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PAGE 6: SPRING SPORTS 2017 PRESS & DAKOTAN ? PLAIN TALK Potential Apparent For Vermillion Track & Field Program BY ELYSE BRIGHTMAN TRACK Elyse.brightman@plaintalk.net VERMILLION — The potential was apparent for this season’s Vermillion track and field teams during the opening meet at the Dan Lennon Invite inside the Dakota Dome on March 20. Vermillion walked away with one podium appearance, a second place finish from Maddie Lavin in the girls’ 1600 meter run. Lavin ran the mile in a time of 5:30.61 and was bested by Courtney Klatt of Sioux Falls Lincoln, who finished first with 5:23.56. Both the boys’ and girls’ each finished in sixth place in the 1600 relay and just missed the podium with times of 3:54.03 and 4:30.40 respectively. After two weeks of practices leading up to Monday, Vermillion coach Lenni Billberg says there is a lot to be Logan Peterson, left, is part of a strong young core for the excited for about this year’s squad, including the highest Vermillion boys’ track and field team. 3/20 4/4 4/6 4/11 4/13 4/18 4/20 4/25 4/28 5/5-6 5/11 5/18 5/26 5/27 Dan Lennon Class A (Vermillion) Elk Point-Jefferson Inv. Vermillion Booster Club Inv. Canton Relays 4 p.m. Lennox Inv. 4 p.m. Tea Area Inv. 4 p.m. Lennox Booster Club Inv. 4 p.m. Dakota Valley Inv. 4 p.m. First Dakota Relays (Yankton) 2 p.m. Howard Wood Relays (SF) 2 p.m./9 a.m. Dakota XII Conf. (Beresford) 2:30 p.m. Region 4A (Vermillion) 2 p.m. State A (Tea) 9:30 a.m. State Meet (Sioux Falls) 9 a.m. number of boys participating on the team she has seen at Vermillion, an already strong girls’ side returning from last season and young talent coming up from the middle school. “Each day they push each other,” Billberg said. “We all have a goal and we know what we are working towards and that’s been great to our young kids. We have some really talents eighth grade girls that are coming up and that’s what they think track is, so they don’t know that there’s anything else. They just step in and work hard.” Freshman Ellie Schroeder finished in the top 10 of a 33 runner field in the 400 meter dash at 1.08.32 and Mackenzie LaBrune, another freshman, took 14th at 1:10.36. Lavin is looking defender her titles in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter runs after taking first in both events at last year’s Class A state meet. With the addition of some younger runners joining the relay teams, she’ll be looking to open add to her repertoire. “Of course you are always looking for a repeat, but one of our goals this year is to see her have some success also at the 800 (meter run),” Billberg said. “Unfortunately, because of the time of events, it hasn’t been real easy to run that, as well as the sprint medley, but we think we’ve got a number of kids now that we can fill in more slots.” For the boys’ side, senior Logan Peterson is returning after missing much of last season due to injury, and Billberg is expecting to see him see success in the middle distance runs and relay teams. Peterson ran anchor for the 4x400 relay team that placed seventh out of 25 teams with a combined 3:46.89. Ray Lewis is another state qualifier to be returning to the sprinting side of competition. “He was a qualifier in the 100 meter dash. We think he could be a kid that qualifies in the 100, 200 and 400, really if we tweak him right and keep him healthy,” Billberg said. “Good things could happen on the boys, side as well.” Vermillion’s first outdoor track meet is Tuesday April 4 at the Elk Point-Jefferson Invitational at Elk Point and the season concludes at the Class A State Meet in May in Sioux Falls. New-Look Tanager Tennis Team Sees Potential Fehr Takes Over Program TENNIS 4/1 at Yankton (L 0-9)/vs. Heelan (L 0-9) 4/4 vs. Luverne 4/7 vs. Harrisburg 4 p.m. 4/11 vs. Brandon Valley 4 p.m. 4/18 at S.F. Washington/vs. Yankton 1 p.m. 4/20 vs. S.F. Christian 4 p.m. 4/21 Mitchell Quad 10 a.m. 4/24 at S.C. North 4 p.m. 4/25 vs. Yankton 4 p.m. 4/28 Brookings Inv. noon 5/1 Mitchell Quad 10:30 a.m. 5/5 vs. S.C. East 5 p.m. 5/8 at S.F. Roosevelt 4 p.m. 5/11 vs. S.F. Lincoln 4 p.m. 5/18-20 State Tourn. (Sioux Falls) TBA BY ELYSE BRIGHTMAN Elyse.brightman@plaintalk.net VERMILLION — With three weeks of practices in the book