Most school districts want statewide transgender policy

By Dana Hess

For S.D. Newspaper Association

PIERRE, S.D. — A survey of member schools shows that the majority of them want the South Dakota Activities High School Association to develop a policy that they can all use when considering the eligibility of transgender students to play high school sports.

“They want a consistent policy,” said SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director James Weaver.

Asked if their school saw a need for a statewide SDHSAA transgender policy, 78 percent of those who responded said yes or yes to some degree.

A resounding 94 percent said no or no to some degree when asked if it should be left to each individual school district to develop its own policy.

Fifty-nine percent of responding schools said no or no to some degree when asked if the Legislature should develop a policy for transgender eligibility.

During a discussion of a revised transgender policy at the SDHSAA June board meeting, executive director Wayne Carney noted the results of the survey.

“The survey said that very clearly: ‘We don’t want 150 different policies,’” Carney said. “They want one.”

Fresh fruits and vegetables make great, affordable summer snacks.

By Carrie Johnson, SDSU Extension

I am extremely lucky in the fact that I currently have a 9-month position with SDSU and I get to spend the summer at home with my four children. However, that means I now need to plan three meals a day instead of one as well as provide snacks throughout the day.

I’ll be honest; the first few weeks we were home together I cheated a bit and didn’t plan well. I treated them to fast food on a number of occasions to make things easier on myself. I quickly realized that there was no way I could continue to afford this and had to come up with a plan.

Plan a menu and keep an inventory of what you have

The first thing I decided to do was make a two-week menu (including snacks). This way, I knew exactly what I needed to get at the store. I checked my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer before deciding on meals to see what was already available. I even let the kids help make the menu so there were options I knew they would eat because leftovers do not typically get eaten in our house.

Consider fruits and vegetables for snacks

Snacks are always tricky. If my kids could snack all day long they would. I try to keep a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in my refrigerator all the time. This time of year is great for us because produce is a relatively inexpensive snack option, as long as I only let them eat it in moderation. We had to come up with a snack schedule so they would still get their snack AND eat an actual meal.

Make your own convenience foods

To save even more, I decided to make some convenience foods of my own. For example, I am making homemade pizza instead of buying frozen or take-out. This way I can sneak in some nutrition like making it on whole wheat honey crust which is I personally like the flavor better anyway. I even broke out the mixer my husband bought me for Christmas for the first time and baked some homemade cookies instead of buying store bought.

Stick with the plan

So far we are doing very well at sticking to our menu. I made sure to write it on the dry-erase calendar we use for activities so the kids know what they will be eating throughout the week. Now when they wake up in the morning they look at the calendar to see what they can have that day. Here’s hoping we can continue to save money on our summer food budget.

Teeners Split Doubleheader

teeners cale meiners


The Winner Teeners split a double header with Lead-Deadwood Sunday afternoon at Leahy Bowl.

In the first game, Winner won 8-2. Riley Calhoon was the winning pitcher.

Luke Engel had two hits.

In the second game, Winner lost 7-5. Willy Schroeder was the losing pitcher. Cale Meiners had two hits.

Friday in Chamberlain  the Teeners defeated Chamberlain 8-2. Carter Brickman was the winning pitcher.

Ryan Sherman had a double.

The Teeners will host its tournament Saturday and Sunday.

Jr. Teeners Fall to Colome

meiners pitching


Winner Junior Teeners lost a hard fought game with Colome in extra innings 9-4 on June 4.

Kameron Meiners and Gage Watson shared duties on the mound and combined for 7 strikeouts.

Phillip Jorgensen reached base safely twice and scored a run.

“I was pleased with how we played our first game,” said coach Jon Hanson. “We have quite a few things still to work on but our pitching and defense kept us in the game.”

On Friday, Winner traveled to Chamberlain and came away with a 15-4 victory.

“Our offense showed up and exploded for 10 hits,” said Hanson. He said Nolan Sachtjen was sharp on the mound with seven strikeouts in only three innings of work. “We showed up to play and looked great in every aspect of the game. Good things happen when we can put the ball in play and make plays defensively,” said coach Hanson.

Legion Sweeps Valentine

Winner/Colome Legion baseball team swept a double header over Valentine, Neb., Sunday.

The Royals won 3-1 in the first game in five innings.

Reed Harter threw the complete game giving up one run on two hits, 1 walk and 10 strikeouts.

Leading hitters were Riley Calhoon, Kelly O’Bryan and Nick Lantz each with singles. Calhoon had two RBIs.

In the second game, Winner/Colome won 8-4 in eight innings.

Landon Engel started on the mound and pitched 4 1/3 innings giving up four runs on 4 hits, 6 walks and 6 strikeouts.

Harter pitched 2 2/3 of an inning in relief to earn the win. He have up no runs on 1 hit, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.

Jordan Turgeon pitched the 8th inning giving up no runs on no hits, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.

Calhoon had 3  singles, 2 RBI and a 2 stolen bases. Harter had a double and a single with 3 runs scored  and 3 stolen bases. O’Bryan added a double and 2 RBIs.

