We will be tracking the most special, the rarest and most interesting sports moments across South Dakota each month. Included are such events for July and a couple we missed earlier. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think we missed something or if you have an event you would like us to consider for this feature:
June 22: Twice in one week, Gene Tastad of Stickney made holes-in-one on the 115-yard hole No. 1 at Fish Lake Golf Course in Plankinton. It was the second and third career aces for the 69-year-old retired farmer. He used a nine-iron for his ace on June 22, and an eight-iron for his June 15 feat. His last hole-in-one was 41 years ago.
June 24: The son of a former Aberdeen Roncalli coach finished 16th in the discus at the U.S. Olympic Trials. It was the second Olympic Trials for 34-year-old Jared Schuurmans, who was the 2015 American national discus champion and a favorite in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. But when it was Schuurmans’ time to throw in 2016, there was a downpour which resulted in only one of his throws that counted (it slipped, but he still finished seventh). He fouled on his other five throws. Schuurmans is the son of Gary Schuurmans, who coached and taught at Roncalli for nine years before leaving in 1987 for Norfolk, NE. Jared is also the brother-in-law to three-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier Aubrey Baxter Schuurmans of Redfield, who is married to Jared’s brother Gerrit (who was born in Aberdeen in 1984).
June 26: Three South Dakotans were among the 167 players invited to the first MLB combine in Cary, N.C. Two of the players are currently playing American Legion baseball: Bransen Kuehl of Rapid City Post 22 and Viborg native Chase Mason of Harrisburg. Former Post 22 player Cooper Bowman (now the starting second baseman at DI University of Louisville) also participated. Kuehl is a University of Utah recruit and Mason a Nebraska recruit.
July 2: The NCAA recently cleared the way for college student-athletes to begin profiting from their name, image and likeness. University of South Dakota junior volleyball player Brooklyn Bollweg of Sioux Falls became the first South Dakotan to sign a sponsorship deal, reaching an agreement with Silverstar Car Wash, which has 10 locations in Sioux Falls.
July 3: Jackson Isakson of Aberdeen has secured a spot in the invitation-only Kicking World National Showcase in Austin, Texas, Dec. 4-5. Isakson, who has been Aberdeen Roncalli’s kicker since seventh grade, will be a junior at Aberdeen Christian this fall. Isakson has since added the punting duties and quarterback to his roles on the Roncalli football team. Last year, he made a school record 49-yard field goal. Only 26 kickers in the state of South Dakota have made 50-yard or longer field goals, including 52-yarders by Aberdeen Central kickers Taylor Mehlhaff in 2003 and Luis Tabakaman in 1968. The state record of 58 yards was made in 1998 by Kevin Hanson of Sioux Falls Washington.
July 4-5: Lake Norden celebrated the life of hometown hero Mel Antonen (Aug. 25, 1956-Jan. 30, 2021). Antonen became a well-respected MLB sportswriter and sportscaster whose work was featured not only on TV but in such national outlets as Sports Illustrated and USA Today. A graveside service honoring Antonen was held at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery just outside of town featuring his baseball bag shaped headstone with a home base engraved in the middle. Antonen, who covered about 35 World Series and three Olympics, was a tireless worker for the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in Lake Norden that his family helped organize and helps care for to this day.
July 6: Three NFL players came to Aberdeen to put on a free football clinic along with Sanford POWER and Northern State. Britton native Dallas Goedert was selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. This past season, the former South Dakota State University standout made 46 catches for 524 yards with three touchdowns. Warner native Derrek Tuszka is entering his second year with the Denver after being drafted with the Broncos in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Tuszka, who helped North Dakota State win four DI Football Championship Subdivision national titles, played in nine NFL games last season even though he was injured for part of the season. C.J. Ham, a graduate of Augustana University, is entering his sixth season with Minnesota. A Pro Bowl selection at fullback in 2019, Ham finished last season with eight catches for 97 yards and one touchdown. Both Ham and Goedert have earned a reputation as elite blockers in the NFL.
July 6: A national panel of judges have selected 81 First Tee golfers, including incoming Harrisburg senior Reese Jansa and Sioux Falls O’Gorman sophomore Liam Sarmiento to the 18 th annual First Tee National 2021 PURE Insurance Championship Sept. 20-26 in California. Only seven South Dakotans have ever been selected for the event. They will learn golf and life lessons all week from former and current pro golfers as well as world business leaders. The pair also will compete in a two-day team event tournament with PGA Champion Tour golfers as their partners at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course, with 36 First Tee golfers qualifying for a championship tournament on Sept. 26.
