Local Sports Archives for 2019-12

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.