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BROOKINGS—Kanin Nelson entered South Dakota State University's spring football game on Saturday in the midst of a full-fledged competition for the starting quarterback job. The Mitchell native went through three previous spring games as a backup to Taryn Christion, but with the record-setting signal caller lost to graduation, Nelson is the lone quarterback in camp with prior game experience with Jackrabbits. Nelson's experience is limited, though, going 6 of 8 for 145 yards and two touchdowns in eight games last year.
BROOKINGS—Three former area football players—in different time periods of their careers—were forced to watch on the side as South Dakota State University conducted its annual spring game on Saturday at Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex. Parkston native Wes Genant, Winner's Krockett Krolikowski and Kimball's Turner Blasius all missed the spring game due to injury, but all three took the experience in stride.
The bleachers that typically sit along the baseline of the basketball court at the Corn Palace were replaced by soccer nets on Sunday. The Palace played host to its first ever arena soccer event when the United States national arena soccer team squared off with Brazil, drawing 1,206 people for the third such contest ever held in the United States. The blizzard that battered Mitchell and much of South Dakota caused concern for Corn Palace Director Scott Schmidt, but his fears were dissipated when fans filed in to watch Brazil topple the U.S. in a 6-2 outing.
BROOKINGS—The featured storyline during South Dakota State University's spring football practices has been finding a replacement for record-setting quarterback Taryn Christion. Mitchell alum Kanin Nelson dueled with newcomers J'Bore Gibbs, Matt Connors and Kurt Walding, but early on during Saturday's spring game at Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex, it was the defense that reigned supreme. The defense held a 24-14 lead at halftime, but the offense was able to find a spark in the second half to come away with a 47-37 win.
The Corn Palace Relays had been a Mitchell High School track and field staple for 69 years, but the meet has been wiped from the schedule by Mother Nature two years in a row. Mitchell Activities Director Cory Aadland announced Wednesday that the meet—scheduled for Saturday at Joe Quintal Field—would be canceled yet again due to a mid-April snowstorm. Last year, the meet went by the wayside after more than 16 inches of snow blanketed Mitchell on the scheduled date.
FREEMAN—When the starter's gun fires, Freeman sprinters Collin Helma and Braxton Schmidt are rivals. But once they cross the finish line and the results are in, animosity and jealousy is nonexistent. The two Flyers are two of the top sprinters in Class B, with Helma capping his freshman season by winning the 2018 state championship in the 400-meter dash, while Schmidt has placed fourth two years in a row. They also served as half the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 state title-winning relay teams that led Freeman to the Class B overall championship.
SALEM—Before the running events begin at the McCook Central/Montrose's Fighting Cougar Invitational on Tuesday, the stadium is relatively quiet and the lone event taking place within its fence is the boys high jump. There are only two competitors, but they are attempting to clear 6 feet. Garretson's Trevor Fiegen—last season's Class A third-place finisher—just missed, so Howard junior Colton Spader takes three steps and effortlessly clears the bar, drawing murmurs from onlookers.
In 1950, the National Football League was a still fledgling league in a sport still years away from becoming the mainstream juggernaut we see today. It was not until 1950 that the New York Giants and Washington Redskins became the first teams in league history to have a contract for all of their games televised. Back in Mitchell during the same year, Ordell Braase was just getting started. It was then, during his senior season, that Braase led the Kernels to the Class A state basketball championship.
Drew DeMers spent a large chunk of his freshman baseball season at Dakota Wesleyan University observing from the dugout. He was a standout for Winner/Colome during his high school years—earning Class B second-team all-state honors and winning a club state championship—but last season brought just 33 at-bats. So he studied the game.
Basketball fans regard March Madness as the most exciting three weeks of the year because of the potential upsets, buzzer-beaters and performances brought by the NCAA Tournament. That madness, however, can also be applied to the coaching carousel that revs up each March. Schools buyout the contracts of fired coaches, pay their new hire and pay off the new coach's buyout from his old contract.