When you are a high school basketball player, your resume can’t get much better. Although all four haven’t been on the varsity all four years, Aberdeen Roncalli seniors Kendal Deutsch, Kory Schwan, Nolan Schlosser and Dominic King have left their mark on the Cavalier program.
They are super excited — or at least as excited as this laid back, loosey goosey group who likes to have fun can get — to have their team back in the state tourney as seniors. They and their Roncalli teammates are competing in the State A in Rapid City this weekend.
King: “This is what we work for and why we work so hard. It is sweet to have made it again.”
Schwan: “It is a surreal experience. All the years I have been on varsity, I have gotten to go to the state tournament. These guys have been with me all the way. I remember being little kids playing in 3-on-3 tournaments with them. They are great guys and I’m glad I get to experience this with them during our senior year.”
Schlosser: “This team has great chemistry. And we have had success because we focus on playing great team defense, valuing the basketball when we have it and limiting our turnovers. I am going to miss all the fun we have on this team. We are a loose bunch. We don’t get tensed up as much before games or in tight situations during a game, and I think that helps us a lot too.”
Deutsch: “It means the world to me to be a senior and to get to go play with the guys on this team for three more games at the state tournament. Everyone plays so hard, and we pick each other up if one of us is down. Defense is the key to our team. You can’t lose if you don’t let the other team score. And Coach (Todd) Neuendorf is a great coach. He believes we need to play good basketball, but he also wants us to have fun doing it. Because of his attitude and being around all our coaches and the guys on this team, it has been a blast playing basketball for Roncalli.”
Neuendorf call his four senior “totally different kids” and great leaders. Here is his take on them:
King: “Dom is our post guy. He really came on after our loss to Dell Rapids and we have been really happy with how he has played. He is a big reason why we are here.”
Schwan: “Kory showed people what he is all about by playing on that broken ankle through the region championship game and through the state tournament last year. He is a first-team, all-conference player who leads by example.”
Schlosser: “Nolan was hurt most of the year, but when he has been healthy, he has provided us with valuable minutes. We are really happy to have him back for the state tournament.”
Deutsch: “All the things Kendal does for us doesn’t always show up in the box score, but he always guards the other team’s best player. He is a blue-collar type of player who does the hard work that every team needs doing.”
Sports editor John Papendick
The athletic history of Mobridge-Pollock is rich, and the boys’ basketball team is adding to it this weekend.
This year’s Tigers won 15 games in a row. That is the second-longest winning streak in program history.
In 1995-96, when the two communities were not yet one school district, Mobridge won 16 in a row. The leaders on that team were Todd Schlekeway and Jamie Dietterle, coached by Todd’s legendary father, Jim Schlekeway.
Both Schlekeway and Dietterle have continued their roles as leaders through politics. Dietterle is the Mobridge mayor, while Schlekeway last served in the 2012 South Dakota Legislature as a senator from Sioux Falls.
Sports editor John Papendick