Local Sports Archives for 2020-08

PC picked to finish fifth in NSAA volleyball poll

Viterbo (Wis.) is the coaches' unanimous favorite to win the 2020 North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) volleyball conference title.  The conference office released its volleyball coaches' preseason poll Thursday.  It is the sixth straight year that the V-Hawks are picked to win the league title.


VU tallied eight first-place votes and collected 64 points to claim No. 1 spot in the conference preseason poll.  Viterbo completed their 2019 season with an overall record of 35-7 and 13-1 record in league play.  The V-Hawks won the NSAA regular-season and post-season titles.  Viterbo advanced to the NAIA national tournament's semifinals, falling to Westmont (Calif.) in three straight sets.


The V-Hawks finished with a No. 3 ranking in the final NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 national poll.


Bellevue (Neb.) claimed the second place in the NSAA volleyball coaches' poll, recording 56 points.  The Bruins were ranked No. 19 in the final NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 national poll and advanced to the national tournament's final site last season.  BU was 28-10 overall record and 10-4 NSAA conference record in 2019.


Dakota State (S.D.) was picked to finish third in the preseason poll with 46 points.  The Trojans advanced to the NSAA postseason conference tournament's championship match last season.  Dakota State also qualified for the NAIA Volleyball National Tournament Opening Round for the first time in school history, finishing 19-13 overall record and 10-4 NSAA conference record.

Mayville State (N.D.) was collected 42 points to place fourth in the poll, followed by Presentation (S.D.) fifth with 27 points.  Waldorf (Iowa) was picked to finish sixth after tallying 23 points.  Dickinson State (N.D.) placed seventh with 18 points and Valley City State (N.D.) eighth with 12 points. 


All NSAA members will be playing a 14-match schedule (7 matches at home and 7 matches on the road).  The conference season officially kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 15 with Presentation visiting Mayville State.  The rest of the NSAA's opening-season matches are on Wednesday, Sept. 16 with WU at VU, DiSU at VCSU and BU at DaSU on schedule.


The top six teams will qualify for the North Star conference postseason tournament on Nov. 13-14.  The postseason tournament is scheduled to take place at the Civic Arena in Watertown, S.D.

The NSAA postseason tournament's champion will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA Volleyball National Tournament.


Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the NAIA Volleyball National Tournament has been moved to the spring season.  The national tournament will be held at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa from April 27 through May 1.


Below is the complete list of the 2020 NSAA Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll below:

2020 NSAA Volleyball Coaches' Preseason Poll


School (First-Place Votes in parenthesis)



Viterbo (Wis.) (8)



Bellevue (Neb.)



Dakota State (S.D.)



Mayville State (N.D.)



Presentation (S.D.)



Waldorf (Iowa)



Dickinson State (N.D.)



Valley City State (N.D.)


Vikings trade for Yannick Ngakoue

The Minnesota Vikings have come to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars on a trade for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.  According to reports the Vikings are sending second round draft pick in 2021 and conditional fifth rounder in 2022 for the 25-year-old four year veteran.  In order for the trade to work Ngakoue has agreed to take an approximate 5 million paycut to join the Vikings.  He will make a formidable duo rushing from the ends of the defensive line with Vikings star Denille Hunter on the other side. 

Multiple pro sport teams boycott play Wednesday in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting by police

Several major sporting events did not go on as planned Wednesday as players protested for accountability in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha Wisconsin.  The protest began when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for game five of their NBA playoff series with the Orlando Magic.  The decision prompted the NBA to cancel all three games scheduled for Wednesday night.  In Major League Baseball the Milwaukee Brewers players voted not to play against the Cincinnatti Reds and the Seattle Mariners did not play the San Diego Padres.  The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants also sat out their game.  All Three WNBA games scheduled for Wednesday night were postponed as well.  The NHL did play their games, prompting Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, who is a founding member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, to criticize the league calling the decision disheartening. 

SDHSAA discusses policy towards COVID-19 at special meeting Monday

PIERRE, S.D. ( -- The South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors held a special meeting on Monday, August 24th.

