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.

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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.

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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🏈.

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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!

https://sacredhoopsbasketball.com/dakotasportsblast/2018/5/23/what-it-takes-wednesday-you-dont-know-strong-until-you-know-brady-sprik-strong

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


Beyond the Bleachers: Well done Wall Eagles - On and off the court

By Rich Winter

One of the most favorite pieces of mail I opened this year was that of a graduation announcement for recently graduated Wall senior, Cash Wilson. Gonna be hanging on my fridge for a while.

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After winning the 2018 National Championship in the Saddle Bronc, Wilson had a special season in a lot of sports for his Wall Eagles.

All-State in football, team reached the semis…had some moments in basketball, and of course wrapped up a surprising track career that saw this guy go sub-50 and be part of a really terrific Wall track team.

Good job CASHMAN…tear it up at Wyoming Sir…

The Wall rodeo program had two Reserve, National Champions this summer

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Saw this picture a while ago and ‘meant’ to congratulate these two Cowboys on such a great job at the National Finals in Rock Springs, Wyoming this summer.

(Always nervous to write about rodeo, feel like I don’t know it well enough…BUT)

If memory serves, Wynn Schaack was the Reserve, National Champion in Steer Wrestling at the recently completed National Finals Rodeo.

A year after winning that National, Saddle-Bronc title, Wilson backed it up with a Reserve, National Champion award this season.

Congratulations to these guys and of course the entire Wall community that supports rodeo as well as any small town in South Dakota!

This was a really nice gesture from the Wall Eagles to their football opponent last Friday, Harding County

From South Dakota Public Broadcasting:

In early June, 17-year old Harding County student Jaxon Klempel was killed in a car accident. Klempel would have been a senior this year for the Ranchers. He played center on the basketball team, was a track and field participant, and was a defensive end and guard for the Harding County football team.

  • On Friday night, Harding County traveled to Wall for their first game of the 2019 high school football season to face the Eagles.

  • Wall high school paid tribute to the fallen Harding County Rancher by displaying a No. 76 Eagles jersey on the stadium fence line. Jaxon Klempel wore No. 76 during his career at Harding County.

Wall won the game 29-26, but afterwards, players from both squads met at the 50-yard line for a moment of prayer and reflection.

Great job Wall, makes me proud to be a South Dakotan when you see those kinds of gestures, just because that’s how we roll and that’s what we do when one of our neighbors is hurting.

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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.





Saturday Conversation: Growing up gay in South Dakota is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with

By Rich Winter

Several weeks ago I read in the Rapid City Journal, and later in the Associated Press, about the Oglala Sioux Tribe legalizing gay marriage by a vote of 12-3. Gotta say a little part of my heart leapt as I read a very cool story about two women from Rapid City that fought for several years to move this legislation forward.

So, Monique "Muffie" Mousseau, right, and her wife Felipa De Leon actually got married in Pennington County in 2015. The couple has three children and four grandchildren on the Pine Ridge Reservation. So, the pair began petitioning the Oglala Sioux Tribe to change their law and order code. Any time you make a change to a law, it takes time, effort and a lot of real conversations with decision makers.

Guess what: These two pioneers got it done.

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The tribal council last week approved a same-gender marriage ordinance in a 12-3 vote with one abstention. The new marriage ordinance amends marital and domestic law that has not changed on the Pine Ridge reservation since 1935.

Yeah, since 1935!

There was a bigger reason though behind getting this legislation passed. The health and well being of the next generation.

“We are looking out for future generations, for protections and for equality,” Mousseau told the Rapid City Journal . “These foundations of laws have to be in place because we have grandkids. And that next generation coming up, we don’t want them experiencing the same (gay) bashing, we don’t want them to get to a point where somebody says a bad word to them because they like somebody of the same sex and they hang themselves. We don’t want that.”

Ya see it - ‘They hang themselves.

Just saw a note about suicide in South Dakota…

  • A new study shows South Dakota has the No. 6 highest suicide, rate in America with 22.1 suicides per 100,000 people.

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24.

  • LGBTQ youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth. LGBTQ

  • LGBTQ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth

And so, I wanted to share part of my story for anyone whom it might benefit.

