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.

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.

Ones to Watch: Miles and Marcus Harming from Elkton/Lake Benton

Pictured at left is Elkton/Lake Benton Jr. Marcus Harming….At right is Miles Harming, Mark Harming and Marcus Harming.

By Rich Winter

One of my favorite guys to watch this summer was Marcus Harming on Allan Bertram’s 16-U Sacred Hoops Squad. He’s listed as 5-foot-11 in the Max Preps Program…That’s a lie!

But, Harming is absolutely fearless when he attacks the rim, doesn’t back down from anyone, AND, plays like a guy that wants people to see him as 5-foot-11.

No worries there as this young man averaged 10 ppg and nearly 4 rpg as a sophomore.

But, before basketball gets going…The Harming brothers are looking to do some damage on the South Dakota cross-country circuit. Was able to meet the Harming brothers father, Mark, who coaches with the Sacred Hoops Basketball Program. He told me the Elkton/Lake Benton squads was young a year ago.

Really young, but, the squad managed to qualify for the state meet. They finished 17th as a team in the Class B ranks, but getting young fellas with experience on the big stage bodes well for the coming seasons.

Let’s check out some finishes from last year’s state meet.

57th - Miles Harming (as a freshman)

75th - Riley Hunter (as a freshman)

93rd - Cameron Lorden (as a freshman)

112th - Marcus Harming (as a sophomore)

113th - Danial Nelson (as a junior)

Everyone is back so look for Elkton/Lake Benton being a solid team this year with potential to do big things in the next few years….Quite impressed with that 57th by Miles Harming as a freshman…he may have podium aspirations this season.

Fall sports starts NOW!

Dugan, Fairley, Brouwer: A battle is BREWING in Class B cross-country

At left is 2018 Class B state cross-country champion, Jolie Dugan of Jones County. At right is Gayville-Volin’s Maddie Fairley who finished 3rd and ACDC’s Isabella Brouwer who finished 2nd in last year’s state meet.

By Rich Winter

In just a few weeks the cross country season across South Dakota will explode with a flurry of activity. Runners who have put in the miles this summer will be sharp early, some will take their time to get in shape.

One groups of runners to pay particularly close attention to will be the three BEST in Class B.

Jolie Dugan, Jones County - 2018 Class B state champ


Only a 9th-grader, Dugan pulled away late in last years race to earn an 18-second victory by running that 5K in 19:12.

Track season was a bit of a different story. Dugan was dealing with some hefty family issues and just worked herself into good enough shape to finish 4th in the 1600 and 4th in the 3200.

Look for this Jones County freshman to be in good shape early and be in contention when the state meet rolls around in October.

Isabella Brouwer - Andes Central/Dakota Christian (ACDC)


Like Dugan, Brouwer is only going to be a ninth grader.

Brouwer out-kicked Gayville-Volin’s Maddie Fairley in the final meters of the state meet to take 2nd with a time of 19:30.

At the state track meet, Brouwer was second in the 3200, out-kicked Fairley again in the final meters to claim the 1600 title (Tough race, this girl has some guts) and then anchored the Medley team to a 2nd place finish…This young lady is tough, she’s a competitor and if she’s close at the state meet she’ll kick for the win.

Gayville-Volin sophomore Maddie Fairley


All season long it looked like Fairly was the top dog in Class B. She usually sees some stiff competition in the early part of the season and hangs right with the elite Class A and Class AA runners she sees in those fields.

A year ago, at the state meet, Brouwer settled for third.

At the state track meet, Fairley won the 3200 meters, with AUTHORITY, running 11:31 to easily outdistance Brouwer, who was 20-seconds back.

Will be fun to keep tabs on these three this season. They probably won’t see each other very much until that state meet, and then…Hold on tight, this one is going to be good.

Other contenders should be Victoria Zirbel of Dakota Hills and Deubrook Area 9th-grader, Ellie Olson.

Jones County's Jolie Dugan and Chamberlain's Ella Byers are STATE CHAMPS

By Rich Winter

OMG OMG, so excited to learn that Jones County 8th-grader Jolie Dugan is the South Dakota Class B state champion.

