-19 on the season and 0-6 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. "We're playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores, so it's still relatively new playing together," said DWU head coach Eric Viney, whose team lost 25-19, 25-23, 25-11.
HURON -- Mitchell got its redemption against Huron, and it was in stunning fashion. The Kernels (10-5) came back from two sets down to defeat the Tigers 3-2 Tuesday night in an Eastern South Dakota Conference high school volleyball match. "We've played a lot of five-set matches, so we know what it takes," said Mitchell head coach Deb Thill, whose team lost to the Tigers in five sets earlier this season at the Corn Palace. "I was really proud of the effort the kids put on the floor.
The Mitchell High School girls' tennis team begins play at 10 a.m. Central time today at the state girls' tennis tournament in Rapid City. The Kernels have eight players participating in the tournament this year and seniors Courtney Wells and Chelsea Kracht and sophomore Grace Grabenstein are the only players with state tournament experience. "You've always got to root for your seniors," head coach Pat Moller said, referring to Wells and Kracht.