Local Sports Archives for 2020-06

SDSU Jackrabbit Gus Steiger opts to go pro 



South Dakota State University baseball player Gus Steiger has opted to pursue a professional career, signing a free agent contract Saturday with the Cincinnati Reds.

A native of Minnetonka, Minnesota, Steiger was a career .319 hitter for the Jackrabbits, batting above .300 in each of his three seasons at SDSU. He was a two-time all-Summit League selection, earning second-team honors as a second baseman after batting .311 with two home runs and 27 runs batted in during his freshman season.

Steiger moved to shortstop in 2019 and recorded team highs with a .324 batting average, 73 hits, 45 runs scored, 13 doubles, 43 runs batted in and 18 stolen bases. He recorded two or more hits in 23 of the team's 50 games en route to first-team all-Summit League honors.

In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the right-handed-hitting Steiger posted a team-best .321 batting average in 14 games.

Steiger also was a solid defender for the Jackrabbits, committing only one error as a freshman and was not charged with an error in 53 chances in 2020.

Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa headline NHL HOF class of 2020

The National Hockey League has announced a six-member class to be inducted into the NHL hall of fame for 2020.  Two of the six include first ballot hall of famers Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa.  The rest of the class includes defensemen Kevin Lowe, and Doug Wilson, goaltender Kim St. Pierre in the women’s category and Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland. 


Iginla becomes just  the fourth black person to be enshrined in the hall of fame, and the second for his on ice accomplishments.  Those include being a six-time all-star, scoring 50 goals two times in a single season and being just one of 20 players in league history to score over 600 goals. 

Twins sign first round 2020 draft pick Aaron Sabato

The Minnesota Twins have come to terms with the team’s first round pick in the 2020 MLB draft.  Aaron Sabato signed a deal which includes $2.75 million signing bonus.  Sabato is a second baseman who was selected by the Twins with the 27th overall pick.  He is known as a power hitter, hitting 18 home runs his freshman year with the University of North Carolina.  That was good enough along with other stats to earn him the ACC Freshman of the year award. 

MLB announces plan for 60 game season

Major League Baseball has officially announced a plan to return to play that features players reporting for training by July 1, leading up to a proposed 60-game regular-season schedule anticipated to begin on July 23 and 24.


“Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with Baseball again soon.”

The decision was reached Monday by a unanimous vote of the 30 MLB clubs under the terms of the March 26 agreement struck by the league and the MLB Players Association that came after Spring Training camps were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.


The league asked the MLBPA to confirm that players could report to training camps by July 1, which the union agreed to on Tuesday. MLB is working with a variety of public health experts, infectious disease specialists and technology providers on a comprehensive approach that aims to facilitate a safe return.


Players will undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival, then begin workouts if they test negative. Players, coaches and support staff will be tested for COVID-19 every other day during training camps, the regular season and postseason. Anybody testing positive will be quarantined. Two negative tests are reportedly required for a return. Players will also receive temperature/symptom checks at least twice per day, and antibody testing will be conducted approximately once per month.


MLB has submitted a 60-game regular-season schedule for review by the Players Association. In order to mitigate travel, the schedule would include 10 games for each team against its four divisional opponents, along with 20 games against the opposite league’s corresponding geographical division (for example, the AL East will play the NL East, and so on).


For the vast majority of teams, Spring Training 2.0 will be held in the clubs’ Major League ballparks, as recent spikes of the coronavirus in both Florida and Arizona caused all 30 spring facilities to be shut down for deep cleaning.


Pitchers and catchers will report first, followed by position players. Teams will be allowed to invite 60 players to big league camp, with only those players eligible to play during the season. Each team’s 60-man list must be submitted by Sunday afternoon. Teams will have the ability to send up to 20 players who are not on the 40-man roster to an alternate site.


The designated-hitter rule will be used in both leagues in 2020, part of the league’s health and safety protocols for this season.


