Pigskin preview and Harvey Naasz

The 2020 Pigskin Preview features a story on they 40th anniversary of South Dakota High School Activities Association football playoffs and football championships.

November of 1981 brought the first ever state football championships.

The magazine  features a story on Harvey Naasz, long time Winner High School football coach.

Naasz was the coach of the Warriors who defeated Vermillion 31-21 in the first Class 11A championship in 1981. It will mark the 40th anniversary of that historic Winner football victory.

The story tells how Naasz fondly remembered his 1981 team and their road to the championship.

“All year long we knew we had a good team,” he said. “We were undefeated. The year before we also went undefeated with 18 seniors who did not get to play in a championship game but we had 18 juniors on that team who were now a year older. In the playoffs, we had to beat Mobridge and Belle Fourche to be able to get to the Dome.”

Naasz recalled memories involving the Warriors rivalry between Winner and Vermillion. “We had beaten Vermillion 6-0 earlier in the season in DakotaDome so we were familiar  with them. “I knew it was going to be a good match up as Coach Culver was a good coach. Once when we found out we had to face Vermillion again I thought whoever scored 14 points was going to win the game. Lo and behold we scored 31 points and even on the first play of the game. We faked off tackle and ran our left end deep so John threw a pass to Dean Novotny who ran it in for the touchdown.”

While Winner led the entire game, Coach Naasz shared two integral plays that sealed the championship for the Warriors.

“With five minutes left in the game, Jack Sharkey ran off tackle 50 yards for a touchdown to give us some breathing room,” Naasz said. “We knew we finally had them when we intercepted a pass with just seconds left in the game and ran out the clock.”

Coach Naasz said the championship was especially poignant for him and his family. “It was kind of a family affair for me,” he said. “I was coaching my son Brian as he was a senior that year. My son Bart was on the team the year before and came down from Northern to watch. My son Brad was a sophomore on the team as well. My wife Karen was from Vermillion.”

Coach Naasz spoke about what it meant to be a state champion and what it meant to the community of Winner.

“It felt great,” he said. “I don’t think I quit smiling for two weeks. Bart and I went out to the football field on the Sunday after we won and saw a bunch of kids playing football. I remember talking to them and saying they too could be in the Dome if they worked hard. It was a very big deal to win the championship,” he said. “Our community really rallied around us. Players would walk into stores and they were get cheered. Our fans loved following our team.” Naasz went on to win some other state football championships.

City holds budget hearing

By Dan Bechtold/Editor

A day long meeting was held by the Winner City Council on Aug. 20 to go over the budget for next year. The council head from every department head. In addition, Mike Scott, executive director of the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce and Charli Gill, president of the Chamber board, made a presentation to the council. Chandra Weidner, finance officer, explained in the general fund the city would be cutting how much the city gives in donations. She said these donations were cut back with the understanding that groups like the Chamber could come and ask for funds when they have a specific need and the city could take this money from the contingency fund. Weidner explained the city will be putting more money into the contingency fund. As an example, Weidner said if Tripp County economic development has a huge opportunity for business to come to Winner and they need more funds they can come to the city request funds and show what they plan to do with the money.

By state law, a city can put 5 percent of its total budget into contingency. Since the budget is going to be so tight, the council asked each department to cut their budget. The amount asked to be cut was $1.3 million which includes about $100,000 from miscellaneous funds, $300,000 from public safety and $900,000 from public works. The focus this year for the city is infrastructure. Last year the city spent a lot of money on buying equipment and this year they will not need equipment.

In the budget, Mayor Jody Brozik explained the city is not going to defund the police department. The city is up to full staff on police officers. “We are supporting our police department very much,” said Brozik. In Scott’s presentation he noted big Chamber events bring sales tax dollars into the the city as people are buying gas, food and other items. A good example was the BBQ Pit Row which was combined with the August Winner Summer Nights which drew over 1,000 people downtown. Scott told the council with events they have planned they are bringing people to Winner. “We want to do anything we can to create a positive feel,” he said. Weidner said “Overall, the city is tightening its budget in every category.” The estimated budget is a little over $16 million.

