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South Dakota's high school football players in smaller high schools will get an early start to the season in 2017. The start of football practices will begin Aug. 7 for Class 11B and nine-man teams in the state, while the first game will be a week earlier for most teams, starting the season on Aug. 18. That's an adjustment for many coaches and teams in the state, as 102 of the state's 137 prep football teams are on the earlier Class 11B and nine-man schedule.
Everyone has their list. The things they would like to do, or experience in their lives. In today's parlance, that's commonly known as a bucket list. They basically can apply to almost every part of our lives, whether that's travel or hobbies or skills one would like to learn. Last year, our friend Roger Wiltz had a column with a bucket list of outdoors-related adventures.
Melik Russell came into the Mitchell basketball community as an outsider. And he's willing to shake a few things up. Russell, 43, moved to Mitchell two years ago with his wife from North Carolina but has been involved with basketball since he was 10 years old growing up in Detroit. When he moved to Mitchell, he was surprised that the city didn't have a dedicated AAU-like basketball program. So he created one. Russell founded the Wolverine Basketball Academy, which currently consists of one girls youth basketball team and he has plans for a boys team, as well.
The South Dakota State Amateur Baseball Tournament will have a little more Sunshine in 2017. At the top of the list of amateur leagues in the state, the Sunshine League will have six teams in 32-team Class B bracket when the 12-day tournament commences Aug. 2 at Cadwell Park. The Sunshine League's contingent will include 75 percent of the league's teams, after five of the league's eight Class B teams made it in recent years. Four of the last seven state champions have been from the Mitchell area league, as well.
CANOVA — Heading into this season, the McCook/Miner Legion baseball team was already covering a handful of communities. But when Alexandria wasn't going to be able to field a team of their own this summer, the area club stretched a little further to cover them, too. Already with players from the Salem, Canova, Montrose and Howard areas, M/M also added players from Alexandria, Bridgewater, Emery and Letcher, as well. Adding the players wasn't a problem for M/M coach Marshall Miller. The problem, he said, is finding a starting nine from game-to-game.
When I was growing up, I would have people ask me what my favorite sport was. I still get that question from time to time but my answer hasn't changed: it always depends on the season. I can say the same as The Daily Republic's Sports Editor because every season has something to enjoy. I enjoy covering and watching football, volleyball and cross country in the fall, wrestling, hockey, basketball and gymnastics in the winter and track and field, golf and baseball in the spring.
The Mitchell Area Community Triathlon was supposed to be about showcasing Lake Mitchell. But with the lake now under a public health warning due to high levels of harmful algal blooms in the lake, plans for the third annual triathlon have been altered.
PIERRE—After years of discussion about a potential change to the Class AA and B postseasons in basketball and volleyball, the South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors has adopted a new playoff format. The change to a Sweet 16 playoff system was approved 6-2 on second reading Thursday at the SDHSAA offices in Pierre during the board's regular meeting. The new formats will be used for the 2017-18 school year.
HURON — From one round to the next in the Class AA state tournament, Mitchell's girls golf team improved by one stroke. From the 2016 state tournament to Tuesday, however, the Kernels could point to their eighth-place team finish at state as proof of how far they've come in a year's time.
HURON — Mitchell's strongest golfers were on their game in the opening round of the Class AA state girls golf tournament Monday. Eighth-grader Masy Mock roared out of the gate and posted a 3-over-39 on the front nine and closed with an 81 for the round and junior Ashley Zimmer closed strongly for a round of 84 during the first day of state play at Broadland Creek Golf Course in Huron. Mock is tied for 11th and Zimmer tied for 17th as both players are firmly in medal contention heading into the final 18 holes today.