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WINTER SPORTS 2017: PAGE 3B PRESS & DAKOTAN n PLAIN TALK Veteran Tanager Lineup Looks To Build On School-Record Duals Mark BY ELYSE BRIGHTMAN Elyse.brightman@plaintalk.net Every year the Vermillion High School wrestling team sets on with the same goal of winning all duals during the season, and last year the Tanagers came as close as ever and finished with the best record in school history (22-2). “Last year we put together using veterans and new kids and junior varsity, but we were able to put together a really good dual team,” said Vermillion head coach Joe Delvaux. “(We) took a lot of pride in our dual record and going to bigger schools and beating them in duals, so dual-wise last year we had a really good season.” The team mixture of veterans and newbies combined with “team chip on their shoulder” Vermillion set out on their goal with aggressive, physical wrestling. This year, with a few minor changes, the attitude and culture in the wrestling room is pointing towards another successful year. “Their success was they were aggressive, physical wrestlers and we just wore people down,” Delvaux says. “I think we are the same this year, but a little bit different. I think this year, if I look at the team as a whole we are a little more technical than we are just physical, but all of our kids are equally as hungry this year.” The Tanagers set another school record last year, and that was the number of wrestlers that qualified for the state tournament. Though the team didn’t finish where they were hoping to, it sent 11 to Sioux Falls in March to the Class A tournament and are returning eight this season with some valuable experience. “This year, a lot of the kids Vermillion’s Lucas Anglin is returning to the Tanagers’ squad looking for a state championship title after finishing second in the 113-pound weight class last year. Vermillion’s Trey Hage is returning to the Tanagers’ squad looking for a state championship title after finishing as the Class A runner-up in the 138-pound weight class last year. that we have coming back had been to the state tournament, but only a handful of them have placed at the state tournament,” Delvaux said. Among those returning are state-tournament runnerups Trey Hage, a senior, and Lucas Anglin, a sophomore. Hage was undefeated in 32 matches heading into the championship bout where he saw his first loss of the season, a close 7-3 decision. Anglin, a freshman last year, faced Pierre junior Lincoln Turman and lost 1-0. Returning senior Brody Surrell also earned a spot on the podium last year with sixth place. “We have a lot of phenomenal athletes and we have a lot of new kids that come out for wrestling just to become better athletes,” Delvaux said. “So, one of the things that sets some of those guys apart is that this is their sport. They’ve been doing it for a long time and they wait all year long to do this. We are lucky to have those guys and then a really, really good group of just outstanding athletes.” Seniors Brett Culver and Devin O’Neill, juniors Ryne Whisler and Jarrett Rueb and sophomore Kobe Culver all competed on last year’s state tournament and are returning for the Tanagers. “Losing those guys, that happens every year, you lose guys, but it’s been a simple VHS Girls transition for these guys to step in and fill the role,” Delvaux said. This year’s schedule doesn’t get any easier with a packed list of competitions starting with five in December before the Floyd Farrand Tournament on December 2930. Another seven in January and three in February before the region tournament and Class A state tournament on February 23-24 at the Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. “It’s kind of an ebb and flow. It slows down for a week and then we are crazy for another two weeks. We have a really good solid schedule,” Delvaux said. He’s hoping to see the program continue to progress like it has in the last few years, but also has some concerns for the future. “The only thing that really worries me about the future of Vermillion wrestling is our middle school numbers,” Delvaux said. “Kids have this mentality that to be success in the sport they have to be our since they were four and it’s just not true.” The team has set out with the same goals of winning duals and qualifying as many as possible for the state tournament and is looking for the team experience, community support and the culture created by Vermillion wrestling to carry the Tanagers to an even more successful season. “It might seem redundant, but that is our goal again this year, to win every dual we can possibly win, win the region and