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WINTER SPORTS 2017: PAGE 3A PRESS & DAKOTAN n PLAIN TALK Yankton Bowlers Look To Build On Seventh Place Finishes bowlers to join the Yankton team. And those additions will help bolster the Bucks and Gazelles, according to Yankton head coach Pat King. The five-year-old Yankton High “We love having the extra numSchool club bowling teams will have bers, but they’re all great kids,” he a significantly different look this said. season. Joining Yankton will be Vermillion Just how different? High School students Josh Bern, LauOf the 18 bowlers, between the ren Bern, Bronson Etse Jr. and Makyla boys’ and girls’ squads, six schools are represented: YHS, Yankton Middle Jacobs. Tim Dixon, from Vermillion School, Sacred Heart School, Gayville- Middle School, will also bowl for Volin Middle School, and for the first Yankton. “In the end, we would’ve rather time Vermillion High School and had Vermillion in our state associaVermillion Middle School. tion with its own team, but this is the Vermillion, which started a bowling program three years before Yank- next best thing for those kids,” King said. ton, folded after last season. VermilYankton’s boys’ roster will be led lion’s coach, Arlan Bern, then sought by sophomores Jake McBride and and received approval for five of his BY JEREMY HOECK jeremy.hoeck@yankton.net Aaron Blackwell, who have both established themselves among the best in the state, according to their coach. The boys’ roster also features Joey Losing, Connar Becker, Gage Becker, Parker Pooler, Wyatt Reindl, Logan Smallwood, Carter Teply, Devon Underwood, as well as the three (Josh Bern, Etse Jr. and Dixon) from Vermillion. The girls’ roster will be led by sophomore Bailey Wieseler, and will also feature Zara Bitsos, Hannah Washburn, as well as Lauren Bern and Jacobs from Vermillion. The 18-person team will be led by a coaching staff with dozens of years of competitive experience. King and his assistant coaches are all competitive bowlers, but they’ve dedicated themselves to their coaching craft, King said — he, in particular, is classified as a Silver level coach through the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). “It’s all about looking at the game from a different perspective,” King said. Both Yankton squads finished seventh at the state tournament last year, and they’ll hope to climb the ladder at this season’s state event set for Feb. 23 in Brookings. “We all like to win; and the boys will win their fair share of events, but I like the idea of both teams focusing on how we can compete better at state,” King said. Follow @jhoeck on Twitter BOWLING Season Schedule Boys (1-2) — Girls (1-2) 11/10 at S.F. Washington (Boys - L 18.5-31.5; Girls - L 7-43) 11/17 vs. West Central (Boys - W 44-6; Girls - W 26-24) 12/1 vs. S.F. Roosevelt 12/8 1/5 1/12 1/19 (Boys - L 25-25; Girls - L 2-48) vs. Canton 4 pm vs. Brandon Valley 4 pm vs. Brookings 4 pm at Harrisburg 4 pm (Eastway Bowl, Sioux Falls) 1/26 at McCook Central 4 pm 2/2 at O’Gorman 4 pm (Empire Bowl, Sioux Falls) 2/9 vs. S.F. Lincoln 2/16 at Dell Rapids 2/23 State Tourn. (at Prairie Lanes, Brookings) 4 pm 4 pm 9 am Gymnastics New-Look Gazelles Ready For Challenge BY JAMES D. CIMBUREK James.cimburek@yankton.net EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Dec. 27, 2017, edition of the Press & Dakotan. It has been updated to reflect the ongoing season. The lineup that stepped on the floor Nov. 27 when the Yankton Gazelles gymnastics team opened its 2017-18 season will not look much like the one that left the floor after the 2017 state meet. “We had a very exciting, historic season, a recordbreaking season,” said Yankton head gymnastics coach Justin Olson. “We achieved a lot, and we are looking forward to building on that.” The 2016-17 season was one for the record books. The team set a school-record with a best score of 142.55, recorded at the Eastern South Dakota Conference Championships, and tie a school record with a fourth place team finish at state. The team also recorded its first-ever individual event state champion, Payton Steffensen on the floor. She posted the program’s bestever all-around finish (third) and became the first Gazelle in nearly 30 years to score top-10 finishes in all four events and the all-around. The Gazelles also took home more top-10 finishes than in any state meet in program history. “We ended on a good note last year,” said Steffensen. “I think it sparked us to do a lot more, inspired some of our younger gymnasts to step up. Everyone wants to strive for better.” Gone from last season are three state placewinners and four seniors that competed at state. Also gone, at least for now, are the Gazelles’ top two state meet performers, sophomores Payton Steffensen and Jaiden Boomsma (both injured). “Just like any high school program, we have to fill some holes,” Olson said. “We