The No. 1-ranked Class A Rapid City Stevens wrestling team has plenty of talent up and down its lineup ... with a couple of top-ranked wrestlers in Jack Schoenhard and Cooper Voorhees leading the way ... but for their No. 2-ranked 138-pounder, state tournament disappointment from last season is helping fuel his senior season ... Brendan Mackey has more on the Raiders' Declan Malone ...
FALLING JUST SHORT OF YOUR DREAMS IS TOUGH,..... LOSING BY ONE POINT IN THE STATE SEMI FINALS MAKES IT EVEN HARDER. IN 2019 DECLAN MALONE FINISHED THIRD IN STATE FOR WRESTLING WHICH OBVIOUSLY IS VERY IMPRESSIVE, BUT NOW AS A SENIOR AT STEVENS HIGH SCHOOL... HE HAS ONE MORE SHOT TO MAKE HIS GOAL COME TRUE.
DECLAN "WELL I DON'T KNOW LAST YEAR THIRD PLACE WAS GOOD DON'T GET ME WRONG, BUT IT WAS KINDA A DISAPPOINTMENT FOR ME. I FEEL LIKE I COULD HAVE HAD THE STATE TITLE LAST YEAR, BUT I GUESS THAT IS WHAT IS PUSHING ME THIS YEAR."
TRAVIS "HE'S VERY COMPETITIVE YOU KNOW HE HAS BEEN THAT WAY I THINK SINCE HE WAS A LITTLE TIKE. YOU KNOW HIS FAMILY WAS WRESTLERS. HE HAS JUST BEEN BORN TO BE THAT KID AND YOU KNOW ITS ONE OF THOSE THING WITH WRESTLING YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOUR HARD WORK PAYS OFF AND HE IS HOPING THIS YEAR HE HAS GOT A GOOD A SHOT AS ANY TO HAVE THAT GOAL FULFILLED."
WRESTLING IN AN INDIVIDUAL SPORT, BUT YOU'RE ALSO APART OF A TEAM OR AS DECLAN CALLS IT A "BROTHERHOOD"...... WHEN MALONE ISN'T IN A MATCH HE'S CHEERING ON HIS TEAMMATES.
CALEB BRINK "YOU KNOW AT TOURNAMENTS HE IS ALWAYS THERE I MEAN SOME TEAMS THEY GOT TEAMMATES THAT WILL SIT IN THE STANDS AND JUST BE ON THEIR PHONES I MEAN HE IS ALWAYS THERE IN YOUR CORNER. HE IS LIKE YOU GOT THIS. JUST IN THE ROOM ALSO HE WILL GET ON YEAH IF YOU'RE NOT WORKING HARD HE WILL BE THERE MAKING SURE YOU DO." HIS TEAM IS LIKE HIS FAMILY, IN FACT ONE OF THE WRESTLERS IS HIS TWIN BROTHER DARIEN.....
ALTHOUGH THEY MAY BUTT HEADS SOMETIMES, THEY ALWAYS HAVE EACH OTHERS BACKS.
DARIEN "WE GET ON EACH OTHERS NERVES A LOT BUT IN THE END WE ARE BROTHERS. WE GET ALONG AND THEN SOMETIMES WERE LIKE WE KINDA JUST WANT TO PUNCH EACH OTHER IN THE FACE, BUT WE DON'T AND WE JUST GET ALONG. WE FIGHT LIKE MOST SIBLINGS DO."
DECLAN "ITS DEFINITELY FUN LIKE HAVING MY TWIN BROTHER WHO FIRST OF ALL IS AS COMPETITIVE AS ME. AND WE ALWAYS HAVE EACH OTHER TO WRESTLE WITH. AT THE END OF THE DAY YOU'LL SEE ME IN THE CORNER OF HIS MAT EVERY TIME." WITH THE STEVENS WRESTLING TEAM I'M BRENDAN MACKEY
The Black Hills State men's basketball team has been on a tear, winning 11 straight games as they sit atop the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference standings with Dixie State at 11-2 ... and while the Yellow Jackets have been unreal, their rival South Dakota School of Mines is right in the thick of things at 6-7 and tied for 10th place despite two road losses their last time out ...
The Hardrockers are one of six teams separated by just a game outside of the top five in the conference with nine games remaining. Head coach Eric Glenn's squad will be looking to keep pace as they hit the road for the second straight weekend, this time taking on Metro State and Chadron State on Friday and Saturday as everybody keeps an eye on head coach Ryan Thompson's red-hot Yellow Jackets, who are also at Chadron and Metro this weekend.
Glenn said, "We've just got to figure out a way to win some of these games on the road. We've had some really close games on the road and actually have had leads late and so for us it's about winning that last four minutes and just getting over the hump there.
You know it's like I said, tongue in cheek a little bit because you know I hate it, but Ryan's such a good guy that I'm happy for him because he's doing a heck of a job up there and you know the freshman that they've got is having a heck of a year as a freshman, really impressed by him, and their point guard, Oliver, he makes them go.
He's just such a tough matchup for everybody in the league it's nice to see that we're not the only ones that have a tough time guarding him because he does a heck of a job for them."
The Hardrockers will play at 7:30 both Friday in Denver and Saturday at Chadron while Black Hills tips off Friday at Chadron at 7:30 and then Saturday at 6 in Denver.
In college hoops action from the region, the South Dakota State men got 22 points from Tea freshman Noah Freidel, 14 from Douglas Wilson and 12 from Matt Dentlinger as they rolled to a 76-61 win over Oral Roberts in Oklahoma. The Jacks moved to 16-8 overall and 7-2 in Summit Leage action to remain atop the men's standings in head coach Eric Henderson's first year at the helm.
And the University of South Dakota women stayed perfect in Summit League action with a 71-39 win over Omaha on the road ... Taylor Frederick paced the Coyotes, who are ranked 21st in the Associated Press Top 25 and 18th in the coaches poll, with 21 points. Rapid City's Ciara Duffy chipped in with 14. The Coyotes are now 20-2 overall with their only two losses of the season at top-ranked South Carolina and to 21st ranked Missouri State. It was head coach Dawn Plitzuweit's 100th win as South Dakota's head coach, the fastest in Summit League history.