Sports news

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.

There are two weeks left in high school football’s regular season.  Games scheduled for tonight (Friday) and next Thursday will determine who advances into the playoffs.  Sunshine Bible Academy near Miller is doing pretty well this season, and could get into the post-season, despite just 14 players on the roster. 

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.

Yankton Press and Dakotan

The Sioux Falls metro area is one of the fastest growing in the Midwest.  While the state’s largest city continues to add more people, communities on the perimeter are seeing growth as well.  One such town is Harrisburg—just a few years ago, the Tigers were successful in South Dakota’s 11-B class.

SDPB's Gary Ellenbolt spends a day in Winner to take in the tradition of a Winner Warriors high school football game. From tuning in to the local radio station, to visiting with locals and members of the football program, Ellenbolt provides a "day in the life" of Winner on football day.

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.  

File Photo / Pierre Capital Journal

With October approaching, high school football teams are preparing to launch their post-season runs.  A few schools are also going through Homecoming festivities.  But in two schools in the central part of the state, a long-time Homecoming tradition is getting careful scrutiny. 

Donald Weidler / Dakota State University

SUGGESTED LEAD:  In South Dakota college football, a lot of attention is paid to the state’s largest schools.  The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State play Division One schedules across the U-S.  But a team from a small school in Madison is having a successful season—and gathering national attention for its play.

Sue Brozik / Gregory Times-Advocate

Another weekend of high school football starts today (Friday) around the state.  One of the best-looking games is taking place between two Class Nine-Double-A teams that have built strong traditions. 

Courtesy PDR Disabled Youth Hunt

The 2016 PDR Disabled Youth Hunt took place near the town of Clark this past weekend. The annual event offers youth with disabilities the opportunity to take part in an authentic South Dakota whitetail deer hunt with all expenses paid.

The Payton Dean Rasmussen Disabled Youth Hunt is in its 9th year. It’s named after Dean Rasmussen’s grandson…who died at 17 months. The goal of the hunt is to give kids with disabilities who have an interest in hunting a chance to actually take part in the sport.

School Of Mines Bids For Stadium Upgrade Funding

Sep 14, 2016
SD School of Mines & Technology

The South Dakota School of Mines is making a push for a $2.5-million stadium upgrade.   

The O’Harra Stadium hosts state track meets and regional college and high school football games.    

Heather Wilson is President of the South Dakota School of Mines.  She says the upgrades include a new digital scoreboard and billboard. The plan also includes new football turf that is safer for athletes and an upgrade to the running track.   

Wilson says the large events at the stadium have a positive economic impact on the community.

Nate Wek / South Dakota Public Broadcasting

When you need to find somebody in a small town on a fall Friday night, the fastest way is to look under the lights of the local football field.  At least three communities in the state have made substantial improvements to their playing areas; with one school in the southeast putting together a magnificent modern facility with the community’s help. 

University of South Dakota Athletics

The University of South Dakota officially opened the Sanford Coyote Sports Center Tuesday night.  The Coyote volleyball team hosted the University of North Dakota in the centerpiece of a 66 million dollar facility upgrade. 

Centerville High School Facebook Page

Teams from across the state start working their way to the Dakota Dome for November’s championship games. But one school in southeast South Dakota won’t get anywhere near the post season this year—a low student enrollment doesn’t give the Centerville Tornadoes enough players to field a varsity team.

Sioux Falls Group Works to Establish Polo In East River

Aug 11, 2016
Heather Benson / South Dakota Public Broadcasting

South Dakota is known as a state without a lot of pretension.  It’s a big state with a small population that feels no one is better than anyone else.  The sport of polo, on the other hand, is considered a sport for royalty and the wealthy, so you may not think people from a humble state would have an interest in such an activity.  But a small group of people in Sioux Falls is trying to make polo a popular activity.

Kyle Mork / South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Rapid City resident and professional pool player Shane Van Boening has won both the US Open 8-Ball Championship and the US Open 10-Ball Championship.

As a child, Van Boening was diagnosed with severe hearing loss. Today he uses hearing aids.

Van Boening spoke to SDPB in 2014 at J.J. Billiards in Sioux Falls. He says sometimes when he’s playing pool he’ll turn off the hearing aids to help him concentrate.

John Seiber of KDLO Country in Watertown joined the program this week to discuss the passing and legacy of Pat Summitt. In 38 seasons with the University of Tennessee, Summitt won eight national championships, including 1,098 career wins, which is the most in NCAA basketball history - men's and women's. Seiber joined the program to discuss some of his memories with the legendary coach, and to talk about his time living in Tennessee.

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.

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.