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WESSINGTON SPRINGS -- The competitiveness between the Kraft family is light hearted, they say. But maybe that's what has propelled the Wessington Springs boys' cross country team to win nine of 11 races entered, and Mindy Kraft to win seven of 10 races she's entered this year. The boys' team, led by Mitch and Drew Kraft, has dominated in almost all of its races this season. Cordell Muilenburg makes up the third part of the boys' team, and between the three of them, they've dominated every Class B school they've matched up with this season.
MARION -- Starting on the Marion Bears volleyball team as a freshman two years ago, Cara Schardin stepped in and quickly became one of the team's leaders. She led her team in digs as a freshman, and as a sophomore last year, and was an all-state honorable-mention player at the end of last season. Marion head coach Ron Nelson and Schardin both agree she's grown on the court since she started playing varsity. "I think I'm smarter about what I do on the court," Schardin said.
Mitchell's Stephanie Uher swings hard. She showed Brandon Valley exactly how hard in a three-game sweep Thursday night. Scores of the match were 25-20, 25-23 and 25-21. Uher set the tone for the Kernels immediately in game one of Mitchell's second meeting with the Lynx this season. The Kernels' senior hitter recorded eight kills in the first game of the night to build some momentum for her team.
RAPID CITY -- After what the team considered being a successful showing at the Eastern South Dakota tournament, the Mitchell tennis team has practiced, prepared and packed their rackets, headed to the state tournament in Rapid City. The Kernels finished in fourth place at the ESD tournament in Watertown Oct. 3, and according to head coach Gayle Klein, the team accomplished its goal by placing higher than the seventh place finish from 2007. "The girls bounced back after a rough ESD tournament last year, and we had a really good state tournament," Klein said.
Although the Mitchell volleyball team lost on Tuesday night to No. 1-ranked Aberdeen Central, the Kernels accomplished something only two other teams in the state have.
Gregory's Mat Braun set three school records in one half of a football game Friday night. Braun totaled six touchdowns -- including four rushing and two punts returns -- accumulated 283 all-purpose yards, and tallied 36 of the teams 58 points in just 24 minutes. "It's an incredible thing," Gregory head coach Brian Allmendinger said.
Dennis and Linda Kronaizl took a deep breath while thousands of horrific thoughts raced through their minds. They had fallen into a real-life nightmare. Terrified for their 17-year-old son's life, the Kronaizls received a phone call alerting them of Michael's health. "I was in a meeting when I got the call," Dennis said. "I left immediately and went to pick him up." Throughout the summer, Michael was experiencing double vision and pounding headaches. When Dennis received the call, Michael was at Boys' State, a government-study program for high school juniors, in Aberdeen.
Holding the game's momentum and leading by two points, Mitchell's Ashley Dorale went up to the net for a kill. She came down in pain. Dorale's shot landed in bounds, but there was no celebration by the Kernels after going up by three late in the fourth game Tuesday against Brookings. Instead, Dorale's teammates watched as she lay under the net clutching her right knee. She was then helped off the court by trainers, and Mitchell led 19-16 without one of its key starters. The Kernels needed a win to force a fifth game after dropping games one and three. Brookings took the momentum back.
SCOTLAND -- Their defense shined, their offense clicked and the Avon Pirates rolled over Scotland in one half of football Friday night. Avon improved its record to 3-0 after the 59-0 victory over the Scotland Highlanders in Scotland.
Scotland All-State kicker Michael Kronaizl fought brain cancer over the summer. Tonight's game against Avon will be his first action back on the field since last football season. In the two games that Kronaizl was out, Scotland attempted one extra-point kick -- it failed. Highlanders head coach Joe Walloch said he knew after the attempt his team would be going for two-point conversions until Kronaizl was available.