That was the day the Golden Eagle girls’ track and field team won the Eastern South Dakota Conference Meet held at Swisher Field in Aberdeen. That win clinched the ESD All-Sports Award for the girls. Pierre won the ESD All-Sports Award for boys.
The all-sports award accumulates points for each ESD school in all of the conference sports and tabulates the points earned for first through eighth from fall through spring.
“This is really an honor for either boys or girls,” said Central athletic director Gene Brownell. “Our boys have won it once and the girls five times. Generally, to win this award a school has an outstanding group of senior athletes. At our level, seniors are going to win for you or not win for you. You get help from juniors and some underclassmen but the senior class leads the way.”
On the strength of ESD titles in track, volleyball and basketball, the Central girls scored 52½ points to edge Watertown with 47½ points.
“You look at the titles that the girls won and those are not easy ones to win. Volleyball is difficult to win and we’ve only won the basketball twice in the history of the school. Track and field is difficult to win and takes versatility,” said Brownell.
On the boys’ side, Pierre totaled 44½ points and Brandon Valley had 43. Aberdeen Central finished sixth with 30½ points. The top point getter for the Central boys was wrestling with a second place finish.
Three Central girls earned varsity letters in all three ESD champion sports: volleyball in the fall, basketball (tied with Mitchell) in the winter and track and field in the spring. Seniors Kelsey Hannigan and Samantha Knecht along with freshman Brianna Kusler were varsity contributors in all three sports.
ESD All-Sports Award for Girls 2012-13: Aberdeen Central 52½, Watertown 47½, Pierre 42, Brandon Valley 38½, Yankton 38, Brookings 36½, Mitchell 34, Huron 33.
ESD All-Sports Award for Boys 2012-13: Pierre 44½, Brandon Valley 43, Brookings 33½, Watertown 33, Yankton 32½, Aberdeen Central 30½, Huron 20½, Mitchell 14½.
After all the cheers, celebrations and the obligatory ice water shower for the winning coach were completed at the Eastern South Dakota Conference Track and Field Meet on May 11 at Swisher Field, Aberdeen Central head girls’ coach Jim Appl picked out the highlight of the meet for him.
Although his Golden Eagles girls’ team won the meet by 59 points over Pierre, Appl pointed to a pole vaulter who didn’t score a point in the meet. Senior Ariana Arampatzis spent her junior year attending Philip High School and living with her grandmother who was a recent widow. Arampatzis made the one-year move out west to help ease her grandmother’s loss.
As planned, Arampatzis returned to her family in Aberdeen for her senior season. One of the state’s top pole vaulters since her freshman season, she had hoped to turn in a stellar final season of competition.
Unfortunately, Arampatzis was injured before the first meet and was not cleared by the doctors to return to competition until the week before the ESD meet.
“She started practicing but she wasn’t ready,” said Appl. “She only had four or five days of practice.”
Nevertheless, she cleared 10-feet at the meet and hit the automatic qualifying mark for the state meet this week.
“She got a ticket to the state meet,” said Appl. “For a senior to come out and put it together like that says a lot about Ariana. I am so happy for her. I would make that my top highlight.”
Arampatzis has the ninth best vault in Class AA heading into the tournament Friday at Brandon and Saturday at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Sports writer Deb Smith
The rosters and coaching staffs for the 2013 South Dakota All-Star games have been announced.
The All-Star games will be held in Aberdeen in conjunction with the South Dakota High School Coaches Association convention with the girls’ and boys’ basketball games on July 16 in Wachs Arena, and the volleyball match at Wachs Arena and football game at Swisher Field on July 17.
The rosters for football and volleyball have been released. The rosters for girls’ and boys’ basketball will be available shortly. The games showcase athletes who graduated from high school this spring.
Several coaches have area ties. Aberdeen Central football coach Mike Flakus will be a member of the coaching staff for the North football team. Jamie Cronin of Potter County will join with Jodi Melius of Brookings to mentor the North volleyball team. Melius, whose maiden name is Fischbach, played volleyball for Northwestern. LaDawn Nesje of Sioux Falls Washington will be on the sidelines for the South volleyball team. Nesje played college volleyball at Northern State. Britton native and Northern State graduate, Arlin Likness will help coach the South football squad.
The rosters and coaches lists can be found in Scoreboard.
Girls’ coaches honored
Several area high school girls’ coaches have been honored by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.
Named as varsity coaches of the year were Jason Vergeldt of Webster in Region 1; Mark Senftner of Sully Buttes in Region 3; Sara Gebhart of Lemmon in Region 4; and Britton native Lyle Pearson of Sioux Falls Lincoln in Region 5.
Kari Jung of Warner was named as varsity assistant of the year in Region 1.
Here are all the winners:
Region 1 — Head: Jason Vergeldt of Webster. Assistant: Kari Jung of Warner.
Region 2 — Head: Scott Mitchell of Deuel. Assistant: Austin Tvedt of Castlewood.
Region 3 — Head: Mark Senftner of Sully Buttes. Assistant: Jonathan Schouten of Huron.
Region 4 — Head: Sara Gebhart of Lemmon. Assistant: Jim Noyes of Rapid City Central.
Region 5 — Head: Lyle Pearson of Sioux Falls Lincoln. Assistant: Jamie Nelson of West Central.
Region 6 — Head: Marcus Leloux of Harrisburg. Assistant: Kelly Knutson of Beresford.
Region 7 — Head: Jeff Neuharth of Chamberlin. Assistant: Tera Koupal of Wagner.
Region 8 — Head: John Hess of Wall. Assistant: Larry Aaker of Winner.
Lower Level Regions 1-4 — Paul Nepodahl of Deubrook.
Lower Level Regions 5-8 — Matt Schrank of Garretson.
Boys’ coaches honored
Brian Schuring of Groton and Randy Pool of Sully Buttes have been honored by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.
Schuring was named lower level boys’ coach of the year for Regions 1-4 and Pool was named boys’ varsity assistant of the year for Region 3.
Here are all the winners:
Region 1 — Head: Jerome Nesheim of Clark/Willow Lake. Assistant: Mark Prouty of Clark/Willow Lake.
Region 2 — Head: Michael Ricke of Madison. Assistant: Mike Materese of Madison.
Region 3 — Head: Terry Becker of Pierre. Assistant: Randy Pool of Sully Buttes.
Region 4 — Head: Erik Skoglund of Spearfish. Assistant: Shawn Huxtable of Spearfish.
Region 5 — Head: Mike Schouten of Sioux Falls Christian. Assistant: Jeff Heisinger of McCook Central/Montrose.
Region 6 — Head: Chris Fechner of Tea Area. Assistant: Mike Busch of Beresford.
Region 7 — Head: Clayton Steele of South Central. Assistant: Eric Norden of Parkston.
Region 8 — Head: James Drake of Winner. Assistant: None.
Lower Level Regions 1-4 — Brian Schuring of Groton Area.
Lower Level Regions 5-8 — Randy Gross of Yankton.
- The high school associations of only five states nationwide do not sponsor a state championship in baseball, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. Those states are South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and California. The South Dakota High School Baseball organization conducts spring baseball with 49 teams in Class A and B this spring. The state tournament is May 25 for Class A and May 27-28 for Class B. Area teams are Milbank/Wilmot and Redfield/Hitchcock/Tulare/Doland/Northwestern. The South Dakota High School Activities Association does not sponsor baseball.
- Yankton assistant boys’ basketball coach Adam Tyhurst accepted the head boys’ basketball position at Spearfish. The Spearfish position opened up when Eric Skoglund took the Mitchell boys’ head basketball job. Tyhurst was at Yankton for two seasons.
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