High School Sports

State High School Tennis & Soccer Update

14 hours ago

In The Moment ... October 10. 2018 Show 439 Hour 1

SDPB's Nate Wek joined In The Moment today from Vermillion for our weekly sports and recreation update.

State high school tennis just wrapped up and things could get interesting as far as state soccer is concerned.

Adria Botella

In The Moment ... August 29, 2018 Show 411 Hour 1

SDPB Nate Wek joined In The Moment with his weekly update on South Dakota sports and recreation. 

Today Wek shared the story of Gary and Terry Duffy. Two brothers based in Brookings that have served as referees for High School sports since 1977 and 1981 respectively. 

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... June 20, 2018 Show 362 Hour 1

SDPB's Nate Wek talks about the passing of the new events center in Rapid City and its impact on high school sports and activities.

Sioux Falls Lincoln Tennis, Kaleb Dobbs

May 19, 2017

The Boys State Tennis Championships are underway in the Sioux Empire this weekend with Sioux Falls Lincoln searching for their fourth straight title.

Kaleb Dobbs is a senior for the Patriots tennis team. He’s searching for his third straight individual state title in flight one singles. Next year, Dobbs will play for the Golden Gophers at the University of Minnesota.


The Sweet-16 format is one step closer to becoming ‘the law of the land’ for all classes of high school basketball in South Dakota.

On Tuesday, the board of the South Dakota High School Activities Association passed proposals for the new format in both Class AA and Class B.

The Class AA sweet-16 format for basketball passed the activities board with a 6-3 vote, while the Class B proposal passed 8-1.

Later in the day, the board also passed the same proposals with high school volleyball.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Sixteen high school girls’ basketball teams open state tournament play in South Dakota today (Thursday, March 9th).  Class “A” schools play four first-round games in Brookings—the Class “B” tournament is going on in Huron.  

If there’s any pressure on the Warner High School girls’ basketball team, the Monarchs aren’t showing it at their Wednesday shoot-around.  All of the teams get an hour to get the feel of the shiny floor of the Huron Arena, and Warner’s practice is loud and full of laughter. 

In The Moment ... January 26 2017 Show 017 Hour 1

Guests: Ayelet Waldman, author of "A Really Good Day"; Dr. Adam Blackler, assistant professor of history at Black Hills State University; SDPB's Nate Wek, talks spring high school sports; Kevin Woster, blogger, On The Other Hand

Seven games remain in South Dakota’s 20-16 high school football season.  Games in Nine-Man Classes go today (Thursday), with two more games Friday, and another two games Saturday.   Here, once again, is playoff football by the numbers.

We’ve reached one of our favorite times of the year—the weekend that offers up 14 teams, playing seven games, with the winners taking the gold trophies home as state champions.  To further your enjoyment of the games as you take them in at the Dome or watch on SDPB-TV-1—let’s find out the things you’d like to know, by the numbers.


SDPB's Steve Thum and Gary Ellenbolt preview the seven South Dakota High School Football Championship games that begin Thursday at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. Games are scheduled through Saturday night. Click here for the entire schedule of games and coverage on South Dakota Public Broadcasting.


Winner 40, Tri-Valley 0

Bridgewater-Emery-Ethan 6, Sioux Valley 2

Groton Area 55, Bennett County 0

Aberdeen Roncalli 68, Red Cloud 18


Bridgewater-Emery-Ethan at Winner

Aberdeen Roncalli at Groton Area


Gregory 52, Clark/Willow Lake 0

Stanley County 35, Wolsey-Wessington 28

Webster Area 38, Canistota 16

Baltic 52, Mount Vernon/Plankinton 34


Stanley County at Gregory

Dan Aaker / Winner High School

Twelve more games are on the schedule for State High School Football Playoffs tonight (Monday).  One of the most highly-regarded teams in Class 11-B will play this evening without a teammate.  South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Gary Ellenbolt looks at how players and coaches deal with a tragic loss off the field.

Last month, SDPB photographer Andrew Bork and I spent a day in Winner, covering the Warriors football team for a piece called “Warrior Gameday.”  One member of that squad was number 66, Taylor Watzel. 

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Nine weeks of regular-season high school football end in South Dakota tonight (Thursday).  Some schools are already locked into the post-season, and know they'll play a first-round  game next week.  But other schools either have to win their last game, or get help from another team in the state, to have their seasons extended.  Some schools need both to happen. 

Hot Springs Soccer, Playing With Boys

Oct 11, 2016
Nate Wek / SDPB

High school soccer in South Dakota continues its growth in popularity. Officials in the sport say each year the talent pool gets deeper, and the games become more competitive.

