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Five Kernels named to Class A all-state baseball teams

Jonah Schmidt and Jake Helleloid get first-team nods, as Dylan Soulek, Jace Larson and Landon Waddell make second team in Class A.

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Mitchell baseball coach Luke Norden, in black, speaks with Dylan Soulek, Jonah Schmidt, Jake Helleloid, Jace Larson and Landon Waddell during the first game of a doubleheader against Harrisburg on May 7, 2022, at Cadwell Park.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — With the Mitchell High School baseball team set to make their first state tournament appearance since 2019 this weekend, five Kernels were named to the Class A all-state teams on May 25.

Jonah Schmidt made his second-straight all-state first team and was joined by Jake Helleloid, while Dylan Soulek, Jace Larson and Landon Waddell were second-team honorees.

“For five of our guys to end up there (on an all-state team) is obviously a testament of what other coaches thought about our season and what kind of team numbers we had offensively to put up the individual numbers they did,” said Mitchell coach Luke Norden.

Schmidt, who pitches and has spent much of his time at third base this season, boasts a team-leading .444 batting average, 32 hits and 31 RBIs with a .553 on-base percentage. The Northern State commit has also started six games on the mound, racking up 31 strikeouts over 22 1/3 innings, which both rank third on the team.

Helleloid owns a .342 batting average and .456 on-base percentage with 28 RBIs at the plate, but it's pitching where he’s shined the brightest. With a team-high 30 1/3 innings pitched across seven appearances (five starts), the Dakota Wesleyan commit has surrendered just four earned runs on only 19 hits while piling up a team-high 53 strikeouts on his way to a 5-1 record with one save.

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Soulek, who primarily plays shortstop and first base, is level with Schmidt for the team lead with 32 hits and had 18 RBIs and the second-most runs scored (28) with a .400 batting average and .490 on-base percentage, which both rank top-five on the team. The only junior among Mitchell’s honorees (and one of only eight non-seniors among the 27 all-state selections), Soulek has also appeared in a team-high eight contests as a pitcher, including three starts, and totaled 19 1/3 innings with 28 strikeouts to earn a 2-1 record and three saves.

Larson is another Kernel who has seen plenty of time and success at the plate, as his .429 batting average ranks third and .539 on-base percentage ranks second among regular starters to go with 17 RBIs. Another future DWU baseball player, Larson has also appeared as pitcher four times with one start and has nine strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.

Waddell, like Helleloid, has excelled on the mound for Mitchell, having not allowed an earned run this season until the May 21 regional playoff game against Sioux Falls Jefferson — a streak of more than 23 innings. The third DWU baseball commit among the five, Waddell, who plays catcher when not pitching, is 4-0 in five starts with 44 strikeouts across 28 2/3 innings.

Elsewhere in Class A, Brandon Valley, Harrisburg, Sioux Falls Washington and Sioux Falls Roosevelt — Mitchell’s state semifinal opponent on May 28 — each joined the Kernels with two all-state first-teamers. Of the five total first-team honorees from 2021 who returned for the 2022 season, three made another appearance on the first-team list, with Schmidt standing alongside Harrisburg’s Tyman Long and Pierre’s Lincoln Kienholz.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at ldierks@mitchellrepublic.com and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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