Two reasons why I’m writing this ‘coming out’ blog (I’ve been out forever, just don’t talk about it openly)

  • If I can help one person, one kid, one adult then I feel like I owe that to the South Dakota LGBTQ community.

  • And a great social media post from Allan Bertram

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No matter what language we speak, what color our skin is, how much money we have or don't have, or where we live:
1) We All Love the Same
2) We All Hate The Same
3) We All Want the Same for our kids and Loved Ones
4) We All Bleed the Same.

I have such a hard time figuring out why we aren't always treated the Same.

We All Can Do Better, We All Can Be Better, and for our Youth We All Must Be Better!!

Allan Bertram

By Rich Winter

I should have known early on that I was different. Up until the age of 10 I certainly would rather have put together a bouquet of flowers than work in the field or shop on my families farm 15 miles west of Martin. But, eventually I got pulled into the family business and although I didn’t love it, I sure loved coming into fall football camp after a summer of digging post-holes, fixing fence and getting Farm Strong almost every day.

I knew at about the age of 12 that I was gay….Ok, now what?

  • Certainly can’t talk to my friends about this in 1980.

  • Definitely wasn’t going to bring it up at the supper table.

  • Teacher (At Central School, Hell no!)

  • Ecclesiastical leader - HELL NO!

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One of the really stinging moments of childhood for me, as a young Christian man was hearing that I was the most abominable of all God’s Creatures.

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

* If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)

Being a teenagers is hard enough…Wrestling with the inner torment of ‘Am I really the Most Abominable of All God’s creatures' is absolutely hideous. Hearing that was really hard for me…

Role Models - WHERE?

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The only gay character on television (In all genres) in the 1970’s was ‘Monroe’ on the ‘Two Close for Comfort Show’

Monroe was pretty over the top flamboyant and I knew that was NOT me.

And so, as I got deeper into high school, the dilemma in my head (Why do I love sports, is there anyone else like me, What the Hell is Wrong with me?) got deeper.

U can’t fathom the amount of time our LGBTQ youth pray to their higher power to take this away. Do you know what it is like to cry as a teenager, sometimes nightly, about this horrible secret you have buried.

It’s horrible…

Ya wanna fight it, Ya wanna fit in, be normal, but deep down you hear the gay slurs that slither through high school are you know that if ‘THEY’ knew that your life would become hell. Everyone thinks ‘Gay’ is the lowest of the low. Your’e gay, that’s gay, HOMO…queer boy….I was lucky in some ways…good at sports, fairly popular, decent student…No one knew or could tell?

There were a lot of people that were less fortunate than me. In rural towns across South Dakota I feel for boys that are feminine in environments that aren’t accepting. That kid is tormented, daily. Tease the gay boy, make fun of that lesbian girl, OMG is that person transgender (STARE, STARE SOME MORE…giggle and walk away.)

You wonder why the suicide rate is high amongst the LGBTQ Community

About a month ago I got up early in Lander Wyoming. Wore the same shirt from the night before, a Gay Pride shirt. I was up about 5:30 a.m. and as I walked to the convenience store for coffee, I felt that old what if somebody notices or what if someone says something fear creep in.

Wanted to share just a couple of things before this turns into a book.

In the fall of 1985 I walked on to the University of Wyoming football team. A few years later I was scorched with the news that University of Wyoming student, Matthew Shepard was beaten, tortured and left to die. The details were graphic and I remember thinking, wow, that’s scary and terrible.

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Shepard was beaten and tortured by two men from Laramie Wyoming.

They crushed his brain stem and Shepard suffered four skull fractures from the blows of a .357 Magnum.

1988…It’s still scary!

Wanted to close with a couple things.

After first moving to Mission in February, 2005, and after thwarting the advances of the local ladies (Jenny, Shyloe, Heather, Roberta jk) I had someone tell me that in the Native American culture gay people are thought to have two spirits. Wow, a group that actually recognizes people like me as a real thing…

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Wikipedia: Two-Spirit is a modern, pan-Indian, umbrella term used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe Native people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender ceremonial role in their cultures.

To the young people out there from the LGBTQ community….I get your pain.

No matter where you live, no matter your station in life, there are people like you. You are not alone…And in some cultures, you are revered…Your life matters!

