De Smet welcomes boys home after tournament

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

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A large crowd of Bulldog fans gathered in the De Smet High School gym Sunday to welcome home the De Smet Bulldogs from the state Class B boys basketball tournament in Aberdeen.


The Bulldogs brought home seventh place in the tournament.  They lost March 17 to eventual tournament winners the undefeated Warner Monarchs,  And March 18, they lost to the White River Tigers. But on March 19, De Smet beat the second-ranked Harding County Ranchers.


Jim Pommer, president of the De Smet High School Athletic Booster Club, told the team that they essentially beat 80 other teams to get to the state tournament in the first place.


“The way you have handled yourselves and represented your school, I am very proud of you,” he said.


 Head coach Tom Hoek became emotional at times as he thanked fans, parents, assistant coaches Mike Warne and Jim Altenburg the cheerleaders and his family for their support.


“It has been a privilege to watch you grow and an honor to be your coach,” he told the team.


Seniors Adam Aughenbaugh, Matt Larson, Tate Munger. Broderick Poppinga, Jayden Janssen and Daniel Foley each stepped up to the podium to say a few words.


Aughenbaugh said most of the team has been playing together since the third grade. Poppinga wished the best of luck to the younger team members. Foley thanked the community and commented that wherever they went, De Smet seemed to always have the biggest crowd of supporters.


Cheer coach Bobbi Larsen said she is proud of the three cheerleaders on the squad.


“There is nothing better than getting the opportunity to cheer at a state tournament,” she said.


A slide show of photos DHS art teacher and yearbook advisor April Rusche took during the tournament was shown at the conclusion of the program.


Donna Palmlund

Staff Writer

The De Smet News

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