Girls Class B top-5 - 1

Can’t imagine there has been a state cross-country champion from Jones County since the Charlie Zaugg days in the early 1980’s….Dugan ran away from the competition Saturday to edge a Larry Lucas coached Isabelle Brouwer of ACDC by 18 seconds.

Dugan, Jolie (8) Jones County 19:12.63 -

2 Brouwer, Isabella (8) Andes Central/Dakota Christian 19:30.30

3 Fairley, Maddy (9) Gayville-Volin19:31.09

4 Olsen, Josie (12) Deubrook Ar19:42.36

5 Zirbel, Victoria (11) Dakota Hills 19:53.75

Team points: STATE CHAMPS, Deubrook Area

1 Deubrook Area (29 points)

2 Ipswich 43

3 Newell - 44

4 Wall - 54

After winning as a freshman, Chamberlain’s Ella Byers wins as a senior

Could not be happier today to see that Chamberlain senior Ella Byers is a state champion AGAIN. Byers won as a freshman, think third as a sophomore and did not compete as a junior. At the state track meet last year Byers was in the injury tent after aggravating a stress fracture in her foot. So many injuries for this young lady in the last few years so to see her on top of that podium is AWESOME….

Top-5 - Byers pulled away late for a 5-second victory over Lennox 8th-grader, Ali Bainbridge….Those two pulled away from the rest of the field with Hill City’s Karlee Simmons getting 4th and Winner’s Sidda Schuyler finishing 4th.

1. Byers, Ella (12) Chamberlain 18:22.782

2. Bainbridge, Ali (8) Lennox 18:27.41

3 Simmons, Karlee (12) Hill City 18:42.89

4 Schuyler, Sidda (9) Winner Area 18:46.96

5 Hough, Allison (8) Chamberlain 19:00.37

Custer wins both Class A Boys & Girls Titles: Karen Karim Coach of the YEAR!


Good luck to all the Sacred Hoops athletes competing at state cross country

Daci Lends His Horse (CEB), Chris Mohr (Chester) and Jade Ecoffey (Red Cloud) will all be participating in the state cross country meet today in Sioux Falls.

By Rich Winter

Well, athletes from across the state of South Dakota have conglomerated in Sioux Falls for the state cross country meet. Truly one of the best events in South Dakota prep sports as the colors, the pageantry and the EFFORT, OH MY!

Over the summer we got to know a bunch of these athletes through our Sacred Hoops summer basketball programs. A ton of those athletes will be running in Sioux Falls today….

We’ll post some pictures of those athletes, BUT FIRST, here are a look at a few of those athletes to do some damage today.

Flandreau Girls have a shot at a high team finish: Couple of our Sacred Hoops athletes, Hannah Parsley and Cassidy Keith are on that team that is projected to finish in the top-5


Red Cloud 8th-grader Jade Ecoffey will be looking for a top-10 finish at the state meet. The Class A field is a tough one this year but Ecoffey seems to rise to the occasion at big meets.

This young lady was 3rd in the Class A, 3200 meters at the state track meet last season


St. Thomas More junior Jarek Glenn played on Christian McGhee’s 16-U West River squad this summer. Glenn figures to be in the top-10 of a very good Class A boys field assembled for this afternoon.

Ryan Eining.jpg

Dell Rapids St. Mary’s won their regional competition and should be among the top Class B teams today….On that team is Ryan Eining, who was on Jeff Larson’s East-River 16-U squad.

Todd County junior Kelsie Herman will be making her 5th consecutive start at the Class A state meet…Gritty and tough for Lyle LeBeau’s All-Native 16-U squad. At right, Todd County junior Jacob Wike who was 5th at the Region 4A meet….This crafty lefty that will get on you while playing defense is running his third state meet and looking for his first podium.

At any rate, probably missed a few of the Sacred Hoops Athletes but we wanted to give a big shout out to those who put in THIS WORK, this fall and can’t wait to see how it translates to the Hard-Wood.

