Good Luck Haskell Indian Nations Cross-Country - South Dakota will be watching

By Rich Winter

Maybe it is just a Monday, maybe it was Bonnie Tyler's (Total Eclipse Of the Heart) playing in the background but I got a little misty-eyed seeing Marc Marshall's photos of Chase Boltz (St. Francis) and John Michel Petrik (White River) starting their college careers as student/athletes at Haskell Indian Nation's University. 

Such an interesting time of year as fall prep sports get going this week and hundreds and hundreds of parents are dropping their kids off at college. Chase Boltz's family held a family gathering over the weekend to send their family member to college and the Marc Marshall family has been very vocal through social media posts sending John off to college. 

Really excited that these young men get to start college together. We don't have very many kids from the Rosebud go off to college to study while they compete in sports, so to have these guys together, having each other's backs...That's Awesome. 

Was visiting with Todd County Assistant Principal Mike Hammer for just a minute. Asked him how it was to send his oldest boy Austin (Now a junior at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology) off to college?

He said it was TUFF.

He also noted a stat that said most kids quit college in their first 5 days simply because it is hard starting at a place where you don't know anybody. It is a challenge to be away from home and it is a challenge to see other athletes that are really, really good. In addition, when parents cut that umbilical chord as they drop their kids off, they do so hoping they've done a good enough job of preparing their loved one to make good, strong, solid decisions in the hopes this school thing turns into a college degree. 

Visited with Marc a bit this Monday and of course the Rosebud Boyz were hanging out!

"After team meeting they grabbed a basketball and headed out," Mac LOL'd me. 

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We made some new friends with Haskell this summer: 

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Kind of a cool meeting this summer as Sacred Hoops Coordinator, Allen Betram met with NDN Sports and Big-Time Haskell Indian Nations University supporter Brent Cahwee. Brent does a great job of covering Native American sports across the country. During the recently contested AAU tournament in Kansas City, Brent hopped over from Lawrence to take a look at some of the South Dakota basketball players he writes and talks about quite often. 

Beyond excited to keep tabs on John and Chase as they take this next step. Gotta say though, very excited to get to know this Haskell program a little bit better. Some tremendous young people from all over the country have gathered to run at a small college in Lawrence Kansas. So Haskell Indian Nations University, we'll be watching...Have a GREAT season!!