If you can’t find someone to talk to…Talk to me…

To the Parents:

Seems like my mom at one point went to her pediatrician when I was about 38. She, like a lot of parental figures struggle with blaming themselves. She even broke down when explaining her son was gay and that she thought it was in some way her fault.

NOT the Pediatrician told her!

I get it, there are no handbooks on how to handle this? What are you supposed to say to your child? I have questions, where can I find someone to talk more about my gay, bi or transgender kids?

A lot of people feel strongly about some of these issues.

All I can possibly advise is love your children for who they are…Ask them questions, stay engaged in their lives and Love them and try to understand that what they are going through is 2-million times tougher than what you’re dealing with.

Be Kind!

To the General Public:

To the kids that get this far….I would so love if you stopped dropping the HOMO/FAGGOT, GAY slang that permeates high school. To kids that don’t do that, stand up and help those that can’t help for themselves.

The next time you see a transgendered person…Stop staring, stick your hand out and say hello what’s your name. No matter how different something or someone seems like, that is a person across from you…

A person that just wants to feel ok and a person that has hopes and dreams and is smart. I really feel for transgender folks…That has to be so hard…The discrimination for jobs and housing and college, and the torment from staring and insensitive people….

Then remember what Coach Bertram said earlier.

1) We All Love the Same
2) We All Hate The Same
3) We All Want the Same for our kids and Loved Ones
4) We All Bleed the Same.

I really enjoyed getting to meet more east river parents during the summer tournaments I attended. I get a lot of strange looks when I tell people I write for Sacred Hoops and the Todd County Tribune, BUT, live in Salt Lake City.

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Here’s WHY:

I’m wearing the Raiders hat and my partner Javier is on the left.

We’ve been friends since 1992 and partners since 2005.

Javier grew up in Chile.

This is not written for anyone to pat me on the back…(Honey I’ve been out a long time and I’m not going in anytime soon - gay humor).

I really wanted to paint a picture of what it is like to grow up gay in small-town South Dakota. Seems like there can be some real conversations on how to help a segment of our population that struggles with ‘their’ reality.

The suicide stats are real…How can WE do BETTER?

Sacred Hoops Happy Birthday's: Trevin McBride and Amanda Carlow

At left is Crow Creek athlete, Trevin McBride who plays on Allan Bertram’s East-River 16-U squad. At right is the lovely and talented Amanda Carlow who coaches multiple teams within the Sacred Hoops Family.

Wanted to take just a second to wish two members of our Sacred Hoops family, Trevin McBride and Amanda Carlow…Happy Birthdays.

Trevin McBride - Not everyone in the state knows that the Crow Creek Chieftain boys basketball team is going to be good this year….Luke Wells is back in Crow Creek, as is Teron Sazue….toss in lightning quick and TUFF as heck Trevin McBride into the mix and this is going to be a special season.

But, McBride has some season(s) to go before basketball starts. A really good cross-country runner, that, when in shape, is certainly a guy that will contend for a podium spot at the state meet. Might even slip into the top-10 if he’s feeling good. Also has played football…and is slippery and cat-quick and one of those elusive guys you don’t want to see one-on-one on the football field.

A very nice tradition of basketball and athletics in this family…We are looking for a big year from Trevin.

Amanda Carlow is going such a good job out west with the All-Native Girls programs
It is so exciting to see the progress of the All-Native teams out west. Two summers go, AAU Basketball Academies in the western part of the state totaled ZERO. If you wanted your kid to get a high-level meaningful summer basketball experience, you had to load them in the car and travel to Sioux Falls twice a week….Not everyone out west can do that.

And so, after a superb first-season that saw a ton of girls on the first-ever All-Native 17-U squad be signed to college scholarships, their is a lot of working and dreaming from some girls out west that are 100 percent bought into what Coach Carlow is selling. Two Todd County players played for Carlow on that first-ever 17-U squad, one was on 16-U…When they TC girls won LNI, Carlow, who is developing tremendous relationships with these young ladies out west, enveloped each of them with the kind of hug that only a tremendous mentor and friend gets.

