What it takes Wednesday: Make every game count, you never know when it might be your last

By Rich Winter

Two years ago, Brady Sprik was coming off the summer of a lifetime. A great young baseball player, a superb looking freshman football player. A very bright and athletic future came to a screeching halt on a night, early October, 2017. Driving home from a volleyball game, Sprik was involved in an accident that nearly took his life.

For nearly two years the Sprik family has shared their journey with followers via social media. A lot of painful surgeries, some horrible dentist appointments and just tons of rehab for a junior that truly misses the sports he would have been playing, Brady Sprik doesn’t say a lot on his social media accounts but last week he uttered some truly remarkable prose that every high-school athlete should think about.


Sometimes we often wonder why do things happen? Often we never know the answer to that and never will but all we can do is hold trust in the man upstairs that he will lead us down the right path and show us the way that he wants us to take. As an athlete I never really realized how lucky I was to be out there playing and having fun.


I guess you can say I took advantage of it and I regret it. If there’s one thing I have learned it’s that you should always play your heart out because you never know when the game your playing will be your last or if it’ll be your last practice always push yourself to be the best you can and don’t take advantage of it. Although I truly do love playing sports I’ve come to realization that it probably won’t happen again. Which for me is fine because being on a team is about more then playing it’s about becoming a family and enjoying it even if you can’t play. It’s game day boys let’s go out there and show them who we are and what we can do!😤🔥 #gameday🏈.

Brady Cover.jpg

Here is a link to a story Sacred Hoops wrote just over a year ago that goes into more depth about Mr. Sprik’s injury and his continued recovery!


Brady and his Black Panther buddies host Kimball/White Lake in what should be a dandy of a ballgame this Friday.

Faces in the crowd: Gus Gray and Jordan Derby catch the attention of the Sacred Hoops Sports Blog

Standing on the Red Cloud sideline during the Red Cloud @ Lower Brule game ten days ago, I heard the most unusual phrase uttered by one of the Red Cloud players. Riyen Carlow had just thrown a touchdown pass to Jayshaun Morrisette and as Morrisette headed to the sideline, #76 Gus Gray yelled….”That was EXQUISITE.” He repeated the phrase one more time…

So, I’ve stood on a lot of high-school football sidelines and can’t come close to remembering anyone using a word such as exquisite….Of course I had to ask..

“How did you pick up such a great vocabulary,” I asked.

“Comic Books,” Mr. Gray replied.

He rattled off a few more ‘BIG’ words and then used the word serendipity in a sentence.

“Spell It,” I challenged.


Turns out Gray wasn’t playing much football on that day, but, the sophomore loves comic books and one day hopes to use that passion for a career writing comic books.

Very Excited to see athletic progress from Jordan Derby. This young lady has been part of our Sacred Hoops program for the last two seasons. Last year she played on Kellan Herman’s All-Native 16-U squad. Wanted to show folks a highlight block from Derby during Tuesday’s 4-set win over Todd County. The Lady Crusaders started the season 0-6 but on Tuesday they got their first win.

Derby had multiple big-time blocks and was a real presence in the front row. While she wasn’t crushing the ball, ‘yet’ with kills she showed some improved mobility and some nice, soft hands around the net. Best part was seeing her come to the bench with an upbeat trot to her gait, welcomed in by teammates who are seeing some improvement.


All-Nations Football poll: Big three remain locked-in for top-spots in week-3 poll

After two weeks of football in the All-Nations conference Red Cloud, Crow Creek and CEB remain on top of the All-Nations Conference football poll. Art Vitalis’s Red Cloud Crusaders continue to look like an offensive power-house as the team scored 68 in a shutout win over Takini. Scott Klaudt’s Crow Creek Chieftains have been equally impressive, this week the squad blanked Marty Indian 50-0. And finally, Michael Scott’s CEB Braves shook off some first-half turnovers in a 40-6 win over Oelrich’s.

So, that being said here is your Sacred Hoops/Big Sioux Media/All-Nations Coach’s Poll (Week 3)

  1. Red Cloud 2-0

  2. Crow Creek 2-0

  3. CEB 2-0

  4. Lower Brule 1-0

  5. Tiospa Zina 2-0

    Also receiving votes were Flandreau Indian School, Little Wound and St. Francis.

We have some gigantic matchups this weekend headline by Cheyenne Eagle Butte @ Red Cloud on Friday. Week Three

  • Cheyenne-Eagle Butte @ Red Cloud – Friday September 20th

  • Little Wound @ Takini – Friday September 20th

  • Oelrichs @ Crazy Horse – Friday September 20th (Both teams looking for first win_

  • Tiospa Zina @ Lower Brule – Friday September 20th (No. 4 vs. No 5)

  • Crow Creek @ Flandreau Indian – Saturday September 21st

  • St Francis @ Marty – Friday September 20th

Week four will find all teams converging in Rapid City to coordinate games during the Fall Lakota Nation activities….LOWER BRULE vs. Crow Creek…Yes please.

