The Press & Dakotan sports staff started its next step in the multimedia experience Wednesday with its first live chat.
For assistant sports editor Jeremy Hoeck and I, it was a fun hour of talking with our keyboards about sports, focusing mostly on our area teams. According to the stats on “Cover It Live,” we ended up with 22 viewers — not bad for something we only started advertising 48 hours before.
On our WordPress blog, we had tossed out a couple of ideas for discussion, though I believe none of them ever ended up being brought up. We had a little South Dakota State talk, not all of which was started by our good friend Nick Hartley at the Brookings Register, as well as some USD talk and a little look at the upcoming winter season.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the session:
bkgsregsports (Hartley): Winter sports season is upon us. What teams and in what sports in your coverage area look to impress?
Cimburek: Starting with wrestling, you don’t have to look far to see a quality returning team in Wagner. Bon Homme, Parkston and Elk Point-Jefferson also return solid teams. Vermillion could have a solid showing in Class A, and Yankton got off to a good start last night against Washington.
In girls’ basketball, Wagner returns the bulk of its consolation championship team in A. Bon Homme and Parkston had solid young teams a year ago, so that could be a great district.
Parker returns a lot of talent and is dropping down a class. Viborg lost a big piece in Alyssa Kraning, but still has some talent returning. Freeman returns the bulk of its state tournament team, and won’t have to go through Hanson to make it this year.
Yankton has a young team, so it will be interesting to see how they pan out.
On the boys’ side, there are a lot of young teams out there, though Viborg returns the bulk of its consolation championship team. Platte-Geddes graduated a lot of talent from its state tournament team, but Frank Cutler is great at reloading.
goyotes: First thanks for your coverage of the Yotes. Any details on the NDSU football game in 2010 in Fargo & home & home, likely in 2013 & 2014?
Hoeck: Good to see ya, goyotes. Yeah, there have been some talks between USD and NDSU for a potential football contract. Sounds like the first game would be next season (2010) in Fargo. Coyotes have an open date they’re looking to fill (they’ve got some other offers). If nothing else, that’d be a nice series to start.
Guest: Jeremy, you say there are certainly D1 level FB players in Yankton area … Could you name a few?
Hoeck: Hey Guest, I knew I’d be put on the spot! First name that comes to mind? Chad Koch from Hartington (Neb) Cedar Catholic. He’s a 6-foot-1, 215-pound back who rushed for over 2,000 yards and led the Trojans to the Class C-2 title game. Word is, he’s gotten some looks from D-I schools like Iowa State. Koch would be the most obvious one.
Cimburek: Koch’s counterpart in the C-2 final, Ponca’s Jared Curry, is another athlete who I believe is getting some looks. He’s 6-1, 190, but is a 6-7 high-jumper and a very explosive runner.
Andrew: How about the Lancer women jumping to nearly their best national ranking ever this week? From nowhere in the honorable mention to top 10 at number 9. Impressive. Schlimgen has something going. Doesn’t hurt he has Amundson and some great shooters.
Cimburek: The one thing about the NAIA poll is that you have a preseason poll, then you don’t vote again for six weeks. During that time, the Lancers played five teams ranked in the preseason top 25, beating four, including 3-1 against teams ranked in the top 10.
Amundson has continued to grow into her leadership role, and has become the scorer at the college level that she was for the Quarriers. She is still one of the top lockdown defenders in the GPAC as well.
One of the things that has helped MMC this year is the emergence of Scotland native Cassie Neth. She was a solid contributor off the bench last year, and she has become a great inside-outside threat this year. She is shooting 63.2 percent from three-point range (12-19) while still averaging 7.8 rebounds per contest.
bkgsregsports: Could the worst team in the NFL be none other than my Cleveland Browns?
Hoeck: No way! You’re a Browns fan too? I thought I was the only one still suffering, or at least willing to admit it … But yes, our Browns are easily the worst in the NFL. When a hobbling Matthew Stafford and the Lions beat you, it’s reflection time.
goyotes: Jake Thomas & Louie (Krogman), does Boots require them to cross the half court line before he gives them the green light?
Hoeck: Oh man, if you haven’t watched the USD men play yet, I recommend it. If you like three-point shooting, you’re in for a treat. Jake Thomas, the freshman, pulls up from at least 25 feet on a regular basis. But the thing is, he’s not a “free” shooter. And we all know what Louie can do. A scary duo, for sure.
goyotes: It appears that interest in and quality of high school volleyball has increased dramatically the last few years in SD, somewhat at the expense of girls basketball. Do you agree?
Cimburek: I don’t think the VB improvements have come at the expense of basketball. What you’re seeing, not just in these sports but in every sport across the country, is that a lot of kids are specializing in one sport. Student-athletes are competing in the same sport year-round, which is hurting numbers in all sports.
Guest: Very True James. Not too often we see a good 3 sport athlete anymore.
We will be back at it Wednesday at 3 p.m. Find the link online at http://www.yankton.net.
You can also catch me, or Jeremy when I am out of town, on 1450 KYNT’s “Breakfast With The Coaches” program, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturdays, live from Fry’n Pan Restaurant.