Local Sports Archives for 2021-04

NSU announces transfer addition Kailleb Walton-Blanden

Northern State University head coach Saul Phillips announced today the third transfer to the Wolves program in Kailleb Walton-Blanden out of Rapid City. He comes to Aberdeen after one season at State Fair College. Walton-Blanden will join Andrew Bergan (Aberdeen, S.D.), Trey Longstreet (Waverly, Minn.), Sam Masten (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), and Jacksen Moni (Fargo, N.D.) in the fall.


Walton-Blanden is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard out of Rapid City Central High School. He is the son of Heather Walton-Blanden and Sherman Blanden III. He was a 3-year starter for the Cobblers as a prep, averaging 14.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. Walton-Blanden was a 2-time all-tournament selection, the 2015-16 leading scorer at the South Dakota State Tournament, a 2017-18 all-state honoree, and a finalist for Mr. Basketball South Dakota.


“Kailleb is a combo guard who is returning to South Dakota after a successful junior college career and a season at a really good Division II program that was cancelled because of COVID,” explained Phillips. “His desire to move back to South Dakota, his basketball IQ and what he brings athletically to the program made it an easy choice to recruit him.”


At State Fair College, Walton-Blanden averaged 13.3 points, 3.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. In 2018-19, he was invited to the All-American Juco Showcase. He spent his first collegiate season at Gillette College, averaging 15.0 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game.


Phillips added, “Kailleb turned down DI interest to join us in Aberdeen.  He is explosive with the ball in his hands, very athletic and knocks down 3’s at a high level. He has been a disruptive defender throughout his career.”

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance selected 3rd overall by San Francisco

The San Francisco 49ers selected North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick in the NFL draft.  Lance was the third quarterback selected behind first overall pick Trever Lawrence out of Clemson and second overall pick Zach Wilson out of BYU.


Lance is a Marshall Minnesota native who's father Carlton Lance played Division II college football at Southwest Minnesota State. Carlton actually signed a two-week tryout contract with San Francisco after college, but failed to make the team.  He played cornerback in the Canadian Football League for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and one year in Europe.


Lance said he was surprised by being selected 3rd overall, but feels he couldn't be in a better position...




Lance has critics due to not only playing FCS football, but being just a one year starter at NDSU.  Lance was a part of two FCS National Championship teams at NDSU, but played just one season as a full time starter.  After winning the 2019 FCS National Championship, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of the 2020 season.  After the Missouri Valley Football Conference announced it would conduct a spring football season, Lance announced he would not take part and instead entered the NFL draft.  


Lance says he accepts those critiques of his choices and calls the whole process a job interview...




The 49ers traded up to #3 to pick a quarterback.  There was wide speculation before the draft the 49ers preferred Alabama quarterback Mac Jones instead of someone like Lance.  49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan says from the moment they made the trade Lance was the guy...




Vikings select OT Christian Darrisaw 24th overall

The first round of the NFL draft concluded Thursday night with 32 picks being made.  With their first round pick the Minnesota Vikings selected…





Christian Darrisaw was selected by the Vikings 23rd overall after the team traded back from 14th and received in addition the 66th overall pick and 86th overall pick.  Darrisaw was a junior when he entered the draft.  He stands 6’5 weighs 322 pounds and gave the pick an A+ grade. 


Darrisaw famously received only one Division I offer out of high school and that was from Virginia Tech.  According to him that left a chip on his shoulder he carries today and hopes makes him a star in Minnesota...





Vikings general manager Rick Speilman talked about why Darrisaw was a right fit for the Vikings...





Other significant picks made include Clemson Quarterback Trevor Lawrence going first overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. 


North Dakota State quarterback and Marshall Minnesota native Trey Lance was selected third overall by the San Francisco 49ers.  He becomes the second Bison quarterback taken in the top five along with Indianapolis starter Carson Wentz. 


The Detroit Lions selected offensive tackle Penei Sewell out of Oregon with the seventh overall pick, the Chicago Bears traded up with the New York Giants to 11th overall to select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and the Green Bay Packers selected Eric Stokes, cornerback out of Georgia 29th overall. 


Finally, Minnesota Golden Gopher wide receiver Rashod Bateman was selected 27th overall by the Baltimore Ravens.  The draft will continue today with the second round and conclude Saturday with rounds 3-7. 


