Sacred Hoops (cross-country) Athletes of the Week: Kelsie Herman (Todd County) and Alex Schumacher (Miller)

By Rich Winter

A lot of our Sacred Hoops athletes are gearing up for basketball season by getting into shape during cross-country season. Several of our athletes had outstanding first-outings this last week….Two of them: Todd County senior Kelsie Herman and Miller 8th-grader, Alex Schumacher are this week’s Sacred Hoops cross-country athletes of the week.


In addition to being a Class A, 2nd-team All-State Selection in 2019, Todd County senior Kelsie Herman is one heck of a runner.

The senior has qualified for the state cross-country meet for 5 consecutive seasons and is the Falcon school record holder in the 1600 and 3200 meters.


Herman opened her cross-country season at the mostly AA meet in Pierre. In that meet, the ladies ran just 4000 meters (5k or 3.1 miles is the norm) and Herman finished 10th with a rock-solid season opener of 17:09.

Herman is one of the deadliest three-point shooters in the state and played with Amanda Carlow’s Sacred Hoops, All-Native 17-U squad.

Miller’s Alex Schumacher is one to watch for the next FIVE seasons

A year ago, as a 7th-grader Schumacher was tough and gritty.

Having grown a bit, the 8th-grader had a solid outing in the first cross-country race of the season.

In Mitchell, running against VARSITY competition, Schumacher was 27th of 74 runners.

That’s impressive…

This summer, Schumacher played basketball with Dalton Miller’s Barn-Burner 14-U squad.

All-Nations Preview: Cheyenne Eagle-Butte ready to hit the ground ROLLING!

Pictured at left is Andre Ebberhard, starting center for CEB, and his buddy, Ashten Ganje, the starting QB. CEB opens their season at home vs. Crazy Horse on Friday.

By Rich Winter

When it came time to decide if Cheyenne Eagle Butte was going to join the new All-Nations Football Conference the coaches got together and asked the kids. Head Coach Michael Scott let his offensive coordinator, Larry Elwess do the, one day in his Social Studies class he flat out asked the kids if more of them would go out for football if they joined the All-Nations Conference.

Every arm in the classroom went up and then and there CEB became a member of the 12-team league that kicks things off against Crazy Horse on Friday.

“If we can get more kids out for football then that outweighs any negative aspects,” Michael Scott, CEB coach said. “We’ve had some guys come out this year that hadn’t gone out previously.”

And so, after Labor Day and after Fair & Wacipi activities, Scott was already chomping on the bit for Friday’s game and a chance to get on the field.

“We are sitting at about 30 kids,” Scott said. “With all of the stuff going on the biggest thing has just been keeping the kids focused.”

Two players Scott hasn’t had to worry about focus this preseason is starting QB, Ashten Ganje and starting center Andre Eberhard. CEB keeps track of their athletes off-season football progress by assigning points for things like going out for another sport, lifting weights or attending off-season conditioning programs.

Eberhard has the most points accumulated, Ganje was right behind.

“Ashten put in a lot of work and he’s looking real strong,” Scott said.

Eberhard, a non-starter a year ago has bulked up and done everything to get ready for this season.

“Last year was his first year and it was a real learning year,” Scott said. “He set goals of being a bigger contributor and he’s turned himself into a starter and a team captain.”

Young calls his stable of RB’s as having some experience and some youth. Kyler Red Dog and Leon Brown Otter have been getting touches but Scott says freshman Wiley Smith has also looked good in camp.

Scott says both the offensive and defensive lines are big and strong. He cautions folks to keep an eye on right-guard Reuben Tavai Fiatoa, a big TUFF lineman following in the footsteps of some all-state caliber offensive lineman CEB always seems to produce.

Scott feels like CEB should be equally adept at the run and pass and lists Max Lawrence and Peydon Peterson as the primary receiving threats for the Braves. While Scott, nor any of his coaches have played 9-man football, the kids spent the summer learning 9-man is fairly similar to 11-man, just minus a couple of guys.

