Eye on southwest ND sports

In my column from last week there was a printing mistake that affected the suggestion I had if NDHSAA had went with eight regions in 9-man football.

Sheldon COLUMN BOXIn my column from last week there was a printing mistake that affected the suggestion I had if NDHSAA had went with eight regions in 9-man football.  For the playoffs I suggested the top TWO teams in each region qualify for the playoffs, but it came out in the paper “the top teams”.

The State Cross Country Tournament was conducted on Oct. 22 at Jamestown.  In the girls division Hettinger-Scranton finished 39th out of 47 teams.  There were 223 runners in the girls division.  In the boys division Hettinger-Scranton finished 44th out of 49 teams.  There were 265 runners in the boys division.

Hillsboro/Central Valley won the girls division and Bowman County finished second.  First place individual winner for the girls was Reagan Baesler, Hillsboro/Central Valley, with a time of 18:12.  New Town won the boys division with Rugby second and Bowman County third.  First place individual winner for the boys was Jalen Chase, New Town, with a time of 15:50.  Finishers for Hettinger-Scranton and Bowman girls and boys respectfully:


45th Sidra Sadowsky             21:21.30

Bowman County:

17  Lacey Feast                       20:02.84

25  Natalie Kempenich         20:45.16

26  Alexius Miller                   20:45.68

41  Abigail Bartholomay       21:16.96

42  Mikayla Bartholomay     21:17.73

56  Brooke Peterson              21:52.58

90  Jocelyn Kulseth                22:51.70

96  Vanessa Fischer               23:01.18

145 Brenna Wokal                 24:56.68

169 Becki Fuchs                     25:57.13


138  Cale Schalesky                  20:14.64

Bowman County:

13  Alex Madrigal                   17:11.59

20  Brian Miller                       17:26.15

23  Kamrin Madrigal              17:29.44

24  Andrew Miller                  17:35.03

31  Mason Moran                   17:59.70

111 Ethan Fischer                   19:37.71

122 Camden Wokal                19:46.70

195 Austin Richard                  21:36.80

232 Benjamin Knopp               22:36.78

235 Noah Wokal                      22:48.46

Some interesting results from the 9-man playoff tournament.  Undefeated Shiloh barely got by Wyndmere-Lidgerwood (WL) 46-41.  The Night Hawks defeated WL in the opening game of the regular season for both teams.  Divide Co., who knocked the Night Hawks out of this year’s playoffs, was easily eliminated by North Prairie, 62-6.  Richardton-Taylor was ousted by Kenmare-Bowbells, 38-8.  That leaves New Salem-Ullin as the lone Region 5 team in the playoffs as they downed TGU 40-12.  They will now host St. John on Oct. 29 in the quarterfinals.

The North Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors met on Oct. 19 and approved their final NDHSAA Football Plan for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Division AAA consists of 14 teams with two regions. The top four teams from each region (8 total teams) will qualify for the AAA state playoffs.

Division AA consists of 10 teams and will feature a statewide schedule. The top six teams in the statewide standings will qualify for the AA state playoffs.  Statewide: Jamestown, Devils Lake, Bismarck St. Mary’s, Fargo Shanley, Watford City, Turtle Mountain, Wahpeton, Grafton, Valley City, Central Cass.

Division A consists of 32 teams with four regions. The top four teams in each region (16 total teams) will qualify for the A state playoffs.

The 9-man division consists of 43 teams with six regions. The top four teams in each region (24 total teams) will qualify for the 9-man state playoffs.  Region 5 will be comprised of Bismarck Shiloh Christian, Mott-Regent/New England, Underwood/Turtle Lake-Mercer/McClusky, New Salem/Glen Ullin, Richardton-Taylor/Hebron, Beach, Grant County/Carson/Flasher, and Hettinger/Scranton.

I know it is tough to come up with a plan that meets everyone’s approval, but in my opinion this plan could have been better.  Only ten teams in Division AA with six making the playoffs, talk about increased travel expenses.  I read where Watford City’s average distance from their opponents is 303 miles.  And with ten teams no one can have a non-region game with a nine game schedule.  I think they easily could have brought up six teams from the 9-man ranks to make it 16 teams with two divisions.

I also feel there are too many teams qualifying for the playoffs in each division.  Each division qualifies 50 percent or better of their teams making the playoffs.  Again, creating more travel expense, time away from school and chances of more injuries.

Sports schedule for the coming week is as follows:

–  Oct. 27, Varsity Volleyball vs Faith at Hettinger

–  Oct. 28, Boys Elementary Basketball vs Mott-Regent at Hettinger

–  Oct. 29, Boys sixth Grade Basketball Tourney at South Heart

–  Nov. 1, Varsity Volleyball at Bowman

Sheldon Christenson is a Hettinger resident and covers Night Hawks sports for the Adams County Record.