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A few simple adjustments helped the Brookings High School volleyball team recover from a Set 1 loss Tuesday against Mitchell. The 9-1 Bobcats watched Mitchell's Haley Long spike a kill into their side of the court for a 25-23 opening-set loss in the Mitchell High School gymnasium. "We weren't aggressive right away," Brookings head coach Camrin Vaux said.
FORESTBURG -- While preparing for the No. 1-ranked Class 9B team in the state, the Sanborn Central football team withstood a persistent mist during Tuesday's practice. The Rebels lined up as small droplets of rain streamed down their helmets, running offensive plays and getting Lukas VanLaecken the ball again and again. At 7 p.m. today, VanLaecken and the Rebels host an undefeated Hitchcock-Tulare team whose defense has allowed only one touchdown this year.
MENNO -- Besides losing to an eventual state champion Hanson team in the 2008 playoffs, Menno's Macon Oplinger has done nothing but help his team win. The Wolves won nine straight games in Oplinger's junior season before losing to the Beavers in the second round of the playoffs. Three games into this season, the Wolves are 3-0 and have had plenty of help from their senior leader. The past two Friday nights, however, have been abnormally special for Oplinger and the Wolves.
CANISTOTA -- Three plays into the game, Canistota/Bridgewater's Troy Hofer sprinted 42 yards, giving his team an early 8-0 lead. Hanson responded to the opening-drive touchdown with 40 unanswered first-half points. The Beavers' Andrew Gross threw for three touchdowns, the defense held Hofer and Jeb Olsen under 70 yards each and Hanson handed the Crusaders their first loss of the season Friday night in Canistota, 46-16. "They had that first score on us and all of a sudden we stepped up our play," Hanson head coach Jim Haskamp said. "We made one little adjustment defensively...
HOWARD -- When the 2009 football alignments were announced, Howard football coach Pat Ruml made what he thought was an important phone call. The 14-year head coach called South Dakota High School Activities Association assistant executive director Bob Lowery in regards to his team dropping from 11-man football to 9-man, hoping for the most difficult schedule possible. "You can't expect to play easier opponents, and then get into the playoffs and hope to win," Ruml said.
The Mitchell volleyball team is sure getting its work in early this season. Going into Thursday's match against Pierre, the Kernels' combined six matches have gone a total of 27 sets. After cruising through the first two sets Thursday, including a 25-13 win in the second set, it looked as if Mitchell would grab its first 3-0 win of the season.
The 2009 Mitchell Ducks Unlimited banquet will be held Thursday at the Highland Conference Mall and local committee chair Nathan Sparks said he is hoping for a strong turnout. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will run until about 10 p.m., Sparks said. There were 8,785 South Dakota Ducks Unlimited members in 2008, and last year roughly 280 local members showed up for the Mitchell banquet. "It's a good time and good way to raise some funds for the ducks," Sparks said.
BURKE -- A rough week with two losses didn't get South Central's volleyball team down, and especially not Mandy Baxa. A 6-foot senior hitter, Baxa and the Cougars bounced back from two mid-week losses to Chamberlain and O'Neill St. Mary's (Neb.) to win three in a row at the Platte-Geddes tournament Saturday, claiming the championship. In the five matches over the course of the week, Baxa totaled 68 kills, including 10 kills in all three tournament matches.
PIERRE -- Two Mitchell High School turnovers sandwiched around halftime helped spark Pierre's offense Saturday. Kernel quarterback Brent Havlik threw an interception late in the second quarter, resulting in the Governors' first touchdown of the game.
MOUNT VERNON -- From the first offensive play, it was clear Mount Vernon was happy to be back home. Mustang quarterback Brian Kluth threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Weiss on the team's first offensive play from scrimmage, setting the tone in a 50-6 rout of Tripp-Delmont/Armour Friday night. To open the game, Mount Vernon -- which is fielding its own team this season after many years of co-oping with Stickney -- forced TDA to punt after three plays.