“Make no mistake about it our boys are excited and have some big dreams but we remind them is it one practice and one game at a time,” Scott said. “We tell the guys there isn’t a team in this conference that can beat us, but everyone in the league is capable of beating us so the biggest thing is just staying focused.”

Thanks for the article. One heads up Lance Eagle Staff is a Junior High Coach. Larry Elwess is our returning Offensive Coordinator

Ill fix bad.. .on the roaf for st. Francis volleyball

It's all good, appreciate the work you do

TUE 5:25 PMSo that story was my OC Larry Elwess is who asked the class.TUE 8:47 PMHe's a Social Studies teacher and he mentioned it in his classroom and kids who weren't out for football raised said they'd go out.

Chat Conversation End

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WR's....Both...QB strong arm...good line, good rb/s

Max Lawrence – X receiver...played last 2-3 years

slot Peyton Pederson

I'm quite satisfied with our defense....LB and line...DB's are stepping up, going to be exciting.....lotta uys have put in the work so its very exciting.

Sacred Hoops Fall Calendar: Important Dates, times and opportunities

A ton of announcements coming out recently …This Tuesday evening kinda wanted to show all of those announcements in one place….Kind of a Fall Calendar of what’s going on, where’s it going on and how soon can we get there…

Winter Team Tryouts:


Winter Team Tryouts:

Sioux Falls - August 25, Sept. 15

Aberdeen - August 25, Sept. 8, Sept. 15

Rapid City - August 25 & Sept. 8


Fall 5-on-5 Fall League

Fall HS 5 on 5 League

Sioux Falls - Sept. 15, 22, 29 Oct. 6, 13, 20

Rapid City - Sept. 15, 22, 29 Oct. 6, 13, 20


Coaches Summit

Sacred Hoops Coaches Summit

Saturday Sept. 7 - Cedar Shore Resort - Noon

Second-ANNUAL Sacred Hoops Golf Tournament


Sacred Hoops Golf Tournament

Saturday Sept. 21 - 2:00 p.m. Shotgun Start - Medicine Creek Country Club - Presho SD - Funds Raised go towards our College Scholarships for the 2020 class - Will award 5.

Sacred Hoops - First Ever, Cornhole Tounament


SHoops Cornhole Tournament

Saturday Oct. 19th - 2:00 p.m. -- Shenanigans - Sioux Falls - Funds Raised go towards Scholarships for athletes that cannot afford to participate in Summer Basketball.


Watertown Workouts

Watertown Workouts:

Oct. 5, 12, 19 - Gr. 3-12


Weekly Workouts and Camps:

Sioux Falls - Starts Tuesday Sept. 3

Aberdeen - Starts Monday Sept. 9

If anyone has any questions please message Sacred Hoops through our Sacred Hoops Facebook Page.

South Dakota Coaches: A call for all South Dakota coaches to become members of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association

By Rich Winter

Each year, particularly during basketball post-season awards announcements, a lot of people are frustrated when a kid, their kid, or a kid that kicked ass didn’t make an all-state team. We’ve written about this before, but kinda feels like west river is under-represented with coaches that can vote for these awards. The biggest reason isn’t east river snubbing the west, it is that not all coaches are members of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association, and thus, are not able to vote.

Ok, so how does one/coach get registered…

First thing is whether you are a basketball, volleyball, track, cross-country, wrestling, cheer coach, other, you MUST first become a member of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association

Directions on how to get registered…online

Once you have clicked on the site home page, click on the link just below the logo…


Once into the registration area, you must create an account…

Spoke with SDHSCA Executive Secretary this morning…”The cost of registration is $50 bucks”

(Often times, schools will pay that for their coaches that are getting registered)



In addition to registering as a member of the SDHSCA, coaches must also register for the specific sport they are coaching….(Example…basketball coaches must also become members of the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association, same with all other sports - The cost of becoming a member of the Basketball Coaches Association is $20…)

Here are the 33 benefits to coaches becoming a member of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association…

