Community Welcomes Homes State Champions


By Dan Bechtold, Editor

Sunday evening fans welcomed home the Winner Warriors the Class 11B champions.

Two days earlier the WHS football team played a dominating game in the DakotaDome as they defeated Groton area 54-0.
It was the ninth shut out for the Warriors who set WHS school history by being the first team to win back to back state titles.

The Warriors have finished the past two years with a perfect 24-0 record.

Coach Dan Aaker said the seniors ended their career with a 41-3 record.

He said this team is the most dominating that he has witnessed. Over these two seasons they have outscored their opponents 1206 to 61.

The coach said this team was both humble and hungry.
“I could not be prouder of these guys not just as football players but who they have become. I have watched them grow into young men who play for each other and who care for each other. This group is a true team,” said Aaker.

As the welcome home concluded, Aaker said “What a ride this has been. This is a once in a lifetime event and I will remember this forever.”

Aaker Named “Region Coach of the Year”


Dan Aaker, Winner High School football coach, has been named the Region 8 coach of the year.

Aaker guided the Warriors to a state championship this year in Class 11B.

Aaker has coached in Winner for 15 years and his record of 135-32.

Last year Aaker was the Region 8 coach of the year and the South Dakota football coach of the year.

Aaker has led the Winner team to its first back to back football championships.

Perfection: Winners Claims ‘Back to Back’ State Titles


Winner High School football team puts its mark on history by winning the school’s first back to back state titles.

Friday afternoon in the DakotaDome in Vermillion with fans cheering them on the Warriors shut out Groton Area 54-0.

The play was solid and another dominating victory.

Coach Dan Aaker called it a flawless game as Winner finished the season undefeated with a 12-0 record. For two years this team has been undefeated and has a record of 24-0.

Named the Joe Robbie MVP of the game was Drew DeMers and he was also named the outstanding back. Krockett Krolikowski was named the outstanding lineman.

DeMers said it is an incredible feeling. “Not everyone gets a state championship every year. To get tow is just amazing.”

Colome Pulls Ahead Late to Win Class 9B Title


Colome Cowboys pulled away from a tie game to go on and win the Class 9B state championship Thursday evening in the DakotaDome in Vermillion.

The Cowboys defeated Langford Area 42-23 to win their third championship in school history and the first since 2007.

Colome quarterback Layton Thieman who completed 11 of 18 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns shared his feelings after the game. “This has been a blast,” he said. For his efforts Thieman was named the Joe Robbie most valuable player of the game.

Volleyball Team Falls to Dakota Valley


Winner volleyball team was defeated by Dakota Valley in the Sweet 16 tournament Thursday in Wagner.

Winner lost in three sets—10-25, 14-25, 11-25.

Winner coach Jaime Keiser said Dakota Valley is a very experienced, powerful and smart team. “They have some good hitters and they did a great job of attacking the ball which kept us playing defense. They did a great job of serving the ball and kept us out of system on serve receive. Dakota Valley is a very good team and we just couldn’t get anything going,” said the coach.

This ended the season for the Winner volleyball team.

Will Sargent, 28


Will Sargent, age 28, of Mission, passed away on Saturday, November 12, 2016.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, November 18, 2016 at the United Methodist Church in Winner. Burial will follow at the Winner City Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, November 17, 2016 at the United Methodist Church in Winner with a Prayer Service starting at 7 p.m.

Albert “Abe” D. Walton, 82


Abe was born on Dec. 1, 1933, on the family farm in Clearfield, SD to Ralph and Freda (Wagner) Walton.

Abe was raised on the family farm in Tripp County, SD where he began his lifelong passion with horses and learned how to raise cattle. He attended the local country grade school and then graduated from Winner High School. Following graduation, Abe went on to enlist in the U.S. Marines serving from Jan. 19, 1952 to Jan. 18, 1955. He was stationed in Korea, while there he sponsored two children in a local orphanage. Following his enlistment he went on to attend the University of South Dakota.

On April 18, 1966 he was united in marriage to Kay Harris. The couple made their home in Alda and then Grand Island for the last 50 years. He began his 25 year employment with New Holland in 1967.

For many years, Abe would lease land where he could still raise cattle and his true passion, his horses. Years ago he raised Quarter Horses until his love of horse racing led him to raise, train and race Thoroughbreds. He shared his love of horses with others by helping them learn how to ride, as well as train, and board horses.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church. Abe cherished the time that was spent with his family and grandchildren. He was a diligent worker who had the softest heart and compassion for everyone he met.

Roger Ralph Roby, 82


He was born on March 8, 1934 at home near Colome, South Dakota the son of Irene and Ralph Roby. He was the oldest of six siblings.

Roger joined the Army branch of the U.S. Military on Oct. 1, 1961 and retired as a Lt. Colonel on Jan. 31, 1982. While in the army he obtained his Bachelor’s degree while in Omaha and his Master’s at Syracuse University, New York.

He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Throughout his life he was a faithful member of the WELS Lutheran church. He took great comfort and joy in knowing his life was in God’s hands. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.

On Jan. 4, 1954 he married Frances Beck. This union of 62 years was blessed with six children.

Evelyn Slouka, 85


Evelyn (Kalenda) Slouka was born February 6, 1931 on the family farm near Jordan to Joseph and Alice (Vrbsky) Kalenda. She was the 2nd of 8 children. During the 1940’s the family moved to the farm south of Winner.

Evelyn attended the Vobr school through the 8th grade. She then helped out on the family farm doing housework, tending the garden and canning vegetables. She always helped milking cows and taking care of the pigs and her chickens, ducks, and geese. She was always busy. She even helped neighbors clean house. She always said she enjoyed washing dishes after they got electricity and running water. Before you had to carry water into the house, fire up the wood cook store to get the water hot, wash dishes and carry the water out. Now you only have to turn on the faucet. She still loved washing dishes up to this day.

Evelyn had to become a caregiver early. When she was 16 her mother came down with rheumatic fever. Evelyn nursed her back to health while looking after the rest of the family, the youngest being 6.

On February 10, 1970 she was united in marriage to Robert Slouka. To this union 1 son was born. She worked on the farm with her husband and her son until Robert’s health faded. She continued to help her son on the farm to this day, still gardening and taking care of her chickens.

Evelyn loved to garden and can. She would always give canned jelly and vegetables away. She loved dancing in her younger years and would always join in family card games. In later years she wore out many decks playing solitaire. Crocheting was also a hobby she enjoyed. She was very proud of her crochet pillowcases she gave away as graduation gifts. Her homemade Angel Food Cake and popcorn balls were always a party favorite.

Evelyn struggled with different health issues later in life but was always able to overcome them. She spent more than her fair share of time in hospitals.