Saw a video of one a Sacred Hoops practice from about ten days ago…Girls were WORKING…

“All the girls worked hard today. It’s easy to get them competing in practice when you have work horses like Kelsie, Stevi, Allison, to name a few. They feed off each other and just go. Kadyn too. Sharissa. I can go on and on,” Carlow said.

Not only a superb coach, Carlow has played the game at the Division 1 level and the girls are working their tales off.

She’s also funny….

“Kellan (Herman, SH All-Native 16-U coach asked if the AC was out in the gym (Red Clouds) I had to laugh. I said we never had AC,”

That gym in Red Cloud sounds WARM in the summer!!

At any rate, just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Trevin and Amanda and we look forward to all the great things that are yet to come this year.

What it takes Wednesday: Stephan woman overcomes eating disorder by finding 'herself' in competitive Power LIFTING!!

At left, Teron Sazue and his mother Maria Provost (Teron is a senior at Crow Creek, Maria a teacher in the District.) At right is Provost (Center) at a recently completed power-lifting competition in Rapid City.

By Rich Winter

When Maria Provost was in 5th grade, someone made a comment about her being chubby. As one of the only Native American girls in the locker room that day at public school, the comment stuck with Provost and tormented her for much of her life.

As she moved through middle and then high-school, in the back of her mind, her mind set was telling herself she needed to be skinny.

“My 8th-grade year at Chamberlain I tried to see how far I could go without eating,” Provost said.

A successful high school basketball career landed Provost a college scholarship. During her first-year at college Provost still wanted to be skinny, but now she had people to answer to. Her coaches put her on a weight program and kept track of how much she weighed. During that freshman year in college, Provost found out she was pregnant, and her idea of being skinny was gone.

“When I found out I was pregnant, the whole idea of being skinny went out the window because I knew I was going to get big,” Provost said.

After her first son Teron Sazue was born weighing 11 lbs. Provost wondered again how she could get skinny. The Billy Blanks Tae-Bo workout was Provost’s answer.

“I lost a lot of weight with that but I could feel myself flirting with anorexia, trying to be skinny and counting calories,” she said.

After her third son Kyrie was born in 2013, Provost kept on with the cardio workouts that helped maintain her ‘best’ version of herself. But, again, her eating disorder wouldn’t go away.

“I was still doing heavy cardio,” Provost said. “I felt good but I was starting to count my calories and was really picky with myself and how I looked.”

Somewhere in 2016, Provost said she began picking up weights more frequently.

“In 2016 I started messing with some dumbbells and barbells and in the summer of 2017 I started following a program,” Provost said. “I wanted to get stronger and that’s when things took off for me mentally, physically and emotionally.”

While Provost continued to work out at the RSTDPP center in Rosebud, there weren’t exactly any ‘other’ women power-lifters to learn from or train with. So, with the help of you tube, Provost went to work. She says in December of 2017 her mind shifted from wanted to be skinny to wanting to get stronger.

Earlier this summer, Provost entered the first-ever USPA Sanctioned Power-Lifting competition in Rapid City. Power-lifting consists of Bench pressing, Dead lifting and squatting. Somehow during her registration process, Provost ended up not signing up for the squat portion of the competition. So, she did just the bench press and dead lift, as part of her first-ever competition.

She did well, out lifting everyone in her age group and in the open competition. While her bench personal best is 190 lbs., Provost bench pressed 176 at the lifting competition.

“The judges are really picky and you have to do the lift correctly,” she said. “You have to go in with a plan. You can’t just put the weight on and go for it.”

Provost said she’s the heaviest she’s ever been (165 lbs.) That mentality of wanting to be skinny has been replaced with the desire to get stronger. She uses her lifting and getting stronger as a means to get through her everyday life.

“I told myself it doesn’t matter your size, doesn’t matter your waist size, but, if I can pick up all this weight then certainly I can deal with any of the emotional stresses that might come up during the day,” she said.

So, how does an active, mother-of-three that has a full time teaching job find the time to get in the gym so regularly?

“I go to bed thinking ahead trying to get a plan ready,” Provost said. “I need 90 minutes or two hours sometimes if I’m walking on a treadmill or walking outside.”

Occasionally, the gym just isn’t in the cards.

“Life happens,” Provost laughed. “If I don’t have enough time because life happens I just tell myself that it is OK.”