  1. Select a Coach of the Year in all sports of boys’ athletics

  1. Select a Coach of the Year in all sports of girls’ athletics

  2. Select an Athletic Director of the Year

  3. Select an Assistant C.O.T.Y. in both boys’ and girls’ sports

  4. Select a C.O.T.Y. in Middle School/Junior High sports

  5. Provide Coach of the Year rings to all coaches and Athletic Directors being honored

  6. Select and honor a Sports Official of the Year

  7. Select a Distinguished Service Award recipient(s).

  8. Select the Bryan Brewer Spirit of Influence Award

  9. Select All Tourney basketball teams in boys’ and girls’ state tournaments

  10. Give awards to the top 25 cross country runners in all classes

  11. Select Outstanding Wrestlers in state tournaments

  12. Select Outstanding Football players in state playoffs

  13. Select Outstanding Track & Field boys' and girls' in state meets

  14. Select Outstanding Gymnasts in state tournaments

  15. Select Outstanding Volleyball, Golf and Tennis players in state meets

  16. 25 Year Coaches Award

  17. Award $1000 SDHSCA Scholarships

  18. Award a $1000 scholarship to a student trainer/manager.

  19. Contribute to South Dakota Special Olympics

  20. Hold an annual Awards Banquet

  21. Provide a free coaches clinic each summer

  22. Provide grants for coaches to attend national conferences

  23. Members of the SDHSCA are given the opportunity to nominate and to vote for all awards

  24. Membership in the SDHSCA entitles members to hold membership in the National High School Athletic Coaches Association

  25. Membership in the NHSACA entitles our Coaches of the Year to be nominated for district and national honors

  26. Provides free electronic copy of Coach & AD magazine

  27. SDHSCA membership cards admit members to most college athletic events

  28. Established the SDHSCA Hall of Fame displayed at Frost Arena at SDSU

  29. Provide rings for Hall of Fame inductees

  30. State is divided into regions, giving representation on the Board of Directors to all sports and areas

  31. Provide $2,000,000/$1,000,000 liability insurance as a benefit

  32. $5,000 Accidental Death Insurance Policy

Would like to see every coach in South Dakota registered for this. So many benefits including things like recognizing Distinguished Service Awards to Educators and coaches across South Dakota.

Let’s get this done…

Sunday Spotlight: A town threatening fire in 1939 spurned the name Hill City RANGERS

By Rich Winter

I always find it interesting how schools come up with their nicknames…Like, how in the heck did Monroe give themselves the nickname, “Wooden Shoed Canaries.’

A fella by the name of Brian Decker (cross-country contributor to the Sacred Hoops Sports Blog) shared some information about how the Hill City athletic programs became the Rangers!!


About noon on July 10, 1939, one of the worst forest fires in the history of the Black Hills started ten miles northwest of Hill City.

By the next morning it had burned six miles, jumped the Mystic Road, the C.B.& Q . Railway and was headed directly for Hill City.

The fire was within three miles of town at noon when the wind changed and carried it further North and East.

The weather was hot and very dry plus a high wind repeatedly "crowned" the fire. Fire fighting was very dangerous. All of the C.C.C. boys in the area were immediately put on the fire and forest rangers called for more help.


One of the first crews to respond was a group of 25 school boys from Hill City.

The crew included the entire basketball squad, one eighth grader, and several boys who had recently attended or graduated.

Their foreman was Charles Hare, President of the Board of Education.

The inferno continued throughout the second and into the third day.

Over four thousand firefighters labored to bring it under control. The crews became isolated and consequently many of the brave workers did not get food and water for a number of hours. Heat, smoke, and the danger of being trapped hampered the firefighters, but the blaze was brought under control the third day.

The people of Hill City had spent many anxious hours watching the smoke and direction of the fire. Many had packed their belongings and were ready to move, but the order to abandon the town was never given.
The school boys from Hill City were at the fire every day. They were later recognized by U.S. Forest Service officials as one of the best crews.