One item on the agenda was the consideration of temporary changes to the SDHSAA Constitution in regards to students at schools who are unable to compete in fall 2020 activities due to county, community, tribal ordinances and/or orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Currently 15 schools across South Dakota have declared that they will not participate in fall activities.  Executive Director of the SDHSAA John Krogstrand talks about the temporary policy adopted on Monday:




Krogstrand also talks about changes made for playoff qualification changes this fall:




Krogstrand says the Activities Association are in the beginning stages of preparing for the winter sports season:



Vikings will not allow fans for first two games at US Bank Stadium this year

The Minnesota Vikings has announced the team will not allow fans to attend the first two home games this coming season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In a release on the matter, the team says public health is the top priority, which led to this decision.  Working with the Minnesota Department of Health, it has been decided indoor venues can only work with a capacity of 250 people.  Because of this the Vikings feel the time is not right to bring fans back to US Bank stadium at this time. 

Twins place Odorizzi and Little on 10-day disabled list

The Minnesota Twins have placed pitchers Jake Odorizi and Zack Little on the ten day disabled list for the second time this season. Odorizzi is out with a chest contusion after being hit by a line drive shot back at him during last Friday’s 7-2 loss to Kansas City, while Little it battling right elbow inflammation.  Starter Homer Bailey also suffered a set back and moved from the 10 day disabled list to the 45-day disabled list as he tried to make a comeback from right biceps tendinitis. 

North Dakota State announces one non-conference football game

North Dakota State has announced plans to play one non conference football game this coming season to cap off the 2020 fall practice schedule.  NDSU will host central Arkansas at 2:30 p.m. Saturday oct. 3rd in the first meeting between the schools.  North Dakota State athletic director Matt Larsen says the goal is to maximize opportunities to compete following the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s decision to post-pone the football season until spring.  Teams were allowed to play a non conference schedule at their discretion. 

South Dakota media prep volleyball poll released 8/24/20

1. O’Gorman (10) 26-5 54 2
2. Washington 20-10 35 4
3. Lincoln 14-12 32 NR
4. Roosevelt 22-11 14 5
5. Watertown (1) 28-2 10 1
RECEIVING VOTES: Aberdeen Central (12-11) 7; Huron (21-7) 6; R.C. Stevens (24-12) 5; Harrisburg (16-13) 2

1. Sioux Falls Christian (10) 30-8 54 1
2. Dakota Valley 33-4 43 3
3. Winner 27-6 27 5
4. Madison 25-9 20 NR
5. McCook Central/Montrose 25-5 9 4
RECEIVING VOTES: Miller (1 first place vote, 34-3) 5; St. Thomas More (32-6) 2; R.C. Christian (30-8) 2; Groton (26-10) 2; Hill City (28-4) 1

1. Northwestern (11) 42-0 55 1
2. Faulkton Area 24-6 39 2
3. Warner 29-10 33 RV
4. Chester Area 26-8 23 4
5. Ethan 28-8 8 5
RECEIVING VOTES: Faith (32-5) 5; Burke (33-7) 1; Elkton-Lake Benton (24-8) 1

Vikings have 12 test positive for COVID-19

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer confirmed Sunday 12 people involved with the team have tested positive for COVID-19.  Those people are eight players, one coach and three staff members.  The players and staff did not participate in Sunday’s practice and according to the Viking’s web site are isolating while results confirm or determine to be a false-positive.  The League has asked BioReference, the lab responsible for these tests, to conduct an investigation into  the results as the league has seen a rash of false positives as of late. 


Timberwolves win the first overall pick in NBA draft lottery

Lady Luck decided to shine on the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday night as the team won the coveted first overall pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA draft.  The Timberwolves entered the NBA draft lottery with the third worst record in the NBA and tied for the best odds to win the pick at 14 percent. 


Two other teams, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers both shared that 14 percent chance.  Picking behind Minnesota at #2 will be the Golden State Warriors, #3 will be the Charlotte Hornets, #4 will be the Chicago Bulls and rounding off the top five will be the Cleveland Cavaliers. 


