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Christian Buhler said a lot of people didn't think the Mitchell Christian/Mount Vernon/Sanborn Central boys soccer team was going to field a team this year. The team was fighting low numbers at the beginning of last season with only 14 players, but now the team is down to 11 or 12 kids depending on what other activities are going on. Eleven players are needed to field a full team on the field without any subs in soccer. "It's been an uphill battle," said Buhler, who took over as the team's head coach after Bob Lemon stepped down as coach.
Reed Overweg made some big plays for the Mitchell High School football team on Saturday. The Mitchell junior wide receiver and defensive back hauled in a team-high three catches for 34 yards and added an interception and one pass deflection on defense in the Kernels' 30-7 to Harrisburg. "Reed is athletic and has some really good football instincts," Mitchell head coach Kent VanOverschelde said.
WOONSOCKET — Hard-working, dedicated, leader, athlete and versatile are all words that Woonsocket coaches used to describe Rex Schlicht. Schlicht, a senior at Woonsocket, lived up to all those words with his performances on the football field on Friday and at the Mitchell Invite cross country meet on Saturday. In Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central's 52-0 win over Sunshine Bible Academy, Schlicht caught an eight-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. On Saturday, Schlicht edged Mitchell's Kyle Jamison by 1 second to win the boys varsity cross country race at the Mitchell
After losing four seniors to graduation, the Mitchell Christian volleyball team will look a lot different this season. First-year head coach Chris Nemec takes over the program that went 14-13 last season and returns two starters in senior Emily Reynen and junior Abbie Reynen. "In our first match, we're just going to be looking to get some chemistry going on the floor," Nemec said.
HARRISBURG—Big plays doomed the No. 4 Mitchell Kernels against the Harrisburg Tigers. Tiger quarterback Kanin Kittelson racked up 203 passing yards on 6 of 13 passing as Harrisburg handed Mitchell a 30-7 loss in front a full house at the Harrisburg High School stadium. Kittelson found holes in the Kernel defense which led to scoring plays of 90 yards and 28 yards early in the game. "There were some communication issues and some technique issues from our side, but on the Harrisburg side, they just have some kids that can run," Mitchell head coach Kent VanOverschelde said.
The trip to Harrisburg is a familiar one for the Mitchell High School football team. Mitchell's season ended in Harrisburg last year with a 33-6 loss in the first round of the Class 11AA playoffs. Mitchell also fell to Harrisburg 52-7 on Sept. 6, 2014, in Harrisburg. The Kernels are hoping to start 2015 by earning some revenge. "Those two losses put a bad taste in our mouth and now we have a chance at revenge," Mitchell senior quarterback Kanin Nelson said.
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.