Chad Robert Kucera, 49

After a courageous battle with depression, Chad Robert Kucera, age 49 died by suicide on March 18, 2024, in Belgrade, MT. Chad will always be remembered for the love and affection he showed family, friends, and the light he brought to so many lives. The strength, bravery, and courage he displayed in fighting depression was immense. We will always love and miss him, more than words can ever express. It is our hope that he found his peace.

Chad was born on July 16, 1974, in Winner, SD to Robert and Shelley Kucera. He graduated from Winner High School in 1992. He began his electrical career working with his dad at Kucera Electric and went on to receive an Associate Degree in Electrical Construction and Maintenance from Mitchell Tech. He moved to Spearfish, SD, and in the summer of 2000 met the love of his life, Tina. The two were inseparable and moved their adventurous lives to the beautiful mountains and rivers of Montana. Chad immediately discovered a strong love for floating down Montana’s rivers in his cataraft, that he lovingly called “Stella Blue.” He and Tina made many extended and adventurous trips down the Smith and Yellowstone Rivers with friends. Many great memories were made.

Chad also joined the Bozeman Curling Club. He quickly developed a strong love for the sport and became an active board member. He was a dedicated advocate for building, growing, and promoting the club. He was a loyal teammate, known for playing in his bright orange pants. Chad’s biggest passion was music. He often commented that music was “therapy to his soul.” He attended as many concerts and festivals as he could. He was an absolute connoisseur and known to be a music snob. Amongst Chad’s last wishes, was that his family and friends log onto Spotify and listen to his 7,000 most liked songs. He said it contains his entire life story. Chad worked as a Master Electrician and in the last year as an Inside Salesman for North Coast Electrical Supply. Chad had a strong work ethic and was always devoted to every job he did.

He was a compassionate man, who had a strong love for all his friends and many he called his brothers. He will forever be missed as the “fun” uncle who adored and loved his nieces and nephews; even allowing them to decide his next tattoo. He was very proud of his family and cherished the memories he made with everyone.

Chad leaves behind his wife, Tina and their loyal dogs, Lou and Sailor; parents, Bob and Shelley Kucera; brothers, Jeremy Kucera, wife, Lauren and daughters, Natalie and Hannah, Tyler Kucera, wife, Danielle and daughters, Deja, Ada and Stella, and sons, Jake and Luke. A Celebration of Chad’s Life will be shared with family and friends at a later date.

“I have passed the mountain peak, my soul is soaring in the firmament of complete and unbounded freedom; I am in comfort, I am in peace”-Khalil Gibran. 

10 wrestlers qualify for state

Courtney Brozik Photo
Winner won the Region 3B wrestling title Saturday in Parkston. Pictured in front from left are Brianna Gilchrist, Coy Shelbourn, Hudson Peters, Stetson Shelbourn, Rylan Robbins, Maxton Brozik, Roukyn Robbins, Karson Keiser and Konner Osborn. In back from left are coach Jayd Schuyler, Jude Sargent, Jed Blare, Legend Benedict, Parker Mathis, Mason Curtis, Ryken Orel, Derek Fenenga, Kellen Brozik, Gus Bartels, Saylor Schuyler and coach Spencer Novotny.

Winner claimed the Region 3B wrestling title and qualified 10 wrestlers for the state tournament which starts Thursday in Sioux Falls.

On Saturday in Parkston, Winner finished with 206.5 points and had two champions in Maxton Brozik and Stetson Shelbourn.

Brozik defeated Gavin Braun of KWLPG in a 6-2 decision to improve to 34-3 for the season.

Shelbourn claimed the 285 pound title due to a medical forfeit.

Rylan Robbins, Konner Osborn and Karson Keiser had runner up finishes for Winner.

The 10 state qualifiers are: 106 Rylan Robbins, 113 Roukyn Robbins, 126 Maxton Brozik, 132 Konner Osborn, 138 Karson Keiser, 144 Ryken Orel, 157 Jude Sargent, 190 Mason Curtis, 215 Parker Mathis, 285 Stetson Shelbourn.

At the regional Winner coach Spencer Novotny was named the Region 3B coach of the year. The award will be presented at the state AAU tournament.

The other placers at the regional were Roukyn Robbins, 4th; Ryken Orel, 3rd; Gus Bartels, 5th; Jude Sargent, 3rd; Legend Benendict, 6th; Kellen Brozik, 5th, Mason Curtis, 5th; Parker Mathis, 4th.

Also wrestling in Parkston was Hudson Peters.

“As a team, we did well,” said coach Spencer Novotny. “We have won the region quite a few years in a row and I know that the older guys did not want to be first class going out to not win it. Out of our 14 guys, everybody scored team points to help us win the Region 3B title,” said the coach.

“What it comes down to at tournaments is that guys accomplish their personnel goals and the team scores usually take care of themselves. Winning regional was one of our preseason goals and it was nice to get that for the kids,” said Novotny.

Kellen Brozik was chosen as the alternate for 175 pounds across all regions.

