My Favorite Time of Year

I know one South Dakotan who lives all year in anticipation of the Turner County Fair. Others yearn for the first Forestburg melon stand to open, or for the leaves in Spearfish Canyon to turn color, or the state capitol to be decked out in its Christmas glory. My favorite time of the South Dakota year is the 12 days in August during which the state amateur baseball tournament is played. For about 50 years after its inception in 1933, the tournament moved to different ballparks around the state, but since 1981 it has mostly been played at Mitchell’s Cadwell Park. This year, for the first time, the event was moved to Ronken Field at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, but Cadwell is the environment that I most closely associate with the State Am.

Allowing it to remain in one place for so long has allowed traditions to grow, and I look forward to them just as much as the baseball games. The Mitchell Exchange Club has become famous for its grilled hamburgers and onions. It’s one of the first aromas you detect when you wander into the ballpark, and very few spectators leave without eating one or two.

Every year, the same group of fans sets up lawn chairs on the lower levels of the concrete grandstand, or watches the game while standing directly behind each team’s dugout, a perspective that also offers an opportunity to catch in-game strategy or witty banter between players. The State Am is often the only time all year that these folks see each other.

For years, I kept an eye out for the guy wearing a blue T-shirt that read “Official Tamper,” who ran onto the field between games, filled the holes on the pitching mound and pounded them smooth. I always thought he must have been good at his job if they made him his own T-shirt.

Buying a state tournament program is often the first thing I do when I get to the park. The first six pages are packed with regular season and tournament records that delight anyone interested in baseball and history — Lefty Grosshuesch’s 62 strikeouts in a 28-inning game for Bonesteel in 1952, Wessington Springs collecting 36 hits in one game in 1988, Kevin Leighton’s whopping 501 career home runs.

I began attending the tournament regularly in 1991, when my hometown Lake Norden Lakers fell in the championship to Dell Rapids. Lake Norden is one of a handful of towns in South Dakota that is synonymous with baseball. Games have been played there nearly as long as there has been a town. It’s also home to the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. Growing up immersed in baseball, it was impossible not to fall in love with the small-town version of our national pastime, which is why I love going to the State Am every year, whether the hometown Lakers are in the field or not. I suspect there are other South Dakotans who feel the same way.

Maybe one of these years, I’ll witness something that becomes part of South Dakota sports legend. The State Am already produced one of our most treasured baseball stories. Claremont and Aberdeen were tied 4-4 heading into extra innings of the 1938 championship game in Aberdeen. It was getting dark, so umpire Tommy Collins ruled that if no one scored in the 10th inning the game would be replayed the next day. Aberdeen went scoreless in the top of the 10th. In the bottom, Claremont’s Bill Prunty stepped to the plate. He worked the count to 3-2, and then crushed a home run over the center field fence, giving Claremont the championship. The ball was recovered the next day and is now exhibited at the Hall of Fame in Lake Norden.

I don’t know where the rest of the year will take me in my travels for South Dakota Magazine, but I know where I’ll be in early August of 2019. I can already taste the onions.

John Andrews is the managing editor of South Dakota Magazine, a bi-monthly publication that explores the people and places of our great state. For more information, visit

Gov. Daugaard Calls Special Session For Sept. 12 To Address Implementation Of Sales Tax On Remote Sellers

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has called a special legislative session to consider legislation that would expedite implementation of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. and allow the state to enforce the obligation of remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax.

After consulting with legislative leaders from both political parties, the Governor is calling the special session for Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, at the State Capitol in Pierre.

“South Dakota led the fight for tax fairness, which culminated with our historic win before the U.S. Supreme Court in June,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Thanks to that victory, other states are implementing tax changes as soon as Oct. 1, and I will be proposing legislation to allow South Dakota to join them.”

