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SPRING SPORTS 2017: PAGE 5 PRESS & DAKOTAN ? PLAIN TALK Yankton To Use Spring Baseball As Extended Spring Training BY MICHAEL HAMMOND sports@yankton.net It’s all about preparation as the Yankton Bucks get set to take the diamond this spring. Since baseball teams in the Midwest don’t have the good fortune of sunny weather in the first months of the year, it will be the first time throwing a baseball for most of the Bucks roster since last summer. “It will be like a spring training mindset early on,” Yankton head coach Trey Krier said. “We will take things slow, especially on the pitching side of things and get the arms ready for the strain pitching puts on them.” Like the pros use spring training to prepare for the regular season, Yankton will use the spring season to prepare for the summer’s legion season albeit with a more competitive mindset as they contend for a spot at the high school state tournament. “The Yankton Baseball Association board, since I have been coaching, has had the mindset of putting value into the spring season, but use it to build up to the legion season and be ready to go,” Krier said. “With that said, we are still a varsity team and want to be competitive and ready to make a postseason run in the spring.” After losing a big senior class from last year, including Sheldon Gant and Colin Muth, the Bucks will have to look to a relatively new group in 2017 to be competitive. Seniors Cameron Hunter, Nathan Hein, Michael Heine, Jordan Kathol, Justin Leader, and Mason Townsend will look to lead the fresh squad. “Mason Townsend will be a big part of what we do on the mound and at the plate,” Krier said. “Jordan Kathol has been big for us up the middle defensively and on the mound. Jordan Kathol returns as a leader on the pitching staff and in the middle of the defense for Yankton, which begins club high school play on April 18. BASEBALL 4/18 4/20 4/21 4/25 4/29 4/30 5/2 5/6 5/13 5/15 5/16 5/20 5/27 vs. Brandon Valley (DH) vs. S.F. Lincoln at S.F. Roosevelt vs. S.F. O’Gorman (DH) vs. Mitchell (DH) vs. Brookings (DH) at S.F. O’Gorman at Mitchell (DH) vs. S.F. Roosevelt (DH) vs. S.F. Washington at S.F. Washington Regions (high seed) State A (Sioux Falls) 5 p.m. 5 p.m. 6 p.m. 5 p.m. 1 p.m. 1 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 1 p.m. 1 p.m. 5 p.m. 6 p.m. “Justin Leader is a guy who has gotten a lot of at bats during the legion season.” Behind the seniors, junior Trey Bakke and sophomores Caid Koletzky and Ethan Wishon will get a chance to shine, especially on the mound for the two sophomores. “Koletzky was on the legion roster last year and has a chance to make an instant impact,” Krier said. “I’m excited to see what this younger group can do.” Offensively, Yankton will look towards Townsend, Kathol, Hein, Leader, and Bakke to fuel a lineup that will be more in tune for small ball. “After losing Sheldon Gant and Collin Muth, we will have to rely on small ball much more,” Krier said. “We will have to lay bunts, steal bases, and play a scrappy style of baseball.” The Bucks will put their small ball to the test on April 18 as they take on Brandon Valley in a double header to open the season in Yankton. Follow @michaelhammond_ on Twitter. Yankton High School Trap Shooting Team Becomes A Reality BY DYLAN HUGGINS sports@yankton.net A trap shooting club is no longer a dream at Yankton High School, it’s a reality. Mike Rockne, who is the Yankton trap shooting coach, came up with the idea while watching a competition on TV and presented the idea to the Yankton School Board. In February, the school board voted unanimously to approve trap shooting as a club sport allowing Yankton students in grades 7-12 to compete in the sport. Rockne said that the club will focus on key priorities as they begin their first season, but above all, safety will be number one. “Our number one priority is safety,” he said. “Each kid will know how to handle a gun safely and each one will have had to complete the hunter safety course before joining the team.” Rockne said that while it is a competition, he emphasized that he wants the sport to be fun for the kids. “We’re just going to go out there and have fun doing it and the marksmanship is just part of it and will just tell them it is kind of a bonus,” he said. “We’re going to teach them the basics and we’re not going to dwell on turning