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PARKSTON — It's out with the old, in with the new for Parkston High School. And it's leaving the Ethan/Parkston track and field team without a home for the spring. With $1.6 million construction of a new track, grandstand and locker room starting soon, Parkston Activities Director Leslie Rylance said the team will "get creative" in finding ways and space to train.
The Augustana University baseball team is off to a 22-1 start and currently on an eight-game winning streak. Freshman Jed Schmidt is third on the team in innings pitched and has started three games on the mound for the Vikings. The former Mitchell Kernel has picked up two wins, 16 strikeouts with a 1.77 ERA in 20 1/3 innings pitched.
Despite losing six seniors from a season ago, the Mitchell High School club baseball team is feeling good about the spring season. That's because the Kernels return a plethora of experience, including 12 letterwinners. MHS head coach Luke Norden said his team has plenty of pitchers with crucial varsity experience. The Kernels were 20-8 in 2017 and were knocked out in the regional championship game at the hands of Sioux Falls Roosevelt, the eventual Class A state champions.
There's no looking back for the Mitchell High School boys tennis team. After four straight Eastern South Dakota Conference titles and five consecutive top-five finishes at the state meet, including a fifth-place finish last year, the Kernels aren't satisfied. They are hungry for more. And with seven letterwinners and six seniors, the bar as a high as ever. "Seniors make really good tennis players," MHS coach Pat Moller said. "It's been a lot of fun. You see the confidence and the maturity. The kids know what they have in front of them and they've came ready to play."
After roughly four weeks of practice, the Mitchell High School track and field team is eager to start competing. The Kernels will get that chance for the first meet of the season today at the Dakota Wesleyan University Invite — an indoor meet — at 4 p.m. at the Corrigan Fieldhouse at the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex. Mitchell, which qualified 31 kids for the state meet last year, has 30 boys and 32 girls on the roster for this season.
There were plenty of highs and lows for the Mitchell High School girls basketball team. After going 4-19 in the 2016-17 season, the Kernels went 7-14 this season, reaching the Round of 16 where they were knocked out by Brandon Valley, which took fourth place at the state tournament. "We improved," MHS Wes Morgan said about the season. "We did a better job of scoring, but when we struggled, we just couldn't the ball in the basket."
It won't be a quiet offseason for the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team. Fresh off a national championship, the Tigers will say goodbye to three seniors and three starters in Amber and Ashley Bray as well as Chesney Nagel. "Losing them is going to be tough," DWU head coach Jason Christensen said. "I think we have kids that can step up in those roles. They just haven't had a chance to go out and perform."
SALEM — Morgan Koepsell learned some hard lessons during her basketball career. She's come to appreciate every one of them — including her first game as a varsity basketball player when she was a seventh grader. "You have to start somewhere and that's where I started," Koepsell said. "I was shy and I didn't want to play against the older girls. It made me realize that nothing is going to come easy and you always have to work for what you want."
The search is still on for a new wrestling head coach at Dakota Wesleyan University. DWU has been without a head coach for more than a month after former head coach Nick Hutcheson resigned on Feb. 20. Hutcheson was the head coach for three seasons, serving on an interim basis for the 2015-16 season.
Standing in the middle of the confetti covered court at the Tyson Event Center, Curt Hart and Jason Christensen embraced in a big hug. Minutes earlier, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team won the national championship and the road to the championship in Sioux City, Iowa was one paved with hard work.