Wednesday 9 p.m. Sportscast

The Saint Thomas More boys basketball team is off to a 9-0 start, and a key to their success has been Michael Eastmo. As Jeff Voss shows us the big man for the Cavs may not be the first name on an opposing team's scouting report, but he's vital to the success of his higher-scoring teammates.

Michael Eastmo says, ' Trying to be the vocal leader, the moral leader. It's fun, I love the challange. I have the best group of guys to do it with.' The six foot seven senior missed most of his junior year due to injuries. Now as a senior, Eastmo is excited for the year the Cavaliers are having. Eastmo says, ' Level of play has been really good for us. It's exceeding my expectations, I'm really proud of how we are doing defensively especially.'

Dave Hollenbeck says, ' This year he's been a real good leader for us. He's doing some nice things for us inside defensively and offensively. He's having a really good year.' The defensive ability and size of Eastmo helps deter opponents from trying to score in the paint. Eastmo says, 'It's definitely an opportunity for me to not get beat, and maybe not a block but force a pass out or something. Just kind of the feeling of besting someone especially if I have the gift of size and being able to use that to the best of my abilities.' Using his abilities Eastmo hopes to carry on the strong tradition of STM basketball.

Hollenbeck says, 'Mike is a program guy. He really likes our program and he understands what the guys have done before and he wants to continue that tradition and try to help our program be successful.' Eastmo says, ' It's very inspiring. Coach always talks about keeping your head up while you dribble and looking at the banners. You know as a kid coming up through the system always looking up at those championship banners. Especially senior year, being like that's my year. It's good motivation especially for me it drives me.' Eastmo is also driven by those who will take over the Cavalier team when his senior season ends, and he couldn't be happier with those around him.

Eastmo says, 'They're the best group of guys I could ask to be a senior leader for. I'm really appreciative of the guys I have.' Congratulations to Michael Eastmo on being this week's athlete of the week. Jeff Voss Black Hills Fox Sports.

Florida Everblades in Rapid City tonight for an ECHL tilt ... First period and the Rush with a bad turnover in front of their own net ... but Adam Carlson turns away Joe Cox's shot to keep it scoreless ... the Everblades came into this game with the best record in the league ... More of the Everblades on the attack and Carlson turns away Justin Auger off the John McCarron pass ... Carlson had -- saves on the night ... and then Florida's Logan Roe misses wide right with that shot ... Rush on the attack and Darby Llewellyn finds himself with the puck, but Florida goalie Jeremy Helvig turns that shot away ... and the Pierre-Luc Merier takes a crack from the other side but Helvig stops that one too ... Florida went on to win this one by a final of 4-0.

The sport of wrestling is definitely a male-dominated activity ... but with the success of standouts like former Brookings state-placer Ronna Heaton ... the first girl to ever place at a South Dakota state tournament, who then went on to win a girls' cadet world championship ... more and more girls around the state are hitting the mats. Vic Quick went over to Stevens to meet a few ...


TRAVIS KING "For us our staff, we treat them like any other member of the team. We're not afraid to show moves on them, we're not afraid to let them sprawl or go behind. They are out here because they choose to be out here and they want to be part of it. Girls wrestling is one of the fastest things growing out there right now."

ALISHA VANSCOY "I like the competitiveness of it and winning. Having your hand raised and the determination and discipline that it gives me." MOST MALE HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLERS HAVE GROWN UP WRESTLING WITH AND AGAINST FEMALES. SO THEY'RE USE TO SEEING THEM OUT ON THE MAT.

"Today these kids are more accustomed to girls being out there. They've seen them in the AAU programs or the USA wrestling. When you go to a national tournament there's always a girls division. So it's something that these kids have grown up seeing."

ALISHA VANSCOY "yeah I get that sometimes where they tell me I don't belong on the mat or something like that. It really doesn't effect me that much because I'm there for myself." THE THREE STEVENS FEMALE WRESTLERS RECENTLY COMPETED AT AN ALL GIRLS TOURNAMENT IN NEBRASKA, AND THEY FARED QUITE WELL. COACH KING "We just sent them last week to Columbus, Nebraska to a Nebraska high school girls tournament. There were 70 plus competitors maybe more in an all girls weight class. Our girls finished second place, they were behind a school that had 20 female wrestlers."