get as many kids on the podium as we can,” Delvaux said. “I think we’ve got maybe a better chance this year to place higher at state than we did last year just because we have so many kids with state tournament experience, that knows what it’s like to get there and fall short of the podium and I WRESTLING Season Schedule 12/2 Roosevelt Inv. 12/7 Vermillion Quad (Brandon Valley, Dakota Valley, Yankton) 12/9 Watertown Inv. 10 am 12/12 Canton Quad 5:30 pm (Dakota Valley, Elk Point-Jeff., Canton) 12/16 Washington Inv. 9 am 12/29-30 Farrand Inv. 11/10 am 1/4 (at Sioux Falls Lincoln) Dak. Valley Quad 5 pm (Dakota Valley, Elk Point-Jeff., SF Lincoln) 1/6 1/9 Dan Pansch Inv. 9 am (at Brandon Valley HS) Lennox Quad 5:30 pm (Canton, Lennox, Tea Area) 1/16 Canton Quad 5:30 pm (Canton, Tri-Valley, West Central) 1/20 Dakota XII Conf. 10 am (at Tri-Valley HS, Colton) 1/23 vs. Canton 6:30 pm 1/27 Les Tlustos Inv. 9 am (at Brookings) 1/30 Madison Quad 5:30 pm 2/1 2/3 2/8 (Canton, Dell Rapids, Madison) Vermillion Tri. 5:30 pm (Crofton-Bloomfield, Wagner) Yankton Inv. 9 am Washington Tri. 5:30 pm (Dakota Valley, Washington) 2/16 Region 2A 1 pm 2/23-24 State Tourn. 10 am (at Sanford Pentagon) (at Premier Center, Sioux Falls) think that motivation all year lone is going to show up at state.” VHS Boys adjust.” In the first four days of practices, the Tanagers are working on finding the team FROM PAGE 2B FROM PAGE 2B Season Schedule chemistry that will be needed to run a motion offense. 12/8 at Bon Homme 6:30 pm ning the floor.” lion to take a different route 12/11 vs. Ponca 7:30 pm “A lot of these dudes have Already working in the to scoring. 12/16 Pentagon Classic TBD never had varsity experi(at Sioux Falls) Tanagers favor is the fact “Nate Brady and Carter ence, so we just need to get 12/19 vs. Tri-Valley 6:30 pm that the team only lost two Larson are two seniors that in practices, get some team 12/29 vs. Tea Area 5 pm seniors from last year’s state have kind of played the post chemistry,” said Plitzuweit. 1/4 at Canton 7:30 pm tournament squad and return for our jv teams, but they 1/5 at Parkston 6:30 pm The schedule won’t make top scorers in seniors Melare not real big kids,” Drake 1/9 vs. Madison 7:30 pm the process any easy since stad and Kasey Jensen and said. “We are going to have to the Tanagers compete in one 1/11 at Lennox 6:30 pm a total of six of last season’s look to push and make some of the toughest conferences 1/13 vs. Murray Co. Cent. noon (Garretson Border Clash) main eight-man rotation. With things up defensively on difin Class A, the Dakota XII 1/16 vs. Elk Point-Jeff. 6:30 those factors, the team is ferent levels of the floor and Conference. pm looking to return to the Class try to get out in some transi1/19 vs. Garretson 6:30 pm “We feel we have some A tournament and improve tion and spread the floor and games early that hopefully we 1/23 at West Central 6:30 pm on last year’s placing. back down perimeter shots.” can play well and build some 1/25 at Dell Rapids 6:30 pm 1/30 vs. Beresford 6:30 pm “The senior class is reVermillion has run a confidence early,” Drake said. 2/1 at S.F. Christian 7:30 pm ally strong this year and we motion offense in the past “We know with our confer2/3 Dak. XII/NEC Clash TBA got mostly everyone back,” and continue to do so this (At Madison) ence and the area of the state Melstad said. “We just have year, and tactic that requires we are in is a very difficult 2/6 at Dakota Valley 6:30 pm to work hard and do what we a “high basketball IQ”, but 2/9 vs. LeMars 6:30 pm place and we have a difficult 2/13 at Wagner 6:30 pm did last year and know that typically hold four players schedule, so we are going to 2/20 Region 4A 7 pm there are other teams in the around the perimeter with a have to improve early.” 2/22 Region 4A 7 pm state working just as hard as post player underneath. With With the jam-packed 3/2 State Qualifier TBD us to get to where we were teams keeping a close eye on Vermillion is looking to be 3/8-10 State A Watertown last year. (We) just know that Plitzuweit and uncertainty in playing their best at the end it’s going to be a battle every the post position, players will of the season with the hopes game.” everyone scoring, so not one need to constantly move to of making a run in the post The team is using the two spread the floor and open up season and reaching the goal person can be keyed on our final losses that ended last space for shooting. team,” Melstad said. of qualifying for the state season as motivation to get “You have to have a high Vermillion junior Kasey Herbster protects the ball from an Vermillion faces a tough tournament. prepared