The Stevens boys basketball team is replacing three starters from last season, plus current Black Hills State player Dawson Paulsen, who was injured during the middle of last year as they head toward next weekend's season opening games.
The Raiders open play next weekend at Brandon Valley and the Raiders will have to replace all-state guard Dylan Pourier and two other starters ... but head coach Chris Stoebner's squad has some solid returning players and a promising transfer in 6-foot-6 forward Alex Bilbruck from Hot Springs to help with the transition.
Stoebner said, "Well, I think you know we've got some returners back so the potential is there to be a real good basketball team but it's going to take some time though. We've got some kids new to the program, some kids new to the varsity level, so by no means are we going to be a finished product at the beginning of the year, it's going to take some time. We're going to ask more of some kids. Daniel Vigoren, our starting point guard from last year is back and we're going to ask him to score more, Mason Steele in the middle is going to have to be even more productive than he was last year. And then we're going to have to ask some stuff out of giuys who played less minutes last year, they're going to have to be major contributors for us this year."
Stevens opens the season December 13th with a brutal road trip at defending state champion Brandon Valley and then takes on 2018 state champ Yankton and Wisconsin commit Matthew Mors on December 14th.
The crack of the bat and a hot dog at the ballpark may not be first and foremost on the minds of sports fans this time of year ... but the Expedition League, a college wood bat league operating in the Dakotas, Nebraska and Wyoming ... had a big shakeup today ...
Kevin Bybee, the owner of the Spearfish Sasquatch and the rights to the prospective Rapid City Jackalopes, has sold 100 percent of his interest in both teams. Bybee was reached for comment today and said he couldn't disclose any details on the sale but that it was official. The new owners have not yet been identified and efforts to reach the league office have been unsuccessful at this point. The Sasquatch have played for two seasons in the league at their home park, Black Hills Energy Stadium in Spearfish. The Rapid City Jackalopes were hoping to begin play next summer at McKeague Field in Rapid City after improvements were made to the park.
The Rapid City Rush's game with the Wichita Thunder scheduled tonight at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center has been postponed until late January because of weather earlier this week ... but the honors keep rolling in for Rapid City players ...
One day after Giovanni Fiore was named the ECHL's Player of the Week, teammate Tyler Coulter has been named the league's Rookie of the Month for November. Coulter led all rookies in every offensive category with 7 goals, 9 assists, and 16 points putting together four multi-point outings and making a pair of game-winning goals and a shootout winner.