Most of her lifting and workout experiences over the last few years took place at the Diabetes Prevention Center in Rosebud.

“Working out at DPP the people and trainers really inspired me,” Provost said.

Provost and her family moved to Crow Creek this summer after teaching in White River since 2016.

“White River was an amazing experience for us,” Provost said. “The teacher to student ration is small and all my boys were comfortable and loved it there.”

Having moved back to her home, the place she grew up, Provost is looking forward to making an impact on the youth and the community.

“I always wanted to go home so when a spot opened up, we went home,” Provost said. “Crow Creek has a nice weight room and a lot of resources so if the kids want to work out with me, my answer is ‘LET’S DO IT.’”

Authors Note:

A gigantic thank u to Maria Provost for sharing her story and her journey…What she shared with us is something that a lot of people deal with but never seem to talk about. Since moving to Stephan (Crow Creek), Provost continues to be an ambassador for talking about things people don’t talk about….Things like mental health and even counseling.

Thanks for sharing and caring, now go kick some ass in Minneapolis at the next power-lifting competition.


What it takes Wednesday: Attitude is Everything

By Greg Kahler

The right attitude is a concept that permeates everything you do. We all bring our attitude to every situation. How do we walk into a room? How do we meet people? How do we respond to challenges? To adversity? The most important characteristic any of us have is our attitude. We don’t have a choice whether we’re going to feel good or we’re going to be tired. We can’t pick whether it is going to rain outside — or make things go our way. But, we do have a choice about what our attitude is going to be getting out of bed… coming into work… stepping into the gym. We have a choice and we’ve got to make sure that choice is a positive one in everything we do.

“If you think about how good you are as opposed to what the next challenge is going to be, then you’ve already lost. We have to stay humble…” -Jay Wright


In sports, just like in life, there are always new nuggets of wisdom, bold technological breakthroughs and advances in thought leadership. But there are three things that will always stand the test of time:

You control your Energy, Effort, and Enthusiasm. 


Attitude is probably the most important aspect of the game. What is your attitude? All of us have a good attitude when things are going well, or when we are the stars of our teams and winning big games. But what’s your attitude when your team is losing? How do you react when the referees are making calls you don’t agree with, when your teammates won’t pass you the ball? How will you respond?

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A good attitude is something you have to decide consciously to have. You have to be able to close your eyes and see yourself as the player you want to be under all circumstances. A good attitude is being calm under pressure; it is encouraging teammates at all moments. It is a requirement to be at your peak performance at all times. A good attitude is seeing yourself performing to your utmost under all sorts of adverse circumstances, and then, when those circumstances arise, actually doing it.

I recently heard a story out of the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. Cameron Reynolds, a former player at Tulane University. Reynolds began his play this last season for the Stockton Kings in the NBA G-League. He averaged 16 ppg in 33 appearances. The T-Wolves signed Reynolds to a 10-Day contract in February. Typically, when a team signs a player to a 10-Day they intend to play them a lot to evaluate them further. This wasn’t the case for Reynolds. 

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He played just 3 minutes in his 10 days scoring an outstanding 2 points. You’d think that an NBA organization would just move on from him. But, Coach Saunders wanted to keep him around for another 10 days. He got another shot.

By the end of his second 10-day he again wasn’t given much of an opportunity to show what he can do. So once again he believed his time in Minnesota was over. He was called into the General Manager's office. Sitting there was Scott layden (T-Wolves GM) and Coach Saunders. On the table was a contract to sign with the Timberwolves for the next 2 seasons.

How is this So? How does someone sign a multi-year contract and  play hardly at all in his two 10-Day contracts? It’s really quite simple.

HIS ATTITUDE!

Cameron Reynolds was signed because he worked hard every day. He never took a play off. He was a good teammate. He made those around him better. He brought the right attitude every single day, and because of it, he fulfilled his dream and goals of playing in the NBA.


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An important aspect is developing a proper attitude about the game. To become winners, we must recognize how important our teammates are. "United we stand, divided we fall!" We must stick together. We must work together on offense with good passing, looking for an open teammate. But don't be afraid to shoot! If you are open, take the shot. Part of being a good teammate is scoring and taking good shots! If you miss a shot, forget it...you'll probably make the next one.

