Local Sports

Northern State announces Harlem Globetrotters coming to Aberdeen

The Harlem Globetrotters “Pushing the Limits” World Tour travels to Aberdeen in just under two months; scheduled for April 1 at 7 p.m. in the Barnett Center’s Wachs Arena. Northern State Athletics is proud to announce a one-of-a-kind ticket promotion in conjunction with the Wolves final home basketball games of the regular season.


For each Harlem Globetrotters ticket purchase from February 18-20, the purchasers will receive an entry to win four free tickets to the Wolves final weekend of the regular season versus UMary and Minot State. Tickets must be purchased in the Barnett Center main office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to be eligible for entry. The winner will be announced Friday, February 21 on the Northern State Athletics Facebook Page.


Both courtside and general admission tickets are available and priced at $66.50 and $33.50, respectively. Checks should be made payable to the NSU Foundation. NSU faculty, staff, and students will also receive a $10.00 discount per general admission ticket. In addition to the main show, a Magic Pass Pre-Show Event will be offered. This event begins 90 minutes prior to show time and ends 60 minutes prior to show time. Customers must purchase a Magic Pass ticket, for $19.00, in addition to their game ticket. No group discounts will be offered for the Magic Passes.


The Northern State men’s and women’s basketball teams close out their regular season home schedule at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday versus the Marauders and 4 and 6 p.m. on Saturday against the Beavers.

Wild trade left wing Zucker to Pittsburgh

The Minnesota Wild have made a move before the NHL trade deadline.  The Wild sent forward Jason Zucker to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for 25-year-old left wing Alex Galchenyuk, defenseman Calen Addison and a conditional first round pick in 2020.  Galchenyuk is a Milwaukee Wisconsin native and has tallied 17 points in 45 games for the Penguins while Addison is a 19-year-old native of Brandon Manitoba and has recorded 43 points in 39 games for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League this season.  If Pittsburgh fails to make the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs they will not be obligated to send their first round pick to Minnesota this upcoming draft. 

Twins land Kenta Maeda in three team deal with LA Dodgers and Boston Red Sox

The Minnesota Twins are part of a three team deal including star pitchers and MVP players.  The principle teams in the trade are the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Red Sox have sent 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts to the Dodgers along with left handed starter David Price.  In exchange, Los Angeles will get outfielder Alex Verdugo from Boston.  The Twins are involved by getting right handed starter Kenta Maeda from Los Angeles and will send pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to Boston.  Maeda started 37 games last year for LA and went 10-8 in those starts with a  4.04 ERA and 153.2 innings pitched. 

Timberwolves part of a 12 person trade, largest in NBA since 2000

The Timberwolves are reportedly part of a huge four team deal that will completely reshape the roster.  This is reportedly the largest trade in the NBA since 2000, involving 12 players. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojanorowski, the Houston Rockets receive forwards Robert Covington and Jordan Bell from Minnesota and the Golden State Warriors 2024 second round draft pick.  The Atlanta Hawks receive center’s Clint Capela and Nene from Houston.  The Timberwolves receive from Denver guard Malik Beasley, forwards Juancho Hernangomez, and Jared Vanderbilt and from Atlanta guard Evan Turner and Atlanta’s first round draft pick, via the Nets.  Denver receives from Minnesota guard Shabazz Napier, forward Keita Bates-Diop and Noah Vonleh and from Houston guard Gerald Green and the Rockets first round pick.    

Former NBA great Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash

Former NBA and Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant died Sunday along with eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Giana in a helicopter accident.  He was 41-years-old.  Bryant and his daughter were heading to the Maba Sports Academy in Thousands Oaks California where Kobe was expected to coach Gianna.  The helicopter had been flying in foggy conditions, considered dangerous enough local police agencies grounded their helicopter.  56-year-old John Altobelli, a longtime orange coast college basketball coach, his wife and daughter were also killed in the crash.  Bryant played 20 NBA seasons, all for the LA Lakers, retiring in 2016.  He won five NBA championships, one MVP in 2008 and two Olympic gold medals for team USA.  He leaves behind his wife Vanessa and three other daughters. 

PC picked to finish last in NSAA softball poll

Valley City State (N.D.) was the North Star Athletic Association softball coaches’ favorite to repeat the league title, the 2020 softball preseason poll was announced Monday afternoon by the conference office.

The Vikings collected four first-place votes and tallied 59 points to claim the top spot in the preseason poll. VCSU had a historic 2019 season with an astounding 54-5 overall record, which include a trip to the NAIA World Series. Valley City State breezed through the North Star conference season with an impressive 26-2 record and rolled to their conference postseason tournament title.

