Last year the girls played in the state volleyball tournament and this year the girls are headed back to state. This has never happened before and is an accomplishment for the Lady Warriors.
This back to back state volleyball tournament appearance comes on the heels of the Winner girls winning their first ever state basketball title last year.
The Lady Warriors took care of business in the SoDak 16 last Tuesday in Parkston as they defeated Hamlin in four sets.
The state tournament is Nov. 21-23 in Rapid City. Winner will play on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. as they face Sioux Falls Christian.
Some of the girls on the volleyball team talked about their excitement to play in a state tournament.
Senior Morgan Hammerbeck, one of the team’s top hitters, noted it has been a goal since last year to make it back to state.
“To see it come true is a good feeling. It is an accomplishment but we are not done yet,” she said.
Last year in the first round Winner lost to Elk Point-Jefferson. “We want to do better this year. The girls are more experienced.”
Hammerbeck said the team is vey close. “We have been on a lot of team bus rides which allows for team bonding. Everyone looks out for one another.”
Addy Root, the other senior, is excited to see the team make it back to state. Shannon Calhoon says playing at state is a fun experience. “We can do anything and this team can go all the way if they play their heart’s out.”
Prior to the back to back state tournament ride, it had been five years apart each time Winner went to state. Calhoon said now the five year curse is broke.
Calhoon explained members of the team like each other and have bonded over the years. “We trust each other and we do what has to be done for each other. We don’t play for ourselves.”
Kalla Bertram is a junior and says it is exciting to play at state. “It is an amazing experience,”she said.
After losing the third set in Parkston, Bertram noted the team came back strong as ever in the fourth set.
“We have grown as a team and playing at state for the second time means “ When asked what she looks for at state, Bertram said the great competition. “The teams are all good and we match up with them.”
Knowing Winner would return a lot of players from last year’s team, coach Jaime Keiser said the goal is to make it back to state.
Keiser says the girls wish they could have last year’s first match back. That is when they fell to Elk Point-Jefferson.
Every five years the Winner volleyball team has made it to state. They were there in 2008, 2013 and 2018. Keiser said it seems it was every five years but now that five year curse has been broken.
The coach noted the team’s schedule has prepared them for post season play and those tough matches.
In looking at Sioux Falls Christian, Keiser says they have won state many times. She pointed out this year Sioux Falls Christian is not the dominate team they have been in the past.
“If we show up and play well we can give them a good match. We are just as good a team as they are and we have to make sure we believe that,” said the coach.
The top hitters for Winner have been Morgan Hammerbeck, Ellie Brozik and Kalla Bertram. Hammerbeck recently got her 1,000 dig and kills. Mackenzie Levi recently received her 1,000 assist.
Keiser says this team gets along very well and they jell together both on and off the court. “They make things fun. They are serious and competitive but they like to have fun,” said Keiser.
Each day of post season preparation at practice has been special theme day. One day was wear your wierdest shirt and other was twin day.
Keiser explained there is no drama on the team. “They don’t care who gets the assist or the dig as long as they are working together and winning. That is all that matters to them,” said the coach.
The Lady Warrior volleyball team is psyched and ready for some state competition.
Dawn Annette Adams, 55, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019 at her home in the Watchorn area of Pawnee County, Okla.
She was born on Aug. 29, 1964 in Pawnee, Okla. to Wayne and Yvonne (Laird) Robbins. Her early years were spent in the Masham community in Pawnee County.
For her first six years of school, she attended Pawnee Grade School, and she enjoyed the company of her many cousins and relatives.
At the age of 12, the family moved to Hamill, South Dakota where she attended a country school until the eighth grade. She loved the farm life and with no boys in the family she worked livestock and did a lot of the field work. She loved driving the farm machinery and riding horses. Fishing was a favorite pastime of hers, one she often enjoyed with her father. Later, she passed the love of fishing down to her boys.
In 1982, she graduated from Winner High School in Winner, South Dakota. After graduation she moved back to Oklahoma.
She married Rick Adams on Dec. 29, 1983 and they have two boys, Stacey Lee Adams and Dustin Wayne Adams. She and Rick lived most of their married life in Pawnee and the Watchorn/Morrison area except for one year that they lived in South Dakota.
For almost 20 years until her illness Dawn worked as an assistant manager and manager of the Sonic Drive-In, in Pawnee. She was a hard worker and a good boss. Her employees loved her, and she loved them. Because of her love for children, she also ran a daycare for a few years.
Dawn loved her sons, as well as their friends, her grandsons and many other children she welcomed into her home. She loved taking care of her grandsons and loved holding all babies. Family and friends were very important to her.
Dawn had a great interest in genealogy and researched both sides of her family to make sure it was saved for future generations. She especially enjoyed the photos of her family past and present. In spite of her illness, she maintained a sharp mind and could recall dates and numbers when others could not. The family called her a “walking phone book”. She also loved to read and shop for gifts for others.
Dawn was especially grateful for the time she had with her family. She was always positive and cheerful even when she did not feel well. She was an inspiration to many for the life she lived and handled her illness with grace. She was always thinking of others. Everyone that met her knew that she had a kind, sweet spirit, , but she was very strong willed, too.
Dawn is survived by her husband, Rick Adams, of Morrison, OK; her sons, Stacey Lee Adams, of Morrison, OK and Dustin Wayne Adams and wife, Jessica of Hamill, SD; her grandsons, Gunner Adams, Kacen Adams and Liam Adams; her mother, Yvonne Robbins, of Hamill, SD; two sisters, Kathy Morford and husband, Steve of Spearfish, SD, and Amy Gregg, of Carter, SD; her special caregiver, Stormi Scott of Morrison, OK and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Dawn is preceded in death by her father, Wayne Robbins, and her many grandparents.
Dawn’s service was held on Nov. 15, 2019 at 2 p.m. at Masham Baptist Church with Pastor Johnny Wagner and Stanley Robbins officiating. She will be put to rest at Highland Cemetery in Pawnee, Okla.