for the upcoming basketball IQ and be able to opponent during a game last season. She was one of the schedule to start the season “Obviously our team goal 2017-18 start. The same goals top reserves for the Tanagers a season ago. read screens and what the with Bon Homme on opening will always be to make the as last year are already on defense is doing,” Drake said. state tournament and hopenight on Dec. 8, followed by the table during the pre“That will be a learning curve fully win the state champiPonca, Nebraska on Dec. 11, to the younger, more inexpe- school after school for pracseason practices: win the then the Pentagon Classic the for our guys to understand onship. That is always our rienced talents coming up to tice and was kind of all over conference, won the region that a lot of times other goal,” Plitzuweit said. fill the two spots open from the place and I think our girls next weekend. and qualify for the state teams, even if AJ doesn’t “We don’t know who we Vermillion opens the last year’s seniors. did a really nice job of fitting tournament. have the basketball, they are season at Bon Homme then are playing there yet, but Plitzuweit joined the team her into our program.” “We talk about getting going to cheat towards him we’ll get someone really host Flandreau Indian for the last year as an eighth grader With the experience now the number one seed in and they are going to help good,” Brooks said. “Right home opener on Tuesday, after the conclusion of the helping the Tanagers, it’s our region and winning the on him on screens and we’ve Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. from the start, that’s someconference tournament, then middle school season and im- not just a matter of players got to be able to slip that and mediately made a positive im- finding their role on the team thing we talked about with making state and winning the girls, we don’t have a pact which only continued to and where they are the most state,” Melstad said. “That AVON PIRATES lot of days of practice and helpful. has always been our goal and improve with the more time we have to go right from the she spend on the court. This “We are all good scorers 1/13.......................................Hanson Classic last year we finally made our Boys’ Basketball start because we are going to (at Corn Palace, Mitchell) 12/9............................................vs. Parkston year, with a year experience, and we all know what we goal in getting to state, so 12/12.........................at Corsica-Stickney (C) 1/16...............................vs. Mitchell Christian she’ll be looked at to make can do, so it’s just getting on face some really good teams this year we are hoping we 12/19.........................................at Centerville 1/18.at Andes Central-Dakota Christian (AC) even more of an impact. offense and setting it up and early on.” can win it as well.” 12/21............................................vs. Colome 1/20............................................... at Wagner 12/29..............................vs. Alcester-Hudson 1/23.......... at Burke-South Central (at Burke) “This year with her being Melstad and Jensen are 1/4...............................vs. Ethan (at Mitchell) 1/26............................................. at Parkston returning as five-year starters at the high school, having 1/11.............................................vs. Scotland 1/30.................................................at Menno 1/16...............................vs. Mitchell Christian 2/1........................................vs. Bon Homme been here now for a couple and are joined by seniors 1/18.at Andes Central-Dakota Christian (AC) 2/6...................................... vs. Viborg-Hurley years and knowing the girls Madisen Martinez and Emily 1/20............................................... at Wagner 2/9........................ vs. Tripp-Delmont-Armour (DWU Classic at Mitchell) Bye, both of which are multi- you can just tell she’s way 1/22...................................................at Marty 1/25...............................................at Gregory 2/12......................................at Gayville-Volin more comfortable our here, year starters, as well. CENTERVILLE TORNADOES 1/29...............................................vs. Menno she’s way more confident,” “Those four kids have 2/2........................................vs. Bon Homme Wrestling 2/12...............................vs. Flandreau Indian Boys’ Basketball 2/6...................................... vs. Viborg-Hurley really been the backbone for Brooks said. “She played Bon Homme-Scotland-Avon 2/23...............................................vs. Menno 12/8...........................................vs. Canistota 2/10...................... vs. Tripp-Delmont-Armour 11/30.............................................. at Wagner really well at the end of the playing time for the last two 12/12.............................................vs. Santee 2/12......................................at Gayville-Volin 12/2....... Dell Rapids Top of The Rock Tourn. 