This was the first time in Timberwolves history the team actually improved its lottery position and pick higher than where their record would place them.  


The draft is scheduled to take place Friday Oct. 16th


Dickinson State picked to win the NSAA football conference

Dickinson State (N.D.) tallied five first-place votes and 30 points, vying for their sixth straight North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) football conference title.


The 2020 NSAA Football Coaches’ Preseason Poll was announced Monday, voted by the league’s head coaches. The Blue Hawks captured their fifth straight North Star Athletic Association football conference title last season.


Dickinson State went 8-3 overall record and 6-1 record in the conference. The Blue Hawks qualified for the NAIA Football Championships Series (FCS), before losing to No. 1-ranked Morningside (Iowa) in the opening round. Dickinson State finished with a No. 17 ranking in the final NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 national poll. Valley City State (N.D.) earned its final first-place vote in the poll, collecting 25 points. Waldorf (Iowa) was third with 23 points, followed by Dakota State (S.D.) fourth with 17 points. Presentation (S.D.) edged Mayville State (N.D.) by one point (13-12) to finish fifth. Both VCSU and WU finished 5-2 record in the NSAA conference games last season, tying for second place in the conference standings.


The Warriors also finished No. 23 in the final NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 poll in 2019. To earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Football Playoffs, a team need to be in the ‘Top 20’ in the national poll and win the conference title. The NAIA FCS playoffs won’t be held this fall due to COVID-19, postponing its fall sports’ championships in the spring.


The North Star football schedule originally scheduled for seven games during the 2020 season. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the original NSAA’s 7-game schedule remains intact while adding two additional games within conference membership. Each NSAA member will be playing a total of nine conference games in 2020. The first allowable contest is set for Sept. 12 with three games scheduled: Dakota State hosts Dickinson State, while Valley City State travels to Presentation and Waldorf visits Mayville State. Below is the complete results of 2020 NSAA Football Coaches’


Preseason Poll:
Rank School (First-Place Votes in parenthesis) Points
1 Dickinson State (N.D.) (5) 30

2 Valley City State (N.D.) (1) 25
3 Waldorf (Iowa) 23
4 Dakota State (S.D.) 17
5 Presentation (S.D.) 13
6 Mayville State (N.D.) 12

Estelline/Hendricks cancels first two games of football season

Estelline/Hendricks will not play the first two games of the 2020 football season according to South Dakota High School Activities director John Krogstrand.  The Redhawks were scheduled to face Dell Rapids St. Mary Friday then travel to take on Alcester Hudson the following week.  Dell Rapids St. Mary’s Athletic Director Casey Michel confirmed to the Argus leader in Sioux Falls the cancelations were COVID-19 related, however, for privacy issues Krogstrand would not confirm the cancelations were COVID related.  Whether or not the games will be made up has not yet been determined. 

Pre-season sportswriters high school football poll released the week of August 17th

Class 11AAA

1. Roosevelt (15) 86
2. Brandon Valley (2) 67
3. O’Gorman (1) 55
4. Harrisburg 29
5. Washington 26

Receiving votes: Lincoln 6, Watertown 1

Class 11AA

1. Pierre (18) 90
2. Yankton 60
3. Mitchell 50
4. Huron 38
5. Brookings 20

Receiving votes: Sturgis 7, Douglas 5.

Class 11A

1. Canton (13) 81
2. Tea Area (3) 68
3. Dell Rapids (2) 58
4. West Central 29
5. Dakota Valley 19

Receiving votes: Madison 7, Lennox 6, Sioux Falls Christian 2.

Class 11B

1. Winner (14) 82
2. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (4) 75
3. McCook Central/Montrose 37
4. Sioux Valley 33
5. St. Thomas More 29

Receiving votes: Webster Area 7, Elk Point-Jefferson 4, Mobridge-Pollock 3.