The Vikings do not hold a second round pick as of Friday morning. 


First round draft results:

32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Joe Tryon, LB, Washington
31) Baltimore Ravens (from KC) – Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State
30) Buffalo Bills – Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
29) Green Bay Packers – Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
28) New Orleans Saints – Payton Turner, DE, Houston
27) Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
26) Cleveland Browns – Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
25) Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
24) Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
23) Minnesota Vikings (from NYJ through SEA) – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
22) Tennessee Titans – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
21) Indianapolis Colts – Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
20) New York Giants (from CHI) – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
19) Washington Football Team – Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
18) Miami Dolphins – Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami
17) Las Vegas Raiders – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
16) Arizona Cardinals – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
15) New England Patriots – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
14) New York Jets (from MIN) – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
13) Los Angeles Chargers – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
12) Dallas Cowboys (from PHI through SF, MIA) – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
11) Chicago Bears (from NYG) – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
10) Philadelphia Eagles (from DAL) – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
9) Denver Broncos – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
8) Carolina Panthers – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
7) Detroit Lions – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
6) Miami Dolphins (from PHI) – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
5) Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
4) Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
3) San Francisco 49ers (from HOU through MIA) – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
2) New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
1) Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Jacks head coach John Stiegelmeier talks weekend quarterfinal game

( -- South Dakota State came out last Saturday and made a statement in their 31-3 win over Holy Cross in the first round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.  Jacks head coach John Stiegelmeier talked about that victory and moving forward...



The number one seed Jacks now turn their attention to Southern Illinois in the FCS quarterfinals. A team they beat 44-3 back on March 20th. The performance that day was described by Coach Stiegelmeier as, “close to perfect.” So what are the keys for the second go around?




Kickoff set for 8 p.m. Sunday at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. 

Northern signs DI transfer in Sam Masten

Northern State University head coach Saul Phillips announced today that Sam Masten will join the men's basketball program. Masten is a native of Highlands Ranch, Colorado and a transfer from Northern Colorado. He will join Andrew Bergan (Aberdeen, S.D.), Trey Longstreet (Waverly, Minn.) and Jacksen Moni (Fargo, N.D.) in the fall.


Masten is a 6-foot-3, junior-guard and the son of Jason and Meg Masten. He attended Rock Canyon High School and was a 4-year starter for the Jaguars. Masten averaged over 20 points per game in his final two prep seasons. He was a 3-time all-state performer, 3-time all-conference selection, the 2018 Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year, Colorado Mr. Basketball, and 5A Player of the Year. Masten is the Rock Canyon all-time leading scorer and rebounder.
"When we began looking at Sam it was obvious the way he played would translate to our roster," explained Phillips. "He has exceptional quickness and shoots it well behind the 3-point arc."
Masten played three seasons at the University of Northern Colorado as a starter. He averaged 6.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game, shooting 42.1% from the floor. The Highlands Ranch native was also a 2-time Academic All-Big Sky honoree.
Phillips added, "he has been a starter on a winning Division I team for a majority of three seasons. He is a combo guard that is electric with the ball in his hands. As a former Mr. Basketball in high school, he has had success at every level he has played. Sam is a natural leader and will be an emotional anchor in our locker room."

Vikings ready to make a selection in tomorrow's NFL draft first round

The Minnesota Vikings front office says it is ready for what could be an active NFL draft which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday. 


The Vikings hold the 14th overall pick in the draft and, according to draft analysts, need to fill gaps on  the offensive line, on the defensive line and in the secondary.


Vikings general manager Rick Speilman held a press conference Wednesday to discuss the team’s strategy heading into the draft.  According to Speilman that strategy changes every year because each draft is different…




Trading the pick is always an option for Minnesota.  Speilman is known for holding on to many picks in case potential moves need to be made.  However, Speilman doesn’t get ahead of himself when it comes to draft day moves because you don’t know how the board is going to fall…





Since Speilman took over as general manager of the Minnesota Vikings his philosophy when it comes to the draft is “take the best player available.”  Speilman says though every draft is different, he doesn’t sway from that philosophy…


Northern softball weekend games canceled due to NSU COVID-19 protocols

Northern State softball’s weekend doubleheaders with Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota State – Mankato have both been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols at Northern State.  The games will not be rescheduled per NSIC guidelines.       

