Area couple make wedding plans while bride-to-be fights cancer

lance engel nd jenny longville


By CANDY DENOUDEN, The Mitchell Daily Republic

KENNEBEC — Jenny Longville didn’t expect to get engaged for a while.

So when her boyfriend, Lance Engel, proposed during a mid-December trip to the Black Hills, Longville was surprised. Still — she said yes.

“My mom cried for two weeks,” Longville added with a smile.

Engel told Longville to get dressed up so the couple could go look at Christmas lights in Deadwood. It helped Engel honor Longville’s only proposal stipulation: She wanted to look nice.

“That was the only thing I had to work around,” Engel said with a laugh.

Longville, 26, and Engel, 29, met on New Year’s Eve last year, when Engel’s brother’s band played in Presho. They hit it off, and began dating soon after. Engel, of Winner, and Longville, of Kennebec, have made their long-distance relationship work. In the last few months, the couple and their families have banded together to support Longville, who was diagnosed with cancer in October.

Today is Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love and romance in all its forms. As Longville and Engel sat next to each other recently in Longville’s home in Kennebec, where she lives with her parents, Todd and Teresa, they described how they met, and how they decided that nothing — not even a Stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis — was worth postponing their engagement.

“Ever since we met, it’s just been easy with her,” Engel said. “I don’t really see the cancer changing any of that.”

To Engel, the diagnosis provided all the more incentive to propose. He was at the doctor’s office when Longville first learned she might have colon cancer. Doctors wanted to wait on test results to be sure before diagnosing her. It was a shock, and Engel felt helpless — but not deterred.

“I knew I was going to find a ring for her, even before the cancer,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to show her I was in it for the long haul.”

Right from the start, Longville said Engel has been a strong support system for her. Any time she had doubts or concerns, Engel was there.

“He looked at me and said, ‘We’re going to get it,’ ” Longville said. “We decided we’re not going to think anything negative.”

They’ve maintained that positive focus, and try to juggle, work, wedding planning and Longville’s treatments. They have an Aug. 22 date set for the wedding, which will be in Winner. Longville, a Kennebec native and Dakota Wesleyan University graduate, said she plans to move to Winner once they are married, but will still work in Kennebec. She is excited for her first appointment to look at wedding dresses on Feb. 21.

Engel joked he was looking forward to the reception, but the part he’s most looking forward to?

“Im excited to say ‘I do,’ ” Engel said.

“Good answer,” Longville responded with a laugh.

Teresa, who jokingly described Engel as her “favorite child,” said she knew from the first time she met Engel that he was “the one” for her daughter.

“I’ve never seen her act that way,” she said.

Engel and Longville, often laughing and teasing, agree they “just clicked” from the start. They like to sing together, often in the car, watch movies, and Engel is trying to convert Longville into a football fan.

“We like to watch the Cowboys,” Engel said, which elicited a laugh from Longville.

“You like to watch the Cowboys,” she responded, but added: “It doesn’t really matter what we do. As long as we’re together, we have fun.”

‘I’m still me’

Longville was diagnosed officially on Oct. 28, four days after the colonoscopy where doctors told her she might have cancer. She got the call while she was at Kennebec Elementary, part of the Lyman School District, where she teaches junior kindergarten.


Winner Area Retired Teachers’ Association

Winner Area Retired Teachers’ Association met on Feb. 18 at the Tripp County Library meeting room with 15 members and 10 guests present. President Trena Vandenbark presided over the meeting.

The WARTA members have been invited to participate in a book discussion on March 11 via telephone.  The book discussion will center on the book “Life Reimagined”. You may contact Trena Vandenbark or Donna Brozik for more information.

For the March meeting bring your favorite book .  Members need to turn in their volunteer hours at the March meeting.  It was announced that 68 fifth grade students from Winner and Colome wrote grandparent essays. The winners were announced and honored at the February meeting.  Reading their essays for the members were : Maya Vandenbark, Colome – 1st place, Katie Welker, Colome – 2nd place, and Caden Munroe, Colome – 3rd place.  Honorable Mention went to Kasie Leighton, Colome and Trinity Vrbka, Winner. Maya Vandenbark’s essay will now be entered in the state competition.

The next meeting for WARTA will be on March 18 at the Tripp County Library.

Order of Eastern Star

Roseland Chapter 113 Order of Eastern Star held its official visit on Saturday, Feb. 7. Worthy Matron Marlene Frantz and Worthy Patron Jack Frantz welcomed the associate grand conductress Jodee Back of Rapid City as their visitor for the day.

A school of instruction was held in the afternoon followed by an evening meeting.

The worthy grand matron Kristie Erickson, Aberdeen and worthy grand patron Dave True, Rapid City, were present for the day along with several other grand officers including Linda Nelson of Winner, Grand Electa.

Seventy members and visitors enjoyed the evening and the coin march was donated to ACTS (Assisting Children to Smile) Foundation and cancer research.

Roseland chapter meets monthly on the third Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Three compete in Regional Spelling Bee

Three Winner 5th grade girls competed in the 2015 Corn Palace regional spelling bee in Mitchell on Feb. 14.

