Sports news

The Northern League

The Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre is hosting a program to honor baseball in South Dakota.

The South Dakota State Historical Society is currently hosting a baseball exhibit on the Northern League. It showcases four teams from the Mt. Rushmore state, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Huron, and Aberdeen.

One individual collects memorabilia to help showcase “America’s Pastime” in South Dakota.

Northern League baseball collector and researcher Paul Gertsen joined the program this week to talk about the history of baseball in South Dakota - specifically regarding the Northern League. On Saturday, Gertsen will present "Baseball That Mattered: 25 Years of the Northern League in South Dakota" at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, SD.

In 2014, Gertsen donated a large amount of Northern League baseball memorabilia to the South Dakota State Historical Society. The collection is in an exhibit that is still on display today.

Getty Images

The Ultimate Fighting Championships, or UFC, are bringing nationally televised mixed martial arts competition to South Dakota this summer.

Two years ago – this would not have been possible.

The UFC scheduled its first fight in Sioux Falls at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center on July 13th.   

Chris Semrau is the Assistant General Manager of the Sanford PREMIER Center. He has been working to bring a UFC event to Sioux Falls since the sport was sanctioned. He says it’s a huge get for the city of Sioux Falls, the state of South Dakota, and the region.

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.

The Ann Arbor News

The University of South Dakota has named its new Women’s Basketball Coach.  The Coyotes new leader has won a national title in Division Two, and has major college coaching experience.

Dawn Plitzuweit (PLITTS-u-wite) comes to Vermillion from Northern Kentucky University.  She took over the Norse in their first year as a Division One program.  Before that, she was an assistant at the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin, and also an assistant coach at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Former Coyote Coach Williams Welcomed In Lincoln

Apr 12, 2016
Eric Gregory / Lincoln Journal-Star

Former University of South Dakota Women’s Basketball Coach Amy Williams is going through formal introductions at her new job this week.  Williams is the new head coach at the University of Nebraska. 

Williams wore the University of Nebraska’s red and white to her introductory press conference in Lincoln.  She thanked university administrations at both Nebraska and U-S-D.  Williams also introduced her parents, who drove to Lincoln from their home in Spearfish for the event.

Bleacher Report

South Dakota native and National Football League kicker Adam Vinatieri returned home this weekend to speak at the Regional Health Sports Medicine Symposium in Rapid City. 

Indianapolis Colts placekicker Adam Vinatieri has built a reputation as one of the best clutch kickers in NFL history. To many South Dakotans, Vinatieri is known as a local boy who made the big leagues.  He has been on four Super Bowl winning teams. Three of them were with the New England Patriots and one with the Indianapolis Colts.

USD Coach Amy Williams Leaving for Nebraska

Apr 11, 2016
Sioux Falls Argus-Leader

The coach who led the University of South Dakota Women’s Basketball Team to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament championship is leaving Vermillion.   

Amy Williams is returning to coach at her alma mater, the University of Nebraska.

One week ago, Amy Williams was celebrating the W-N-I-T championship at U-S-D’s Muenster University Center.

John Thayer (KVHT/KVTK radio, Yankton)  is the play-by-play voice of the USD Coyotes women's basketball team. He joins Dakota Midday to talk about the win over Oregon at the DakotaDome and the upcoming championship game of the WNIT tournament.

People in Sioux Falls are preparing to host a round of NCAA basketball. Friday and Sunday Division I Women’s Basketball attracts players and fans from the University of South Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse and the University of Tennessee.

Mayor Mike Huether says the combination of visitors and ESPN’s coverage of the regional tournament offer an economic development advantage for Sioux Falls.

SDPB broadcasts all the girls and boy basketball match-ups this weekend. To preview the games ahead, Craig Mattick and Steve Thum gather to talk coaches, athletes, fans, and pep bands that make the Class AA adn Class B tournaments particularly thrilling.

Craig Mattick is Sports Director at Midwest Communications and host of “Sports Talk with Craig Mattick” on KWSN Sports Radio in Sioux Falls. Steve Thum is with South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Viborg-Hurley, A Friendship Worth 2,000 Points

Mar 13, 2016

In South Dakota, a basketball player scoring 2,000 points in her high school career is somewhat rare. In early February, Abby Hora of Viborg-Hurley became the 24th player in South Dakota history to join the 2,000 point club. While Hora may get the credit in the stat book – her lifelong friendship with a teammate on the court is what made the 2,000 point journey memorable.

It was the final home game of the season for Viborg-Hurley as they hosted Bridgewater-Emery on February 8. Entering the game, Hora needed 20 points to reach 2,000. In just the first quarter, she put up eleven.

The Summit League

The 2016 Summit League Basketball Championships will take place in Sioux Falls this weekend at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. Both South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota are competing in men’s and women’s hoops for a conference title, and for a spot in the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments.

SDPB's Nate Wek had the chance to talk with Tom Douple, the commissioner of the Summit League, about the Summit League Basketball Championships starting in Sioux Falls on Saturday. This will be the eighth year in-a-row for the Summit League Basketball Championships in the city. Both South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota will compete for titles in men's and women's hoops.


Pierre in Class A and Canton in Class B are champions in State Wrestling. The state tournaments concluded at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City on Saturday night.