Several other rules will be instituted during this shortened season:

• Teams will open the season with a 30-man active roster; it will be reduced to 28 players after two weeks, then to 26 after four weeks.
• The Trade Deadline will be Aug. 31.
• To be eligible for the postseason, a player must be added to the Major League roster by Sept. 15.
• Teams will be permitted to carry up to three taxi-squad players on the road during the season, though if a team carries three such players, one must be a catcher.
• During extra-inning games in the regular season, each half-inning will begin with a runner on second base. The batter who made the final out in the previous inning (or a pinch-runner for that batter) would be that runner.
• There will be a 10-day injured list for both pitchers and hitters, though the 60-day IL will be reduced to a 45-day IL.
• There will be a separate IL for players who either test positive or have symptoms/confirmed exposure to COVID-19. There is no maximum or minimum days for this IL.
• MLB’s transaction freeze, which has been in place since the season was suspended, will end on Friday at 12 p.m. ET.
• In addition to COVID-19 testing every other day, some other health precautions are as follows: Team personnel and players not likely to participate in the game (for example, the next day's starting pitcher) will be sitting in the stands or another area designated by the club, at least six feet apart; non-playing personnel will wear masks in dugout and bullpen at all times; no spitting or chewing tobacco (gum is permitted); no celebratory contact (high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, etc.).

Players will be paid a full prorated portion of their 2020 salary based on games played, which will equal approximately 37 percent for the full season.

PC announces addition of two Iowa juco transfers

Presentation College women's basketball head coach, Nicole Bullock has added two more to her roster for the 2020-2021 season from Iowa Central College in Fort Dodge, Iowa. 


Justice Crooks is a 5'7" guard from Fort Dodge, Iowa, and spent the last season with the Iowa Central women's basketball team playing for head coach Kelly Kruger. While at Iowa Central, Crooks averaged just under 11 points per game, and shot 50 percent from the floor. She earned Second Team All-Academic honors as well as a Triton.


Crooks is the daughter of Joe (deceased) and Kari Crooks, and will major in biology at Presentation.

Aaliyah Hull also played for Kruger at Iowa Central, and is a 5'11" forward from Bradley, Illinois. Like her teammate, Crooks, Hull excelled in the classroom at Iowa Central and earned Second Team All-Academic honors.


Hull is the daughter of Kevin Hull and Angelicia Wingo and will major in exercise science at PC.

Man arrested believed to be involved the incident with Britton native Dallas Goedert.

A Florida man has been arrested believed to be involved in the assault on Britton native and current Philadelphia Eagle tight end Dallas Goedert.  29-year-old Kyle Douglas Hadala of Sarastosa Florida was taken into custody by police following an incident at the Zoo Bar in Aberdeen June 20th.  Goedert was taken to a hospital following being sucker punched by someone and has since recovered and been released.  Police did not say specifically Hadala was involved in this incident, but he was arrested, charged with simple assault and the incident occurred on the concurrent date and took place in downtown Aberdeen. 



Former Golden Gopher hockey coach Don Lucia named commissioner of new conference

Former Minnesota Golden Gopher men’s hockey coach Don Lucia has been named the first commissioner of a new college hockey conference which will begin play in 2021-22.  The Central Collegiate Hockey Association is Division I and will feature seven former Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams including Bemidji State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Bowling Green, Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State and Ferris State.  Lucia served as the gopher’s head coach from 1999 to 2018, winning 722 games during that time and two NCAA National Championships in 2002 and 2003. 

SDHSAA officially sanctions girls wrestling

At the June 11, 2020 South Dakota High School Activities Association meeting of its Board of Directors, the Board approved a second reading of a proposal to add a Girls division in Wrestling, effective the 2020-21 school year.  South Dakota becomes the 25th state to sanction girls wrestling, joining area states Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Nebraska in offering the opportunity.


SDHSAA Executive Director Dr. Daniel Swartos was pleased with the board decision, which had been discussed by staff and the SDHSAA Wrestling Advisory Committee for two years, stating “I am very proud of our member schools for embracing this concept, and I am excited to provide this opportunity to student-athletes in South Dakota.”


