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It was business as usual for the Winner Warriors football team as they punched their ticket to the state Class 11B championship game.
In Friday’s semifinal game at Warrior field, Winner defeated Sioux Valley 28-14. The Warriors remain undefeated at 10-0. They will be making back to back state tournament appearances facing the same team Bridgewater/Emery-Ethan.
Winner will play in the state championship game on Friday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Dakota Dome in Vermillion.
Last year the Dome was under construction so the state football championships were moved to South Dakota State University in Brookings. Playing in its first every outdoor state championship game, the Warriors were nipped by BEE 21-14.
Coach Trent Olson said Friday’s game was a tough, hard fought game. “It was very physical. Sioux Valley is tough and very physical. Their quarterback is excellent and we are happy to come out of there with a victory,” said Olson. Olson said the key to the victory was the Warriors winning the turnover battle. “We put the ball on the ground two to three times and we were able to get it back.
If they recovered those fumbles it is a different game,” said Olson. Winner scored a touchdown in each quarter of the game. In the first drive, the defense sacked the quarterback which set up Winner’s first touchdown as Sam Kruger scored on a two yard run. Kaden Keiser’s interception set up another Winner touchdown. Brady Fritz found Kruger open on a 14 yard pass to a touchdown to give Winner a 14-0 lead.
Sioux Valley cut the score to 14-6 in the second quarter and that is how the score remained at the half. A big play for Winner was when they converted a 4th and one from the Sioux Valley 46 yard line. Then Fritz executed a quarterback draw and scored on a one yard run to give Winner a 20-6 lead.
At the start of the fourth quarter Sioux Valley scored on a pass play to cut the lead to 20-14.With 4:18 left to play in the game Keiser scored on a 3 yard run. The two point conversion was good by Fritz and Winner was up 28-14 and on its way to play in another state championship.
The Warriors had a total of 242 yards and 19first downs. Fritz was the leading rusher with 69 yards followed by Kruger with 48, Riley Orel and Keiser both with 32 and Even Farner, 17 Fritz was 3-3 in passing for 35 yards.A strong defensive effort was led by Landon Thieman with 8 tackles and 5 assists. Charley Pravecek had 5 tackles and 4 assists; Sam Kruger, 4.5 tackles, Preston Norrid, 4 tackles and six assists.
After the game, Fritz said Winner knew Sioux Valley was going to be tough. “It is kind of like last year with Webster. We knew we were going to have to guard the perimeters. Sioux Valley has a ton of fast guys. This is the fastest team we have faced all season. Our game plan was to keep them inside. I thought we did a good job of containing them. ”The Winner team knows what it is like to play in a state tournament. It is nothing new to them and they are so ready to travel to Vermillon.“I have been dreaming of playing in the Dome since my older brother (Tanner) went there,” said Fritz. “Last year we got our hearts broken and this year at the beginning of the season we have been eyeing Bridgewater/Emery-Ethan.”
Coach Olson said it will be nice to have another shot at BEE. Preston Norrid has been a strong player for the Warriors. He said the team knew it was going to be a tough game.
Norrid said he is proud of the team how well they performed. The senior says it is a blessing that the Warriors have gone undefeated for two years. “We have a great program and have younger kids who we can rotate in during the regular season,” said Norrid.
Colome volleyball team was defeated by Avon in the second round of the region tournament. Avon won 3-0 and the scores were 25-14, 25-17 and 25-19.The Cowgirls had a first round bye.
Makayla Shippy had 12 assists, 14 digs and 1 ace.
Saydee Heath had 7 kills, 4 digs and 2 blocks.
Libby Petersek had 4 kills, 5 digs, one ace and one block.
Baylie Hoffine had 4 kills, 9 digs, one ace and one block.
Elizabeth Yeaman had 2 kills, one dig and one block.
Landi Krumps had six digs.
Katie Welker had 2 kills, 1 dig and 3 aces.Colome finished the season with a 12-7 record.
Winner volleyball player Ellie Brozik surpassed her 1,000 kills this week.
In the match with Platte-Geddes, the Winner junior had 21 kills.
Brozik will be in action as Winner takes on Belle Fourche in region play on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. in Winner.
The Winner High School dance team put on their best performance and ended up state champs in two categories.
The state meet was held last Friday in Rapid City.
The girls were state champs in hip hop and kick and overall received the state runner-up honor.
A big accomplishment for Winner girls and first time coach Sarah Taggert.
The coach explained the girls turned in two solid preformances. “they handled the pressure and preformed their hearts out,” said Taggert.
The girls successfully defended the hip hop title from 2019. They won the kick category and their combined scores were good enough to win the overall state runner-up.
Kendyl Bachmann was named to the all state dance team.
“I’ve been so proud of these girls all season and to end the year preforming our very best was more than a coach could hope for,” said Taggert.
Colome volleyball team improved its record to 11-4 with a victory over Jones County on Oct. 20.Colome won in three sets—25-12, 25-19, 25-9.
Makayla Shippy scored 19 points with 9 aces. Saydee Heath had 15 points and Katie Welker, 5 points and one ace. Kill leaders were Hoffine, 8; Elizabeth Yeaman, 7; Libbie Petersek, Saydee Heath and Welker, 4 each.Baylie Hoffine was the leader in digs with 15 followed by Ashlyn Hoffine, 11 and Libbie Petersek, 12. Heath had 2 blocks and Yeaman, 1.Shippy had 18 assists and Heath, 2.
Winner area cross county runners pushed through the cold and snow as they competed in the state meet in Rapid City on Saturday.
Winner Area boys team placed 8th with 150 points. Kade Watson led the team as he took 7th place in 17:16.75. Joseph Laprath took 28th place in 18:11.47; Kylar Meek was 70th in 19.12.65; Chaz Blotsky placed 114th in 20:46.65; Hayden McMurtrey took 118th in 21:14.88.In the Class A girls division, Winner Area girls placed 13th with 262 points. Winner’s top runner was Sidda Schuyler who placed 80th in 22:32.08.Meagan Blare placed 97th in 23:20.06 and Aryn Meiners placed 98th in 23:23.86. Melanie Brozik placed 100th in 23:24.32.
Winner competitive cheer team took fifth place at the state meet Friday in Rapid City. This year the event was split up into pods due to COVID-19.
There were initially 21 teams slated to take the mat but due to COVID two teams did not compete. Coach Val Ewing is happy the team got to compete at state. Winner’s performance was in the afternoon and were the first team to perform.
Ewing says that is tough because you never know where the judges head is at. Ewing said the girls spent all week getting ready for state .“They knew what they had to do and as a coach I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” said the coach. She said the girls started out strong and the routines were going super well.
During the elite stunt, one stunt fell. This fall cost the team 10 points. Ewing explained the girls did a phenomenal job of continuing their routine after the fall. “That’s hard to do –to put a smile on your face, regain your composure and finish all the other components of the routine—not only did they nail the rest, they blew it out of the water. I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said the coach. Ewing noted when you make a mistake in cheer there is not another period or quarter to come back from it.
That is what makes it a hard sport. Brennan Bachmann and Alani Old Lodge were named to the all-state cheer team. This honor is voted on by the S.D. Cheer coaches.