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News bits, Nov. 5: Five years ago, the Kernels beat Pierre en route to a state football title

Here are the editor's picks for what you need to know.

Mitchell's Spencer Neugebauer (8) breaks free through the Pierre defense for a touchdown during a class 11AA state semi-final game against the Pierre Governors on Friday night at Joe Quintal Field. (Matt Gade/Republic)
Mitchell's Spencer Neugebauer (8) breaks free through the Pierre defense for a touchdown during a class 11AA state semi-final game against the Pierre Governors on Friday night at Joe Quintal Field. (Matt Gade/Republic)

It was a sweet semifinal football night for Mitchell High School on Nov. 4, 2016.

Then-senior running back Spencer Neugebauer set a school record with 325 rushing yards on 33 carries with four touchdowns to lead the Kernels past Pierre 52-14 at Joe Quintal Field.

That’s the last time Pierre has lost in the playoffs. As the high school playoffs march along again this fall, Pierre’s spectacular run of four-straight Class 11AA championships is admirable. The Governors host Aberdeen Central on Friday in the semifinals with a fifth-straight title game appearance on the line.

The last team to say it has bested Pierre in the playoffs is none other than Mitchell in a year when the Kernels finished 11-1 and went on to defeat Harrisburg in the championship game.

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Nov. 5 sports front

Aside from Neugebauer’s monster game, Sam Michels, Kiel Nelson and Drew Kitchens each had touchdown runs, and Briggs Havlik led the defense with 12 tackles. The Kernels led 24-7 at halftime and their offense kept rolling after the break with four more scores.

After the Kernels went on to win the title, they compiled a 25-30 record in five seasons.

Pierre is the only Class 11AA team to win four straight titles, although that has occurred since the Class 11AA/11AAA split in 2013 that saw the state's largest schools in their own football class. (Sioux Falls Washington had a three-peat from 2015 to 2017, making Pierre and Washington the only 11AA or 11AAA schools to ever win three-straight state titles.)

Mitchell's Briggs Havlik (15) celebrates as the Kernels defeat Pierre 52-14 in a class 11AA state semi-final game on Friday night at Joe Quintal Field. (Matt Gade/Republic)
Mitchell's Briggs Havlik (15) celebrates as the Kernels defeat Pierre 52-14 in a class 11AA state semi-final game on Friday night at Joe Quintal Field. (Matt Gade/Republic)

Check back with the Mitchell Republic on Friday night and over the weekend for all of our sports staff’s coverage of state semifinal football night. The players who take the field tonight will likely remember these games five years down the road, just like the Kernels on Nov. 4, 2016.

Did you see this awkward press conference with Gov. Noem?

Gov. Kristi Noem posted on Friday morning this video exchange with Associated Press reporter Stephen Groves.

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The exchange is in response to Groves’ reporting here.

Forum News Service reporter Christopher Vondracek had his follow-up story shortly afterward and spoke with a longtime appraiser who said the governor’s meeting was inappropriate.

And here is Groves’ most recent story saying Noem contradicted the labor secretary on meeting with daughter.

A look ‘Back in Time’

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Back in Time.

Photo by F. Elton Hill – June 1905 / This is the last known photo of the first Corn Palace built in 1892 on the NE corner of Fourth and Main Street. Notice the harp sitting on the stage along with a couple of chairs and assorted furnishings. The Corn Belt Committee in 1904 to help Mitchell in their bid for the State Capital went all out with Navajo motif decorations. This is the stage on which John Philip Sousa and his band performed for $7,000 a day for six days in 1904. The new Palace was built on the northeast corner of Fifth and Main in only 55 days and was ready for the Corn Palace Exposition of 1905. The Beckwith house sits directly behind in the background with the dome of the courthouse showing. (Courtesy of the Mitchell Area Historical Society)

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Look for a story from Sam Fosness in Saturday's edition and online soon about the possible Corn Palace renovations.

Today in South Dakota history

On Nov. 5, 1877, the Homestake Mining Company was incorporated in California, based on the gold discovered in Deadwood in the Dakota Territory by Quebec brothers Fred and Moses Manuel.

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And here’s the front page of The Daily Republic five years ago today … A cheer to the Kernels on top.

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Front page.

And, last but not least …

Don’t forget, Hairball is back at the Corn Palace next weekend. Who doesn’t love rock ‘n’ roll?

Luke Hagen was promoted to editor of the Mitchell Republic in 2014. He has worked for the newspaper since 2008 and has covered sports, outdoors, education, features and breaking news. He can be reached at lhagen@mitchellrepublic.com.
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