Effective in 2020-21, the Girls Wrestling division will begin with one classification and four weight classes, divided up evenly based upon certification weights of the competitors. The top 8 participants in each weight class, determined by TrackWrestling criteria, will qualify for the State Wrestling Tournament, with the Girls Division occurring alongside the boys division at the same event. Expansion of weight classes for the future will be determined by participation numbers. According to SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director Dr. John Krogstrand, “In every other state that has implemented Girls Wrestling, they’ve seen tremendous growth in participation numbers over the first several years. We anticipate the same in South Dakota and will adjust weight classes according to growth as we move into future years.”


In addition to Girls Wrestling, the SDHSAA Board of Directors also approved 2nd reading and final approvals of several other changes, including changing of start dates for practice in girls basketball and football, the approval of a Co-Ed Competitive Cheer division, a running clock rule in 11AAA and 11AA football, changes to State Meet qualification in Class A and B Track and Field, implementation of Javelin as a Track and Field event in Class AA, a three day single site State Track and Field meet beginning in Spring 2022, an amended State Wrestling Tournament schedule beginning at the 2021 tournament, a one year classification cycle in 2021-22, and other items.


A full agenda and list of items from the June 11, 2020 Board of Directors meeting can be found of the SDHSAA website,

Gophers land Utah transfer Gach

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced the addition of one player for the upcoming 2020-21 season.  The Gophers have signed Both Gach who will be a transfer student from the University of Utah.  Gach stands 6’6 183 pounds and started 14 games for the Utes as a freshman and 27 games as a sophomore.  He averaged 10.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while playing just over 30 minutes a game.  This is a homecoming for Gach as he played his high school basketball in Austin Minnesota.  He was a four star recruit for the Packers coming out of high school. 

Macy Miller returns to SDSU as a graduate assistant

Former South Dakota State standout Macy Miller will return to the women's basketball program as graduate assistant coach, head coach Aaron Johnston announced Thursday.

"We are thrilled to have Macy return to SDSU and join our staff," said Johnston. "She was one of the very best to ever play at SDSU and her positive impact on the game of basketball stretched throughout the state. I am excited to see her transition into a new role where she can use her experiences to positively impact our current and future Jackrabbits."   

Miller will provide assistance in all aspects of the program, specifically team travel, video coordination, on-campus recruiting and organizing camps. 

"I am thankful for the opportunity to work for SDSU and Coach Johnston," Miller said. "I'm so excited for the season ahead and to give back to a program that has given me so much!"

Miller returns to State after playing professionally for a season in Spain for Baxi Ferrol. She started all 21 games, averaging 11.7 points per game and dishing a team best 3.6 assists per game. Additionally, Miller averaged 4.4 rebounds and 2 steals per game.

Prior to her time playing overseas, Miller was the second Jackrabbit women's basketball player to be selected in the WNBA draft. She was a third round pick by the Seattle Storm.

A Mitchell native, Miller was honored as the Summit League Player of the Year during both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Her 2,355 career points are both SDSU and Summit League records. The three-time All-Summit League First Team selection is also State's all-time field goal (843) and free throw leader (501).

Miller started all 144 contests that she appeared in for the Jackrabbits. Throughout her career she tallied 428 assists, 168 steals and 755 rebounds. As a senior, Miller scored in double figures in 31 of the Jackrabbits' 35 games as they reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

The 2014-19 letterwinner graduated from South Dakota State with a bachelors degree in exercise science and will be pursuing a masters degree in sport and recreation administration. 

Saints release 2020 football schedule

Presentation College Saints Football announces the nine-game 2020 schedule, filled with North Star opponents.


The Saints open the 2020 season with a slate of home games. The Vikings of Valley City State visit the Saints for a noon kick-off on September 12 at Swisher Field in Aberdeen. The Trojans of Dakota State will visit the Saints on September 19 for a 7 p.m. start time.


The Saints first road opponent will be against Waldorf University on Sept. 26.


Returning to Swisher field, the Saints host Dickinson State on Oct. 3. The Saints travel to Valley City State on Oct. 10, before traveling to Dakota State on Oct. 17.


Mayville State comes to town on Oct. 24 before hosting Waldorf University for the final home game on Oct. 31. The Saints will conclude the regular season on Nov. 7, travelling to Dickinson State.