Bellevue (Neb.) picked up three first-place votes and earned 57 points to place second. The Bruins also qualified for the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round, falling short to Houston-Victoria (Texas) and Avila (Mo.). BU finished their 2019 season with an overall record of 44-20 and 23-5 record in NSAA.

Mayville State (N.D.) recorded its final first-place vote and totaled 49 points to finish third. Dickinson State (N.D.) was tabbed to finish fourth with 43 points.

Viterbo (Wis.) edged Waldorf (Iowa) 28-26 to secure the No. 5 spot in the coaches’ preseason poll. Dakota State was seventh with 17 points, followed by Presentation (S.D.) eighth with nine points.
Points were awarded on an 8-1 basis in the conference coaches’ preseason poll.

The North Star conference softball season officially starts on March 14-15 between Dickinson State and Waldorf in Tucson, Ariz. with a four-game series. The rest of the NSAA conference members will start league play on March 21-22 (schedule: Presentation at Viterbo; Dakota State at Valley City State and Bellevue at Mayville State).

Most of the softball conference schedule will be played on the weekend (Saturday-Sunday) with a four-game series. The traveling partners (BU-DaSU, VU-WU, DiSU-PC and VCSU-MSU) will play a doubleheader on the middle of the week during the regular-season.

The NSAA Softball conference tournament will be held in Valley City, N.D. on April 30 through May 3.

There is one automatic bid to the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening round, with 10 different sites with four teams each competing in a double-elimination tournament on May 11-13. The winner of the postseason conference tournament will earn the automatic bid to the national tournament.

The NAIA Softball World Series take place in Columbus, Ga. on May 21-27.

Below is the complete 2019 NSAA Softball Coaches’ Preseason Poll:
2020 North Star Athletic Association Softball Preseason Poll
Rank School Points
1 Valley City State (N.D.) (4) 59
2 Bellevue (Neb.) (3) 57
3 Mayville State (N.D.) (1) 49
4 Dickinson State (N.D.) 43
5 Viterbo (Wis.) 28
6 Waldorf (Iowa) 26
7 Dakota State (S.D.) 17
8 Presentation (S.D.) 9
*First-place votes in parenthesis

Former Minnesota running back Donell Kirkwood joins Wolves football coaching staff

A former Big Ten football player has been hired as the new assistant coach for Northern State University Football.
Donnell Kirkwood will coach the running backs for the Wolves. Kirkwood played for the University of Minnesota from 2010 to 2015, winning honors including the Paul Giel Award, Offensive Back of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He led the Gophers with 926 yards rushing and six touchdowns in his sophomore campaign.
"Coach Kirkwood is a home run hire and a tremendous addition to our coaching staff," said NSU Wolves Head Football Coach Mike Schmidt. "He is a ball of energy who will create strong, lasting relationships with our players. He's a great coach and a perfect fit for our football program."
Originally from Delray Beach, Fla., Kirkwood most recently worked for River Bend Education Center in Minneapolis. There, he served as a youth physical education and health teacher for elementary and middle school students. Kirkwood earned a Bachelor of Science in Youth Studies from the University of Minnesota in December 2013.
His coaching experience includes serving as running backs coach for Minnesota's Southwest High School from 2015 to 2019, along with special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach in 2019. Kirkwood also had internships on the coaching staffs of Andover and DeLaSalle high schools in Minnesota.
"I would like to thank Coach Schmidt for the opportunity to be a part of his staff," Kirkwood said. "It's a great opportunity to be under a head coach who believes and values hard work. I love that about him and the excitement he brings. I'm excited to share my knowledge with this team and pick the brains of many of the great coaches on this staff."  

PC Dome open for public walking

The Presentation College Winter Dome is now available to the public for walking purposes. The hours of availability for the community will be Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. beginning Tuesday, January 7 and ending, Friday, April 17. Hours and holiday closures will be posted on the outside of the Dome.


Tennis shoes only, and no pets please.


If there are any other times in which you would like to rent the Dome, Strode, or other facility, for your group or team needs, please contact Krista Christianson at 605-229-8395 or

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern passes away

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern passed away Wednesday at the age of 77.  He had been hospitalized since December 12th after suffering a brain hemorrhage.  Stern oversaw the NBA for 30 years and is the longest serving commissioner in league history.  Under Stern’s leadership the NBA grew beyond its popularity in the United States and became a global brand grossing more than $5 billion a year.  Stern had worked in the NBA for at least two decades before becoming commissioner.  He stepped down as commissioner in 2014 and was replaced by the current commissioner Adam Silver.     

