Two players named to team

Dan Bechtold/ Winner Advocate Photo
This is a picture of the Winner Warriors football team who took who the state runner-up trophy. Two members of the team were selected to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45 team.

Two Winner football players who helped the Warriors make it to the Class 11B state championship have been named to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45 team.

For the rest of the story, pick up this week’s edition of the Winner Advocate or subscribe to the Winner Advocate at 1-605-842-1481!

Warriors will be back

Colton Hall/Winner Advocate Photo
The Winner Warriors football team holds the 2019 state runner-up trophy at the welcome home on Nov. 19 after celebrating an 11-1 season. Pictured in front from left to right is Zane Mandl, Phillip Jorgensen, Oscar Pravecek, Cailob Week, and Ryder Mortensen. In back is Loren Moeller, Trevor Peters, Joren Bruun, Ethan Vesely, Jacob Clay, Fred Whiting and head football coach Dan Aaker.

By Colton Hall
Staff Writer

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

For the rest of the story, pick up this week’s edition of the Winner Advocate or subscribe to the Winner Advocate at 1-605-842-1481!

Wrestling season to open

Dan Bechtold/Winner Advocate Photo
Returning letterwinners on the Winner Area wrestling team are in front from left Owen Duffy, Aaron Gilchrist, Max Brozik, Kaleb Osborn, Trevor Peters, Kaden Keiser and Achilles Willuweit. In back from left Cailob Week, Adam Bohnet, Charley Pravecek, Sam Kruger, Joey Cole, Preston Norrid, Jack Kruger and Riley Orel. Not pictured are Landon Debus and Jude Sargent. The Warriors open the season on Dec. 7 at the Kimball tournament.

By Dan Bechtold

Experience. Three state champions returning. Seventeen lettermen.

This is a good recipe for a successful wrestling season for the Winner Area team.

The Warriors will open the season on Dec. 7 at the Kimball tournament.

The returning letterwinners are: Owen Duffy, Aaron Gilchrist, Max Brozik, Kaleb Osborn, Trevor Peters, Kaden Keiser, Achilles Willuweit, Cailob Week, Adam Bohnet, Charley Pravecek, Sam Kruger, Joey Cole, Preston Norrid, Jack Kruger, Riley Orel, Landon Debus and Jude Sargent.

Seniors who graduated are Wyatt Turnquist who is wrestling at Northern State University, Elijah Blare, Trey Welch and Riggin Shippy.

A year ago the Warriors were second in the state tournament and had three current wrestlers win state titles—Keiser, Peters and Sam Kruger.

Willuweit took fourth at state and Jack Kruger was 8th.

Preston Norrid and Riley Orel were also state qualifiers.

The Warriors were successful last year going 8-0 in duals and winning the regional championship. Coach Spencer Novotny hopes to build on that success. “We have a lot of experience coming back and those wrestlers will have to be the leaders,” said the coach.

Novotny hopes to be able to fill all weight classes this year. “I have never had a full team, I have always been one short,” he said.

Prior to the Thanksgiving break, the team had not held wrestle offs to determine who will be competing in each weight class.

The Warriors open the season on Dec. 7 at the Kimball/White Lake tournament.

Novotny is excited to have the regional tournament in Winner in February.
The state meet will be in Sioux Falls.

Being brought back to the state tournament is the state dual meet.

In 2003, Winner won the state dual meet. In 2001, the Warrior placed 8th and were third in 2004.

The state meet will be three days this year—Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting on Feb. 27.

Novotny says the top teams in Class B will have to include the two time defending champion, Canton. Winner, Redfield, Howard, Bon Homme and Burke/Gregory will be contenders for top teams in Class B.

Assisting Novotny in coaching the team is Jayd Schuyler.

The wrestling schedule includes:
Dec. 7—Kimball/White Lake tournament
Dec.12—At Gregory/Wagner triangular
Dec. 14—at Gregory tournament
Dec. 20-21—Valentine tournament
Jan. 2—Stanley County, home
Jan. 4—McCook tournament
Jan. 10-11—Mid Dakota Monster in Presho
Jan. 18—at Tri Valley
Jan 21—at Valentine, O’Neill triangular
Jan. 24—Winner triangular
Jan. 25—Winner tournament
Feb. 1—at Aberdeen Central
Feb. 4—at Chamberlain
Feb. 8—at Stanley Co.
Feb. 15—at Huron
Feb. 22—Regional in Winner
Feb. 27, 28 and 29—State meet in Sioux Falls

Keith Songer, 74

Keith Chester Songer, age 74, of Huron, SD, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at the Avera Queen of Peace Medical Center in Mitchell, SD. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service with burial in Colome Cemetery will take place at a later date. Visit

Keith Songer was born on Sept. 30, 1945 on their rural Colome home to Raymond and Hazel (Baughman) Songer. Keith grew up mostly in the Winner and Gregory areas.