In every weight class the state picks one fifth place wrestler that weights in at the state tournament. If someone is hurt, sick or injured they will put the alternate in the bracket instead of a forfeit.

The state tournament will be at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. It will be held Feb. 22, 23 and 24.

Wrestling on Thursday begins at 10 a.m.

Wrestling on Friday begins at 9:30 a.m. with first round and second round consolation.

Saturday wrestling begins at 10 a.m.

Warriors 5th at state duals

Ashley Robbins Photography Photo
This is the team picture of the Winner wrestling team at Watertown in the state duals. The Warriors placed fifth.

Winner wrestling team placed 5th at the Class B state dual tournament in Watertown on Saturday.

In the first round Saturday morning, Custer got by Winner 36-33.

Then Winner defeated Kimball/White Lake/Platte/Geddes 32-25. In the third round Winner defeated Miller/Highmore-Harrold 37-26 and took fifth place.

Canton won the Class B dual title.

Custer defeated Winner Area 36-33

  • 106 – Rylan Robbins (Winner Area) over Ayden Dooley (Custer) Maj 17-3
  • 113 – Tyler Trant (Custer) over Roukyn Robbins (Winner Area) Fall 0:57
  • 120 – Tray Weiss (Custer) over Hudson Peters (Winner Area) Fall 2:56
  • 126 – Maxton Brozik (Winner Area) over Ethan O`connor (Custer) TF 19-4
  • 132 – Riley Scott (Custer) over Konner Osborn (Winner Area) Fall 5:39
  • 138 – Karson Keiser (Winner Area) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
  • 144 – Ryken Orel (Winner Area) over David Lewis (Custer) Fall 1:35
  • 150 – Leighton Sander (Custer) over August Bartels (Winner Area) Dec 7-2
  • 157 – Breven Bolander (Winner Area) over Kai Rusch (Custer) SV-1 9-7
  • 165 – Jude Sargent (Winner Area) over Blaise Arp (Custer) Dec 7-0
  • 175 – Ryder Bailey (Custer) over Kellen Cihak-Brozik (Winner Area) Fall 2:48
  • 190 – Parker Noem (Custer) over Mason Curtis (Winner Area) Fall 1:06
  • 215 – Parker Mathis (Winner Area) over Lane Geisner (Custer) Fall 3:42
  • 285 – Zayne Severyn (Custer) over Stetson Shelbourn (Winner Area) TB-1 1-0

Match #2 Consolation Bracket

Winner Area defeated Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes 32-25

  • 190 – Mason Curtis (Winner Area) over Chris Baas (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) Dec 8-2
  • 215 – Dalton Deffenbaugh (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) over Parker Mathis (Winner Area) Dec 1-0
  • 285 – Stetson Shelbourn (Winner Area) over Adley Reindl (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) Dec 3-2
  • 106 – Rylan Robbins (Winner Area) over Hayes Holter (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) Maj 14-3
  • 113 – Roukyn Robbins (Winner Area) over Vincent Lenz (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) Dec 4-3
  • 120 – Kasen Konstanz (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) over Hudson Peters (Winner Area) Fall 1:49
  • 126 – Maxton Brozik (Winner Area) over Gavin Braun (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) Dec 6-2
  • 132 – Johnny Lenz (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) over Konner Osborn (Winner Area) UTB 10-9
  • 138 – Karson Keiser (Winner Area) over Jace Soulek (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) Fall 4:13
  • 144 – Iden Myers (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) over Ryken Orel (Winner Area) Dec 3-2
  • 150 – Carter Konechne (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) over August Bartels (Winner Area) Maj 15-5
  • 157 – Jude Sargent (Winner Area) over Kenyon Kuiper (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) Fall 5:24
  • 165 – Legend Benedict (Winner Area) over Joseph Skluzak (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) Maj 16-3
  • 175 – Lucas Lenz (Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

Match #3 5th Place Match

Winner Area defeated Miller/Highmore-Harrold 37-26

  • 215 – Parker Mathis (Winner Area) over Colby Harrell (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) Fall 4:00
  • 285 – Stetson Shelbourn (Winner Area) over Mathis Resel (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) Dec 7-3
  • 106 – Rylan Robbins (Winner Area) over Chase Hurd (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) Dec 9-7
  • 113 – Roukyn Robbins (Winner Area) over Jaymin VanDerWerff (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) SV-1 5-3
  • 120 – Talon Ping (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) over Hudson Peters (Winner Area) Maj 11-0
  • 126 – Maxton Brozik (Winner Area) over Kia McCauley (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) Fall 0:47
  • 132 – Jordan Schafer (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) over Konner Osborn (Winner Area) Inj 1:17
  • 138 – Kellan Hurd (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) over Karson Keiser (Winner Area) Dec 3-2
  • 144 – Ryken Orel (Winner Area) over Johnny Alpizar (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) Fall 0:50
  • 150 – Teagan Foreman (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) over August Bartels (Winner Area) Maj 10-2
  • 157 – Ryder Rowland (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) over Breven Bolander (Winner Area) Fall 0:49
  • 165 – Jude Sargent (Winner Area) over Kaleb Sarchet (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) Maj 9-1
  • 175 – Colby Kolda (Miller/Highmore-Harrold) over Kellen Cihak-Brozik (Winner Area) Dec 6-3
  • 190 – Mason Curtis (Winner Area) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

The next action for Winner will be the regional tournament on Feb. 17 in Parkston. Wrestling will start at 10 a.m.

