Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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Every coach looks toward the leader to rally the team. This season, the Mitchell fastpitch softball team had two, seniors Hallie Misiaszek and Abby Sudbeck. The girls were named the all-state first team Tuesday, in which honors are voted on by the league's coaches. "They were our offensive leaders," Mitchell coach Jim Misiaszek said. "Those two took it up another level, and I expected that.
MONTROSE -- For three seasons, Brianna Painter has been the go-to player in the back row for the McCook Central/Montrose volleyball team. And last week, the senior libero reached a milestone no other has in a Fighting Cougar uniform, according to head coach Tami Bies. Painter recorded her 1,000th dig of her career on Oct. 6 in a win against Baltic. For her efforts, Painter was named The Daily Republic's athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper's sports staff. Heading into the match, Painter needed two digs to hit the mark, which she did in the first set.
The Paulsons have made their mark on the Kernel soccer programs this season. Emily Paulson and her younger brother, Seth, were each named Tuesday to the all-Eastern South Dakota Conference first teams, which are voted on by the conference coaches. Emily, a senior midfielder, scored five goals for the Kernel girls (3-9-1, 1-6-1 ESD), and took a leadership role in her final season with the team. "Emily embraced the role," Mitchell boys and girls soccer coach Jason Wear said.
The Dakota Wesleyan University offense is still looking for its breakout game, and Alex Robertson thinks it could happen today. "We need to bring the intensity that we've brought the last couple of weeks, and our defense has been carrying us a little too much," said Robertson, a Canistota native and wide receiver for DWU. "This week in practice, our offense is finally starting to click and getting used to playing with each other. Hopefully, that will carry over." No. 18 DWU (4-1, 2-1 GPAC) will need to put a lot of points on the board to hand Doane College its first loss in four games.
Mitchell's Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex will host the state high school soccer tournament today for the first time. Mitchell, which will host the tournament again in 2015, has hosted a state tournament in the past, but it was a club tournament. There are four games today, beginning with the A girls championship between St. Thomas More and Belle Fourche at 11 a.m. The A boys title game between Sioux Falls Christian and Groton follows at 1 p.m. The AA girls and boys championship contests are at 5 and 7 p.m.
University of Iowa's Taylin Alm is making an impact on the Hawkeye volleyball team as a freshman. Last week, the Hawkeyes faced three Big Ten opponents, two of which are ranked in the top 10 in the nation. In a 3-0 loss to No.
With the new seeding format at this year's state girls tennis tournament, Mitchell coach Pat Moller said every player in the state will have a winnable match. In previous years, the top eight players in each of the nine flights were seeded. This year, all 20 players in each flight will be seeded, with the bottom eight seeds facing off in the first round. "Before if you weren't seeded, you could draw one of the top players in the state, and it's pretty hard to get excited about that," said Moller, whose in his fourth year with the Kernels.
MOUNT VERNON -- In his first season fielding a middle school fastpitch softball team, Mount Vernon coach Travis Walz didn't have very high expectations starting out. With six girls who had never played fastpitch softball combined with several experienced players, Mount Vernon 1 progressed as the season went on, eventually winning the state tournament Sunday in Sioux Falls. "It was amazing to see them come together as a team and see their skill sets progress," Walz said.
Mitchell High School boys golf coach Mark Horan knows it's essential for his players to stay even-keeled throughout the two-day state tournament. "We can't get ahead of ourselves on the first day," he said. "We've got to keep our heads in it for two, long days. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Every stroke counts." The Kernels join an 18-team field at the Class AA state boys golf tournament today in Watertown. Tee times begin at 9 a.m., and team and individual champions will be crowned Tuesday. Last season, Mitchell finished in 12th place with a total of 666.
After a disappointing 1985 football season, Jamie Grosdidier and the Kernels had something to prove. The motivated Mitchell team battled and fought its way to an 11-1 season and runner-up finish in 1986. "We thought we had something to prove," said Grosdidier, who was an all-Eastern South Dakota Conference selection and named to the Bally's All-American team as the nation's top scholar-athlete in his senior year. "Our junior year we had some frustrating losses and weren't as successful as we wanted to be.