Draft legislation is currently being prepared by the South Dakota Department of Revenue, in consultation with the Attorney General’s office, and will be made available for review prior to the special session.​

Gov. Daugaard Calls On Communities To Engage In Suicide Prevention Month

As the number of recorded suicides in the state continues to escalate, Gov. Dennis Daugaard is calling on South Dakotans to join the fight by participating in Suicide Prevention Month in September.

“In 2017, 192 South Dakotans lost their lives by suicide. That’s the highest number ever reported in our state,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Suicide is preventable and we can help by starting the conversation, providing support and directing those who need help to services. We hope our schools, churches, families, and community groups will engage in the fight to save lives by leading these kinds of discussions during Suicide Prevention Month this year.”

Since 2004, over 1,700 lives have been lost to suicide in South Dakota. Those numbers have increased each year, with nearly one in six high school students in South Dakota having suicidal thoughts or tendencies, according to a 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

The Governor is encouraging groups across the state to host awareness activities and promote available resources, and to add those upcoming events to the statewide calendar at Groups can add scheduled activities on the website by filling out the online form under the “Events” and “Suicide Prevention Month” tabs. Local data, prevention toolkits for specific populations, and resources for survivors are also available on the website. Information specific to youth suicide prevention is located at, a campaign launched earlier this year by the Department of Social Services.

“If you are struggling or you believe someone is at risk for suicide, contact a professional immediately,” said Department of Social Services Secretary Lynne Valenti. “If you need help or you know someone who does, you can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). People are available to help 24/7.”

Those experiencing suicidal thoughts can also obtain help by contacting any medical provider such as a family physician, psychiatrist or hospital emergency room, as well as a Community Mental Health Center or other mental health provider. For more information about behavioral health services, or to find a Community Mental Health Center, contact the Department of Social Services’ Division of Behavioral Health at 605-773-3123, toll-free at 1-855-878-6057 or online at

South Dakota’s Q1 GDP Breaks $50B

PIERRE, S.D. – The United States Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its estimated gross domestic product (GDP) by state for the first quarter of 2018. The estimates show South Dakota has the third highest growth rate in the nation, trailing only Washington and Utah, respectively. South Dakota grew by 3.1 percent.

“South Dakota’s annual GDP is now estimated to be in excess of $51 billion,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “We’re enthused about the first quarter results and hopeful the growth will continue throughout 2018.”

According to the BEA report, strong showings from South Dakota’s production agriculture, finance/insurance and manufacturing industries helped propel the state’s 3.1 percent growth during the period.

Figures for the second quarter will be made available in November 2018.

Barbeque Winners Named

The Pit Boys were the overall grand champions of the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce pit row barbeque held Saturday on Main Street.

The overall side dish winner was Apocalypse BBQ—Mardi and Marty Pederson. The winning side dish was grilled peaches.

There were 13 teams in the competition.

The pork winners were:

Winner Volunteer Fire Department, 1st; Smoked Encounters of the Third Swine, 2nd; Pit boys, 3rd; Apocalypse BBQ, 4th and R. J. Bones, 5th

The brisket winners were: Totally Smoked BBQ, 1st; Sizzlin Bacon, 2nd, Apocalypse BB 3rd Smoked Encounters of the Third Swine, 4th and Pit Boys, 5th

Winners of the ribs were: Pit Boys 1st; Grossenburg Implement A, 2nd; Pheasant Bar, 3rd; Grossenburg Implement B, 4th and Smoked Encounters of the Third Swine, 5th

A large crowd was on hand Saturday night to enjoy the good food.

Winner Elks Rodeo Results

Over 300 contestants from 10 states competed for $30,000 in prize money at the 49th annual Winner Elks Rodeo July 27, 28 and 29.

The profits from this rodeo go to the outreach program at LifeScape. Thirteen children from LifeScape traveled to Winner to enjoy the thrills of a rodeo.

The Sutton Ranch stagecoach made an appearance at the Saturday night performance of the rodeo and the kids from LifeScape got to ride in the grand entry with the horse drawn stagecoach.