July 7: In a three-year deal, the Rapid City Rush named 44-year-old Scott Burt as its head coach. Burt, who has not been a head coach, said the Rush need a culture change. He has 10 years of experience as an assistant coach in the minor leagues, including most recently at Rapid City East
Coast Hockey League division rival Idaho. The Rush parted ways with coach Daniel Tetrault on June 15. The team’s coaching history: Tetrault (2017-21): 116-159; Mark DeSantis (2016-17): 38-58; and Joe Ferras (2008-16): 272-240. Rapid City is the minor league affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes in the 33-year-old ECHL.
July 7: The Sanford POWER free football clinic moved to the SDSU campus in Brookings where former Philadelphia teammates Dallas Goedert and Nate Gerry were reunited. Goedert of Britton will enter his fourth NFL season with the Eagles this fall while Gerry currently is looking to sign with a team to begin his fifth NFL season this fall after spending his first four seasons with the Eagles.
July 7: Dell Rapids St. Mary is the only high school in state history with three 2,000-point plus career boys’ scorers. The school got its three former basketball stars together for a picture as part of a story on the three for the school’s alumni newsletter. The three are: Connor Libis (2021 graduate with 2,731 career points); current St. Mary coach Colby Fitzgerald (2004 graduate with 2,294 points); and Jerry Even (1964 graduate with 2,038 points).
July 7: Recent Augustana graduate Parker Hanson made his professional baseball pitching debut, logging six innings for the Sioux Falls Canaries in a 7-1 loss to Kansas City. Hanson was born without a left hand.
July 7: The Tampa Bay Lightening won its second NHL Stanley Cup championship in a row. The assistant director of player personnel for Tampa Bay is John Rosso. He was the Sioux Falls Stampede director of scouting and player personnel from 2008-10. Rosso, a 43-year-old Minnesota native, was a Tampa Bay scout for eight seasons before being promoted to his current position in 2019.
July 8: Jeff Peterson, 63, arrived in Aberdeen, about one-third of his way through his 4,800-mile cross country bicycle trek from the northwest tip (Anacortes, WA) to the southeast tip (Key West, FL) of the U.S. Along the way, the 1976 graduate of Bristol and 1980 graduate of Northern State is raising money for three charities: the Sun Dial Manor in Bristol, the K9s for Warriors, and the Down Syndrome Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.
July 10: Hallie Getz of Pierre won her third South Dakota Golf Association Women’s Match Play Championship over Maggie Murphy of Brookings at the Hillsview Golf Course in Pierre. Getz made a 70-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to go 1 up and held on for the victory on the 18th hole.
July 11: The Dell Rapids Mudcats got three grand slams in its 21-2 win over Lennox from Dalton Lehnen in the first inning, Nate Henry in the second and 17-year-old Landon Ruesink in the fourth. Such a feat of three grand slams in one game is so rare that it has only happened once in the 118 seasons of MLB (the NY Yankees did it in 2011).
July 11: Tea won the first-ever South Dakota Veterans of Foreign Wars state baseball tournament for players 8 and under at the Field of Dreams in Center (nine miles northeast of Salem). The South Dakota VFW has been hosting state baseball tournaments since 1959, beginning with ages 13-16. Over the years, the organization has split its tournaments into a variety of age and class divisions: 8U (one class); and A and B classes for 10U, 12U, 14U and 16U along with a Class B 19U.
July 12: The Sioux Falls bowling team Just Here recently returned from the United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championship tournament in Reno, Nevada. It was the 52 nd such tournament for teammates Joani Nelsen (79) and Evy Meier (80). They are the only two women in the state of South Dakota to participate in more than 50 national competitions.
July 12: Rapid City Stevens graduate and former Past 22 standout Cooper Bowman, 21, was selected in the fourth round (122 nd pick overall) of the MLB Draft by the New York Yankees. Bowman, a .366 college leadoff hitter, was the starting second baseman for the University of Louisville last season.
July 12: Mitchell promoted 25-year-old Ryker Kreutzfeldt to head coach after serving four years as a Mitchell assistant to Todd Neuendorf. The former Aberdeen Roncalli coach Neuendorf resigned June 4 to move closer to his family in Watertown and who will be the new coach at Hamlin. Kreutzfeldt, a DWU graduate and former player for the Kernels and new Pierre coach Brianna Kusler will be the youngest coaches in Class AA boys’ basketball. Kusler, a 23-year-old Aberdeen native, also will be the first women’s AA boys’ coach in state history.