Though it was a long day, the mayor and council felt the budget discussion, which was open to the public, was beneficial. The meeting was live streamed so people who could not attend could watch.

In other business at the meeting, the council approved the temporary malt beverage license for the Legion demolition derby on Sunday, Sept. 6.

The next regular meeting of the Winner City Council will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m.. The council will not meet on Labor Day, Sept. 7.

Run for a reason

Submitted Photo
The winners in the Run for a Reason race on Aug. 15 include from left Emily
Tideman, Allie Tideman, Jill McMurtrey, Meagan Blare, Aaron Gilchrist and Chase

The Winner FFA Run for a Reason was held on Aug. 15.In the 5K race, Aaron Gilchrist won the men’s 18 and under division .Jill McMurtrey won the women’s division of the 5K race. In the women’s 18 and under 5K, Meagan Blare was the winner. Emily Tideman won the women’s mile race and Allie Tideman won the women’s 18 and under mile. The proceeds from this race went to the Tripp County building facility.

Buddy Bench added to library

Submitted photo
A Buddy Bench has been installed at the Tripp County Library. Marsha Risseeuw,
coordinator for a local Modern Woodmen chapter, hopes children and others will
use the bench.

The Buddy Bench, an idea that began with a 2nd grader, Christian Bucks, in 2016. He suggested this to his school principal as a way to help his school friends that were lonely and feeling left out. From there it has mushroomed into a movement to help encourage a feeling of acceptance.

Since that time, Buddy Benches are finding their way onto playgrounds, parks and libraries. In fact, you can find one at the Winner Elementary School and Tripp County Library. Also, the library just acquired “Buddy Book” authored by Patti Brozi which helps children understand the need to be caring and thoughtful to others. The spokesperson for the Buddy Bench idea stresses the need to make sure children understand the purpose behind the bench which is to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship.

Marsha Risseeuw, coordinator for a Modern Woodmen chapter, believes this is a great service project. Her fondest hope is to see children using the bench—maybe reading a book as they wait for their ride to pick them up from the library.

To read the full story pick up your copy of the Winner Advocate by calling (605) 842-1481, you can email us at winneradvocate@hotmail.com or stop by the office at 125 W 3rd Street, Winner, SD!

Warriors open season with 52-7 victory

Photo courtesy of the Pierre Capitol Journal
Riley Orel carries the ball for Winner in Fridays game with Stanley County. Winner won the game 52-7.

Experience and depth paid off for the Winner Warriors as they opened the football season with a 52-7 victory over Stanley County on Friday. On a hot night the Warriors put the pressure on Stanley County even though they struggled in the first part of the game. It was a night that football players were just happy to play a game.

This is the first athletic contest at Winner High School in the last five months. COVID-19 has changed everyone’s lives and that change has also involved the sports world.So Winner is following all the rules of the South Dakota High School Activities Association and the CDC to ensure they have a complete season. Some of those rules involved wearing masks on the bus trip to Ft. Pierre and assigned seating. Temperatures were taken of each player as they got on the bus.

The first points did not come onto the scoreboard until 1:43 left in the first quarter when Riley Orel scored on a 26 yard run. Shortly after Winner’s score, Stanley County counter as Evan Nordstrom ran 76 yards for the touchdown. Stanley County kicked the ball for the extra point and took the lead 7-6.One of coach Dan Aaker’s goals this year is preventing big plays from halting Winner drives. However, the Warriors gave up four big plays in the first half. Once the Warriors got clicking there was no stopping the No. 1 rated team in Class 11B.

Preston Norrid had a big 17 yard carry to setup a Winner touchdown at the end of the first quarter. With 4 seconds left, QB Brady Fritz carried the all in on a 15 yard TD run. The Warriors were now up 14-7. The Warrior running backs are so deep and that depth and ability to give the ball to multiple runners showed up in the second quarter as Winner scored three more touchdowns. Orel scored on a 4 yard run and this was followed by Karson Keiser on a 7 yard run and Sam Kruger on a 46 yard run.