Golden Gophers defeat Auburn in the Outback Bowl

The University of Minnesota defeated the Auburn Tigers yesterday 31-24 to win the 2020 Outback Bowl.  With the win, not only did the Gophers win their first New Year’s day bowl game since the 1962 Rose Bowl, but the team finished with 11 wins for the first time since 1904.  During the game Golden Gopher wide receiver Tyler Johnson had 12 receptions for 204 yards and two touchdowns.  That puts him as the Gophers career leader in receptions and Minnesota’s all-time leader in scoring receptions. 

Minnesota Wild awarded the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

The NHL announced Wednesday the Minnesota Wild have been chosen to host the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.  The Winter Classic began in 2008 and features an outdoor game on New Years Day.  This is the first time ever Minnesota has been selected to host the event and the game will be played at Target Field.  The Wild’s opponent for the event will be announced at a later date.   

Northern signs fromer NFLer Fruechte as new Wolves offensive coordinator

A former NFL player has joined the coaching staff of Northern State University Football.
Isaac Fruechte has been hired as the new offensive coordinator for the Wolves. Fruechte comes to Northern from the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as the wide receivers coach and also worked to recruit all positions in Minnesota for the DI quarterfinal team.
Prior to UNI, Fruechte served as offensive coordination/quarterbacks coach for the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. There, he worked with UW-La Crosse's former head coach, Mike Schmidt, who joined the NSU Wolves as head coach earlier this month.
"Hiring Coach Fruechte was a big priority for us because I know the kind of person and coach he is," Schmidt said. "He brings unmatched energy and love for the game of football while also having a wealth of playing and coaching knowledge. Coaching is in his blood and he will be a tremendous mentor for our players."
A native of Caledonia, Minnesota, Fruechte graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014, where he played three seasons as a wide receiver, and served as a team captain his senior season.  From 2015 to 2017, Fruechte played two and a half seasons as a wide receiver and special teams player for the Minnesota Vikings. In 2016, he also had a five-game stint as wide receiver and special teams player for the Detroit Lions, before returning to the Vikings.
"It is an honor and a privilege to be joining the coaching staff at Northern State University," Fruechte said. "I am excited to work with Coach Schmidt to build on the strong foundation that is in place and get Wolves football to the level where we are consistently competing for NSIC Championships. Wolves Country is going to see an exciting offensive style that will maximize our players' abilities and allow them to play fast and free."
Fruechte played high school football for his father Carl, who has led Caledonia to five straight Minnesota State High School Championships, and Caledonia holds the longest active win streak in the country with 68 straight wins. Isaac help lead Caledonia to state football titles in 2007 and 2008.
Fruechte and his wife Kenzie, an elementary school teacher, will reside in Aberdeen.


Warner native Derrek Tuszka named FCS All-American

Warner native and North Dakota State defensive lineman Derrek Tuszka has been named an Associated Press FCS All-American.  He along with four other Bison were named to the team Tuesday.  Tuszka was a first team selection along with teammate Dillion Radunz while three others were second team.  This is the first All-American honor for Tuszka in his career, he is a senior at NDSU. 

Three Vikings named to the pro bowl

Three Minnesota Vikings have been selected to the 2020 pro bowl one on offense and two on defense.  The selectiosn include running back Dalvin Cook, defensive end Danielle Hunter and safety Harrison Smith.  Cook and Smith were both named starters.  For Smith it is his fifth consecutive pro bowl, Hunter’s second consecutive and a first time selection for Dalvin Cook. 

Major League Baseball announces rule changes to pitching changes

Major League Baseball owners voted Tuesday for a rule change that could have a major impact on the 2020 MLB season and beyond.  According to Commissioner Rob Manfred, the rules passed by the owners Tuesday state pitchers will be required to either face a minimum three batters or pitch to the end of a half-inning before he can be pulled.  There is an acception to the rule for injuries.  The moves is part of an attempt to speed up major league baseball games which according to Sports Illustrated rose to 3:05 minutes on average in 2017.  Had this new rule been in effect in 2019, an estimated 649 pitching changes would not have been allowed across the league. 

Milbank native Kalen DeBoer named head coach at Fresno State

Fresno State has hired Milbank South Dakota native Kalen DeBoer to be the program’s next head football coach.  DeBoer replaces Jeff Tedford who announced he would be stepping down at the end of this season to focus more on family after 30 years of coaching.  DeBoer heads to California after serving one season as the offensive coordinator for Indiana in the Big 10.  DeBoer played college football at the University of Sioux Falls and served as the head coach of the Cougars from 2005 to 2009, compiling a record of 67-3 during that time and winning three NAIA National Championships. 