July 13: South Dakota native Mike Miller expanded his upscale sports bar business from Memphis to open up a Let It Fly location in Sioux Falls. Throughout the bar and restaurant are newspaper clippings charting Miller’s career as a 1998 graduate of Mitchell to his progression to DI Florida and then a 17-year career in the NBA. Miller, 41, is the Houston High School boys’ basketball coach in Germantown, TN, where he and his sons as players led their team to a state championship in March.
July 14: Brett Hogen of Mitchell made a hole-in-one with his driver at the par 4, 340-yard hole No. 2 at Wild Oak Golf Course in Mitchell. Previously, the 38-year-old had nine aces, all on par 3s. This is the fourth state in which the Vermillion native has made an ace. Making an ace on a par 4 hole has happened only once in PGA history, when Andrew Magee’s tee shot on the 332-yard 17th at TPC Scottsdale ricocheted off Onida native Tom Byrum’s putter about eight feet into the hole.
July 14-18: Yankton is hosting at its world-class archery center more than 500 archers from all 50 states this week. Professional and amateur archers are competing in the National Field Archery Association’s outdoor national championships in field and target categories.
July 15: White River senior Caelyn Valandra-Prue and Dakota Valley senior Paul Bruns were named the Argus Leader athletes of the year. Another winner from the media outlet’s annual awards included Cody Larson of Warner as boys’ cross country runner of the year.
July 15-18: More than 13,000 fans combined attended the four performances during the 50 th annual Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo in Mitchell, including 3,908 fans on Friday. Pro cowboys and cowgirls competed for $86,423 in prize money. The only South Dakotan to win an event was saddle bronc champion Jacob Kammerer of Philip, who earned $2,290 for his title.
July 16: Troy Diede of Sioux Falls set a record for catching the largest smallmouth bass in South Dakota history. He caught the seven pound, 4.7 ounces fish that was 20.75 inches long on Lake Oahe, where he had caught a 6.39-pound bass the day before. The previous state record was 7.3 pounds, caught on April 23, 2016, by Lyal Held of Barnesville, MN, on Day County’s Horseshoe Lake, about 10 miles southwest of Webster.
July 18: Former NSU tennis coach Scott Novak and Yankton native Cindy Huether were inducted into the SD Tennis Hall of Fame. Novak also graduated from NSU.
July 20: Deshani Peters of Aberdeen led the SD United Dynamo to the US Club U15 Girls Premier Division National Championship over a team from Pittsburgh in Denver. The Dynamo is made up of girls from North Dakota, Wyoming and South Dakota. The other Aberdeen girls are Hadlee Nilson, Baela East, Kayla Poppen and Bailey DeGroot with the co-coaches being Samani Peters of Aberdeen and former Aberdeen resident Matt DeBoer. DeBoer is now the first person from South Dakota to win a national championship as both a player and a coach. In high school he won a
national title playing for SD United Barcelona.
July 21: Randy Bierle, 63, of Aberdeen has returned to the mound on a regular basis this season as a member of the Redfield Dairy Queen amateur baseball team. Bierle, a native of Utica which is 11 miles northwest of Yankton, grew up playing for nearby Lesterville. Bierle played at USD-Springfield and then started a successful career in amateur baseball where he played for Montrose, Aberdeen Wendy’s-Coke where he was part of the 1988 state championship squad, and Groton.
July 21: Mount Marty University is on its second football coach before it has played its first game. Mike Woodley, the veteran NAIA coach who was tabbed to start the program from scratch in 2019, announced his retirement from coaching, citing personal reasons. The Lancers named John Michaletti, who had been serving as associate head coach, to replace Woodley. Mount Marty will play its first football game at home in Yankton vs. Dakota Wesleyan on Sept. 4.
July 22: Rod “Grizz” Garrison, 73, of Sioux Falls died. He coached a variety of sports over 46 years, but he is best known for his golf teams. His golf teams earned 17 state titles (12 girls, five boys) at Sioux Falls O’Gorman, where he also helped the football Knights win six state titles in 10 championship appearances as an offensive and defensive line coach. He also was a three-star sport (football, golf and track) at Southern State College of Springfield.
July 23: Mitchell officially opened its $120,000, 2,800-square-foot addition to its skateboard park.
July 23: Sioux Falls Stampede forward Cole Sillinger was the 12 th pick in the first round of the NHL draft by Columbus. Sillinger, son of 17-year NHL veteran Mike Sillinger, was the United States Hockey League’s rookie of the year this past season. The 18-year-old is the seventh Stampede alum to be taken in the NHL’s first round: Thomas Vanek (fifth overall in 2003 by Buffalo); Jamie Oleksiak (14th in 2011 by Dallas); Kieffer Bellows (19th in 2016 by New York Islanders); T.J.