For everything Saints Football, be sure to check out or @PCSaintsFootball on Twitter.   


2020 Saints Football

September 12    Valley City State*                            12PM

September 19    Dakota State*                                   7PM

September 26    @Waldorf University*                   TBD

October 3            Dickinson State University*       12PM

October 10          @Valley City State*                        1PM

October 17          @Dakota State University*          1PM

October 24          Mayville State University*          2PM

October 31          Waldorf University*                      1PM

November 7       @Dickinson State University*     2PM (MST)

One of the largest high school rodeos coming to Pierre

(Dakota Radio Group - Pierre, SD) One of the nation’s largest high school rodeos is coming to Fort Pierre.  For the first time, the Stanley County Fairgrounds will host the South Dakota High School State Finals Rodeo June 16-20.  Organizers say that South Dakota’s High School Finals Rodeo is the third-largest such rodeo in the country.

Fort Pierre, which will also host the event in 2021, is just the fifth host town in the 71-year history of the event, joining New Underwood, Rapid City, Huron and Belle Fourche, which has hosted the Finals for the last 13 years.

Performers from across South Dakota will compete at a venue that has been much improved.  In the last year and a half, the Stanley County Fairgrounds’ parking lot has been resurfaced, arenas have been moved and rebuilt, additional bleachers have been installed and extra lighting and electrical hookups have been added.

Protective guidelines will be in place for contestants and spectators.

South Dakota High School Rodeo Association Executive Secretary Ann Sunderman said she is happy that the rodeo can happen, even with the pandemic...




Sunderman said that the SDHSRA never gave up on having regional and state rodeos...




Why was Fort Pierre chosen to host the State Finals?  Sunderman said that location is one reason...




Sunderman noted the improvements made recently at the Stanley County Fairgrounds...




For those unsure whether they should attend, Sunderman had a straightforward answer...




Sunderman detailed safety measures to be implemented...




Sunderman was asked if COVID-19 concerns could lower turnout...


Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba joins group promoting diversity in hockey

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba has joined with six other NHL players of color to form the Hockey Diversity Alliance in the wake of the death of George Floyd.  The group’s goal is to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey. 


According to Dumba, hockey is a game for everyone…      





The group is comprised of Dumba, former NHLer Akim Aliu, current San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane, Chris Stewart, Joel Ward, Trevor Daley and Wayne Simmonds.  Aliu and Kane have been appointed as co-heads of the organization.  


Dumba's father is white while his mother is of Filipino decent, making him one of the few ethnic minorities in the NHL.  According to USA Today as of Nevember 2018, 97 percent of NHL players are white.  Willie O'Ree broke the color barrier in the NHL becoming the first player of African decent in the NHL in 1957.  He played forward for the Boston Bruins.


Dumba says he accepts this leadership roll given to him...



PC announces addition of two Juco prospects to the upcoming season

Presentation College women's basketball head coach, Nicole Bullock has added two more to her roster for the 2020-2021 season from junior colleges in California.


Kat Kriener is a 6'0" shooting guard from Nettetal, Germany, and spent the last season playing for Devon Davis at Barstow Community College in Barstow, Cali. While at Barstow, Kriener averaged 14.3 points per game, 10.2 rebounds per game, and 3 assists per game.


Kriener is the daughter of Uta and Jochen Kriener, and will major in Psychology at Presentation.

Julisa Vega is a 6'2 center and forward from Watsonville, Cali., and she just spent her last season at Cabrillo College under head coach John Wilson. She averaged 5.1 rebounds a game and 2.8 points per game. Prior to playing at Cabrillo College, Vega played at Southern Vermont College.

Vega is the daughter of Magda Avalos and will major in criminal justice at PC.

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook to hold out

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has announced he will no longer participate in any team related activities unless he receives a quote “reasonable” deal.  Currently, Cook has one year remaining on his rookie contract worth $1.3 million.  He finished last season with 13 rushing touchdowns, tied for the second most in a season in Vikings history with Terry Allen and Chuck Foreman.  He is 24-years-old  and has missed time during his short NFL career due to injury as well. 