Going to add a few photos from the first two weeks of the league…If anyone comes across a good picture and or video (Student recorded is best) we would love to highlight those youth on the Sacred Hoops platform. Tiospa Zina pictures are courtesy of John Hemminger

Also…check out this site on Big Sioux Media - https://bigsiouxmedia.com/all-nations-football-conference/

It is a web page for scores, upcoming matchups, polls and even our offensive and defensive players of the week.

Free-4-All Friday: Scrappy Kadoka girls undefeated in prep volleyball


The 2019 Kadoka Volleyball team photo: (Photo courtesy of Carrie Ann Photography)

By Rich Winter

Caught a bit of last night’s Kadoka @ Wall volleyball match and Barry Hutchinson’s squad ran into their first test of the season. Straight set wins over Philip and Little Wound set the table, but last night, Wall took the first set 23-25.

Hutchinson’s squad rallied and won the next three sets - (25-14) (25-22) (25-19)

Kadoka is one of the girls’ schools that I’ll be following this season. Girls have been close to state tournaments in volleyball and basketball the last few seasons….And they have a great core of seniors leading the way.

Augusta McMillin 5'6 OH 12

Lavin Bendt 5'9 MH 12

Eve Patterson 5'5 S 12

Kaylee O'daniel 5'8 OH 12

Kaycee O'daniel 5'4 L 12

Lotta uperclassmen on this roster:

Jade Hutchinson 5'6 OH 11

Sammi Stout 5'4 S 11 1

Abbi Roghair 5'6 OH 11

And a couple of BIG sophomores Becck Shuck (5-foot-10) and Lanie Blair (6-footer)

Girls play in the Philip tournament on Saturday. Next week some real challenges with New Underwood and Faith.

Sacred Hoops player Lavin Bendt part of some very successful teams in Kadkota

Speaking of scrappy: Good luck to coach Chad Eisenbraun as the 2-1 Kougars travel to Presho to face Lyman.


Caught some of the Kadoka (9B) vs. Jones County/White River (9AA) game two weeks ago. JC/WR is undefeated and plays two classes above the Kougars and Kadoka gave them everything they wanted, losing 34-26.

Squad is young but has a terrific running-back trio of Gavin Sudbeck (JR), Reeec Ohrtman (FR- 5-foot-10, 190 lbs) and Hudson Johnson (JR)

Believe that game will be webcast at: http://lymanraiderslive.com/index.php?page=football-game&id=7341

Multi-sport STARS to clash as Alcester-Hudson hosts Dell Rapids St. Mary's

At left is DRSM QB Connor Libis…At right is Alcester-Hudson QB Logan Serck

By Rich Winter

HUGE matchup in Class 9B’s Region 2 tonight as No. 2 ranked Dell Rapid’s St. Mary’s takes on No. 4 Alcester-Hudson in a game that will be webcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6CiEVgbDwg

Ross Flemmer’s squad is off to a quick and explosive start with wins over Estelline/Hendricks (60-18), Castlewood (44-27) and a mildly surprising 28-0 shutout of De Smet. (Held De Smet to 56 total yards)

Brian Haak’s squad is also 3-0 on the season with a 44-0 win over Avon, a 22-20 win over Estelline/Hendricks and a 44-0 romp over Centerville last week.

Talk about a tough region as three of the top four ranked teams in the state come from Region 2B

DRSM 42.000 3-0

Alcester-Hudson 41.00000 3-0

Colman Egan 41.000 3-0

Class 9B rankings:

Class 9B

1. Colman-Egan (22) 3-0 118 1

2. Dell Rapids St. Mary (2) 3-0 88 4

3. Wolsey-Wessington 2-1 62 3

4. Alcester-Hudson 3-0 35 RV

5. Faulkton Area 1-1 30 2

Will be checking this game out tonight to check out some of the athletes not playing QB (Weston Geraets)…That said, am really looking at the QB’s tonight…Two, incredibly TUFF kids that are multi-sport standouts…

At left is is Hudson’s Logan Serck who wrestles for the (Beresford/Alcester/Hudson) team. He finished 2nd in the Class A state tournament a year ago at 132 lbs. (SCRAPPY)….At right is DRSM’s Connor Libis who was a Class B All-State, First Teamer last season….Both athletes are only juniors.

Check it out…should be an amazing game.

