Beyond the Bleachers: Good things going on in Jones County (Murdo)

At right, Murdo resident Barbara Hockenbary had a terrific surprise dropped off at work on Wednesday….flowers from a group of appreciative basketball parents thanking Hockenbary for her artistry through the camera lens.

Imagine Murdo resident Barbara Hockenbary’ surprise Wednesday when she had flowers delivered to her work on one of the coldest days in recent memory. While the flowers were nice it was the thought behind them that really mattered. Those flowers, courtesy of the Jones County high school basketball parents who in the best way possible showed Hockenbary just how much the sports photos she takes means to those parents.

Some of the responses from Hockenbary’s Facebook post yesterday…

  • Donald Weidler So beautiful and well deserved. They appreciate your photography efforts 🎉

  • Krisanna Thomas You totally deserve it!!!! What you do is a gift to the community. 😍

  • Krysti Buxcel Barnes You don't know how much we appreciate you!💜

  • Maggie Belle Herr Long distance grandparents are grateful for all the pics too !!!

  • Rylee Buer Much deserved! You’re awesome Barb! ❤️

  • Vanessa Holt Hight 👏 We appreciate your beautiful pictures!

Over the years of following sports in South Dakota you come to find these hidden gem photographers across the state that are at games, taking photos, and in a lot of cases not getting paid for their efforts.

Kernit Grimshaw from Mission has taken so many photos for kids across South Dakota

Bonnie Law from Wall does the same thing…amazing photos of kids, junior high kids, sunsets

Patty Peakcock out near Dupree the same thing…

I think these photographers know that their work is appreciated by so many but what a refreshing way to say thank you to someone who really brightens up the landscape of South Dakota…Well done!

Just a couple more Barbara Hockenbary photos….for scope!

Neil Krogman’s Jones County Coyotes are having a heck of a year - 12-2

One of the really great things about the new Round-of-16 format is it gives teams like Jones County hope and a real shot at making the state tournament…The Coyotes are in Region 7B and they always run into Eldon Marshall’s White River Tigers…

Region 7A standings:

White River 12-1, 47.077

Jones County 12-2, 44.786

Lower Brule 8-7, 43.2008

Oelrich’s 7-7, 40.7147

Just two losses for the Coyotes this year, White River and Colome and Krogman’s senior laden squad is having their best season in years. Jacob Birkeland, Kade Brost, Austin Olson, Morgan Feddersen and Torry Rattling Leaf have taken their lumps over the last four years but this year, a big, deep and experienced Coyote squad is making some noize…Currently the No. 7 seeded Class B team in South Dakota.

Austin Olson will be honored for going over 1000 points during Monday’s home game with Sully Buttes:

Hockenbary on Olson going over 1000 points: I was so excited for Austin. I’ve been following his sports career since grade school.

He missed most of his freshman year of basketball. He broke his leg in early January of his freshman year during a game against Philip. He was out of sports until May that year and came back to run track.

He’s made an amazing come back from a serious injury. Of course, an achievement like this is an achievement for the entire team. He couldn’t have done it without his teammates.

Sometimes you look at the heart and passion of so many of these photos we see floating across South Dakota and you wonder how they can be so terrific…Well, when you follow kids since grade school those pictures are taken with a lot of heart and love….