Winner led 34-7 at the end of the first half.“We built up a nice lead at the half and we wanted to finish the second half strong. The only negative was the amount of penalties in the third quarter,” said the coach. A touchdown run by Orel in the third quarter was called back due to a penalty. Winner responded with Evan Farner scoring on a 2 yard run and giving the Warriors a 42-7 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Winner scored a safety as the Buffaloes lined up for a punt. A lot of younger kids got into the game in the second half. Aaker said the sophomores got a taste of varsity football.The last touch down was scored by Aaron Gilchrist on a 6 yard run as he went over the top to make the score.

The Warriors had 510 yards of total offense.Sam Kruger was the offensive leader as he picked up 147 yards on 9 carries. Orel had 95 yards, Keiser, 61 yards and Preston Norrid, 56 yards. In passing, Fritz was 1-4 for 21 yards.Leading tacklers on defense Farner, Orel, Norrid and Landon Thieman, all 4; Keiser, Joey Cole both 3.

The Warriors will travel to Rapid City on Friday and play St. Thomas More. This is a big rival between the two schools. Last year Winner defeated STM twice, once in the second week of the season and in the quarterfinals of the football playoffs. “This is a game we get excited for and the community is excited about,” said Aaker. The coach says STM has good athletes and their offense is challenging for the Warriors. Aaker says Ryan Wojcik is one of the better players in 11B. Coach Wayne Sullivan’s son is the starting quarterback for STM. “For us it will be controlling the line of scrimmage and playing physical football,” said Aaker. The coach says it will be a huge week of practice.

The weather will be hot so the team will need to concentrate during practice. “Our guys know who we are playing and it is a big game for both programs. It is a game where we will find out where we are at,” said Aaker. The Warriors are hoping to take the next step forward and get better this week.

Winner students return to classroom on Aug 20

By Dan Bechtold/ Editor

The last time Winner student were in a classroom setting was March 12. For the rest of the year students took their lessons on line due to COVID-19.

The virus is still with us but schools have plans to return to the classroom. Winner classes will start on Aug. 20 with a full day of school. Classes will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

There will be school on Friday, Aug. 21. “I think starting school is the best thing we can do for the students and staff,” said Supt. Keven Morehart. “We need to get them back into some sense of normalcy.”

To read the rest of the story, pick up your copy of the Winner Advocate today! or call (605) 842-1481!

Zeigler, Early win member-guest golf meet

Dan Bechtold/Winner Advocate Photo
Justin Zeigler, Winner and Erin Early, Brookings were the winners of the 28th
annual Ron Waller Memorial member-guest golf tournament on Sunday. Pictured
Brenda Klein, Zeigler and Stephanie Waller. Not pictured is Early.

Justin Zeigler and Erin Early were the overall winners of the Ron Waller memorial member-guest golf tournament at Winner Country Club this weekend.

For the rest of this story please pick up your copy of the Winner Advocate! Call (605) 842-1481, email winneradvocate@hotmail.com!

Rhonda Cousins

Rhonda Cousins comfortably and peacefully passed away on Monday, July 20, 2020 in Golden Valley, MN.

A kind and compassionate soul, Rhonda was always there to help whether it was 4-H, Girl Scouts, or a church event you would most likely find Rhonda behind the scenes. Rhonda was born on Dec. 18, 1953, in Slayton, Minn., to Ernest and Myrtle Jens Wancenried. She grew up on the family farm and graduated from Slayton High School in 1972. She then attended Southwest Minnesota State College in Marshall.

On Aug. 2, 1980 she and Michael Cousins were married at Faith Lutheran Church in Avoca, MN. Following their marriage they made their home in Winner, SD where Rhonda worked at the Winner Public Elementary School. Rhonda dedicated her life to teaching. Everyone who met her knew teaching was her true calling.

