Virginia Marie Dargatz of Gregory, and her family enjoyed a big year watching her son Ethan help Gregory to the Class 9AA football title......Photo courtesy of Facebook.
As we head into this Sunday, this special day where we honor, recognize and perhaps pamper our mothers across South Dakota, Sacred Hoops would like to offer our own personal Thank you to all those moms who do so much and get thanked so little.
South Dakota sports moms wear so many hats...
Nurse, doctor, psychiatrist, therapist, crack-the-whip homework lady, chef, dish-washer, house-cleaner, fill out paperwork lady, pastry chef, consoler, surprise birthday party organizer, uniform gatherer, the list is really endless.
In many cases, South Dakota moms have other jobs or have/get to help with some of the farm chores. South Dakota moms endure the elements, have bad days of their own but somehow, always find a way to keep a smile on their face, keep everyone fed, warm and safe.
Thank you for fixing our Ouchies.
Thank you for the high-five after the win.
Thanks for the consoling hug after a tough loss.
Thanks for cheering for us from the stands (sometimes louder than we might like, but thanks).
Thanks for finding our socks, shoes, pants and uniforms when we haven't a clue.
Thanks for driving us to practice, getting us afterwards and having a snack ready when we get home.
Thanks for being interested in what we do.
Thanks for being honest and telling us what we needed to hear and not what we wanted to hear
And just thank you for all that you do, all that you've done and all that you will do....We could never repay you.
And so, with that in mind, going to share with you a couple of photos of sports moms in South Dakota and tell just a little bit about their stories.
Jenny King - Irene/Wakonda
If you are talking about the ultimate Basketball Mom, Irene/Wakonda's Jenny King has to be right up there. Her husband, Mike King coaches the Irene/Wakonda boys basketball team where her son, Trey is an all-state basketball player (All-state football as well). Older son, Gabe King is a junior on the Northern State men's basketball team that recently finished as runner-up in the Division 11 men's basketball tournament.
Valence (Kennedy) Wells - Lower Brule
Wells passed away in 2010 but there is not a day husband Joseph and girls, Madison, Kharmon and Allison Wells don't think about her. Joseph Wells - "Valene, man she had the biggest heart in the world. Never raised her voice. Soft spoken. She loved her girls. But like many native kids she grew up a hard life. But anyone who was ever around her instantly loved her because she didn't have a mean bone in her body. She always had a kid on her hip. She played with Maria Provost in high school. She was their quick defender they would use on guards. But as a person there wasn't anyone nicer. She was my best friend."
Queen B, White River's Marc Marshall
They say that behind every great man is a great woman...That scenario might hold true for basketball coaches in South Dakota as well. Eldon Marshall has taken the White River Tigers to 13 consecutive South Dakota State B tournaments, and spouse, Marc Marshall, has been in the front row every time the Tigers play.
For years now, Marc Marshall, a heck of a basketball player at White River has been doling out words of inspiration to folks who go to the Diabetes Prevention Center, where she works in Rosebud. And for years, Marshall has been THE Team MOM, helping the boys and girls in White River get through the tough times, celebrate the good times and pick up any loose ends the Tiger Program needs. A big part of the Sacred Hoops organization, there are sure to be plenty of youth across South Dakota who hear an encouraging word from Marshall as Sacred Hoops expands.
Jodee Wike - Rosebud's Fry-Bread making Champion
One of my favorite families in South Dakota is the Ken and Jodee Wike family of Mission. With seven kids in their family there is never a dull moment when stepping into the Wike household. Seven active kids, a full-time job at the Dorm in Mission, sometimes its hard to get a word in with Mrs. Wike, but I cherish the moments when she gets to chill out, even for a moment.
Jodee will probably yell at me for pointing her out, but I gotta tell ya....It's interesting to watch her cook, clean, do dishes, fold and put away laundry - ALL AT THE SAME TIME - all while keeping the chaos of seven kids in check.
She's a big-time sports mom, and although she can't attend every single event, when she does attend, she's Present and (YELLING AROUND) and offering encouragement to her kids and every kid on the Todd County teams.
Darby Steele - Pine Ridge
It is kind of a funny story how I got to know Darby Steele and her son, Shelby Steele-Tymes. In 2017, I was taking pictures in the St. Francis old gym, seems like it was a freshman or JV game, but, Shelby came down the floor and was called for a foul. He lightly disputed the call, but I captured it on film, showed the CLEAR-CUT foul to him, and he still disagreed, albeit with a laugh.
At any rate, one of the stories I'd really like to do this summer is catch up with Lolly and Darby Steele from Pine Ridge - WICKED on the court.
But Darby-Steele does a lot more than work and parent, she also volunteers to help coach a number of youth basketball teams for Pine Ridge. Solid, solid citizen who always has a positive vibe about her.
Shelby Bertram - The other/BETTER half
Coach Bertram is busy coaching at the Battle of the Lakes tournament in Minneapolis or I'd get a Direct quote from him, BUT, wanted to give a little shout out to his other half, Shelby Bertran.
Here is a Birthday wish from Allan - Wishing the Happiest of Birthdays to, by far, my better half. There is no other person that I would rather be on this journey of life with than you!! — with Shelby Bertram.
A few weeks ago, guess I noticed that the Bertram's youngest daughter had some major milestones achieved. Ashtyn Bertram made it into the National Honor Society at Flandreau, and she pre-qualified for the state track meet in the 100 meters: 12.94 and 200 meters: 26.94. When I interviewed Red Cloud's Falcon Albers about a month ago, he spoke well of Skyler Bertram and the support the entire Bertram family gave him during some challenging moments leading up to his graduation from Dakota State.
Alice Winter - The glue that holds the Winter family together
I've always been amazed at just how much my mom, Alice Winter can do. When I was a kid I used to get some really bad leg-aches and without fail, no matter the time of night, MOM would rub Ben-Gay on my legs until I felt better.
Think she read Old-Yeller to me about 1-million times!
Growing up on a farm/ranch we had a lot of meals in the field. Despite being 20-30 minutes away from home sometimes, the ice-tea was always cold and the meal, always warm.
Recently, my mom and I spent a few days in Southern Utah, one of her favorite places, and I gotta tell ya she was a Rock-Star. The ultimate tour guide who knew every nook and cranny, the best places to eat and someone who kept the conversation going with interesting tidbits and funny recollections.
You are Truly Amazing MOM!
At any rate, shout out to all the moms in South Dakota, especially you sport moms, WE would not be where we are without you!!!