Class 9AA

1. Viborg-Hurley (18) 90
T-2. Bon Homme 56
T-2. Lemmon/McIntosh 56
4. Deuel 38
5. Hamlin 12

Receiving votes: Platte-Geddes 9, Baltic 7, Arlington/Lake Preston 2.

Class 9A

1. Canistota/Freeman (18) 90
2. Howard 64
3. Gregory 42
4. De Smet 35
5. Sully Buttes 19

Receiving votes: Warner 11, Britton-Hecla 7, Wall 1, Burke 1.

Class 9B

1. Wolsey-Wessington (10) 77
2. Colman-Egan (6) 72
3. Dell Rapids St. Mary (1) 51
4. Langford Area 29
5. Harding County (1) 18

Receiving votes: Alcester-Hudson 15, Herreid/Selby Area 7, Corsica-Stickney 1.

High school football kicks off this weekend

The High school football season will kick off Friday across the state.  Each school district is charged with managing its own protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 


We will have high school football on 105.5 Maverick FM when the Faulkton Trojans travel to take on the Hitchcock/Tulare Patriots.  Kick off will be at 7:00 p.m. with the pre-game show beginning at about 6:30 p.m. 


Other high school football games this weekend Aberdeen Roncalli @ Miller/Highmore/Harrold, Mobridge/Pollock @ Groton, Redfiled @ Sioux Valley, Garretson @ Webster, Hamlin @ Dakota Hills, Potter County @ Ipswich/Edmunds Central, Sully Buttes @ Warner, and Langford @ Herreid/Selby Area.


High school football schedule on 105.5 Maverick FM:

Week 0 (August 21) – Faulkton Trojans @ Hitchcock/Tulare Patriots
Week 1 (August 28) – Ellendale/Edgeley/Kulm Thunder @ Groton Tigers 
Week 2 (September 4) – North Border Titans @ Langford Lions
Week 3 (September 11) – Faulkton Trojans @ Northwestern Wildcats 
Week 4 (September 18) – Ipswich/Edmunds Central Tigers @ Warner Monarchs 
Week 5 (September 25) – Milbank Bulldogs @ Webster Bearcats 
Week 6 (October 2) – Sisseton Redmen @ Redfield Pheasants 
Week 7 (October 9) – North Border Titans @ Northwestern Wildcats 
Week 8 (October 16) –  Warner Monarchs @ Britton/Hecla Braves 

NSIC cancels all fall activities

 In light of the NCAA Board of Governors’ decision to direct all institutions and conferences to meet specific requirements to conduct fall sports and the NCAA Division II Presidents Council’s announcement that all NCAA Division II fall championships are canceled, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference’s Board of Directors has canceled NSIC fall competition & championships, and has suspended all athletic competition through December 31, 2020.

The NSIC recognizes the value an NCAA championship experience provides for student-athletes and that was a factor in the analysis. However, health and safety concerns prevailed in the league’s decision. Additionally, current recommendations for testing, exposure, and quarantine make it very difficult for a season to be successfully completed at an institution or across the conference without severe disruptions.

“The league’s initial decision to delay the start of fall sports was made with the rationale to allow campuses the ability to focus solely on reopening safely for their broader university communities,” said NSIC Commissioner Erin Lind. “In light of the recent decisions made by the NCAA Board of Governors, it is no longer feasible to conduct outside competition this fall semester. Our student-athletes deserve a competitive experience that provides a greater degree of safety and certainty than current conditions would allow. We believe now is the right time to provide clarity to our student-athletes so we can turn our efforts towards helping institutions reopen and ensuring a safe return to campus to start the academic year.”

Although the NSIC will not conduct a league schedule for 2020 fall sports, competition is an integral part of the student-athlete experience, therefore, the membership is committed to exploring meaningful opportunities and experiences for fall student-athletes in the spring, if it can be done reasonably and safely. 

The conference will continue to monitor the landscape and conditions surrounding the pandemic, locally, regionally, and nationally, and make any decisions or announcements, as necessary. 