Keith enjoyed working on vehicles but his favorite pastime was fishing and camping. He was known to be a pool shark as well. Keith’s greatest joys were that of having his dogs, Missy and Tinker. He enjoyed getting visits from his grandchildren the most. Keith worked as a mechanic, bee worker, truck driver, and finally retiring, due to health reasons, from Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery after 20 years as head groundskeeper.

He is survived by Brian (Tonya Petersen) Songer, Timothy (Kendra Bretz) Songer, Vickie (Eric Rittel) Songer, also David (Joni) Tracy, Charlotta Scheiffer, Darrell (Kari) Songer, Donald Songer, Douglas Songer, Duane (Ruth) Songer, and Carolyn (Kurt) Wallace; 27 plus 5 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; Siblings, Wayne (Barb) Songer, Larry Songer, Geneva Songer, and Leota Story; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sons Jimmy James Songer and Daniel Songer; brothers Donald, Dale, Kenneth, Leonard, Melvin, and sisters Velda, Iola, and Charlette; granddaughter Rebecca Jo, great-grandson, Ethan, and daughter-in-law, Jodi.

Marian Burtz, 91

Marian Burtz, 91, of Winner, SD passed away on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 at Winner Regional Long-Term Care. Funeral service will be held at the First Baptist Church in Winner, SD on Wednesday Dec. 4 ,2019 at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in the Winner City Cemetery.

A visitation was held on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 at the First Baptist Church in Winner from 6-7 pm, with a prayer service beginning at 7 pm.

Marian Ruth (Best) Burtz was born Feb. 23, 1928 to Lloyd and Minnie (Horstman) Best at their home across the Tripp County line in Mellette County. Her sister, Dorothy joined the family 22 months later. She lived a full life before she was called to her heavenly home on Nov. 29, 2019.

Marian attended grade school and high school at Witten, SD, graduating in 1946 from Witten High School.

On Sept. 14, 1946, she married the love of her life, H. Earl Burtz. They were married at the Baptist parsonage in Witten, SD with Rev. Curtis Gatson officiating. To this union 3 children were born, Allen, Linda, and Malon. They shared everything for 57 years until Earl was called home to be with his Lord in March 2003.

Marian was a caring, nurturing person always putting other people and their needs first. Her home was always open to family and friends. There were very few years that she and Earl were alone in their home. From extended family, to high school students who stayed with them during the week, there were always extra people in their home whom she welcomed. She found great joy in being a good hostess.

For several years, Earl and Marian owned and operated a dairy farm just west of Winner. People asked to buy farm fresh whole milk and so began many years of her selling milk right from the bulk tank in the barn into containers that they brought. Cars lined up, sometimes 10 deep waiting for their turn to buy gallons of milk. To this day, many fondly remember Marian as “The milk lady”.

Marian had a passion for growing iris, violets, and a big garden. She spent hours canning her produce from the garden and sharing with others. When she was first married, she had very little cooking experience, but as time went on, she became an excellent cook and fed many people throughout the years.

Marian lived her entire life in the Witten and Winner communities. She moved into Winner Regional Long-Term Care in December of 2016 after a fall in her home. She enjoyed all the people whom she met while living there and always appreciated everything that was done for her. She spent numerous hours cutting clippings from the newspaper and then pasting them in scrapbooks. Her faith and her family were what she valued the most.

Marian is survived by her 3 children: Allen, Linda (Neil) Schroeder, and Malon (Alona) all of Winner, SD. Also, 9 grandchildren: Justin (Julie) Burtz, Nathan Burtz, Emily (Noe) Hernandez, Brad (Susie) Schroeder, Kimberly (Ross) DeMers, Jeremy (Rhonda) Schroeder, Bruce, (Kira) Schroeder, Dan (Angie) Burtz, and Heather (Justin) Heying; 20 great-grandchildren, 4 step great-grandchildren, and 4 step great-great-grandchildren.

Preceding Marian in death were her parents, Lloyd and Minnie Best, Her husband of 57 years, Earl, her sister Dorothy Still, and her daughter-in-law Pam Burtz.

Darlene Simunek, 83

Darlene was born March 4, 1936 in Gregory SD, the daughter of Martin and Anna Rezac. She attended schools in the Gregory area, and when she wasn’t learning there, she was at home discovering some of the many skills she would need to raise a large family.