The name "Rangers" was given to them in honor of their good record. Because of the work of these school boys back in 1939, Hill City Schools became the ONLY school district in the United States to have the privilege of using "Smokey Bear" as its mascot.

The school colors are Green and Gold which also represent the National Forest Service Theme, and Hill City is the ONLY school with the honorable privilege of having their graduation ceremonies held at Mt. Rushmore. The staff, students and teams representing Hill City Schools hope to continue the traditions of the splendid group of men that our boys so ably assisted, The United States Forest Rangers.

(Information furnished from a print article written by Bob Burden and also taken from the 1940 "Rangers," the first yearbook published at Hill City Schools.)

High school sports is the best medicine: We love and appreciate you Burke South Dakota

At left is Burke Mayor Tom Glover and Burke Fire Chief Joel Johnson who spoke at a community lunch at the Burke Fire Hall on Monday. (Matt Gade / Republic)…At right is some of the devastation that occurred from last week’s tornado.

By Rich Winter


A part of my heart leapt with excitement this morning as I saw a social-media post showing the Burke girls volleyball team hopping on the bus to go to practice.

(Mandy Frank)

And we are off to begin our new normal for the 2019 VB season 💙🐾🏐 #Burkestrong#Cougarstrong

While the town of Burke is still cleaning up, and perhaps still reeling from the affects of last week’s F1 tornado, the show MUST and will go on.

It was with heavy hearts that a lot of us woke up to the news last week of the tornado that ripped through the town of Burke. The pictures were graphic, but the loss of a school/gym/lumberyard and houses and the damages to yards, golf-sheds and parking structures was and is still unimaginable.

For a moment there, the morning after, the town was basically closed. Burke folks were urging no one to come with all the downed power-lines and everything else going on. But, in South Dakota, that’s not how we roll.

Was pretty excited to see some of the youth from surrounding towns come down to do whatever they could to make the situation better. There is a picture floating around with Governor Kristi Noem with a whole host of Lady Gregory Gorillas. Gregory is just westish of Burke.

In a community filled with people that care about one another, the reaction, the spirit and the volunteerism were of course through the roof.

So, following the storm offices like the American Red Cross and state Office of Emergency Management showed up to help. Those groups left early, because many of the initial needs were already taken care of by local community members.

“They said that never happens,” said Joel Johnson, Burke’s Fire Chief.

Rich Dobesh, who owns the Burke Body Shop located next door to the Serr house that was destroyed told the Mitchell Daily Republic that this tragedy has bonded the community together.

“You look at all of the people here, and everyone who is working together,” he said. “It’s a good feeling for everyone in this community to have.”

Initially, I wondered what we at Sacred Hoops Basketball could do. Tried to figure out who some of the all-time great athletes were from the area to do some features. Got sidetracked when my first story, Andrea Warnke holding the Class B state meet record of 56.46 from 2003…turns out she’s from Bonesteel/Fairfax.

Asked Brock Karbo to drop a few names: Billie Sutton was for Bronc riding. Tom Serr and Jack Broome for football. All great athletes!

I remember from an interview with Bill ‘Buzzard’ Beckers a few years back him telling me that his daughter, Billie Jo (Beckers) Indahl once threw EVERY pitch as those teams won three state titles in softball.


Last spring the Burke girls golf team hoisted their 2nd-consecutive Class B stage golf title.

Billie Jo’s daughter, Taylee, was the individual medalist at that meet.

The list of great athletes from this small community is long.

Loved watching Allison Sebern compete in track a few years back.


I visit with Brian Sieh pretty regularly…He once shared this yearbook sprinter photo of himself with me. He shared a few Burke memories also.

Hate to sound biased but the track team w my sisters, Tanya Lindwurm, Sarah Gnirk (I think) and Jeannie Krueger still holds a relay record for school and my sister Amy is still record holder at school for triple jump. There are many others as well such as Chris Determan who played at DWU for 4 years as QB, I believe.