Last season, Canton was ranked first, but then fell to third at state. The C-Hawks co-head coach Jeremy Swenson says it’s a fantastic feeling to answer this season with a state title. Swenson appreciates the support the team received from the many Canton fans, who made the 350 plus mile journey across the state for the event.

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.

The Summit League

The city of Flint, Michigan is struggling as its water crisis continues. Testing shows the city’s drinking water is contaminated with dangerous levels of lead. The problem has resulted in severe health issues, and in some cases death. One South Dakota student knows first hand what the city is going through.


The State Gymnastics Meet is in Brookings, SD on Friday and Saturday of this week. Last season, the Sioux Falls O'Gorman Knights team placed fifth, but they're looking at making a push this year towards the championship. Their coach Skye Bork is in her first year with the squad. She joined the program this week to talk about the state meet as a whole, and some of the challenges that can present themselves to a team. Also, Bork has a vacation planned when gymnastics season is over - listen to find out where she's going.


The State Gymnastics Meet begins Friday at the Swiftel Center in Brookings. Team Championships are scheduled for Friday with Individual and All-Around Championships scheduled for Saturday.

Sioux Falls O’Gorman Head Gymnastics Coach Skye Bork says her team is poised and ready for the state meet. She says the entire year is a grind in terms of preparation for this moment.

USA Today

Deondre Parks, a senior guard for the South Dakota State University men's basketball team, joined the program to talk about being an SDSU Jackrabbit. Also, Parks is from Flint, Michigan, a community that has been plagued by contaminated water. He has family who still lives there - battling the issue of water on a daily basis. In his conversation with SDPB's Nate Wek, Parks explains the situation his family is currently facing. He also speaks of the support he has received from his teammates and coaches, and from the community of Brookings.

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.

Bleacher Report

On this episode of DakotaCast, KWSN's Chris Tubbs joins the program to talk Minnesota Vikings football. I asked Tubbs about the progression of Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and if he thinks Vikings lineback, and South Dakota native, Chad Greenway will be back with the team in 2016. The Vikings host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in the wildcard round of the NFL Playoffs with a 12 pm CT kickoff. 

The Volante

The University of South Dakota has announced Bob Nielson as its new head football coach. On this week's edition of DakotaCast, we give you Nielson's opening remarks to being in Vermillion and the opportunity ahead with coaching the Coyotes. Gary Ellenbolt of SDPB Radio also joins the program to discuss the recent hiring and to explain what this hire means to USD. 

Mark your calendars, because Western Illinois, Nielson's former team, will visit Vermillion, SD on October 29, 2016 for a conference showdown against the University of South Dakota.

University of South Dakota

Jeremy Hoeck of the Press and Dakotan in Yankton, SD was my guest this week on DakotaCast. On this week's episode, Hoeck and I discussed the USD football program - including the 2015 season as a whole, and HC Joe Glenn's retirement. We also talked Coyote basketball (men's and women's), and what the season ahead may hold for them.

Courtesy High Plains Western Heritage Center

The holiday season is upon us. It’s a time when families will sit down for a gathering of generations to share traditional meals, perhaps offer prayers and regale each other with tales of what they’ve experienced since the last time they met. From stories about a toddler’s “firsts” to a teen’s “you won’t believe this” tales of adventure, the goal often becomes a friendly contest of “who can top this?”


On this week's edition of the DakotaCast Podcast, Nate Wek recaps the state football championships with Dave Nicholson of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls. There's also a discussion about the state volleyball tournaments, which begin this Thursday from the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.


The Sioux Falls Washington Warriors defeated the Sioux Falls O’Gorman Knights 27-24 in the 11AAA State Football Championship on Saturday night. This is the fourth state football championship for Washington, and their first in Class 11AAA.

Sioux Falls O’Gorman dominated the time of possession throughout the first quarter, playing strong on both offense and defense.  At the 5:56 mark in the opening drive for the Knights, Kristian Jakowicz hit a 27-yard field goal giving O’Gorman a 3-0 lead.


The South Dakota State Football Championships are this week (Thursday-Saturday) in South Dakota. SDPB's Nate Wek previews the event with Jerry Palleschi of ESPN 99.1 in Sioux Falls. Also, Nate and Jerry make a bet regarding the USD vs SDSU game that is also this Saturday in Vermillion - before the 11AAA championship game.

Here is the schedule and championship history (as of 1981) for all the teams involved in games at the Dakota Dome this week.


Class 9A – 10:30 am

Canistota vs Sully Buttes

Nick 'Eugene' Dinsmore is a former superstar of World Wrestling Entertainment. Over the years, Dinsmore has been both an in-ring performer and a coach. He currently lives in Sioux Falls and has started his own pro-wrestling academy - it's called "Midwest All Pro Wrestling."

This week, SDPB's Nate Wek had the chance to talk to Nick Dinsmore on the DakotaCast Podcast. Listen to the full conversation now...

Dakota Midday: The National Pastime In South Dakota

Nov 3, 2015

With the Kansas City Royals first World Series championship since 1985 still fresh on the mind of baseball fans, the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center invites people to see their exhibit, "Play Ball!  The National Pastime in South Dakota."  The Hogen Gallery display traces the history of baseball in South Dakota from the territorial era to the present through artifacts, images, video and hands-on activities.  Dan Brosz, Curator of Collections with the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society, detailed the exhibit which is open to the public through August, 2016.