Breaking down the B's: Schroeder and Olsen expected to shine

By Rich Winter

Can’t imagine anyone in the Class B ranks being more happy to see Daniel Burkhatler, Aaron Voigt and Kray Person graduate last spring than Freeman Academy/Marion senior, Thaniel Schroeder. This guy has been solid for the last two years but always found himself behind three guys that are now running collegiately.

Well, the path is cleared…Mostly!

For Olsen, nearly the same scenario except the thorn in her state meets has always been Delaney Leber of Newell…Graduated!

Are these two the favorites…Absolutely…Can anyone challenge them….YES!

Region 1 Champ: Jonathon Burkhalter - Bison…Jonathon is the younger brother of SDSU runner, Daniel Burkhatler…Jonathon, a sophomore is that dangerous guy from out west.

Region 4B champ: Rhaecine Sam - Wakpala…The senior has had a dominant cross-country season….Outstanding 1600 and 3200 guy and significantly better than a year ago (10th) Sam will be up front.

Region 2B - Jacob Vogel, Dell Rapids St. Mary’s: This guy really handled the field at the Region championships…Vogel 17:31 with 2nd place Baylor Beck at 18:10

Region 1B - Warner sophomore Cody Larson won his Region by almost a full minute…

Reached out to my east-river cross-country guy Brian Decker who offered up some thoughts on the boys race including predictions of the top-5 teams.

Boys - Class B

1. James Valley Christian

2. Freeman Academy/Marion

3. Warner

4. Dell Rapids St. Mary’s

5. White River

Individual winner: Thaniel Schroeder, FA/M

Analysis: JVC and FA/M competed twice this year with JVC winning narrowly both times.

Don’t let the slow times coming out of Region 1 fool you. The meet was held the morning after

the snowstorm passed through NE South Dakota. Snowy and cold conditions slowed the times.

And then there is this girls race:

Decker’s pick: Individual winner: Josie Olsen, Deubrook Area

Also look for Maddy Fairley, Gayville/Volin to challenge Olsen.

Winter’s picks: Olsen is the favorite, can’t count out Steger from Ipswich, Fairley and Jones County 8th-grader Jolie Dugan in the mix. Kinda like Dugan in this race…The 8th-grader has seen Chamberlain’s Ella Byers and Winner’s Sidda Schuyler a lot this season and fared well against two of Class A’s best…

Girls - Class B (Predictions)

1. Deubrook Area

2. Ipswich

3. Newell

4. Dakota Hills

5. Kimball/White Lake

Good luck to all the athletes participating!

Class A cross-country - TEAM TITLE - (Custer vs. Sioux Falls Christian) Looks like a dead heat

By Rich Winter

Well, the National Weather Service is saying SUNNY and 52 (no mention of wind) for Saturday’s STATE Cross Country meet….It’s always a special weekend in South Dakota.

The Class A boys race….Pretty tight say the experts!!

Reached out to Garretson cross-country coach Jason Bohl. Every year, he and several other coaches across the state put together a list of where they think kids and teams are going to finish. Joining Bohl on the experts panel is Sioux Falls Christian coach, Luke Vander Leest.

Team race first:

Bohl Team Predictions: Vander Leest Predictions:

1.  SFC 1. Custer 63
2.  Beresford  2. SF Christian 68
3.  Vermillion 3. Vermillion 71
4.  Custer 4. Beresford 74
5.  West Central 5. St. Thomas More
6.  Lennox 6. Lennox
7.  STM 7. West Central
8.  Flandreau 8. Rapid City Christian

Judging by Coach Vander Leet’s scoring, and some hedging at the top, we could be in for a highly contested team race….and that is ALWAYS fun. West Central will not likely defend their team title…Custer was second a year ago, Sioux Falls Christian, 3rd.


Coach Karen Karim has both Custer boys and girls in the title hunt…Nathaniel Youngblood and Jace Osterling lead the charge up front for Custer.