Aberdeen Roncalli names Dan Gallagher next boys basketball caoch

Aberdeen Roncalli has named Dan Gallagher as the Cavaliers next boys basketball coach.  The announcement was made by incoming athletic director Derek Larson.  Gallagher is a 2014 graduate of Roncalli high school and has served as an assistant coach for both the jv and varsity teams since 2019.  He will take over after former head coach Wayne Smith and the team parted ways during the past season. 

Wild resign forward Ryan Hartman

Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed forward Ryan Hartman to a three-year, $5.1 million contract extension ($1.7 million AAV).


Hartman, 26, owns 18 points (6-12=18), 25 penalty minutes (PIM), two game-winning goals (GWG), three power-play assists (PPA), one shorthanded goal (SHG), 40 hits and 31 blocked shots in 40 games with Minnesota this season. The 6-foot, 192-pound forward has career highs in PPA and power-play points. He registered a season-high three points (1-2=3) on April 5 vs. Colorado, his third career three-point plus game. The native of Hilton Head Island, S.C., recorded a career-high four-game point streak (2-4=6) from Feb. 18-24 and a career-high three-game assist streak (1-4=5) from Feb. 20-24. The right-shot skater netted his first career SHG on Jan. 20 at Anaheim and his first career shorthanded assist on Feb. 24 vs. the Avalanche. He leads the Wild in shorthanded points this season.


Hartman owns 127 points (57-70=127), a plus-16 rating, 312 PIM, seven PPP (3-4=7), 441 hits and 197 blocked shots in 354 career NHL games in seven seasons (2014-21) with Minnesota, Chicago, Nashville and Philadelphia. He has also collected three points (1-2=3) in 17 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests.


He was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round (30th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and signed as a free agent with Minnesota on July 1, 2019.

Long time De Smet coach Marv McCune dies due to COVID-19

Long time De Smet high school boys basketball coach Marv McCune died Sunday due to complications with COVID-19.  McCune was 66 years old and had been recovering from leukemia when he came down with the virus.  McCune led the Bulldogs to multiple state titles in both football and basketball.  He is a member of the South Dakota Coach’s Association Hall of Fame and South Dakota Basketball Coach’s Association Hall of Shrine.  He was introduced into the South Dakota Football coach’s hall of fame in March as well. 

Wild rookie Kirill Kaprizov breaks team record

The Minnesota Wild won its fourth game in a row last night with a victory over the Arizona Coyotes.  The final was 5-2.  Scoring for Minnesota included Kirill Kaprizov, Jordan Greenway, Marcus Johansson, Kevin Fiala with his 15th goal of the season and Jonas Brodin.  With Kaprizov’s goal he becomes the highest scoring rookie in Wild franchise history.  He has 37 points in 44 games this season, breaking the old record set by former star Marion Gaborik who had 36 points in 71 games during his rookie season in Minnesota.   

San Jose's Patrick Marleau makes history playing in his 1,768th NHL game

Last night was not just a normal game between the San Jose Sharks and Las Vegas Golden Knights, it also made history.  Sharks veteran forward Patrick Marleau broke hockey legend Gordie Howe’s record for most NHL games played in history.  Marleau played in his 1,768th career game Monday night.  He is 41 years old and obtained the record in 23 NHL seasons.  It took Howe 26 seasons and playing to the age of 51 to set the record broke by Marleau.   

Saints announce 2021 football schedule

Presentation College head football coach Steve Heimann has announced the 2021 football schedule. 


The Saints are set to open the 2021 season with a home game and a pair of non-conference games featuring an opponent from NCAA Division III and one from the Great Plains Athletic Conference. 


The Red Raiders of Northwestern College (IA) will face PC on August 28.

Rounding out non-conference action, the Saints will travel to Concordia College (MN) to take on the Cobbers on September 11.


To kick off North Star Athletic Association action, the Saints will travel to Madison for the first of two meetings in the 2021 season with Dakota State University.  


After a homecoming tilt against Waldorf University on September 25, the Saints will be on the road against six-time NSAA champion Dickinson State University in the first of two meetings between the schools for the 2021 season. 