Stock for the rodeo is provided by Hollenbeck Rodeo Co. of Winner.

Winners of the ranch bronc riding were Evan DeBoer, Wewela; Lane Alley, Oklahoma; Nate O’Kief, Valentine, Neb., and Casey Heinger, Pierre.

Winners of the team penning were: Tom Jones, Steve Klein, Tom Varilek, 25.4 seconds; Chuck Nelson, Mick Varilek, Ross Varilek, 32.5; Gary Garbe, Joe Skibinski, Dary Hammerstrom, 44.9; Paul Borgmann, Larry Fossum and Collin Borgmann, 56.1.

Winners of the 50/50 drawing were: Monte Mayes, Roger Dice and Cody McKenzie.

Rodeo results include:

Bareback—Logan Glendy, Oconto, Neb., 71; Tanner Langdeau, Kyle, 70

Saddle bronc—Miles Kreeger, Wagner, 83; Wyatt Barstow, Springview, 79; Cole Hindman, Kadoka, 73; Kyle Hapey, Ft. Pierre, 73; Shadow Jensen, Martin, 72; Tristan Eklund, Valentine, 71 and Derek Keener, Wood Lake, Neb., 71

Bull riding—Casey Heninger, Ft. Pierre, 81; Riggin Shippy, Colome, 78; Justin McCall, Winner, 75; Dillon Micheel, Broken Bow, Neb., 72; Lane Gambill, Wood Lake, 68 and Rowdy Hughson, Hot Springs, 65

Calf roping—Rex Treeby, Hecle, 9.6; Miles Kenzy, Iona, 10; John Klooz, Purdum, Neb., 10.6; Blasius Steffen, Gregory, 11; Rance Johnson, Allance, Neb., 11; Trey Young, Dupree, 12.2

Steer wrestling—Boyd Sawyer, Thedford, Neb., 4.5; Beau Dean, Platte, 5.2; Brent Belkham, Blunt, 5.2; Jace Christensen, Flandreau, 5.2; Colbey Steeke, Rhame, N. D., 6.6 and Clint Nelson, Philip, 7.4

Senior mens breakaway—Kirk Ford, Sturgis, 2.6; Darren Lammers, Chancellor, 2.8; Steve Sherwood San Tan Valley, Ariz., 3; Glen Hostutler, Midland, 3.4; Jim Hales, White Owl, 3.7 and Barry Knippling, Chamberlain, 3.9

Lades breakaway roping—Payton Donnelly, 2.3; Karissa Rayhill, 2.4; Cy Christensen, 2.6; Countney Peters, 2.7; Tessa Caspers, 2.7; Abby Jo Treeby, 2.8

Barrel racing—Christy Willert, Kadoka, 16.46; Cyndy Peterson, Ree Heights, 16.51; Jenna Garwood, Atkinson, Neb., 16.72; Deb Thompson, Gordon, Neb., 16.79; Jill Moody, Pierre, 16.8 and Wendy Bechen, Rapid City, 16.83

Goat tying—Shelby Spanel, Anselmo, Neb., 8.4; Lacey Tech, Fairfax, 8.4; Sawyer Gilbert, Buffalo, 8.5; Haiden Thompson, Yoder, Wyo., 8.7 and Tanegia Zilverberg, Holabird, 8.9

Mixed team roping—Denise Nelson, Midland, Jake Nelson, Creighton, 7.4; and Trina Arneson, Melvin Arneson, Enning, 7.6; Trey Hermelbracht and Troy Hermelbracht, Homer, Neb., 7.6; Becca Kartak, Brady Graff, Ainsworth, Neb., 7.7; Bodelle Mueller and Marvin Mueller, Sutherland, Neb., 8.4 Hanna Hostutler, Jesse Hostutler, Midland, 10.1