them in to professional shooters, we’re just going to have a fun safe time.” Those competing in the club must provide their own gun and pay a fee to join the team. Rockne mentioned that the TABOR LUMBER COOP Tabor, SD Lumber Co-op 463-2565 Petro Dept. 463-2251 Lesterville Dept. 364-7522 “ There are no benchwarmers. If you get on the team, you’re on the team.” Mike Rockne, Coach Mason Townsend fires the ball across the diamond during a game last season. After taking heavy graduation losses, Townsend will be asked to be a leader for the Bucks. Townsend Steps Into Leadership Role according to Bucks’ head coach Trey Krier. “He doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but you can tell he Mason Townsend will really cares,” Krier said. “He look to lead a fresh group doesn’t get too excited when for Yankton in baseball this things go good and doesn’t spring after losing a big get too low when things go group of seniors from last bad. He is a great leader season. because of it.” The Bucks will look to One way Townsend lead is compete for a state tournaby example. ment berth as they prepare “He is a kid that is always themselves for the legion seaworking,” Krier said. “Whethson along the way, but first they will need the new group er it is in the batting cage or just outside throwing, he to step up. Townsend, who enters his fourth year on the always finds time to get out there even if there is snow on varsity baseball team could the ground.” be the first guy to step up. Townsend will be one of “It will feel different after the bigger bats in a lineup playing with those guys for which will focus more on so long,” Townsend said. “It small ball this year, as well will be good to experience and I want to become more of as, a main component of the pitching staff. If other follow a leader.” Becoming a leader should in fold, the Bucks will have a be no problem for Townsend successful spring BY MICHAEL HAMMOND sports@yankton.net “With the team now, we have lost a lot,” Townsend said. “People will need to step up and fill in positions.” Making the state tournament this year is the top goal on Townsend’s mind as he goes into his senior season. “We haven’t done that yet, but this year I feel like we could,” Townsend said. “We just need to focus on the fundamentals then everything will come and it will take care of itself.” Following high school, Townsend plans to play baseball at the University of Sioux Falls. He verbally committed to play first and third base back in February and depending on his performance he may take a redshirt year. Follow @michaelhammond_ on Twitter. Tennis men’s league. son. Rockne is certain that “It’s a valuable means to they can turn some heads club is a fantastic opportunity “We have 45 students on work on your game during this year and reach their for anyone who wants to join our team, so we’ll be shooting the offseason,” Hage said. goals. FROM PAGE 4 because every member of against somewhere between The Bucks’ participation “Last year’s finish was disthe team will be competing 40 and 50 students,” he said. in the league denotes a willappointing for us but it’s not With not all of the posiregardless of their skill set. Each team competes at ingness to better themselves something we’re too worried “There are no benchwarm- their own range and the scor- tions being filled yet, there and their team, a quality that about because of how young ers. If you get on the team, ing is done electronically. is time for notable young will be vital in their quest to we are as a team, I think that you’re on the team,” he said. “If we’re shooting against players like Gerrit Dykstra, clinch a top place finish. this year we can really shock “There are no tryouts and Wagner, Pierre, Brookings or Cole Sawatzke, Giang Nguyen, Having taken a step back some people on the court,” if you’re part of the team, whoever happens to be in our Guthrie Scoblic, and Becker in the ESD last season with he said. you’re going to be pulling for conference, we shoot here and to stake their claim in the their six place finish, the the person next to you who’s they shoot there and we plug lineup. Bucks are eager to show Follow @RogelioUlisesR on shooting and there’s going to our scores into a computer,” Hage has tipped the their improvement this seaTwitter be a lot of comradery.” he said. youngest member of the Another bonus for those The South Dakota