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TYNDALL—Practice makes perfect for Bon Homme's Chase Kortan. In his four seasons playing football for Bon Homme head coach Byron Pudwill, Kortan has never missed a practice. "He's a practice guy, he loves practice," Pudwill said. "He's a leader when it comes to sprints and he just loves sports. He's yelling, screaming and having a good time." For Kortan, attending practice is just one of perks of competing in the sport of football.
More than five months of planning paid off as the inaugural Kernel Bowl concluded after a full day of successful events on Saturday. While the football game against Harrisburg didn't turn out in Mitchell's favor, it didn't stop the organizers of the event from hearing plenty of compliments about the successful day. "It went relatively smooth," said Lisa Neugebauer. "We found some things we want to work on and make better, but for the most part, we found it was a good way to add team-building things. Hopefully, we can get more sports involved next year."
There's plenty of energy and excitement surrounding the Mitchell High School competitive cheer and dance teams heading into the 2016 season. Both teams open the season at the Watertown Invite today in Watertown. "We're excited about this year, we've really grown as a team," said MHS dance coach Cassey Ver Hey said. "Our hip-hop routine is looking great."
It was a true tale of two halves in a Class 11AA No. 2 vs. No. 3 showdown on Saturday night at Joe Quintal Field. Despite a solid first-half performance, the inaugural Kernel Bowl didn't go No. 2 Mitchell's way as No. 3 Harrisburg rallied for a 27-10 Eastern South Dakota conference win. The Kernels took a 10-0 lead into halftime, but once the third quarter began, the game changed in favor of the visitors.
CORSICA—Billed as a top-five showdown in Class 9B, Corsica-Stickney and Colome didn't disappoint. On the opening night of South Dakota high school football, the No. 3 Jaguars overcame a slow start to rally past the No. 4 Cowboys 16-14 on Friday in Corsica.
The wait is over for the Mitchell High School football team. After falling in last year's Class 11AA semifinals to eventual runner-up Pierre, the Kernels have been anxious to get back on the gridiron and today Mitchell will open the 2016 season in style. No. 2-ranked Mitchell hosts No. 3 Harrisburg in an Eastern South Dakota conference battle, a game that will highlight the inaugural Kernel Bowl, a day-long event, with kickoff at 7 p.m. at Joe Quintal Field.
For the past three seasons, the Mitchell High School football team had the same starting quarterback—Kanin Nelson. Nelson, now a third-string quarterback as a freshman at South Dakota State University, is long gone and the Kernels will have a new signal-caller heading into the 2016 season—Chris Wahlen. Wahlen served as Nelson's backup the past two seasons and gained varsity experience with the Kernels last year. The senior quarterback played in four games, completing 2-of-3 passes for 29 yards and one touchdown.
WINNER—In the storied history of Winner High School football, no team has ever won back-to-back state championships. After cruising through Class 11B on the way to a state title in 2015, the Winner Warriors have hopes of repeating and making some school history in the process. Winner, which outscored its opponents 594-26 in 12 games last year, lost only six seniors from the team and return 39 letterwinners, as well as nine starters on offense and eight starters on defense. All of it equates to bad news for the rest of Class 11B.
Fasten your seatbelts, Mitchell High School football fans. The start of the 2016 season is only a few days away and the race to the top of Class 11AA appears to be extremely close. Both the South Dakota Sportswriters Association football poll and an Eastern South Dakota football coaches poll, conducted by The Daily Republic, have slim margins separating the top teams.
There's a pretty big difference between first place and second place. Just ask the Alexandria Angels. After winning its first-ever state title in 2013, Alexandria looked prime to continue to add to its state championship count in 2014 and 2015. The Angels made the Class B title game both times, but came up short to Wynot, Nebraska (8-2) in 2014 and the Parkston Mudcats (4-3) in 2015.