Darlene was a master in the kitchen and quickly became one of the best cooks this side of the Missouri, and probably the other side too. While in Gregory, Darlene met the new kid in town Floyd Simunek, and the two quickly fell in love. They were married on April 19, 1952, and a short time later started a family. They eventually moved to Colome where they continued to farm and ranch. Darlene and Floyd were blessed with 11 children, many of whom worked alongside them on the family farm.

Darlene was the CEO of the house, making sure everything was running smoothly. She often spoke of her dream of being a business woman, but was so humble she didn’t realize that she was a financier, a master chef, a teacher, a doctor and nurse, a psychiatrist, a hospitality manager, and so much more – far exceeding what many business women do in a routine week.

After 28 years in Colome, the family moved to the Black Hills, settling in the Hot Springs area while maintaining a small ranch and garden near Buffalo Gap. Darlene also helped run a family campground and pawn shop, all while teaching her children and grandchildren her cooking skills and family recipes. There was no better day in the Simunek household than when Darlene was making chicken noodle soup, as everyone got in on the act – both making and devouring the culinary treasure.

In addition to cooking, gardening, a cold beer, and the farm life, Darlene enjoyed music and dancing, especially if it was a good polka tune. Her heart was happiest when she had a house full of family. The holidays were always at Mom’s/Grandma’s and although chaotic and loud, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Darlene will forever be remembered as a kind soul, loving all of her children and their spouses, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.

She was always willing to lend a hand to family and friends. Whether it was a warm bed, a hot meal, or a thoughtful gesture, Darlene opened her home and heart to many. She will be dearly missed by the countless lives she enhanced.

Thankful by those whose lives she shared, Darlene is survived by ten children, Belinda (Jack) Gunvordahl of Burke, SD; Steve (Carla) Simunek of Hot Springs; Diane Simunek-Batai (Frank Batai) of Orlando, FL; Perry (Patty) Simunek of Gillette, WY; Sandy (George) Portz of Pierre, SD; Kelly (Diane) Simunek of Hot Springs; Marcia (Mark) Kazmer of Spearfish, SD; Scott (Keri) Simunek of Hot Springs; Lori SimunekStevenson (Tim Stevenson) of Los Angeles, CA; Floyd Jr.”Chris” (Kelly M.) Simunek of Rapid City, seventeen grandchildren and twenty-eight great-grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, husband Floyd, a daughter, Tammi, a great-grandson Roper, and siblings Delores, Martin, Howard, Leland, and JoAnn.

Mass of Christian Burial was held 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 , 2019, at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. Following Mass, Internment was held at Evergreen Cemetery in Hot Springs.

Arrangements have been placed in the care of McColley’s Chapel of the Hills in Hot Springs. Written condolences can be made at

Vernon Carpenter, 91

Vernon Carpenter, 91, of Winner, SD passed away on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019 at the Winner Regional LongTerm Care Center in Winner, SD.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner, SD. Burial was at 2:30 p.m. at the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Armour, SD on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019.

Vernon Joe Carpenter, born Jan. 11, 1928 and passed away on Nov. 24,2019 at Winner Regional Long-Term Care at the age of 91.

He was married to JoAnn Kathryn (Lammers) Carpenter. They shared 66 years of marriage.

Born near Wister, Okla., he was the son of Alkali (Doc) Carpenter and Lula (Wilson) Carpenter. He graduated from Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater, Oklahoma with a degree in vocational agriculture. After graduation he was employed as a vo-ag teacher and also loved refereeing high school football and basketball in Nebraska and South Dakota.

On Aug. 22, 1953 he and JoAnn were married.

After several years of teaching he joined the Ralston Purina Company as a district sales manager where he was employed for 24 years until his retirement.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, and playing cards throughout his life. During his retired years he took particular enjoyment in traveling with his grandchildren and sharing his favorite hobbies with them.

He is survived by his wife JoAnn, Winner, SD, a younger sister Margie (Leo) Christ, Newton, KS, his daughter, Mary Carpenter (Dan Flynn), Winner, SD, His son Mark, Mill Spring, NC, his grandchildren Grant (Erin) Flynn, Tristan and Sean, Pierre, SD, Katie (Jessie) Harris, Ayden, Lucia, Jesse, Mylah, Telon, and Tobias, Winner, SD, and Jamie Flynn, Tucson, AZ.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings Ona Wiggington, Robert Carpenter, Ola Martin, Luella Todd, Frank Carpenter, and Oman Carpenter.