NSIC Cancellation of Competition for Fall Semester Frequently Asked Questions


Pittsburgh informs Minnesota it will keep its 15th overall pick this year

The Pittsburgh Penguins have informed the Minnesota Wild the team will reclaim its 15th overall pick in this upcoming NHL draft.  Minnesota has the right to Pittsburgh’s first round pick, acquiring it in the Jason Zucker trade.  However, this year the pick was lottery protected and Pittsburgh lost its play in series in the league’s return to play, placing them in the lottery.  Pittsburgh could have allowed Minnesota to make the 15th overall selection and completed the deal, but chose not to.  Now next offseason, Minnesota will hold the Penguins first round pick no matter where the selection made. 

Everson Griffen signs one-year deal with Dallas

After a long wait and much speculation, former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has signed a one year deal with the Dallas Cowboys.  Six months ago, Griffen opted out of the final year of his contract with Minnesota and entered the free agent market unrestricted.  Griffen is 32 years old and played his first nine season with Minnesota after being selected in the fourth round by the Vikings in 2010.  He is a four time pro bowl selection and was a second-team all-pro in 2017.    

SDSU wide receiver Cade Johnson enters transfer portal

South Dakota State wide receiver Cade Johnson has entered the transfer portal after the Missouri Valley Football Conference pushed its season to the spring.  Johnson has one year of eligabilty left and is a likely candidate to get drafted into the NFL, so playing this fall is crucial for his draft stock if he wants to further his football career.  However, college football’s uncertain future there is a possibility the former walk-on may remain in Brookings. 

Big Ten and Pac-12 cancel football this fall

The college football season has never been in more doubt with the confirmation Tuesday that the Big Ten and Pac 12 would not be taking part in college football this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Reports had been out since Sunday that the two conferences did not plan to move forward with the 2020 season, but those reports were not confirmed until Tuesday.  This came just days after two smaller, but important conference, the MAC and Mountain West announced they would not be taking part in the football season as well.  The Big 12 has not made an announcement yet on its season and the SEC released a statement expressing cautious optimism they will play football this fall. 

Summit League moves all fall sports to spring 2021

The Summit League athletic conference voted unanimously Monday to postpone the regular season and championship for the fall sports of men and women’s cross country, men and women’s soccer and volleyball to the spring 2021.  The decision was made by the league’s president’s council.  This is the second move by the conference as in late July the council had agreed to delay the start of fall sports until September 23rd.  An official release on the matter is expected to be sent out today. 

Minnesota Wild will pick ninth at the NHL entry draft

The second phase of the NHL draft lottery took place Monday night and the top 15 picks are now set.  Following the lottery, the New York Rangers won the top overall pick, followed by the Los Angeles Kings at pick #2.  The Minnesota Wild have been slotted to pick ninth following the lottery.  Eight teams including Minnesota, had a 12.5 percent chance to win the first overall pick and earn the right to select Alexis Lafreniere who is widely considered the top overall prospect in the upcoming 2020 draft.  This will be the Wild’s first top 10 pick since 2012. 


The Wild may also get the 15th overall pick.  The team traded for Pittsburgh first round pick in the Jason Zucker trade, however that pick is lottery protected and since Pittsburgh lost in the play in series to Montreal, they were part of the lottery.  It will be up to Pittsburgh if they want to use the pick at 15th overall this year, in doing so it will surrender their 2021 pick to Minnesota no matter where it is.

Draft order:

1. New York Rangers
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (via SJS)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
9. Minnesota Wild
10. Winnipeg Jets
11. Nashville Predators
12. Florida Panthers
13. Carolina Hurricanes (via TOR)
14. Edmonton Oilers
15. Pittsburgh Penguins or Minnesota Wild

Jordan Quinlan joins Northern coaching staff

Jordan Quinlan is the newest addition to the Northern State University soccer staff. She joined head coach Ryszard Gorski at the helm of the program earlier this summer, after spending the 2019-20 year as a volunteer assistant at the University of Missouri.