Carlow (Red Cloud) and Henry (St. Francis Indian) are All-Nations offensive and defensive players of the week

At left is Red Cloud’s Riyen Carlow who threw 5 TD passes and ran for 3 TD’s as Red Cloud defeated Lower Brule 58-48. At right (No. 30) is St. Francis sophomore Willard Henry who had four tackles, 1 sack and an interception he returned for a score against Oelrich’s.

By Rich Winter

Well, week one of the All-Nations football conference is in the books and thusly we have some Athletes of the Week to talk about.

Red Cloud senior Riyen Carlow was the hands down selection as Offensive Player-of-the-Week. Carlow, who made the transition from WR to QB this season looked like a cagey veteran working out of Art Vitalis’s spread formation from the shot-gun.

Five TD passes, 3 rushing TD’s…

Check out the last TD of the night for Carlow…

St. Francis football is alive and well - Willard Henry is All-Nations defensive player of the week

Had a quick little chat with St. Francis Indian Football coach Merle Anderson today….Warriors had a great opening game 58-6 win over Oelrich’s that had the kids, the fans and the community pretty fired up. Anderson said five additional players went out for football this Monday putting the roster numbers up close to 25 athletes…..That’s unheard of for St. Francis.

The Warriors got it rolling offensively and nearly pitched a shutout with what looks to be a formidable defense. St. Francis sophomore Willard Henry (No. 30, 6-foot-2 190 lbs) had himself a breakout game for the Warriors.

Henry had four tackles, a sack and an interception he returned for a TD. For his efforts, Henry is your All-Nations defensive player of the week for All-Nations.

Newcomer of the week - CEB’s Wiley Harrison


During a recent visit with CEB coach Michael Scott, the name of freshman Wiley Harrison came up as a fella that was going to get some carries for the Braves this season.

In last week’s win over Crazy Horse, the freshman had 6 carries…three of them were for TD’s, AND the young fella BEASTED with 100 yards rushing (16.9) yards per carry.

One to watch tonight as CEB hosts Oelrich’s as the All-Nations week 2 schedule gets going for Eagle Butte’s homecoming.

If anyone comes across some great photos or even video highlights we would love to share them on our Sacred Hoops Facebook Page.

You came Facebook message these items to our Facebook page or email to richwinter85@gmail.com

Sacred Hoops Football Player of the week: Sully Buttes QB, Nick Wittler

Watched every scoring play from last Sully Buttes’ 58-8 win over Potter County from last Friday. In watching, it becomes very clear that Mark Senftner’s squad is LOADED…Skill guys all over the field and a QB in Nick Wittler that makes it look easy.

  • Wittler to Jordan Schall TD - Wittler 2-point run

  • Wittler 48 yard pass to Thomas Farries (freshman) - Wittler pass to Grant Johnson (STUD)

  • Witter 35 pass to Grant Johnson

  • Wittler 32 run for TD

  • Wittler 49 yard run for TD

Sully Buttes spreads you out, goes heavy when they need to and through the first three games of the season the Chargers have been superb, outscoring Warner, Wall and Potter County 162-34.

The Chargers host undefeated Herried/Selby Area in a big game on Friday. Wittler played on Coach Jacob Sittig’s East-River 17-U Sacred Hoops team this summer.

Here is Wittler’s last score of the night, a 49-yard TD run (Check out the BLOCKS from Jett Lamb that spring the play) (Video courtesy of liveticket.tv)

What it takes Wednesday: A Recovery meeting every week keeps folks on the right path

By Rich Winter

One of the things that came up during Saturday’s Sacred Hoops coaching summit was how can WE make South Dakota better. Within that framework came the question…

How come nobody in the South Dakota media talks about Drug & Alcohol addiction? The media talks about the after-affects of what someone did while drunk or high but they NEVER share success stories or even share suggestions on how family members can cope and deal with a loved one that is addicted.

Seriously, how many of us know someone or even have a loved one that is or has battled addiction?

When you start talking about drug & alcohol addiction and sit in a group of grown folks, everyone raises their hand because they know personally or know of someone that has battled addiction. If that is the case then why aren’t more people jumping in to talk about the subject?

We have an opioid crisis in South Dakota…In may places the meth is running rampant…And yet, most of the time we sit back, shrug it off and never actually talk about something that affects so many of us on an every day basis.

And so, today I wanted to share with people a card I read from during my weekly recovery meeting. I am a person in long-term-recovery and attend at least 1 meeting per week to focus on the little things, work on my self and keep my sobriety intact.

The meeting I attend is not churchy, it is not a 12-step program but it is something I look forward to every week….Everyone in attendance pulls a card, reads it and then we have open discussion on the topic.


Drug & Alcohol addictions are devastating. We always talk about the addict, but what about the family members of addicts…(Wish they had a handbook for that).

How do you deal with a loved one that is spiraling downward?

And so, Sacred Hoops as an organization is going to start talking about addiction…AND RECOVERY…