One team, three states, the Tri-State Tigers
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Today brings the final weekend of September, and a start toward the home stretch for high school football teams in South Dakota. This evening in Rosholt, there’s a game going on that will draw interest in three states. South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Gary Ellenbolt has more.
The name of the co-op program between Rosholt, South Dakota, Fairmount, North Dakota, and Campbell-Tintah in Minnesota is pretty obvious. The Tri-State Tigers represent a large swath of the region where the three states come together. Tigers’ head coach Steven Schiltz, who teaches in the Rosholt district, says other programs started looking around when Hankinson, North Dakota, dissolved their co-op rather than move to the 11-man ranks.”
“Well, Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah didn’t have enough players for a team, and we were struggling down here, so some community members and some school board members and some personnel put their heads together and thought ‘you know, couldn’t we make something like this work—and here we are," said Schiltz. "It’s already 2015 and this is already our ninth year doing it.”
The Tigers have one win and two losses on the season—the Tigers defeated Dakota Hills in game one, then lost to Clark-Willow Lake and Deuel. Schiltz says the most serious issue with putting the schools together is figuring out logistics.
“We typically still practice up in Fairmount, just so kids can get home at a decent time—because it’s about 40 miles between Rosholt and Campbell, and Fairmount is right between the two," said Schiltz. So just for the sake of kids getting a good night’s rest, we still practice there.”
Schiltz says the team plays post-season games as a South Dakota school, and divides home games between Rosholt and Fairmount. Tonight, the Tigers are in Rosholt against a Waverly-South Shore team with just one loss on the year.