SD media prep basketball poll released 12/16/19

Class AA
1. Yankton (7) 2-0 39 2
2. Brandon Valley (1) 2-0 30 3
3. Roosevelt 1-0 25 4
4. Huron 1-0 16 5
5. O’Gorman 1-1 10 1
Class A
1. St. Thomas More (7) 2-0 39 1
2. SF Christian (1) 2-0 29 2
3. Dell Rapids 1-0 22 3
4. Crow Creek 2-0 9 RV
5. Lennox 1-1 8 4
Receiving votes: Sioux Valley 7, Red Cloud 3, Dakota Valley 2, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 1.
Class B
1. De Smet (5) 1-0 37 1
2. Viborg-Hurley (2) 1-0 33 2
3. Sully Buttes (1) 0-0 20 4
4. White River 1-0 14 3
5. Dell Rapids St. Mary 1-0 11 5
Receiving votes: Aberdeen Christian 4, Canistota 1.
Class AA
1. Lincoln (5) 2-0 37 1
2. O’Gorman (3) 1-0 34 2
3. Stevens 2-0 25 3
4. Washington 1-0 12 4
5. Harrisburg 1-0 6 RV
Receiving votes: Brandon Valley 5, Yankton 1.
Class A
1. Winner (5) 1-0 37 T-1
2. Lennox (3) 2-0 35 T-1
3. St. Thomas More 1-0 24 3
4. West Central 0-0 10 5
5. McCook Central/Montrose 1-0 9 RV
Receiving votes: Mount Vernon/Plankinton 3, Aberdeen Roncalli 1, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 1.
Class B
1. Corsica-Stickney (7) 1-0 39 1
2. Castlewood (1) 1-0 26 2
3. De Smet 1-0 23 3
4. White River 1-0 19 4
5. Ethan 1-0 10 5
Receiving votes: Bridgewater-Emery 3.

Northern Deputy AD Zach Flakus leaving Northern after 20 years

Northern State University Deputy Director of Athletics Zach Flakus announced his resignation Wednesday, after spending nearly 20 years with Northern.
Flakus has been named general manager of Jackrabbit Sport Properties (South Dakota State University) for Learfield/IMG College. He will start the position in January.
"My roles at NSU prepared me for this opportunity and I couldn't be more grateful," said Flakus. "Josh Moon and Dr. Downs' leadership and vision have grown Wolves Athletics in ways many thought impossible."
Flakus was instrumental in the fundraising, planning and construction of several recent NSU Athletic upgrades, including the Athletic and Recreation Fields; Barnett Center/Wachs Arena renovations (flooring and center hung scoreboard); and the future on-campus Regional Sports Complex.
"I cannot thank Zach enough for what he's done for Wolves Athletics," said Josh Moon, NSU Director of Athletics. "Zach bleeds maroon and gold; he's a member of the Northern family. We are sincerely proud of what Zach's accomplished here. SDSU is getting one of the best."
Flakus held several positions while at Northern, working with alumni, boosters and fans in his roles, which ranged from development to operations.
"This is an amazing opportunity for Zach and his family," said Dr. Tim Downs, President of Northern State University. "While we hate to see such a key member of our campus community leave, this speaks volumes for Zach and the role he played at Northern. We wish Zach and Amy and their family the best."
Flakus went on to thank the NSU Wolves Club and its board members for their commitment to excellence. "NSU is a special place with amazing fans who lead the nation in attendance while raising millions of dollars for facilities, scholarships and team support. Northern is truly a special place."


Northern introduces Mike Schmidt as new head football coach

Northern State introduced the program’s new head football coach at a press conference Monday at the Barnett Center.  Mike Schmidt will serve as the program’s 30th head coach and replace Tom Dosch, who was fired following the 2019 season after 10 years in charge. 


Schmidt comes to Aberdeen from Division III University of Wisconsin La Crosse, where he accumulated a record of 27-13 over four seasons.  Wolves athletic director Josh Moon talked about why Schmidt is the right guy to lead the program into the future…




Schmidt takes over a Wolves program that should be on the upswing.  Though going just 6-5 in 2019, the program is poised for an upgrade with a brand new on-campus stadium scheduled for completion in 2021.  Schmidt says those outside factors were a major reason why this job was appealing...