The team from Hot Springs, is following this trend, but with a little twist.

Hot Springs high school isn’t able to have a girl’s soccer team, due to the policy with enrollment numbers. But this doesn’t stop three junior girls from playing the game they love.

Nate Wek / SDPB

The state fall golf championships are currently underway in South Dakota. Class AA boys are competing at the Moccasin Creek Country Club in Aberdeen, while the Class A boys are at the Hart Ranch Golf Course in Rapid City. John Krogstrand with the South Dakota High School Activities Association says state golf is special because it’s all about the team.  

Gary Ellenbolt / South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Friday is the final Friday of Summer.  High School football in South Dakota has roughly reached the mid-season mark.  One school in Sioux Falls is off to a good start in the early season, with a new coach for the first time since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. 

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

The Executive Director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association is retiring at the end of the next school year.  Wayne Carney has been with the association since 2001, after a coaching career in three state school districts.  One of the most contentious issues in his time as executive director was the switching of the girls volleyball and basketball seasons.  At one time, girls played basketball at the start of the school year, with volleyball going on in the winter months.


Four high school golf tournaments are currently underway in South Dakota.

Mitchell and Hot Springs are each hosting one tournament, and Rapid City hosting two.This year, instead of having the spring golf championships in May, the South Dakota High School Activities Association decided to push the event to June - in hopes of better weather conditions. John Krogstrand is with the High School Activities Association in South Dakota.

Dylan Huggins / Press & Dakotan

A high school senior from Parker became the sixth South Dakota high school student in history to clear the seven-foot mark in the high jump event. Zack Anderson made the jump during the Jesse James track and field invitational in Garretson this year. 

He plans to continue his career in the fall at the University of South Dakota.

SDPB's Director of Online Services Kent Osborne joins us to talk about the innovative way to cover wrestling. SDPB is joining with TrackWrestling to live stream every match on all eight mats. Catch the action here or go to our webpage. Follow the tournament on twitter using #SDwrestling16.

Longtime Mitchell Coach Gary Munsen Dies

Jan 12, 2016

A teacher and coach who spent most of his time running Mitchell High School’s successful basketball program has died.  Gary Munsen died at home Tuesday morning. 

Gary Munsen was a larger-than-life figure in his four decades on South Dakota’s sidelines.  He was a big man, known for his intensity, and his success as coach of the Mitchell Kernels.  A former player who became a friend of Munsen is Steve Culhane, now the business manager for the Mitchell School District.

Mike Huether's Office

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether joined DakotaCast to talk sports in the Sioux Empire. He also gave his thoughts on the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, and the overall experience it gives to fans and players during state high school events. Be sure to listen as well to hear Mayor Huether's Super Bowl 50 prediction.

Two High School Football Teams Play With Heavy Hearts

Sep 4, 2015

Most of the state’s high schools are getting ready to play football tonight.  Among those in action are two small-town schools with much more than a game on their minds.  South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Gary Ellenbolt reports.

Gary Ellenbolt / SDPB

Friday night, the lights will go on at high school football fields across South Dakota.  Teams in the state’s seven classes begin play with an eye toward state championships in mid-November.  But this season, and in 2016, the lights won’t go on in a southeast South Dakota town that once was a football powerhouse.

SDHSAA Considering Transgender Policy

Apr 23, 2014

The South Dakota High School Activities Association is considering a policy change that allows transgender students to participate on teams according to their identified gender, rather than the gender listed on records. If approved later this year, a committee composed of experts in transgender health and gender identity will hear cases and make recommendations to the activities association.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association hosted State Boys’ Basketball Tournaments over the weekend—one of the most raucous venues every year is the Barnett Center in Aberdeen, site of the annual Class “B” Tournament. It’s already a loud atmosphere, with some communities emptied of most of their residents if their teams qualify. But there’s another element to the State Tournaments that many people enjoy—and miss when it’s not there.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association will keep shot clocks in class A basketball. Citizens voiced complaints and support for the shot clock system scheduled for the start of next season. Most of the opposition says it’s because of the costs. Don Hansen is a Sales Rep for Daktronics and he says for some, shot clocks can cost a bit more than what finances might allow.

It’s pretty hard to miss the big building that sits at Highway 50 and Dakota Avenue in Vermillion.  The Dakota Dome is, in one setting, a sports venue, a tourist attraction, an engineering marvel—and something for high school football teams to aim for from two-a-day practices in August, to now.  12 teams in six classes have made the trip to the Dome to see if they can satisfy the last available goal of a state championship.  It’s time once again to take a look at the more fascinating stories to come from the weekend.  Welcome to “State Football:  By the Numbers.”  What’s first, Steve?