The regional will determine who will wrestling in the state tournament which is Feb. 22, 23 and 24 in Sioux Falls at the Premier Center.

Young Guns repeat as champs

The Young Guns repeated as champions of the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce sharpshooter bird & clay classic this weekend.

At awards banquet was held Saturday at the Tripp County 4-H Center.

The Young Guns had a total score of 30.96.

Members of the team are Jack Anderson, Klayton Heath, Oren Sargent, Hunter Shippy, Noah Manke and Austin VanDerWerff.

Second place went to Mark’s Misfits. Team members were Mark Rohde, Terry Laverik, Mark Bachmann, Bryce Hauf, Chris Welker and David Floyd.

Third place team was Sargents Farms and Arms. Team members were Cory Sargent, Craig Sargent, Cale Meiners, Kevin Meiners, Scott Dutt and Jamie Root.

The 10th place team and the 18th place team also won prizes. The 10th place got binoculars.

Crop Gun took 10th and team members were Adam Farner, Brett Langley, Josh Falk, Johnny Gustafson, Justin Koeni and Michael Dabney.

The 18th team was Mix & Match with team members Ray Bryant, Clyde Bryant, Ira Sherman, Ali Hakenson, Shane Lyons, Justin Dowling.

The landowners are an important part of the hunt. The 19 landowners were Red Hills Lodge, Sargent Farms, H & H Hunts, DeWayne Welker, Bolton Ranch Outfitters, Thunder Creek Ranch, Antler Ridge Lodge, Tresh Swedlund, White River Sportsman Larson families, Deadshot Outfitters —Steve Steinke, Big Hollow Ranch—James Massa; Tom Mathis, Rattlesnake Butte Hunting—Dalton Daughters; Rick and Becky Odenbach, Roger Fiala, Mountain Goat Outfitters—Gary Zimbelmann, Rick Shippy.

There were also 38 judges and scorekeepers. They included: Rusty Heenan, Amber Smith, Cliff Heyden, Dan Wranek, Marty Mortenson, David Gastonguay, Jonah Sachtjen, Jeff Farner, Jesse Larson, Evan Farner, Tex Holthus, Jordan Christensen, Blake Bauer, Ryan Radant, Don Bice, Michael Massa, Bryce Bohnet, Mike Whetham, Judd Kaiser, Laura Bryant, Hannah Leuke, Emilee Taylor, Dave Witt, Rusty Arthur, Kevin Wagner, Jamie Sachtjen, Wayne Bolton, Tristan Cable, Riley Sund, Cindy Pinter, Ricki Christensen, Justin Zeigler, Melanie Radant, Belva Weber, Brittany Massa, Ethan Ernest, Troy Best and Jeff Kaiser.

Dance places 6th at state

Bosten Morehart Photo
Winner Pom at State Dance in Sioux Falls

Winner Area dance team placed sixth at the state meet in Sioux Falls on Friday.

Both hip hop and pom placed fourth.

Coach Sarah Taggart said the team gave their best performance of the year. “They executed the routines cleanly and performed with emotion. We were definitely disappointed by our scores, especially hip hop. We are still trying to figure out what the judges comments mean,” said the coach.

Named all state were Emily Sachtjen and Bailey Fairbanks.

Taggart said the team had a fun weekend and all got to end the season knowing they have given their  all and can walk away with no regrets.

Taggart will miss the six seniors. “They all were great leaders and great dancers. We will be a young team next year with no seniors and only two juniors so we will really be focusing on developing our skills and strong motions.”

South Dakota High School Activities Association fall officials appreciation week

Dan Bechtold/Winner Advocate Photo
Winner and Mobridge/Pollock volleyball players took time Thursday night to honor the referees of the volleyball match in Winner. The week of Oct. 1-7 was the South Dakota High School Activities Association fall officials appreciation week. During the season these dedicated men and women take time away from their personal schedules and families to provide opportunities for student-athletes that participate in SDHSAA activities.

Quincy Phillips won the big stick award at the state tournament.

Quincy Phillips of the Winner/Colome Junior Legion baseball team won the big stick award at the state tournament.

He batted 5-9 for a .556 batting average with a home run in the championship game.

Karson Keiser was right behind batting 5-10 with a .500 batting average and hit his own home run in the Belle Fourche game.

This is the third year in a row Winner/Colome has won the big stick. Previously went to Ethan Bartels and Landon Calhoon.

The Royals were the runner-up in the state tournament.