Man, Vermillion has really improved their distance running and coach Kelly Fischbach’s squad looked tough in Winning Region 3 - Vermillion 27, Beresford 30

Vermillion’s top-4 from Regions:

3 Justin Sorensen 12 Vermillion 15:55.05

6 - Jakob Dobney - 10 Vermillion 16:27.93

7 - Riley Ruhaak - 10 Vermillion 16:31.93

11 - Brady Martinez - 11 - Vermillion 16:52.04

For Beresford’s Matt Coy’s Watchdogs are in the hunt:

Region 3: 1st place, Alec Atwood, 15:27, Nico Sanz Curros 16:08, Senior, Dallas Travis 9th with 16:47

Sioux Falls Christian:

Boy they were tuff in really dominating the Region 2 boys race.

SFC 18 West Central 43

They look TUFF at the top...Region 2 SFC runners           
  2 VanderHaar, Connor        12 SF Christian          17:16.48    2                        
  4 Vogel, Patrick             9 SF Christian          17:34.18    4             
  5 Engbers, Isaac            10 SF Christian          17:45.03    5                          
  7 VanStedum, Noah           11 SF Christian          17:54.84    7 

Okay, so a little fun with the Individual race as Bohl and Vander Leest pick the top-25

But first, Peters vs. Atwood is going to be awesome…AGAIN!


At the 2017 State cross-country meet Beresford’s Alec Atwood edged West Central’s Braden Peters:

The times - Atwood 15:58.74….Peters - 15:59.41

Note: Believe these guys hooked up early at the Augustana Twilight Meet: Peters was 2nd in that race, Atwood 8th.

Jason Bohl - Predictions

1.  Braden Peters(WC)
2.  Alec Atwood(Beresford)
3.  Nate Youngblood(Custer)
4.  Camden Wolf(Lennox)
5.  Conner VanderHaar(SFC)
6.  Caden Ideker(WC)
7.  Jarek Glenn(STM)
8.  Nico(Beresford)
9.  Patrick Vogel(SCF)
10.  Sawyer Clarkson(Belle)
11.  Nick Batchelor(Milbank)
12.  Caden Tegethoff(Platte)
13.  Cole Rausch (Tea)
14.  Jace Oesterling(Custer)
15.  Isaac Engbers(SFC)
16.  Kade Watson(Winner)
17.  Jakob Dobney ( Verm)
18.  Blake Pulse(MCM)
19.  Riley Ruhaak(Verm)
20.  Dallas Davis(Beresford)
21.  Noah VanStedum(SFC)
22.  Max Nielson(Sioux Valley)
23.  Max Kuecker(Webster)
24.  Dominic Santiago(Cham)
25.  Adam Conseor(Hot Springs)

Coach Vander Leest - Predictions

Individual Class A Boys Final Rankings

1. Braden Peters, 12 West Central

2. Alec Atwood, 12 Beresford

3. Nathaniel Youngblood, 12 Custer

4. Camden Wulf, 12 Lennox

5. Jarek Glenn, 11 STM

6. Sawyer Clarkson, 8 Belle Fourche

7. Justin Sorensen, 12 Vermillion

8. Connor VanderHaar, 12 SF Christian

9. Jace Osterling, 11 Custer

10. Nick Batchelor, 9 Milbank

11. Nico Sanz Curros, 10 Beresford

12. Patrick Vogel, 9 SF Christian

13. Caden Ideker, 12 West Central

14. Cole Rausch, 12 Tea Area

15. Caden Tegethoff, 11 Platte-Geddes

16. Jacob Dobney, 10 Vermillion

17. Kade Watson, 9 Winner

18. Riley Ruhaak, 10 Vermillion

19. Adam Conseor, 11 Hot Springs

20. Isaac Engbers, 10 SF Christian

21. Simeon Birnbaum, 8 RC Christian

22. Dallas Davis, 12 Beresford

23. Taylor Gibson, 12 Lennox 24.

Dominic Santiagio, 9 Chamberlain

25. Blake Pulse, 12 McCook Central

Wanna give a big thank you to both coaches for letting the cross country family see how they say it…

My prediction: It’s gonna be fast….15:28 fast

Keep an eye out for Belle Fourche 8th-grader Sawyer Clarkson…


Bohl has him 10th

Vander Leest: 6th

Young guy on the way up…