Hattie Hespe, Shayla Bice and Adienne Lewis attended along with teacher Jamie Schomp.

Schomp said the three girls represented Winner Elementary School very well.

Bice and Lewis did not make it past the first round along with a majority of other students.

Hespe made it to round 2 after spelling the word “cabal” in round 1. She had tough luck with her second round word “veracity.”

The Corn Palace Regional Spelling Bee awarded three top places. Sixth grader Mackenzie Christensen, Huron, won first; 6th grader Aubrey Rutledge, Huron, won second and Heidi Tirrel, 8th grader from Mitchell Christian won third.

Connot Participates in CTSO Legislative Shadow Day

In conjunction with National Career and Technical Education Month, nearly 40 student leaders came to Pierre, Feb. 10-11 for the South Dakota Career and Technical Student Organizations’ Legislative Shadow Day.

Students, legislators, cabinet members and state agency staff kicked off activities with an evening social Feb. 10. The next day, students shadowed legislators at committee meetings and observed House and Senate floor sessions.

Among the students was Molly Connot, president of the Winner High School Chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and FCCLA State Vice President of Membership.

“CTSO Legislative Shadow Day is always a special day in Pierre,” said Tiffany Sanderson, director of career and technical education for the South Dakota Department of Education. “Students get a taste of the political process and learn about opportunities for public service. Legislators enjoy the chance to share what they do and learn about these young leaders’ experiences.”

Five CTSOs are active in South Dakota: DECA – an association of marketing students, Future Business Leaders of America, FCCLA, FFA, and SkillsUSA – an association of trade, technology and health occupation students.

CTSOs allow students to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom through competitive events; develop leadership and employability skills; and serve their communities.

Career and technical education seeks to equip students with core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills for careers and life. CTE emphasizes employability skills like critical thinking, responsibility and technical skills related to specific career pathways.


Five wrestlers qualify for State

wrestlers going to state


Winner Area will send five wrestlers to the state Class B tournament in Rapid City this weekend.

As a team, Winner  placed fourth at the Region 3B tournament Saturday in Parkston.

The five WHS wrestles going to state are: Cameron Biggins, Ty Bolton, Tyrel Haley, Kayleb Brozik and Jimmy Sharkey.

Haley took first place at the region as he won 11-4 over Devon Gnat of Miller/Highmore-Harrold.

Bolton and Sharkey both took third place. Bolton won 2-0 over Sam Caba of Bon Homme/Scotland and Sharkey won by a major decision 13-1 over Tyson Serr of Burke/Gregory.

Placing fourth were Cameron Biggins and Kayleb  Brozik. Biggins was pinned in 4:11 by Conner Bertsch of Miller/Highmore-Harrold. Brozik was pinned in 2:53 by Paul Waring of Miller/Highmore-Harrold.

“It was great to see these five individuals earn their way to the state tournament,” said coach Matt Chambers. “They really came out and wrestled well to get themselves in the top four of an extremely competitive regional tournament. I was really proud of the way our entire team wrestled,” said the coach.

The state tournament starts at 9 a.m. on Friday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. Wrestling on Saturday starts at 10 a.m.

wrestlers watching match

Warriors down Mobridge on Senior Night

harter mob game


Winner High School boys basketball team came away with a 66-53 victory over Mobridge/Pollock on senior night Friday.

The Tigers led 31-29 at the half but a powerful third quarter with lots of three points shots lifted the Warriors in the third quarter.

“We are proud of our student athletes in the way they battled back after trailing the first 22 minutes of the game,” said coach Brett Gardner. “The crowd was tremendous and it really propelled our athletes in the fourth quarter.”

Nathan Galbraith scored 23 points, Brendan Harter, 19, Nick Hossle, 8, Lattrel Terkildsen 7 and Devon Leiferman,6.

Bertram scores 41 points in Winner victory

schuyler mob game


Winner High School girls  basketball team closed out the regular season with a 66-32 victory over Mobridge-Pollock on Friday.

It was senior night for the WHS team.

The Lady Warriors  held their opponents to 2 points in the second quarter.

Kelsey Bertram led Winner with 41 points followed by Bailey Volmer with 10 and Sydney Fritz with 8. Bertram made 8 of 11 3 point shots

“We did a nice job of communicating defensively and finding their shooters,” said coach Larry Aaker. “Offensively, we struggled early but caught fire and were able to build a nice lead.”

Cowboys down Dakota Christian

rutten colome game on friday


As the post season draws near, the Colome Cowboys defeated Dakota Christian 60-54 on Friday in Colome.

The Cowboys were led in scoring by Reed Harter with 31 points followed by Holden Thieman with 12 and Kelly O’Bryan with 10.

“It was really a good win for our boys with the postseason right around the corner,” said coach Drew Weber. “Dakota Christian starts three guys over 6-4 and we knew we’d have to play very physical if we were going to be able to keep them off he boards and out of the paint. We were able to do a good job of denying their big post position, but they ended up shooting 64 percent from the 3 point line so it was kind of a catch 22 for us,” said Weber.