“We are incredibly excited to add Jordan to our staff and look forward to the immediate impact she will make on our program,” explained Gorski. “It was clear from the start that her values matched that of our program: a holistic approach for personal development, accountability for academic success, and a passion to develop soccer players.”


Quinlan provides assistance in all facets the women’s soccer program including; student-athlete recruitment, game preparation, player evaluation, academic coordination, and practice & game day coaching.


“I am very grateful to Coach Gorski and the athletic administration at NSU for the opportunity to join their Wolfpack,” noted Quinlan. “My Mizzou soccer family prepared me to step into this role by teaching me to be adaptable, flexible, and creative with whatever coaching or life throws at you.”


During her time at Mizzou, Quinlan worked primarily with attacking players, who boasted 30 goals on the season. Mizzou also experienced a program best beginning the season 5-0-0. They also excelled in the classroom posting a 3.45 cumulative team GPA in the fall and 3.60 in the spring. Quinlan began her collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Northwest Missouri State in 2017, while pursuing a master’s degree.


Quinlan spent the fall 2018 season as an assistant at Iowa Western Community College. IWCC won the Great Lakes District and Region XI Championships, finishing third overall at the NJCAA National Tournament. She was responsible for the day to day operations of training sessions, academics, creating and implementing their strength and conditioning programs, ran youth camps, and led fundraising efforts for the program.


Gorski added, “We have high expectations for our women, and I look forward to collaborating with Jordan as we continue pushing forward and raising standards. Everyone in our program is delighted to welcome Jordan to the Aberdeen community and to Northern State University.”


She then went on to lead the Council Bluffs Soccer Club as the head coach where the program won the Nebraska League Fall Championship. In addition, Quinlan was named the Nebraska League Newcomer Coach of the Year in 2018.


“I believe Northern provides the right environment for me to grow professionally as a young female coach,” Quinlan continued. “I am excited to challenge myself and our team to achieve new heights on the field and in the classroom as we continue to build upon the culture Coach Gorski is instilling in our student-athletes.”


She is currently working toward her D License from the U.S. Soccer Federation and is a certified health coach through the American Council of Exercise.


Quinlan received her bachelor of science in Nutrition and Exercise Science from the University of Missouri in 2016 and her master of science in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Northwest Missouri State in 2018. During her time as an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri, she was a sports nutrition and strength and conditioning intern for the football, soccer, softball, track and field, and swimming and diving teams.

Missouri Valley moves football to Spring 2021

The Missouri Valley Football Conference Presidents Council has announced the league's schools will not conduct conference competition this fall.
In its unwavering commitment to providing meaningful and safe competitive opportunities for the Conference’s student-athletes, the MVFC will play a full 8-game spring league schedule with the expectation to culminate the season with the FCS Playoffs.
“Without question the most important part of our decision-making process was listening to our student-athletes and hearing their feelings,” stated Jim Tressel, chair of the MVFC Presidents Council and President at Youngstown State University.  “What we clearly heard was that they want to play this year for a chance to participate in the FCS Playoffs.  It's great to know that they believe we are taking all the steps necessary to keep them safe in the process.  All 11 MVFC teams weighed in with their positions on the options we considered, and all thoughts and concerns guided our thinking.”
The Council also voted that non-conference competition in Fall 2020 be conducted at institutional discretion.

Mid American Conference becomes first FBS conference to cancel football season

The Mid American Conference Saturday announced it will not play college football this spring.  This is the first FBS football conference to announce the decision to forgo the entire season, leaving the rest of the college football season in doubt.  The MAC includes teams such as Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, the University of Ohio, Bowling Green and more.  This decision comes just days after the University of Connecticut became the first FBS football program to announce it would not participate in the upcoming college football season. 

Minnesota United season comes to an end in semifinal game against Orlando City

The Minnesota Loons lost last night to Orlando City in the second semifinal game of the MLS is back tournament.  The final was 3-1.  With the loss Minnesota United’s season has come to an end.  Scoring goals in the game for Orlando included Nani with two goals six minutes apart and Benji Michel in extra time.  Scoring for Minnesota was Mason Toye in the 84th minute.  Orlando City will now go on to face the Portland Timber Tuesday August 11th for the MLS is Back championship game.  Kick off will be at 7:30 p.m.  The game can be seen on ESPN. 