12/16.............................................at Iroquois to three years, so we will rely year last year for state tour2/13............................................... at Hanson 12/5..................................... BH-S-A Tri. (BH) Girls’ Basketball 12/19................................................vs. Avon 12/12.............................................vs. Santee 2/16............................................vs. Freeman nament, so she’ll have a big (Crofton-Bloomfield, Pierce) heavily on those four kids,” 1/4..................vs. Freeman Academy-Marion 12/16.............................................at Iroquois 2/23......................... vs. Burke-South Central 12/9.........Burke-Gregory Tourn. (at Gregory) role for us this season.” Brooks said. “We’ve got a 1/5........................... vs. Burke-South Central 12/19................................................vs. Avon 12/12.......................Marion-Freeman Tri. (M) 1/9................................................at Scotland 1/4..................vs. Freeman Academy-Marion Last year was Plitzuweit’s great senior group that has (Marion-Freeman, Parker) Girls’ Basketball 1/11...................................vs. Irene-Wakonda 1/9................................................at Scotland 12/16.........................Elk Point-Jefferson Inv. first year in Vermillion, and done a lot for our program, 12/8.............................................vs. Gregory 12/30............. McCook Central-Montrose Inv. 1/13........vs. Andes Central-Dakota Christian 1/11...................................vs. Irene-Wakonda 12/12.........................at Corsica-Stickney (C) (Tri-Valley Conf. Classic, Yankton) so we will lean on them heav- Brooks was happy to see the (at Salem) 1/13............................................vs. Arlington 12/14................ at Hartington Cedar Catholic 1/4............................... at Elk Point-Jefferson 1/16............................................. at Freeman way to rest of the players (Midco Classic, Madison) ily. We’ll be relying on some 12/18............................................. at Hanson 1/6...................................Brandon Valley Inv. 1/20.......................Midco Classic at Madison 1/25.................................... vs. Viborg-Hurley new kids, some young kids to welcomed her to the team. 12/19.........................................at Centerville 1/13.............................................Mitchell Inv. 1/23...................... vs. Tripp-Delmont-Armour 1/27..............................vs. Platte-Geddes JV 12/21............................................vs. Colome 1/16............................................vs. Parkston 1/25.................................... vs. Viborg-Hurley “(She) had only been here come in and fill those roles.” (Tri-Valley Conf. Classic, Yankton) 12/29..............................vs. Alcester-Hudson 1/20......................................... Winner Tourn. 1/30................................. at Alcester-Hudson 1/30................................. at Alcester-Hudson about a year then she was at Off the bench from 1/4...............................vs. Ethan (at Mitchell) 1/27........................................ Wagner Tourn. 2/1................................................vs. Hanson 2/6.............................at Dell Rapids St. Mary the middle school,” Brooks 1/6.....................................................at Marty 1/30.............................vs. Burke-Gregory (S) 2/6.............................at Dell Rapids St. Mary 2/9...................................... vs. Gayville-Volin last year are junior Kasey 1/11.............................................vs. Scotland 2/10...........................................Huron Tourn. 2/9...................................... vs. Gayville-Volin 2/12...............................vs. Flandreau Indian said. “She’s coming from the Herbster and freshman Lexi middle school to the high Plitzuweit. Brooks is looking GIRLS’ BASKETBALL Plain Talk: Your Source For VHS Sports CROSBY-JAEGER FUNERAL HOME INC. Avon, SD 119 N. Poplar St. Wagner, SD 124 E. 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