Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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RAPID CITY -- One year ago, the Mitchell High School gymnastics team took home four individual medals at the Class AA state individual gymnastics meet. On Saturday, the Kernels earned 19 individual medals from six of Mitchell's seven athletes who competed in the individual competition, which was Saturday at Rapid City Stevens High School. The team was led by its all-around competitors and was highlighted by freshman Quinci Herll and sophomore Ellie Rew as both gymnasts earned top 10 all-around finishes and all-tournament team honors.
RAPID CITY -- The Deuel gymnastics team defended its Class A state championship with back-to-back 9.9 vaults by standouts Sam Wiekamp and Meaghan Sievers. Deuel, which set a Class A team record for points, finished ahead of the rest of the field by more than nine points with a team score of 145.9.
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.