High squad, Becker, to be the not only competing in the School Clay Target League Bucks break out player this BON HOMME CAVALIERS competitions, but for the handles all the scoring upseason, despite his being a parents as well, is that most dates including individual and seventh grader. Becker is Boys’ & Girls’ Golf Track & Field of the competitions will be team scores for competitions signed up to play six singles 4/7 Class B Classic 10 a.m. 3/21 Dan Lennon Class B (Lakeview, Mitchell) 3/25 Ruth Marske Inv. (Brookings) taking place in Yankton at the and they also keep track of and three doubles this sea4/13 Southeast South Dakota 3/27 Gregory Inv. Jim River Trap Range. It is a where teams stand within the son at the varsity level. Small-School Inv. 9 a.m. 4/4 Scotland Inv. (Fox Run, Yankton) 4/7 Avon Inv. 4:30 p.m. 10-week season and the 10th state. “It is apparent that Gage 4/21 B-SC/Gregory Inv. 10 a.m. 4/11 Wagner Relays 2 p.m. week concludes the season Rockne said that he sees (Boys at Gregory, Girls at Burke) 4/18 South Dakota-Nebraska Challenge has spent countless hours with a state competition in this club as something that is on the court working on 4/26 Gayville-Volin Inv. (Yankton) 9 a.m. (Tyndall) 2 p.m. 4/28 Avon/Scotland Inv. 10 a.m. 4/21 Flevares Relays (Tyndall) 4:30 p.m. Aberdeen. going to be around Yankton (Boys at Scotland, Girls at Bon Homme CC) his game over the past few 4/25 Creighton Inv. 1:30 p.m. “The first two weeks are for a long time. 5/5 Platte-Geddes/BSC Inv. 10 a.m. 4/28 1st Dakota Relays (Yankton) 2 p.m. (Boys at Burke, Girls at Platte) just practice and will go out “It’s proven that your team years,” Hage said, “he will 4/29 Platte-Geddes Inv. 10 a.m. be a fun player to watch 5/12 Avon/Bon Homme Inv. 10 a.m. 5/2 Little Missouri Valley Conf. to the range and show them more than doubles after the (Boys at Spring?eld, Girls at Bon Homme CC) progress over the next six (Wagner) 2 p.m. the fundamentals in practice,” first year and last year was 5/19 Pre-Region 10 a.m. 5/5-6 Howard Wood Dakota Relays seasons.” (Lakeview, Mitchell) Rockne said. “The third week the first-year South Dakota (Sioux Falls) 2 p.m./9 a.m. 5/23 Region 4B 10 a.m. 5/9 Despite their young faces, Southeast South Dakota Conf. you shoot a reserves course had it and they had seven (Lakeview, Mitchell) (Mount Vernon) 2 p.m. the Bucks are brimming with 6/5-6 State B at Sioux Falls TBD 5/12 Parkston-Ethan Inv. in case of inclement weather teams in the state, this year 2 p.m. (Girls at Prairie Green, Boys at Spring Creek) experience. Last season half or something happened where there is 23,” he said. “Yankton 5/18 Region 5A (Tyndall) 11 a.m. of the squad had never seen 5/26 State A (Tea) 9:30 a.m. we couldn’t get together for a has the hunting base and it is 5/27 State Meet (Sioux Falls) 9 a.m. week.” a good safe sport that anyone any varsity action, compared to this season where five of Over the course of a can do.” the top six have all had some period of five weeks, those The season for the South varsity experience. on the team will compete Dakota High School Clay Hage credits his squad’s against schools in Yankton’s Target League runs from April improvement to what they conference. The conferences 2-May 28. do in the offseason, saying are determined by the size of the groups versus where the Follow@dhugg23 on Twitter that most of his players play in Yankton’s indoor winter schools are from. R. Martin Koch K A CROSBY-JAEGER FUNERAL HOME INC. Avon, SD 119 N. Poplar St. Wagner, SD 124 E. Hwy 50 384-3781 Springfield, SD 604 8th St. 369-2488 Jim & Julie Jaeger and Chad Peters FORT RANDALL TELEPHONE CO. Dr. James Torsney 605-563-2863 1708 Main Street Tyndall, SD 605-589-3406 Bon-Homme, SD Open Monday-Friday 9am - 5pm Saturday by appointment Optometrist Carson Family Dentistry C. Nolan Carson III, DDS, MA Kelsey Pudwill, RDH Lewis & Clark Medical Plaza 2525 Fox Run Parkway, Ste. 204 Kynan C. Trail, MD, FACS www.yanktonsurgical.com 707 Chestnut St. Springfield, SD 57062 605-369-2226 Hours: 8am - 5pm • Mon - Fri A Independent Agent Kaul’s Ag & Auto, Inc. Tyndall • 589-3572 Tabor • 463-2558 Springfield • 369-5520 Yankton • 665-3572 Your Complete Parts & Service Center 1414 Walnut • Springfield, SD 605-369-5411 Cell: 660-1629 • marty.koch@kochinsurance.com Prices Reduced on 2016 & 2015 new E-Z-GO Models
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