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Beginning today, some of the top basketball teams in the area and from across the state descend upon the Corn Palace for the 10th consecutive year for the Dakota Wesleyan University Culver's Classic. This year's two-day event once again features six girls basketball games on Friday and nine boys games on Saturday. Girls field filled with a local flavor Friday's slate of girls games has a local theme, with at least one area team being featured in every game, including Mitchell High School's inaugural appearance in the DWU Classic.
Mitchell High School alumna Tevyn Waddell is swimming her way toward qualifying for another NCAA championship meet. The University of Minnesota All-American won three events and took second in a fourth to help the Golden Gophers beat Purdue and Northwestern in a Big Ten triangular on Saturday in Evanston, Illinois.
The Mitchell High School boys basketball team is finally in the win column. After losing four of the previous five games by three points or less—including a three-point heartbreaker at Sturgis the night prior—the Kernels were able to secure a 72-36 drubbing of Spearfish on Saturday for their first win of the season.
When the Mitchell High School wrestling team opened the season against Chamberlain in a dual meet, the lineup was loaded with veterans. That lineup included six seniors and a junior going onto the mat. Since then, injuries have ravaged the Kernels' lineup throughout the season, losing defending state champion Carson Max and mainstay Sutton Carpenter to injuries early in the year. Then in early January, Kyler Bauder—a fifth-place state finisher at 120 pounds last year—injured his shoulder four matches into his return from a knee injury suffered during the summer.
The Mitchell Christian School boys basketball program has boasted a wealth of superb scorers over the past 20 seasons, passing the torch from one player to the next. Alec Nelson has become the most recent torch-bearer, burning opposing defenses to the tune of 24.8 points per game in the team's first 12 outings of the season.
EMERY—Wins have come at a premium in recent years for the Bridgewater-Emery High School girls basketball team. Coming into the season, the Huskies had gone three seasons without a winning record, but the program has reemerged thanks to a high-powered offense that has propelled them to 12-2 record and a six-game winning streak.
WAGNER—Entering Saturday's Wagner Tournament, Wagner's K.J. St. Pierre not only had the advantage of wrestling on his own turf, but he was also the top-ranked 220-pound wrestler in Class B, according to Dakota Grappler. St. Pierre lived up to his billing, defeating No. 2 Tyler Resick, of Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes, in the semifinals. In the finals, the junior toppled the No. 3 wrestler in the class and last year's state runner-up, Mount Vernon/Plankinton/Corsica-Stickney's Jesse Hastings, avenging a prior loss on Tuesday.
The Dakota Sharpshooters and Davison Shooting Club will play host to a special event this weekend, as the USA Shooting State Junior Olympics is to be held in Mitchell, beginning today and running through Sunday. A projected 30 shooters from South Dakota born in 1999 or later will compete in three disciplines: air rifle, smallbore rifle and pistol. Shooters are also placed into three age groups—18-20, 15-17 and 14 and under—with winners seeking to qualify for April's National Junior Olympics in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
When Todd Neuendorf was hired to be the Mitchell High School boys basketball coach, he had vivid memories of coming—as a player and coach—to a raucous and full Corn Palace to play tough Kernel teams. After losses in 52 of the last 53 games and a 28-point performance at Watertown on Tuesday, it may be hard for some to envision a return to the glory days, even for those who long for them the most. Despite being 0-10 this year, the wins are coming. Mitchell has improved during the past year and with three seniors and five juniors, the evolution is going to continue.
HOWARD—E.J. Leetch has one goal in his sights: to cap his high school wrestling career at Howard High School with a state championship. Leetch felt he should have achieved that goal last season, but a sixth-place state tournament finish at 195 pounds ended his junior year in disappointment with three straight losses by three points or fewer.