had Yankton’s Samantha Kortan competes on the vault as her teammates look on during a gymnastics meet on Nov. 27 at the Yankton High School Gym. Kortan is one of the top returning gymnasts for the Gazelles. some great seniors that had led us since their sophomore year. We feel that presence even this year, but we do have some good leadership on the team. “They (last year’s seniors) were able to instill some of those leadership qualities into some of those girls that watched them lead for quite some time. I’m lucky in that way, that these girls were following those seniors and know how to lead.” Lauren Vik, who contributed at the varsity level last season, and Madison Stahly will be the lone seniors on the squad this season. Juniors Samantha Kortan and Miranda Schulte, who each competed last season, also return. “Lauren Vik contributed on varsity in a few events last year. Madison Stahly will probably be a factor on the JV team, but she’s been working really hard,” Olson said. “We have some kids like Miranda Schulte, who will need to step up this year. Samantha Kortan has some big shoes to fill. We’re looking forward to having her do some really great things for us.” Besides Boomsma and Steffensen, sophomores include Ashlynn McGhee and varsity regular Trinity Johnson. Lauren Gillis is the Eighth grader Allison Johnson is one of several young lone freshman. gymnasts expected to be a key contributor for the Gazelles YHS GYM | PAGE 4A this season. She has been the team’s top all-around scorer in each of the first two meets this season. YHS Boys FROM PAGE 2A YHS Girls “Our work ethic and wanting to win every day,” Wolfgram said. “Everyone FROM PAGE 2A comes in here (to the gym) and wants to be here, which is great.” athletic,” she said. “And we Will having an experihave a lot of girls who are reenced squad allow the Bucks ally versatile, so they can go to start the season strong? here and there.” “That would be the hope,” It’s also a team that knows Haynes said, with a smile. quite a bit about each other, “But with the schedule we Oswald added. play, it’s very competitive.” “We played together all In addition to their 16 summer long, so we have a games in the Eastern South pretty good idea where we’re Dakota Conference, the Bucks at,” she said. “Obviously it’ll will also face three Sioux Falls be a lot different once we get teams, and will also compete going with games.” in the Mike Miller Classic on It’s also obvious that the Dec. 30 in Sioux Falls. Gazelles are comfortable with Yankton’s Dec. 14 game each other, Krier added. against Brandon Valley will “I really like the group be part of the Sanford Penwe have,” he said. “They get tagon Throwback Classic in along and they have chemisSioux Falls — both teams will try, and sometimes that’s half wear special, throwback unithe battle. forms for a televised games. “We’re to the point where The Mike Miller Classic we feel like it doesn’t matter is also a new addition to the who we throw out there, Yankton’s Jessica Reinhardt, 22, goes up for a shot during schedule. they’ll be able to work well a home game last season. “I think our guys are really together.” excited about,” Haynes said. Yankton will spend the entire season jockeying for posi- game — instead of a district game will impact a seed posi- “I think that is something our kids and our community will tion within the top-16 places tournament. tion,’ Krier said. be excited about.” in the Class AA standings “At the same point, we’re The other change to (by seed points) to better its not used to it, so you don’t Follow @jhoeck on Twitter Yankton’s schedule has to position for a ‘round of 16’ really know how heavy each A YHS Bronze Partner! TARPING SYSTEMS AND ACCESSORIES Stop by our Outlet Store for sales, installs and Genuine replacement tarps and parts. ® SHUR-CO OUTLET STORE 2309 Shur-Lok St., Yankton, SD 605.665.6000 shurco.com WILSON TRAILER COMPANY Travis & Whitney Devine 909 Broadway, Yankton Tripp Park Plaza 665-2389 – Office Hwy. 81 N. Yankton, SD PREMIUM BEST TRANSPORT 1501 Wek Road Yankton, SD 57078 605-665-9202 Yankton’s Rex Ryken, left, and Matthew Mors trap an opposing ball handler during a game last season. do with the postseason format. Rather than play in a district tournament (the Bucks were eliminated in the play-in game last season), the final 16 teams will play in a winner-to-state, loser-gohome game. “For all of the classes, I think it makes the most sense for AA,” Haynes said. “We have 18 teams, and to have a 16-team tournament (a socalled ‘sweet 16’) just makes a lot of sense for me.” Follow @jhoeck on Twitter Roy Johnson Roofing, Inc. • Standard Seam • Repairing & New Roofs • Built-Up Roofing • One-Ply Roofing System FREE ESTIMATES 500 Burleigh Yankton • 665-7731 1801 Summit St. Yankton • 668-5234 For more information go to: www.cityofyankton.org
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