“I was pleased with the way we played overall since this was our first game of the year for a few of the guys,” said coach Drew Weber. “I thought that we pitched really well and limited our errors in the field, but we were far from perfect. It’s always nice to win  a couple of games to start the  season, especially in extra innings in the second game. We have a lot of young players filling in and they stepped up for us Sunday,” said the coach.

The next action for the Legion team will be Friday, June 12, went they host Gregory County at Leahy Bowl at 7 p.m.

Teeners Open with Victory

teeners calhoon pitching

Winner Teeners opened the season with a 7-2 victory over Colome Thursday in Winner.

Ty Bolton was the winning pitcher and threw a  complete game.

Leading hitters for Winner were Bolton with a double and a single and Noah Cerv with a triple.

Winner scored four runs in the fourth inning.

The losing pitcher for Colome was Jeremiah Yeaman. Also pitching were Kelly O’Bryan and Jackson Kinzer.

Drew DeMers had two hits for Colome.

Turkeys ‘work’ for him, but in a good way

dianne&bob with canned vegs


By Dan Merritt

Advocate reporter

Turkeys work for Bob Vrbsky at his rural Colome garden, west of town. The bird kind, that is.

“Wild turkeys come and they’ll go right through there and clean them bugs right out.

“They pull the potato bugs off. So we don’t have to spray.”

And that’s just fine with the now retired, former 40-year law officer at Winner, Colome, and Gregory.

He largely employs organic gardening methods at big gardens west of town and in Colome at his home place.

Control of weeds is by hand and tiller.

“Pesticides and chemicals. Herbicides and all that,” Vrbsky said. They’re not his choice to help in the growth of all sorts of fruits and vegetables.

All sorts which are eaten, canned, or frozen including tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, peas, onions, sweet potatoes, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mulberries, cucumbers, rhubarb, asparagus, watermelons, muskmelons, pumpkins and many more of nature’s goodies.

He and wife Dianne even make wine from the grapes, elderberries, chokecherries, strawberries, and gooseberries they grow.

“I’d just as soon have our own (fruits and vegetables) because it’s known how they are grown,” Vrbsky commented.

The taste is so much more lively direct from the gardens, he noted. So much more snap to it.

And the savings is tremendous, taking his wife “out” to eat, he added.

“I take her out for supper every night. We walk down to the garden and say ‘What do you want tonight?’ ”

“Everybody thought that was kind of expensive (going out nightly), till they found out we were going to the garden, eating veggies,” Vrbsky laughed.

The two can harvest a meal, for example, of lettuce, broccoli, potatoes, sweetcorn, carrots.

Of course, that’s later in the summer when these things have matured.

“Right now, winter onions are just going out. We’ve been eating them,” Vrbsky noted.

“They’re getting just about to the end; now something else will come in.

“They stay over-winter and then they bunch-up.They’re called bunching onions.

“They grow every year from bulbs. Early in the spring, they’ll be up and growing.”

It’s early summer now by the calendar, but the weather this garden season hasn’t seemed to notice.

“We had frost the other night,” Vrbsky reported. “It got some of our tomato plants we started.

“We’ll have to see how much damage there is.

“But we have volunteer ones coming up. So we’ve got, always, plenty of tomatoes. We don’t worry about that.”

Gardens are known for pumping-out lots of tomatoes once they start ripening. At times, the overflow is difficult to deal with, even giving them away.

That’s where canning comes in at the Vrbsky resident as directed by expert Dianne.

“Making taco sauce, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato juice,” she said.

A lot of it goes to their now-grown three sons and one daughter and their families. The Vrbskys also have 11 grandkids and two great-grandkids.

And there’s more than just canned tomato products that go to their offspring, the Vrbskys reported.

“Anything. Whatever they want. Sauerkraut from cabbage. Pickles. Asparagus,” the two said.

They were both raised on farms in the Winner-Colome area. A big garden just went with farming and they continued on with the tradition in town with their own large patch (actually, two: one east of their home and the other just south).

They added another acre or so of garden west of town about 10 years ago.

When the Vrbskys were “growing” kids at their place in town, the garden was a natural, mandatory work project for the youngsters.

“They called it ‘Hell’s Half-Acre,’ ” Dianne disclosed. Particularly when they were owly with each other and were sent there as punishment.

“They had to pull weeds when they fought — just pickin’ at each other,” she reminisced.

“When they got a little naughty, they had a chore to go pull a row of weeds,” Bob recalled.

But, for the most part, working the family garden was just part of life at the Vrbsky home, they indicated. Still is. Last year, they harvested 900-pounds of potatoes.

Bountiful harvests after 40 years of gardening as a married couple (not to mention being raised with gardens as kids) — one can probably expect that.

And it can be expected next year. And the next. And the next . . .

As long as he has the ability to get to the soil, Bob Vrbsky vowed. “As long as I can still crawl down the row.”

The couple’s daughter is Guyla of Kimball. Their three sons are: Gary and Ray in the US Army (Philadelphia, PA and Clarksville, TN) and Dave in Taylor, Texas.