Vermillion High School’s new boys’ tennis coach is looking forward to starting match play and seeing the players potentially succeed throughout the season. Brock Fehr has taken over the reigns as head coach and sees the potential in this group of players. “I am just really excited to see what they can do and I know a lot of the boys are really excited to start playing,” he said. Fehr is currently a sophomore music education major at the University of South Dakota and has been playing tennis since he was fouryears-old while growing up in Missoula, Montana. “I moved here for school and all the people in the tennis community here in Vermillion just said they are looking for a coach at the high school and we think that you’d be great for it,” Fehr said. He considers himself a doubles specialist and is looking to really lean on the doubles teams to score points. “Some doubles partners just have really good chemistry together,” Fehr said. “So far my number one doubles team is Avery Mollet and Joel Van Peursem (they) have really good chemistry blossom and just turn into a really good tennis play,” Ferh said. He also won’t be at the realm alone. He will be assisted by Vermillion High School graduate Sam Craig, who works with the singles aspect of the game. Senior Owen Mechling is one of four seniors for Vermillion, At the end of the season, which opened its 2017 tennis season on April 1. This is the Fehr is looking forward to the first season under new head coach Brock Fehr. state tournament where he is hoping to see Vermillion walk away with some points and play really well together. include Owen Mechling and and will be leaning on the I just look for people who like Tyler Hauck with returning doubles teams to make sure each other and do really well underclassmen Nic Harris that happens. together.” and Liam Mechling. “I want them to score Mollet and Van Peursem This isn’t Ferh’s first decent points at the state make up two of the four brush with coaching. He tournament because I know returning seniors on the team spent time as an assistant last year Vermillion didn’t and Fehr is looking for them coach back in Montana and score any points at all at to keep a fast pace during has worked with the Vermilstate, so I’m really looking to matches and be consistent lion Parks and Recreation with serving. tennis program, where he has get behind my number one doubles team because I see “Right now Avery and Joel coach some of the current them doing really well,” Fehr are looking really, really good. high school players he’ll be Their problem is they tend to working with this season. He said. “So far they are looking really good. They have the slow down if they get bored,” has already noticed an imhe said. “One thing that I provement in play from some potential to be contenders.” The Tanagers opened the would like them to work on players since the summer season April 1 at Yankton and is their serve consistency program, like Harris. because they tend to get car“When I first saw (Harris) had their first home meet on April 4 against Luverne. ried away and try to hit the play he was a decent play Home matches are played ball too hard and it doesn’t and I saw potential, but now at the tennis courts on the land in the box as often.” that the season has started campus of the University of Other returning seniors he has really started to South Dakota. GOLF Elyse.brightman@plaintalk.net VERMILLION — Vermillion girls’ golf is returning just one player from last year’s state runner up and region championship team, but don’t mention this being a rebuilding year. “At our first meeting (head coach) Kirk (Hogan) said he is not going to approach this as a rebuilding year and I don’t think we should approach it that way either,” said senior Kyleigh Moran, the lone returner. “We’re definitely not going to come back as strong as we did last year, but we are going to come back and compete and treat this as any other year.” In the first week of practice things are looking positive for the Tanagers with strong upcoming players who competed junior varsity last season. “Our younger girls are very good at keeping the ball in play,” Moran said. “Obviously, Alex (Carr) and I are probably the longer hitters on the team. We’ve played a little bit more than