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he will kneel during the national anthem in 2020

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he will quote “without a doubt” be taking a knee during the national anthem this season to protest racial injustice. 


The Washington Redskins running back made his announcement following New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees receiving blowback for his comments that seemed to miss the point of kneeling as a protest to begin with.  Brees said he would never agree with someone "disrespecting the flag" last week during an interivew.  Friday, he issued an apology saying his comments missed the mark.


"Just four years ago, you're seeing Kaepernick taking a knee, and now we're all getting ready to take a knee together going into this season, without a doubt," Peterson told the Chronicle from his gym in Houston.


This comes just days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made a statement saying the NFL handled the Colin Kaepernick situation the wrong way. Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem in 2017 to protest racial injustice in the United States.  After being released by the 49ers he has gone unsigned and sued the league for blackballing him, which was settled out of court.  

Sioux Falls Washington names Ryan Evans next head football coach

Sioux Falls Washington high school has announced the hiring of Ryan Evans to be the next Warriors head football coach.  Evans replaces Chad Stadem who announced he would be retiring from the head coaching job this spring. 


Evans has previously served as an assistant with the Warriors football program and has 10 years head coaching experience with McCook Central/Montrose.  He played his college football at Dakota Wesleyan. 

Mitchell native Mike Miller announces he's leaving the Memphis coaching staff

Mitchell South Dakota native Mike Miller has announced he is leaving the University of Memphis coaching staff in  the NBA to spend more time with his family.  Miller has been on head coach Penny Hardaway’s staff for the past two seasons.  Miller made the announcement on his social media Wednesday.  Miller helped land the #1 recruiting class in the nation last summer and help lead the Tigers to a 21-10 season record with a #9 in the nation ranking. 

PC Signs two more women's basketball prospects

Presentation College women's basketball head coach, Nicole Bullock has added two more to her roster for the 2020-2021 season from Chesapeake College in Maryland. 


Amunique Newell is a 5'6" shooting guard from Newport News, Virginia, and spent the last season with the Chesapeake College women's basketball team in Wye Mills, Md. While at Chesapeake, Newell played for head coach Gwen Barnes.


Newell is the daughter of Melissa and Curtis Newell and will major in Sports Medicine at Presentation.

Seymour also played for Barnes at Chesapeake College, and is a 6'2 forward from Ewing, New Jersey. In her last season at Chesapeake, Seymour was the team leader in rebounds averaging 10.4 rebounds per game. She also averaged 7 points a game, and shot 47 percent from the field on the year.  


Seymour is the daughter of Bentia Daniels and will major in criminal justice at PC.

SDSU wide receiver Cade Johnson earns second pre-season All-American honors

South Dakota State University wide receiver Cade Johnson was named Wednesday to the Athlon Sports FCS Preseason All-America Team. It is the second preseason honor for the senior from Papillion, Nebraska, who received first-team recognition from HERO Sports last week.

Johnson turned in his second consecutive 1,000-yard season in 2019, leading the Jackrabbits with 72 receptions for 1,222 yards (17.0 ypr) and eight touchdowns. He tallied 100-plus receiving yards in four games last season and averaged 120.5 all-purpose yards per game. Johnson enters his senior season fifth in career receiving yards (2,872) and sixth in career receptions (162) at SDSU.

In Athlon's preseason poll, South Dakota State notched its second top-10 ranking with a sixth-place showing. The Jackrabbits were second in the HERO Sports preseason poll following an 8-5 season in 2019, when SDSU made its eighth consecutive Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearance.

SDSU is scheduled to open the 2020 season Sept. 5 by hosting Butler.

Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather offers to pay the funeral costs for George Floyd

Former boxing champion Floyd Maywather has offered to pay the funeral costs and memorial services fees for the late George Floyd. Floyd died last Monday at the hands of Minneapolis police while being taken into custody for alleged forgery charges. Sources close to the family say they have accepted Mayweather's offer. The funeral will take place June ninth in Floyd's hometown of Houston. Mayweather lives in Las Vegas and according to his representation he has not met the Floyd family.