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BRANDON VALLEY — In the Kernels’ third match in four days, Mitchell picked a much-needed win over Brandon Valley in three sets Monday. The 25-15, 27-25, 25-21 win came on the heels of two five-set losses in Rapid City and Kernel coach Deb Thill knows the victory was important for her team with the regular season winding down and the playoffs looming. “This was huge because we played two five-set matches within 24 hours, got home at midnight, then had to get back on the bus,” Thill said. “The players are a little tired.
EMERY — Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan’s Jeff VanLeur has moved on to the final round in the USA Today’s search for the best football coach in the country. The competition started with 408 of the nation’s best active football coaches and has narrowed down to at eight. After topping his fellow South Dakota coaches in the first round, VanLeur went up against the best from Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
Dakota Wesleyan University found out why Morningside College is ranked No. 1 in a 63-27 loss to the Mustangs Saturday at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. Big plays by the Mustangs told the story as DWU’s three-game winning streak came to an end, dropping the Tigers to 4-3 (3-2 GPAC) on the season. “The advantage was they didn’t make any mistakes,” DWU coach Ross Cimpl said about Morningside.
The Mitchell High School weight room received an upgrade for the start of the 2013-14 athletic season, and all Kernel teams are able to take advantage of the facilities as long as protocols are met. Any Kernel that wishes to get into the weight room must understand the policies that have been implemented to keep them safe while training. As for teams which are not sanctioned through the South Dakota High School Activities Association, there are also requirements for them.
Dakota Wesleyan University football coach Ross Cimpl knows his team will have to be mistake free when the Tigers take on the top-ranked Morningside Mustangs at 1 p.m. today at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. “They don’t turn the ball over much and we have to take advantage of those opportunities when they come up,” Cimpl said. “We need to hold on to the football. They don’t need our help putting the ball in the end zone.” The Tigers (4-2, 3-1 GPAC) are rolling, having won their last three games, including a 31-20 win last week over No.
This year’s Class 11AA football season is seven weeks old and nothing has been decided in terms of the playoffs. The Mitchell Kernels (3-3) are sitting in the middle of the 10-team 11AA class in which the top eight teams earn berths to the playoffs. For the final two weeks of the year, they will be fighting for playoff positioning. If the playoffs were to start today, Pierre would be the top seed and would host Douglas. Second-seeded Yankton would welcome No. 7 Huron, No. 3 Watertown would host No. 6 Harrisburg and No. 4 Mitchell would play No. 5 Brookings at Joe Quintal Field.
KIMBALL — The Kimball/White Lake football team has always had two homes, and one just got better. The WiLdKats’ game against Miller on Sept. 27 marked the reopening of the Fred Houda Field Stadium in Kimball. K/WL celebrated with a 44-0 victory over Miller. The renovations include the addition of a press box, with room for coaches from both teams, and expansion of seating for fans.
The Dakota Wesleyan University football team scored 17 fourth-quarter points to come back for a 31-20 win over No. 20 Doane College Saturday in Crete, Neb. The Tigers defeated Doane last season when Doane was ranked in the same 20th spot 28-24 in Mitchell. “We really believed that we were going to win the ball game,” DWU coach Ross Cimpl said.
The Brookings Bobcats came back to break the hearts of the Mitchell faithful 21-18 on a blustery Friday night at Joe Quintal Field. After a miraculous trick-play touchdown to give the Kernels (3-3) a four-point lead with 2:34 remaining, Bobcat backup quarterback Carter Gordon engineered a 57-yard drive to put Brookings (3-4) up for good. “We have had a lot of tough games where we weren’t able to come back,” Brookings coach Lee Schmidt said.
It has been a tale of two seasons in Brookings, and the Jackrabbit football team is only halfway through its schedule. South Dakota State University started 2013 with three impressive wins, but has since faltered with three consecutive losses. Now SDSU will have to press hard through the second half of the season to be a part of the expanded 24-team playoff in the Football Championship Subdivision. The Jackrabbits will try to get back in the win column against Western Illinois today at 3 p.m.