the other girls, but the other girls are keeping it in the fairway, 4/3 4/11 4/20 4/25 4/28 5/2 5/8 5/11 5/15 5/22 5/30 6/5-6 vs. Canton vs. Madison Elk Point-Jefferson Inv. Dakota Valley Inv. at Beresford/vs. Dakota Valley Dell Rapids Inv. West Central Inv. vs. Dakota Valley Vermillion Inv. Dakota XII Conf. (Tea) Region 2A (Dakota Dunes) State A (Hartford) 2 p.m. 9 a.m. 9 a.m. 3 p.m. 9 a.m. 9 a.m. 4 p.m. 9 a.m. 9 a.m. 9 a.m. 9 a.m. keeping it on the green, staying out of the hazards and I think that is going to be a big contributor to keeping our scores as a team lower.” Carr competed at the varsity level in a number of tournaments last year and will VHS GOLF | PAGE 7 Baseball: Tanagers Reload For ‘17 Season BY ELYSE BRIGHTMAN Mead Lumber 113 W. Main St., Vermillion 605-624-2655 2409 Broadway, Yankton 605-665-9651 Keeping Smiles Healthy & Young New Patients & Emergencies Welcome! 1101 Broadway Ste. 105, Morgen Square 605.665.2448 • www.scott-family-dentistry.com Experience Gentle, Personalized Dental Care For Your Entire Family! BASEBALL Elyse.brightman@plaintalk.net VERMILLION — Vermillion High School baseball has lost some lineup staples from last year’s team, but the Tanagers are looking to continue where they left off with talented players coming up from the junior varsity program. “I think with our JV program those young kids are getting enough at bats and practice time where we don’t necessarily have to rebuild,” said Vermillion head coach Tom Heisinger. Vermillion takes the field with a mix of veteran and rookie players this season on the campaign to qualify for the state tournament, which the team fell just short of last season. “Obviously it didn’t end the way we wanted to,” Heisinger said. “We are kind of using that as a reminder of some things we’ve got to work on and some ways to get better.” Similar to years past, Heisinger will be looking to improve on the “small ball” aspects of the game with bunting, hitting and base running. The wooden bats at the high school level can make it difficult to score many runs. He is hoping the strong defensive attributes of the team will be the deciding factor in the games by limiting runs Senior Kyleigh Moran is the lone returning varsity golfer against. for Vermillion, which finished second in Class A in 2016. “I don’t think we are go- New Faces, Same Attitude For VHS Girls’ Golf BY ELYSE BRIGHTMAN Hunter Christopherson and the Vermillion Tanagers baseball team will look to replace several key members of last year’s team. 3/28 3/31 4/4 4/7 4/12 4/14 4/17 4/19 4/21 4/23 4/24 4/30 5/1 5/4 5/5 5/13-14 5/20-21 5/29 vs. Baltic vs. Tea vs. Dell Rapids vs. Elk Point-Jefferson at Beresford-Alcester-Cent. vs. Turner-Hutch vs. Bon Homme-Scotland at Canton vs. Woodbury County at Wagner/Avon/Lake Andes at Dakota Valley vs. Parkston-Ethan vs. Dakota Valley at Elk Point-Jefferson vs. Beresford-Alcester-Cent. Region First Round Region Semis/Final State B (Sioux Falls) L 2-3 L 2-3 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 2 p.m. 5 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5 p.m. 4 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. TBA TBA TBA ing to be able to outscore people,” Heisinger said. “I want to be able to keep the score low and use our pitching and our arms as much as we can.” The Tanagers will have spots to fill in the pitching lineup, as well as at second base and in the outfield. Starting pitchers Billy Mount, Hunter Christopherson and Riley Johnson will return to the rotation, and Heisinger will look to typical relief pitcher Carter Kratz to spend a little more time on the mound. “When our pitchers are right and we are pitching to contact and using our defense to win games I would say that’s more of our strong point,” Heisinger said. Upcoming pitchers Cole Christopherson, Jacob Chausee and Justin Hall could also see some time on the mound. Behind the pitcher, Kratz Press & Dakotan photos are now available for purchase online! If you are looking for photos of your favorite team or activity, go to www.yankton.net and click on the Photo button to access the galleries. There are a variety of print sizes and products you can choose from to preserve your memories. www.yankton.net
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