Following a home game against Valley City State University on October 9, the Saints will have one game before having a bye week. On October 16, the Saints will travel to Mayville State University to face the Comets. Following the bye week, the Saints will make the trek to Mount Pleasant, Iowa in a matchup against new NSAA member, Iowa Wesleyan University on October 30. 


The Saints conclude the regular season with home games against Dickinson State on November 6 and Dakota State on November 13. 


Need more Saints football? Check out or @PCSaintFootball on Twitter.


2021 Fall Schedule

August 28            Northwestern

September 4      TBD

September 11    @Concordia (MN)

September 18    @Dakota State University*

September 25    Waldorf*

October 2            @Dickinson State*

October 9            Valley City State*

October 16          @Mayville State*

October 23          Bye Week

October 30          @Iowa Wesleyan*

November 6       Dickinson State*

November 13     Dakota State*

Parker Fox chooses Minnesota

Former Northern State star forward Parker Fox announced on twitter Thursday he has chosen to transfer to the University of Minnesota. In the tweet Fox simply said the word home accompanied with a video.  He is a Mahtomedi Minnesota native and one of the first major recruits under new Gopher head coach Ben Johnson. Fox has gone from contributor to star during his three seasons at Northern, finishing his career with 1,357 total points, 622 rebounds, and 177 blocks.  He was also a Division II All-American this past year, the first Wolf to be named All-American since 2009. 

Dakota Marker game to kick off at 2:30 April 17th

It's Dakota Marker week, again.

After three straight weeks of COVID cancellations and postponements, South Dakota State will play their rescheduled Dakota Marker game against North Dakota State this Saturday at the Fargodome.

South Dakota State Coach John Stiegelmeier talks about how they have dealt with three "bye weeks":



Coach Stig talks about the Bison:




Stig talks about how they have been preparing freshman quarterback Mark Gronowski for the noise of the Fargodome:




Kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. this Saturday.  The game can be heard in the Watertown area on 910 AM The Ranch.

NSU head women's soccer coach Gorski resigns

Northern State University athletics announced the resignation of women's soccer coach Ryszard Gorski. Gorski has been the head coach of women’s soccer since December of 2018. Gorski stated he was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to coach the team and proud of the progress they have made for the future of the program. Northern went 5-12-1 overall and 3-11-1 in Gorski's first season, placing one student-athlete on the NSIC All-Conference team. A national search will begin immediately for the next head women's soccer coach.


Presentation College announces new Athletic director Daniel Garrett

Presentation College announced Tuesday its selection of a new athletic director Daniel Garrett. Garrett comes to PC after serving as  Associate Athletic Director at California State, Los Angeles since 2015. While at Cal State, Los Angeles Garrett was the main force behind the implementation of plans for the athletic department, including the addition of four new sports and a study about joining NCAA Division I.


 "I'm thrilled to be here and help provide stability and continuity for the student-athletes and coaches after the difficult year posed by COVID," Garrett said. Garrett is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors and has experience as an advocate for foster youth and children's rights. Garrett replaces Steve Gast, who retired in November 2020.

NCAA releases statement on transgender athletes in competition

The NCAA released a statement Monday in regards to transgender athletes inclusion in sports.  According to the statement the NCAA Board of Governors says it supports opportunities for trans student-athletes to compete in college sports.  The statement further reads, in regards to host locations for NCAA events, quote “NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.”  The State of South Dakota is at risk of losing the Summit League tournament and other NCAA events due to state lawmakers and Governor Kristi Noem’s desire to pass laws some consider anti-transgender. 

Sioux Falls native makes history signing NHL deal with Calgary Flames

Sioux Falls native Walker Duehr has signed a professional contract with the Calgary Flames of the NHL, in doing so makes history.  Duehr is 23-years-old and becomes the first from South Dakota to sign an NHL contract.  Duehr played college hockey for Minnesota State Mankato after spending time with Bloomington in the USHL.  In four seasons of college hockey Duehr scored 51 points including two 10 goal seasons.   He has signed a two-year entry-level deal with Calgary after going undrafted. 

Central hires Mikayla Arechigo as next head girls basketball coach

The Aberdeen Public School District has announced the hiring of Mikayla Arechigo as the next head girls basketball coach for the Golden Eagle program.  Arechigo, known as Mikayla Barondeau while in high school, attended Frederick Area High School where she was an athlete in cross-country, basketball, volleyball and track.  She has been on staff at Central for the past six years including the 2016 and 2018 teams which won a Class AA girls basketball championship.  She replaces Dawn Seiler who announced her retirement from coaching following this season and has taken the job as the next Athletic Director at Aberdeen Central. 