Oshie (24th in 2005 by St. Louis); Joe Finley (27th in 2005 by Washington); and Ryan Johnson (31st in 2019 by Buffalo).
July 23-25: The Aberdeen Aqua Addicts hosted the 29 th annual Midwest Regional Show Ski Championships for the third time at their facility on Dahme Lake on the southwest edge of Aberdeen. The Addicts, which formed in 1995, also hosted the multi-state show in 2014 and 2017.
July 23-25: Taite Klumb had a perfect batting average of 1.000 in 14 appearances at the South Dakota VFW 14-and-under State B Baseball Tournament in Freeman. The Ethan native played for Mount Vernon-Plankinton, which finished fifth.
July 24: South Dakota cowboy Talon Elshere of Hereford (northeast of Rapid City in Meade County) finished second in saddle bronc riding in the National High School Finals Rodeo. With 225.5 points, Elshere finished just behind national champion Texas cowboy T.W. Flowers’ 227 points. The Elshere brand is known worldwide in pro saddle bronc circles as many family members have qualified for the National Finals including Talon’s dad J.J. (five-time qualifier) and cousin Cole (four-time qualifier from Faith). Talon will rodeo for Clarendon (TX) College in the fall.
July 25-Aug. 1: Sioux Falls hosted the USA Softball Class A 16U Girls’ Fastpitch National Championship with 31 teams from 14 states.
July 26: The South Dakota High School Activities Association approved a Class 9B football co-op starting this fall for the next three seasons between Harding County and Bison. Harding County is in Buffalo in Harding County and Bison is in Perkins County, and the two towns are 54 miles apart on the east-west South Dakota Highway 20. That will make for a long daily drive for some athletes, especially those who live west of Buffalo and east of Bison.
July 27: For the first time since joining the Missouri Valley Football Conference for the 2008 season, South Dakota State was picked as the league pre-season favorite in a poll conducted by league coaches, media and sports information directors. NDSU had been picked as the pre-season favorite in the past nine polls.
July 27: Renner Post 307 trailed Sioux Falls Post 15 East 3-0 runs going into the final inning of the American Legion Baseball State A championship in Brandon. Renner rallied to scored three runs to tie the game, and then in the top of the first extra inning, Renner scored three more runs. In the bottom of the extra inning, East scored two runs and loaded the bases with two outs. However, the final East batter flied out and Renner held on to a 6-5 victory.
July 28: The Aberdeen Wings have a new coach after promoting Steve Jennings, who has been the team’s director of player personnel since 2016. Former head coach Scott Langer earlier in the day was announced as the seventh head coach in the history of the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League. Langer, the Wings’ coach for the past five seasons, led Aberdeen to the last two national championship games and three Robertson Cup finals, winning the 2019 title. He is the winningest coach (663 wins in 963 games) in the history of the North American Hockey League. Here
are the Wings coaches:
• Feb. 4, 2010-Dec. 17, 2012: Pete Sauer (58-92).
• Dec. 17, 2012-Jan. 13, 2013: (interim) Garrett Strot (0-12).
• Jan 13, 2013-May 27, 2014: Travis Winter (53-31).
• May 27, 2014-April 12, 2016: Francis Anzalone (49-71).
• April 13, 2016-July 28, 2021: Scott Langer (226-101).
July 29: Cleveland manager Terry Francona, born in Aberdeen on April 22, 1959, will miss the rest of the MLB season due to a staph infection in his left foot. Francona, 62, has managed Cleveland for nine seasons with 723 wins (six short from the team’s all-time managerial wins list), three American League Central titles and one American League pennant.
July 31: The 22-year-old American swimmer Michael Andrew, who lived about the first half of his life in Aberdeen, won an Olympic gold medal as part of the men’s 4×100 relay. Ryan Murphy (backstroke), Andrew (breaststroke), Caeleb Dressel (butterfly) and Zach Apple (freestyle) won the event at the Tokyo Olympics in a world record time of 3:26.78. Each swimmer swam a different discipline or stroke for 100 meters as part of the relay.
July 31: SDSU’s football home, Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings, hosted the national championship games for the Women’s Tackle Football League. The Palm Beach Coyotes of Florida defeated the Michigan Queens 20-0 in the eight-woman (eight players on the field at a time for each time played on an 80-yard field) championship. In the 11-woman championship, the Wasatch Warriors of Salt Lake City defeated the Idaho Valkyries 54-6. Idaho was short of players so a few of Dakota Dragrons of Brookings (expected to field a team in 2022) played for the Valkyries.
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