NCAA cancels Division II, III fall championships

The NCAA Division II president’s council announced Wednesday championship events for fall sports will not happen this year due to COVID-19.  In a release on the decision, the council cited operational, logistical, and financial challenges are too great to overcome to put on the championship events in a safe and efficient manner.  The NCAA also canceled championships for Division III sports and a decision on Division I is expected next week.  The NCAA also announced fall sport athletes will retain their eligibility if their team participates in 50 percent or less of its season. 

Northern volleyball readies for tougher season than ever due to COVID-19

Northern State volleyball is set to begin in a unique 2020 season due to COVID-19.  The season has been delayed by the NCAA, in doing so has cost Northern five games and pushed the start of the season back to October 2nd


Northern head volleyball coach Brent Aldridge gave a schedule for the beginning of the 2020 season…





Northern is coming off an outstanding 2020 season where the team went 25-6 overall and 17-3 in the NSIC.  The team was upset in the first round of the NSIC conference tournament by Upper Iowa, but would go on to earn an at large bid to the NCAA Central Regional tournament.  From there the Wolves would go on to beat #7 St. Cloud State 3-0, but lose to #2 Nebraska-Kearney in the second round, ending their season.


For head coach Brent Aldridge he enters his 10th season as head coach at Northern, 28th head coaching year overall.  During his time at Northern he has compiled a record of 188-77.  Despite all the recent success he says this year will likely be his most difficult…





There are a lot of reasons for Northern’s program success entering 2020, but a big reason is how good local high school volleyball has been over the last decade.  Schools like Aberdeen Central, Warner and Northwestern have found huge success at the state level.  According to Aldridge, that helps in filling out the roster…





The Northern volleyball season opens October 2nd at home vs. the University of Sioux Falls and October 3rd at home vs. Southwest Minnesota State. 

Minnesota Vikings trade for P.J. Hill falls through

The Minnesota Vikings trade with the Las Vegas for defensive tackle P.J. Hill has fallen through due to Hill failing a physical.  The Vikings had agreed to trade for the defensive tackle Monday by sending a conditional 2021 seventh round pick, but Hall will revert back to the raiders who are expected to cut the former second round pick.  He is 25 years old, played in 30 games including 18 starts over the past two seasons, but has recorded just 1.5 sacks during that time.  The Vikings will likely continue to look elsewhere for defensive line help, trying to replace Michael Pierce who announced he would not take part in this season due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Northern men's basketball signs Josh Vaughan as assistant coach

Northern State head men’s basketball coach Saul Phillips has announced the addition of Josh Vaughn to the coaching staff.  Vaughan will serve as the team’s top assistant coach, coming to Northern after spending the past three seasons as the head coach at NAIA Dickinson State.  As head coach in Dicksinson, Vaughan led the Blue Hawks  to a 40-43 record including a birth in the NSAA men’s basketball tournament championship game in 2017-18.  Vaughan played under Phillips during his time as the head coach at North Dakota State University for two seasons. 

Northern announces new agreement with Avera

Northern State has announced after receiving a gift from Avera the top floor of the NSU Barnett Center will be renamed.  The floor will now go by the Bob Olson Strength and Conditioning Center to honor the former coach and athletic director.  The announcement was made Monday at a virtual media call featuring NSU president Tim Downs and Avera St. Luke’s President and CEO Todd Forkel.  Olson retired in 2012 after a 37-year-career at Northern who also served on AVera’s board of directors.  The gift also extends Northern’s agreement with Avera to use its health services through 2034. 

Minnesota Vikings and general manager Rick Speilman come to terms on new contract extension

The Minnesota Vikings announce they have signed General Manager Rick Spielman to a multi-year contract extension.


