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ARMOUR — The Pony Hills League will be a bit smaller this season. After the league had eight members in the 2016 season, it is slated to decrease to just six Class B teams, with Armour and the Pierre Royals not returning for the 2017 amateur baseball campaign. Chamberlain, Four Corners, Kimball/White Lake, Miller, Plankinton and South Central return for a new season on the Class B side. The Pierre Royals, a Class A team in 2016, also did not return to the league, but will be replaced by the Pierre Rattlers.
New Mitchell boys basketball coach Todd Neuendorf's will bring new viewpoints and strategies to the Kernel sidelines. The same can be said to the approach of the pending state-qualifying format in Class AA basketball. The Kernel coach said he's a fan of the Sweet 16 format that was adopted in Class A for the 2016-17 season and favors the Class AA proposal currently on the table for the South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors. The plan for 16 teams to play in eight one-game playoffs to determine state berths will be voted upon June 8.
With pitching and defense at the forefront, the Mitchell High School baseball team used its strengths Thursday. Adding in just enough offense, the Kernels won their sixth-straight game with a 3-0 victory over Region 2A rival Sioux Falls O'Gorman at Cadwell Park. Mitchell pitcher Briggs Havlik was strong on the mound for six scoreless innings and Koby Larson closed the door in the seventh inning for the Kernels, who stranded 12 O'Gorman runners on base.
Todd Neuendorf knows what his first job is as Mitchell’s new boys basketball coach. He’s going to re-sell the program to everyone he can in the town of 15,000 people. That mission began Wednesday, where the new Kernel coach made his first appearance in front of about 75 MHS supporters at the Mitchell Quarterback Club meeting Wednesday at The Depot Pub and Grille.
Todd Neuendorf has been selected as Mitchell High School's boys basketball coach. Neuendorf has spent 11 years as the head boys basketball coach at Aberdeen Roncalli and was called a "top candidate from the beginning," by Activities Director Cory Aadland. Neuendorf compiled a 208-60 record and qualified for the state tournament seven times at Roncalli, where he led his team to a state championship in 2015. Aadland announced the move Monday morning in an email.
MOUNT VERNON — It might have been years in the making, but the Mount Vernon/Plankinton track and field team is happy to have a track of its own. Friday's inaugural Greenway Relays is the first track meet to be held on the Mount Vernon School District's recently built track, which cost $450,000. For the Titans, it's finally home sweet home.
The Sunshine League is line for a shakeup for its 72nd season of amateur baseball this summer. A new team is forming in Wagner, while the Mitchell Mad Dogs and the Parkston Bullheads are not going to play in 2017, South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association District 5B Commissioner Bill Ernster said this week. That will bring the league down from nine teams in 2016 to eight teams, with Wagner joining Alexandria, Corsica-Stickney, Dimock-Emery, Mount Vernon, Parkston Mudcats, Platte and Winner-Colome.
LAKE ANDES—The strong tradition of jumpers at Andes Central/Dakota Christian in track and field is not taking a backseat in 2017. The Thunder have two of the top jumpers in Class B, led by sophomore Daaron Tronvold and junior Beulah Black Cloud, leading the state's list of automatic state meet qualifiers in Class B. ACDC track coach Cliff Johnson said it all starts with the team taking pride in its work and effort.
The automatic intentional walk is still a newborn when it comes to rules in Major League Baseball. It's still a bit odd to see it employed in a game, to have a quick signal forego the years of throwing the four balls wide of home plate to send a person down to first base. Part of the reason the change was made was to increase the pace of the average baseball game, which took more than three hours in 2016. The change was made even though there were 932 intentional walks during the 2016 season according to MLB, which is about one for every three games played.
PIERRE — A postseason change for the largest and smallest classes in South Dakota high school basketball appears to be on the way. The South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors approved proposals to add the Sweet 16 formats to Class AA and Class B basketball Tuesday during its regular meeting at T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre.