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2021 Top-10 SD High School Sports Moments

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2021 Top 10 high school sports moments
Craig Wollman | South Dakota Public Broadcasting

2021 had plenty of big time moments when it came to high school sports in South Dakota. Here are our top-10 moments from the calendar year. What are some of your favorite moments?

No. 10 - Kyan Overbo’s State Tournament Hole-In-One

Many golfers will go years or a lifetime without getting a hole in one, but for Sioux Valley junior Kyan Overbo, he hit an ace on day two of the 2021 ‘A’ boys state golf tournament. 

No. 9 - Jenna VanHolland’s Game Winning Kick

In her first career game as the kicker for the Garretson high school football team, Blue Dragons junior Jenna VanHolland, who also plays girls soccer, was called upon in overtime for the first game of the season. With the score tied at 42-42, she lined up, and drilled it through the uprights.

Jenna was named to the 2021 9A all-state football team this season as well. She’s the first female in South Dakota high school history to receive all-state honors in the sport of football.

No. 8 - Angel Johnson Breaks 100m Dash Record …. TWICE

At the 2021 state track and field championships in Rapid City, Viborg-Hurley multi-sport athlete Angel Johnson broke the ‘B boys' state track meet 100m dash record twice - first in prelims and then again in the finals.

No. 7 - A Trio of 2,000 Point Careers

The high school boys basketball season concluded with three players finishing their careers as members of the 2,000 point club. Connor Libis of Dell Rapids St. Mary had a final point total of 2,731, 3rd all-time, Matthew Mors of Yankton finished with 2,707, fourth all-time, and Paul Bruns recorded 2,204 points, 18th all-time, throughout his time with Dakota Valley. It’s a big deal to have a player join the 2,000 point club for high school basketball in South Dakota, but to have three from the same graduating class is almost unheard of.

Paul Bruns - Dakota Valley

No. 6 - Pierre’s Dramatic Team Duals State Championship

Rapid City Stevens held a late three-point lead over Pierre in the final match of the state team duals championship at the 2021 state wrestling championships. The only way the Governors could win would be if they scored a pin. Late in the final match, Pierre’s Hayden Shaffer did just that, and the Governors walked off as team dual champs in dramatic fashion.

No. 5 - Lakota Tech Cheer and Dance Makes History

Lakota Tech became the first all-native high school cheer or dance team to compete at the state cheer and dance competition in South Dakota. They performed in both the Jazz and Hip Hop categories.

No. 4 - Halle Miller’s Heroic Kick

In the ‘AA’ state championship soccer match in 2021, Roosevelt and Rapid City Stevens came down to sudden death penalty kicks. Rough Riders senior Halle Miller, who recently broke her collarbone and wasn’t cleared for anything other than a penalty kick situation, was called upon to win the state championship.

No. 3 - Cole Peterson’s Championship Winning Field Goal

Tea Area led Pierre 27-7 midway through the third quarter of the 2021 11AA state championship game. The Governors would then score 23 unanswered points to win their fifth straight state title. Pierre kicker Cole Peterson was the hero as he kicked a 40-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to give the Governors a 30-27 win. Let’s be honest, this kick could have been good from 50+ yards.

No. 2 - Gaven Weir Dominates At Little League World Series

This one isn’t exactly, high school, but it’s close enough. Gavin Weir of the Sioux Falls Little League team had one of the most dominating pitching performances in Little League World Series history. In his eight starts from districts, state, regionals, and the Little League World Series, Weir allowed just one hit, no runs, and recorded an insane total of 114 strikeouts. South Dakota finished fourth at the Little League World Series, their best finish in history.

No. 1 - White River Wins First Girls Hoops Title

White River’s girls basketball program won their first state championship in history during the 2021 ‘B’ tournament in Huron. The Tigers were led by Caelyn Valandra-Prue, who despite being a college recruit for track, had one of the most impressive girls basketball careers in South Dakota history. She finished her career with 2,536 points, which is 8th all-time.

The Tigers knocked off Corsica-Stickney in the semifinal round on a last second shot by Maleighya Estes.

White River then dominated Castlewood 57-37 in the championship to win their first state title in convincing fashion.