AD Moon said at the press conference the University had about 70 qualified candidates apply for the position.  This will be Schmidt’s first head coaching experience at the Division II level.  Moon was glowing with confidence when talking about the new coaching hire, but said during the process they were real about expectations…






Schmidt talked about his approach to coaching and according to him; Wolves fans can expect a fun atmosphere when the team returns for the 2020 season…


Northern State to hire UW Lacrosse Head coach Mike Schmidt

Northern State will hold a press conference Monday at 2:30 p.m. to announce the 30th football coach in program history.  


According to the webiste and confrimed by Dakota Broadcasting, that coach chosen to lead the Wolves into a new era will be University of Wisconsin La Crosse head coach Mike Schmidt.


Schmidt comes to Aberdeen after four seasons with Division III UW-La Crosse.  During his time with Eagles Schmidt went 20-10 and 12-9 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  He was named the 2017 La Crosse Tribune Sportsperson of the year.


Schmidt is a native of Menomonie Wisconsin. 

SDHSAA to reconsider class alignment for high school football

Thursday morning, the South Dakota Football Advisory Board met to discusses changes, advancements and consider proposals to not only the 2021 cycle but also for next year’s season. The biggest potential change for the 2021 cycle would be the movement to five classes across South Dakota Football.


According to the Assistant Executive Director, John Krogstrand, starting in 2021, South Dakota could move to five classes for football. In the new system there will be three 11-Man classes and two 9-Man classes. Class 11AA would resemble Class 11AAA in 2019-2020 cycle while Class 11A would have the next 16 biggest schools. 11B would then have the rest of the 11-Man teams and the two 9-Man schools would be divided evenly into the two classes.


Krogstrand says they looked at the history of how they got to this point and also looked into the coming future to come to this recommendation…





Krogstrand talked about the next step in the process in getting this ratified…





In addition to the classification process, Krogstrand mentioned some proposals being put into place next year…





Krogstrand says the committee also discussed the start date of football along with the 20% rule with the co-ops. The board of directors meeting is scheduled for April 21, 2020.

Coyotes volleyball snubbed from NCAA volleyball national championship tournament

The University of South Dakota was snubbed by the NCAA and was not selected for the national championship tournament.  South Dakota was one of the first four teams out along with California, Georgia Tech, and Green Bay.  This despite the fact USD had a 27-1 regular season record.  South Dakota will instead take part in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, which is the equivalent to the NIT in basketball.  South Dakota will begin play Dec. 5th hosting Central Michigan. 

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins records get well message to B/H QB Trevor Zuehlke

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins recently recorded a special "get-well-soon" message to Britton/Hecla junior quarterback Trevor Zuehlke.


In the message posted to Twitter and shared by the Britton/Hecla football account, Cousins wishes Zuehlke the best in his recovery and says they are all praying for him.


Zuehlke suffered a brain bleed during the final game of the regular season on Oct. 18th vs. the Warner Monarchs.  He was air lifted to a Sioux Falls Hospital where he would undergo surgery and be placed into a medically induced coma in order to heal.  He spent nearly a full month in that coma.  


According to his Caringbridge page, Zuehlke has finally woken up and has begun the process of recovery.  His family also announced he would be moved to a specialized recovery unit in Lincoln Nebraska.



Wolves earn #4 seed in central region tournament

The No. 8 Northern State University volleyball team is headed to the NCAA Central Region Tournament after earning the fourth seed overall. The Wolves will travel to Nebraska Kearney and face off against familiar foe and fifth seeded No. 7 St. Cloud State.


The Wolves will face off against the Huskies at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 5 from the campus of Nebraska Kearney. This is the fifth NCAA appearance for the Wolves and third straight at-large bid.


The championship quarterfinals, semifinals and final match will take place Thursday-Saturday, December 12-14, at the Auraria Event Center in Denver, hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver.


Tournament Schedule

Thursday, Dec. 5
12 p.m.        No. 3 CU vs. No. 6 WU
2:30 p.m.     No. 2 UMD vs. No. 7 UCM
5 p.m.          No. 4 NSU vs. No. 5 SCSU
7:30 p.m.     No. 1 UNK vs. No. 8 OBU
Friday, Dec. 6
5 p.m.        CU/WU Winner vs. UMD/UCM Winner
7:30 p.m.   NSU/SCSU Winner Vs. UNK/OBU Winner
Saturday, Dec. 7
7 p.m.     Championship Match

Rosters for adult volleyball due Dec. 2nd

Rosters for the adult winter/spring volleyball season are being accepted and are due by Monday, December 2nd at the organizational meeting, 7:00 p.m. at the ARCC (225 SE 3rd Ave).  Leagues begin in mid-January.


Fees are $125.00 for men's, women's and co-ed league teams.


For more information or a roster form, contact the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department at 626-7015.