Sometimes you sit in an office three states away and wonder how can we possibly help. I don’t know if it will help, but I’m going to make a concerted effort to follow and cover the Burke Athletic Teams this fall.

Should be plenty to cover:


The Burke volleyball team is always good and they are coming off a State B appearance where they finished 5th.

These ladies always play a wicked schedule, heading to some challenging east-river tournaments.

They open the season Aug. 29 then HOST the ranked Winner Warriors on Sep. 3. All of their home games will be played in Fairfax this year.


Mike Sebern returns to coach the Burke Bulldogs football team. The Assistant Coaches aren’t listed on the SDHSAA site, YET. But, one of my favorite things each year is to see how many people are on that assistants list as a bunch of people step up in this community to give time for the kids and the football team.

Burke moved from 9B to 9A this year coming off a 7-3 season.

The kids open at home, Aug. 23 against Lyman. On Aug. 30 they will hop on a bus for the short ride to Gregory, that has also dropped down into the 9A ranks.

Payed pretty good attention to the Burke/South Central cross-country teams the past few years. Superintendent Erik Person’s boy, Kray was one of the best in the B ranks for several seasons before moving on to college.

Looking forward to keeping track of Laurie Kenzy’s squad, and in particular, Jackson Liewer. The senior was 6th at the State B cross-country meet this fall.

Whether folks like to admit it, sports in small towns across South Dakota bring us closer to one another. Yes, there is a lot of work to do in Burke, yes there will be challenges ahead…BUT, on Aug. 23 when the boys open against Lyman, expect the entire town of Burke to show up and cheer together.

If you are going to that Winner @ Burke volleyball game on Sep. 3 in Fairfax…Get there SUPER early…Cuz that gym is going to be rocking.

Wanted to share a little story about visiting with Bill Beckers a few years back…How Burke gets that many girls to participate in summer softball speaks very well of this community.


In 15 plus years of being a sports writer, one of my all-time favorite conversations was with Burke legend Bill (Buzzard) Beckers. A softball giant, a pioneer of South Dakota softball had some of the most interesting stories I’ve been privy to hear. Every summer, one of my favorite ‘secret’ passions is keeping an eye on the Burke Royals softball teams. In a town of 600 people, somehow the Burke Royals have 50 plus girls out for softball….How does one do that, year after year, after year.

Strong leadership at the top, great coaching and a community that cares about their young people.

Is it Jace Osterling's (Custer) or Jarek Glenn's (STM)time to shine in Class A cross-country


When the state track meet ended last May every Class A boy into distance running breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.

Beresford’s Alec Atwood, West Central’s Braden Peters and Lennox’s Camden Wulf all took their talents to the University of South Dakota.

By Rich Winter

With heavy graduation losses in the Class A ranks, there are a ton of up-and-coming runners that have the opportunity to win medals that Peters, Atwood and Wulf have been dominating for the past few seasons.

Cross-Country - Osterling or Glenn

No matter how you slice this, with the Big Three gone, there are going to be some awfully intense races in the Black Hills Conference. Here are the top returners from last year’s state cross country meet

5. Jarek Glenn - St. Thomas More 16:24 - Will be a senior

6. Jace Osterling - Custer - 16:31

7. Sawyer Clarkson - Belle Fourche 16:37 (Big wildcard here…this kid was only an 8th-grader a year ago)

8. Nick Batchelor - Milbank 16:40 - (Will be a sophomore)

10. Simeon Birnbaum - RC Christian 16:46 (AS AN 8th-grader

All of those guys are contenders to win the Class A title…We won’t know who’s looking good until at least midway through the season.

I say that title comes down to Jace Osterling (Custer) or Jarek Glenn (St. Thomas More)

At the state track meet last May…both performed well

Osterling: 3200 meters, 3rd - 10:06, 1600 meters, 6th - 4:37

Jarek Glenn: 800 meters, 2nd 2:03, 1600 meters, 3rd - 4:32.

Here on the Sacred Hoops Sports Blog, WE will be keeping readers up to date on all the happenings of this terrific sports.