Former Central star Andrew Bergan transferring to Northern State

Former Aberdeen Central basketball star Andrew Bergan announced on his social media this week he is transferring from Division I University of North Dakota to Northern State.  Bergan finished his freshman season at North Dakota playing spot time in three games.  He is a 6’8 forward and four-year letterman who helped the Golden Eagles make the Class AA Championship game his freshman season. 



USD cancels final football game of the season, will not seek another opponent

The University of South Dakota announced earlier this week its final game of the season scheduled for April 17th vs. Western Illinois will not be played due to COVID-19.  With that the University announced Wednesday it would not seek another opponent and effectively end its spring football season.  COVID-19 played a huge role in this football season for the Coyotes.  Their first game of the year vs. Western Illinois was postponed back on February 19th and the Coyotes haven’t played a game since losing to Youngstown State on March 20th.  Following that game USD had three cancelations against North Dakota State, UNI and South Dakota State, then announced the final cancelation against Western Illinois.  The Coyotes finish the season 1-3. 

Doland South Dakota native Tim Miles named next head coach at Division I San Jose State

Doland South Dakota native and one time Northern assistant coach Tim Miles has been named the next head men’s basketball coach at San Jose State University.  San Jose State is a Division I basketball program located in San Jose California.  The team plays basketball in the Mountain West Conference.  Miles has not coached basketball since 2019 when he was let go as the head coach at the University of Nebraska.  During his time at Nebraska he was named the Big Ten coach of the year in 2014. 

Minnesota hockey star Mark Pavelich's death ruled suicide

The death of a former Minnesota hockey star Mark Pavelich has been ruled a suicide.  According to the Minnesota medical examiner who investigated the death, Pavelich died of asphyxia.  Pavelich’s body was found March 3rd at the Eagle’s Healing Nest in Sauk Center Minnesota.  He was 63 years old and had been undergoing treatment as part of a civil commitment for assaulting his neighbor in August 2019.  He was deemed incompetent to stand trial in that case.  Pavelich was part of the “Miracle on Ice” US Olympic hockey team which upset the Soviet Union at the 1980 winter games and went on to win the gold medal that same Olympic season.  He’s just the second member of that team to pass away, before him defenseman Bob Suter in 2014. 

Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney charged with assault

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney has been arrested on assault charges.  Gladney turned himself into the Dallas police department Monday.  According to authorities Galdney was allegedly involved in a verbal altercation Friday with a  22-year-old woman over the contents of a cell phone.  At some point during the argument things became physical according to the Dallas Police Department.  The 24-year-old now faces assault on a household member impeding breathing or circulation charges.  He has been released on bail.  The Vikings released a statement on the matter saying the team takes the allegations very seriously and will be investigating the matter further. 

Wolves guard Malik Beasley out 4-6 weeks with hamstring injury

The Wolves will now be without guard Malik Beasley for an extended period of time.  Beasley announced Monday he has suffered a grade three left hamstring injury and will miss roughly 4-6 weeks.  Beasley has missed a lot of time lately as he had just returned from being suspended by the league for an off the court issue when he suffered this injury. 

USD vs. SDSU football game canceled due to COVID-19

The South Dakota State vs. University of South Dakota football game has been canceled this weekend due to COVID-19.  The Missouri Valley Football Conference also announced it would not be rescheduled.  The game was suppose to take place Saturday in Brookings at Dana Dykhouse Stadium.  Both USD and SDSU have now had three consecutive games canceled due to COVID-19 related issues. 

Wings forward Kyle Gaffney commits to DI Alaska-Fairbanks

Aberdeen Wings forward Kyle Gaffney has announced he has committed to play Division I hockey for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Gaffney is 6’0 165 pounds and a native of Plymouth Michigan.  He has one goal, 12 assists for 13 points in 32 games for the Wings this season.  Gaffney will begin his college hockey career in 2022 and join fellow former Wings including Riley Murphy, Antonio Di Paolo and Jakob Breault.  He is the fourth player on the Wings roster this season to commit to Alaska-Fairbanks.