She was one of those teachers who made learning fun. She didn’t teach for tests. She taught for the sparkle in the child’s eye. Family always joked that Rhonda was the original Pinterest because her ideas were always so amazing! The friendships she made through teaching and the community were a true testament of her character. She was the glue that held many together. She was an amazing mother, grandmother, sister and friend to many.

Throughout her life she doted on her children and their friends. She was a troop leader, 4-H leader, volunteered for many community organizations, and had true civic pride. Anyone who visited her home would likely find Rhonda with her nose in a book or recovering from a prank played by one other family members. You could tell she had a love for children because she was always(usually) a good sport. In 2011 Rhonda retired from teaching and returned to the family farm by Avoca. Retirement didn’t stop her from keeping busy!

She was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Avoca and was active in the Altar Guild, Sunday School teacher, reader and ladies group. Following Faith Lutheran Church closing, she joined Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Dovray, MN. Rhonda was a TOPS Club leader. She met many of her dearest friends in the TOPS group.

Rhonda volunteered many hours at the Slayton library and at Slayton Elementary School. She enjoyed spending time with her family, reading, and her dog, Stella, and cat, Taffy.

Rhonda also reunited with her college sweetheart and true love, Don Larson, and spent many happy years making up for lost time. They enjoyed going to the casino, dining out, going for drives and spending time together. Her life was full of laughter, love and friendship.

Survivors include her two daughters and their children, Summer and Erica Picha and their children Oliver, Westin and Addison of Golden Valley, Mn, and Amy Jo Clemens and her fiance, Jeremy Jimenez and their children Jameson, Samuel, and Kaylin of St. Cloud, MN, four sisters, Rosanne Wancenried of Avoca, MN, Laura Wancenried of St. Cloud, MN, Colleen Wancenried of Hopkins, Mn, and Juanita Oeltjenbruns of Currie, MN, special friend, Don Larson, and several nieces and nephews and their families.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Mike Cousins, grandson Billy Rebel Chapman and an infant brother. A private graveside service was held at the Faith Lutheran Cemetery in Avoca, MN at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2020 with Rev. Chuck Swanson officiating. Memorials may be directed to the Slayton Public Library or to the Ronald McDonald House.

Gregory teachers getting classroom kits

Dan Bechtold/Winner Advocate Photo
A group of Gregory teachers stopped at McDonald’s in Winner on Aug. 12 and
received a free classroom kit. Leonard Management, owner of McDonald’s
provided the kits to area teachers. On the left is Dustin DeSersa, manager of
the McDonald’s in Winner.

By Dan Bechtold/ Editor

School teachers do so much for students and soon they will going back to the classroom. To provide them with some supplies and thank them for all they do, Leonard Management, owner of McDonalds, presented classroom kits on Aug. 12. Inside the kit were a package of pencils, dry eraser markers, a ream of paper, hand sanitizer, box of tissue, permanent marker and a few other goodies. The event was held in Winner on Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Teachers called in and were assigned times to receive their kits. Marla Snyder, director of marketing and community relations for Leonard Management, explained that Steve Leonard, the founder of the company, has two sisters.

Every time the family would get together he would hear them tell how much money they spent out of their own pocket for teacher supplies. “Steve thought the need to help teachers was especially needed his year,” said Snyder. Out of the 31 restaurants he owns, Leonard did 12 events where kits were handed out. There were 125 kits handed out in Winner to area schools. This not only included Winner but Colome, Gregory, Burke, Bonesteel/Fairfax and Todd County. Synder says the response from teachers has been overwhelming. “I have gotten more emails from teachers thanking us. The teachers said all the items in the kit will be put to good use.”In addition to school supply kits, teachers had a chance to sign up for prizes and enjoy some refreshments.In all, Leonard Management is doing more than $20,000 in school supplies to teachers in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

Leonard Management purchased the Dakota McDonald store right after the first of the year.