“Rick has been outstanding in his role as Vikings general manager. We are excited and honored to have him continue to lead our efforts to build a championship roster and first-class organization. With Rick’s and Coach Zimmer’s leadership in place, we are in a great position to continue to compete for a Super Bowl,” Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf said.


Spielman originally joined the Vikings as Vice President of Player Personnel on May 30, 2006, and directed scouting, free agency and draft preparations for the club before being hired as team’s general manager on Jan. 3, 2012. Since taking over as general manager, the Vikings rank ninth in the NFL with a .570 winning percentage (72-54-2), which is fourth-best in the NFC over that eight-season span.


Throughout his tenure as general manager, Minnesota has drafted impact players and made key trades and free agency acquisitions that have resulted in 16 players earning 29 Pro Bowl recognitions, with five of those players also being tabbed All-Pro. Since 2012, Spielman has made more draft picks (93) than any other general manager in the National Football League. Of those picks, 56 are the result of trades and 13 have been first-round selections.


In addition to his success during the NFL Draft, Spielman has excelled at acquiring free agents, highlighted by quarterback Kirk Cousins, who signed with the club on March 15, 2018. In his two seasons in Minnesota, Cousins, who was named the Pro Bowl following the 2019 season, has posted a 103.0 passer rating, trailing only Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (110.0) for the highest passer rating in the NFL among all passers with at least 1,000 attempts since the start of 2018.


“We appreciate Rick’s work ethic, diligence and commitment to the Vikings. We continue to have the utmost confidence in him as we work to assemble championship-caliber teams to reach our ultimate goal of winning a world championship.”  Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf said.


During the 2020 NFL Draft, Spielman turned 12 picks into a seven-round NFL-record 15 selections with two additional picks gained for the 2021 NFL Draft through trades. The Vikings 2020 class is the largest since the NFL condensed its annual draft to seven rounds in 1994. It also marked Minnesota’s first 15-member class since 1985, tying for the largest-overall draft class since 1976, when the team added 17 players over 17 rounds.

NAIA moves football national championship to the fall

The NAIA has announced it will postpone its football national championship to the spring in 2021.  Usually the football champion is crowned in the fall, but the game has been moved due to COVID-19 concerns.  The NAIA council of presidents voted in favor of postponing the championship at its meeting Friday July 31st.  NAIA conference are still allowed to compete in the fall and winter if they so choose to.  The move is expected to help NAIA institutions to better deal with restrictions at the local and state level due to COVID-19. 

USD's Jack Cochrane named Phil Steele pre-season All-American

South Dakota senior captain Jack Cochrane has been named a preseason all-American by Phil Steele announced Friday. Cochrane, a third-team selection, is one of 16 FCS linebackers on the squad and one of two from the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Cochrane is a two-year starter from Mount Vernon, Iowa, who earned second-team all-Valley honors last season after leading the conference with 106 tackles. He also led the Coyotes with two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Of his 106 stops, 59 were solo, 7.0 were for loss and 3.0 were sacks.
Cochrane maintains a 4.0 grade point average while majoring in criminal justice and business administration at USD. He is a two-time, first-team MVFC All-Academic honoree and was named to the FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star Team at the conclusion of last season.
In addition to announcing an all-America team, Phil Steele also released its preseason all-MVFC team. In addition to Cochrane, the Coyotes were represented by tight end Brett Samson (first team), offensive lineman Mason Scheidegger (first team), punter Brady Schutt (first team), running back Kai Henry (second team), wideout Caleb Vander Esch (second team), linebacker Jake Matthew (second team), kicker Mason Lorber (second team), offensive lineman Isaac Erbes (third team), safety Elijah Reed (third team) and long snapper Dalton Godfrey (third team).

Twins place pitcher Homer Bailey on 10-day IR

The Twins have also placed right handed starter Homer Bailey on the 10-day disabled list with right bicep tendinitis.  The move was made retroactively to July 29th.  Bailey signed with the Twins as a free agent this offseason and won his first start pitching five innings and allowing two runs on July 28th.  The Twins have recalled right hander Sean Poppen from their alternate training site to replace Bailey for the time being.