Remember: there is no such thing as a perfect game! Michael Jordan has never played a perfect game...he has always missed some shots. So don't get down on yourself if you mess up. Just keep playing hard and things will work out. None of us are perfect...even the coaches!

The refs aren't perfect either... so expect a bad call or two and don't let it get to you. Parents, players, and coaches please understand this about officials. They have a difficult job. They’re not just responsible for observing and moderating the action in front of them at a fast pace. They’re also responsible for bearing the brunt of the emotions of a game that tend to boil over. On top of that, they have to be aware of their own emotions. Do you think an adult official enjoys being screamed at by a 15 year old kid who’s unhappy about a call? It’s a tough job. If refs make a mistake, they’ll get lambasted. If they do a great job, no one mentions them. Basketball is not a perfect game.

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Being a good teammate is playing hard on defense. Go hard for loose balls and rebounds. Learn how to "box-out". Learn to set good picks (screens) on offense, so you can free up a teammate for an easy shot. Being a good teammate means coming to the game rested and playing as hard as you can. It means encouraging your teammates on and off the court. Together you can win!

The game gets easier when you commit to having this type of mindset. A coach should never have to hype players up to go play a game. Those players should be ecstatic to step out on the floor to play the game of basketball. That;s called competitiveness. That win won’t be handed to them. They have to be prepared to give 100% the entire game. But, they also have to be prepared to overcome adversity.

Adversity shows what players have the right and wrong attitude!

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Warriors Power: Good things going on in Bennett County

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By Rich Winter

Over the last four years there have not been a lot of trophies added to the trophy cases at Bennett County high-school. Coming out of region 7A the Warriors find themselves competing against one of the TUFFEST A regions in South Dakota. In track, the Warriors find themselves stacked against always good Winner and Todd County teams.

And so, you get the feeling bringing home a Region 7B girls track runner-up is a big deal for the WARRIORS program. The girls finished as runner-ups, the boys third.

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What a day for the BC Track & Field!

Awesome performances by our athletes and top 3 finishes in both boys and girls Team points -

Boys 3rd place and Girls Region Runner Ups! Congratulations to you all, you all deserve it!

Warrior coach

Anthony Muilenburg

That Bennett County girls team has some youngsters on it, and some talented youngsters at that.

Let’s check some of the girls results:

100 meters

1st Fanning, Eden 9 Bennett County 12.78 1

200 meters:

2 Fanning, Eden 9 Bennett Coun 28.04

3 Pauly, Leaha 8 Bennett Coun 28.81

400 meters:

2nd - Nicole Porch sophomore 1:03.37

800 meters:

2nd - Nicole Porch 2:39.22

1600 meters:

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At center is Bennett County 8th-grader, Taylor Bylerly who won the 1600 meters over Winner’s Sidda Schuyler and Red Cloud’s Jade Ecoffey with a lifetime best of 5:28

Ya don’t score well at region meets unless you do well in multiple areas.

The Warriors captured titles in the 400 relay, were second in the 800 relay, second in the 3200 meter relay.

One of the real tests of track teams is how well they do in the Medley relay: Two, 200 meter legs, a 400 meters and an 800….Bennett County put their best four forward and scalded the competition by over eight seconds with a seasons best of 4:32 (This relay can place at the state meet).

Wanted to point out the contributions of the two seniors on the roster…

Jessica Begeman and Josie May.

Both have competed in sports galore in Martin over the last four years, and within that time span, not a lot of trophies.

But, these two picked up crucial points as the Warriors nipped Red Cloud 113-100 in team points for that runner-up spot.

Begeman was 7th in the 100 hurdles and 6th in the 300 hurdles and 6th in the discus (8 points)

May was 7th in the shot put and 8th in the discus (3) total points.

Hannah Risse picked up four big points in the long jump with a 5th place effort and near 14-foot jump.

Really excited to see the Warriors earning a trophy. Track is the ultimate measure of success as you don’t always see a lot of kids willing to pay the price (track is hard). It is the end of the school year and a lot of folks have shut IT down for the year.

Not Bennett County…

Good luck at the state meet and really looking forward to these up-and-coming youngsters having a magnificent offseason to only get better.