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The Chamberlain Cubs will find out the difference between Class 11B and Class 11A football. Chamberlain is moving down from 11A to compete in Class 11B this season. The Cubs have competed in Class 11A since 2011. To be classified as an 11B school, male only enrollments at the high school must be under 100 and over 56 as determined by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. "(Class) 11B is very competitive and it has been traditionally competitive," Chamberlain head coach Jerry Rhodes said.
With less than 48 hours until the Kernels kick off their 2015 campaign, optimism around the team continues to build. Despite a 3-6 record last year, the Mitchell High School football team has been picked to finish sixth in the Eastern South Dakota football conference by ESD coaches in a survey conducted by The Daily Republic. In the poll, coaches from all 11 ESD schools were asked to rank each team — except their own — one through 10.
The Eastern South Dakota football conference will look different this fall. Two Rapid City schools—Central and Stevens—will play their first ESD Conference football games this season. In February 2014, ESD athletic directors and superintendents voted to extend an invitation to the Rapid City public high schools—Stevens and Central—to join the conference in football. Both Rapid City schools accepted the offer.
ETHAN—Jeff VanLeur has been coaching high school football for 36 years. For the first time in the Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan head coach's career, he'll have 11 players on the field during a game. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan's male student enrollment is more than 56, which is the cutoff between 11-man and 9-man football classes, as determined by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. "We looked at it as a challenge and we're excited about making the move up and playing 11-man football," VanLeur said. "We've never done it before, so it's a new challenge.
Last year, the Mitchell High School football team's offensive line experienced plenty of ups and downs. Just like the entire Kernel team, Mitchell's offensive line suffered some growing pains during the team's first three games. "A year ago, for a lot of our linemen, it was trial by fire," Mitchell head coach Kent VanOverschelde said, whose team started last season 0-3. "They have had a year to mature, to adjust, to grow and work to get better.
A new freshmen class highlights the Mitchell High School volleyball team this season. Mitchell will carry eight freshmen on the varsity roster, which is the most head coach Deb Thill has had since 1991. "I haven't had this many freshmen playing up," Thill said.
ETHAN—One young South Dakota billiard player will be taking her talents to the worldwide stage in November. Hannah Hohn, an Ethan native, qualified to represent the United States at the upcoming Junior World Championships in Shanghai, China. "I'm pretty excited to experience something new with some good friends I've met," said Hohn, who added five girls and seven boys will represent Team USA at the event. Hohn placed fourth at the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) Junior National 9-Ball Championships Aug. 4-7 in Las Vegas, Nev.
PARKSTON—Defending a state championship is something the Parkston High School football team hasn't ever experienced. The Trojans won the school's first-ever state football championship in 2014, and offensive lineman Wes Genant is determined to keep Parkston atop of Class 11B football this season. "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. That's the main description of our team this year," Genant said. "We have a lot of talent returning, but we did lose a lot guys, too.
The Mitchell High School varsity girls soccer will have a lot of familiar faces on the field this season. Mitchell, which finished last season 3-9-1, enters the 2015 season missing only one player from last year's squad. "We lost a key player from last year, but it was only one player, so I basically have my entire varsity team returning," Mitchell head coach Jason Wear said after the Kernels' practice Tuesday. "The nice thing is that we get to continue to build on the success we had at the end of the last season." Mitchell opens its season against Huron at 4 p.m.
MILBANK—Jacob Lee fired a 75 to help lead the Parkston boys golf team to a first place finish at the Milbank POET Invite on Monday in Milbank. Parkston carded a team score of 318, which was 19 strokes better than second place Madison at 337. Parkston's Garret Hohn finished second individually with a score of 77, while Chamberlain's Adam Hutmacher finished third with a 78. Chamberlain recorded a team score of 342 and finished fifth in the 15-team event. Alex Scott carded an 81 to finish seventh, Jamie Smith shot an 85, Jeff Smithey recorded an 87 and Drew Kurtz finished with a 93 to r