Team roping—Cooper Brott, Gothenburg, Neb. and Steve Sherwood, San Tan Valley, Ariz., 5.9; Levi Walter, Wray, Colo. Jayden Johnson, Casper, Wyo., 6; Eli Lord, Sturgis, Jade Nelson, Midland, 6; Jason Thorstenson, Rapid City and J. D. Gerard, Kennebec, 6.1; Rex Treeby, Hecla and Elliott Gourneau, Kennebec, 6.5 and Clint Whipple, St. Francis and Shadow Jensen, Martin, 6.9

Mitchell Tech Dean’s List


Area students have been named to the spring semester president’s list at Mitchell Technical Institute.

Named to the list are: Cody Heath, Wiley Heath, Noah Hermsen, Chase Hrabanek, Taylor Hrabanek, Nathan Krumpus, Jordan Shippy, all of Colome; Elisabeth Duffy, Samuel Hossle and Casey McMillan, all of Winner.

Jr. Legion Wins State Consolation Championship

Winner Junior Legion baseball team defeated Clark 6-5 Sunday morning to take the consolation championship held at Leahy Bowl in Winner.

The Winner team had to go extra innings to claim the victory as the scored was tied 5-5 after seven innings.

Winner got thing moving in the second inning when Zach Bohnet laid down a sacrifice bunt scoring one run.

Jacob Beckers led things off on the mound. He lasted five innings allowing five hits and four runs while striking out five.

Phillip Jorgensen, Aaron Gilchrist and Oscar Pravecek all collected multiple hits.

In Winner’s opening game of the state tournament, they were shut out 9-0 by Lennox on Friday evening. Lennox went on win to the state meet.

A double by Pravecek in the first inning was a positive for the host team.

Joren Bruun took the loss.

Pravecek, Tyler Olson and Jorgensen all managed hits for Winner.

In a game at noon on Saturday, Winner got down to business and shut out Wessington Springs 11-0. The victory propelled the Winner Junior Legion into Sunday’s consolation championship.

On Saturday, Winner had two really big innings. In the second they scored 6 runs and added five more in the third inning.

Evan Farner got the win for Winner. He allowed one hit, zero runs over five innings striking out eight and walking one.

Winner totaled 8 hits in the game.

Winner/Colome Amateur Team Falls in State Meet

The Winner/Colome amateur baseball team fell to Larchwood, Iowa, in the opening round of the state amateur baseball tournament in Sioux Falls.

The Pheasants were defeated 10-4. Larchwood had 10 runs in the final four innings.

We had a good season,” Winner/Colome coach Kevin Graesser told the Mitchell Daily Republic.

We come out of a really good district as champs and we thought we were playing really good ball. But give them credit, they had a good pitching staff,” said Graesser.

The first five innings was scoreless with Connor Hopkins pitching for the Pheasants.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Austin Calhoon and Geno Katz hit back to back RBI singles, Lakin Negebauer laid down a sacrifice bunt and Kelly O’Bryan had an RBI single for a 4-2 lead. It was Winner/Colome’s last run of the day.

The Pheasants loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 8th inning but they could not get a run across. Larchwood added four more runs in the top of the 9th inning.

Offensively, Zach Harter was 4-5, Reed Harter had two hits including a triple.

Winner Regional Foundation Golf

Several golfers took part in the Winner Regional Foundation golf tournament held Aug. 4 at Winner Country Club.

Winners of the first flight were Justin and Kara Zeigler, Brandon and Karley Arizmendis

Second place in this flight went to Larry Aaker, Brett Gardner, Jessica Calhoon, Austin Calhoon

Champions of the second flight were Keith, Kari and Lynn DeMers and Chuck Keiser.

Second place in this flight went to Rick and Deb Godel, Terami Nespor and Michelle Lovejoy.

Winning the third flight were Stormy, Melissa and Ryder Halligan and Ty VandenHoek.

Second place went to Jason and Tovi Bartels, Jamie and Kevin Keiser.