This is the year of the Jackrabbits


Actions at the Summit League Basketball Tournament semifinal game against USD March 6. The Jacks won 74-71.

By CHANDLER HOLLAND Sports Columnist

f you are a Jackrabbit fan, this is the year to cheer for the blue and yellow. Optimism should be limitless for the South Dakota State Athletic Department this year. So, let’s dive into why this will be the year of the Jackrabbits. 


Starting with the team that has the highest expectations this school year, the football team is coming off their first season playing in the new Dana J. Dykhouse stadium, which hosted your Missouri Valley Football Champions.

We know about the returning stars in junior quarterback Taryn Christion, senior wide receiver Jake Wieneke, and senior tight end Dallas Goedert, who all may have a chance of playing Sundays.

SDSU has a favorable schedule because they play NDSU at home and do not play an FBS school this season. This team has national championship aspirations. 

Women’s basketball 

The women’s basketball team had their winds stall out from their sail last season after Macy Miller suffered a season-ending knee injury last season. The women return plenty of firepower and gain some transfers who were forced to sit out due to NCAA rules.

Redshirt senior Chynna Stevens, redshirt sophomore Tagyn Larson, transfer Rylie Cascio-Jensen and three freshmen will look to have an instant impact in their first seasons at SDSU alongside the veterans.

The Jacks not only have one of the most talented rosters in the Summit League, but the nation. Look for them to win the Summit League Tournament again and possibly move on to the Sweet-16 — or further.  

Men’s basketball 

Last year may have come as a surprise to many as the men’s basketball team completed an improbable season and won the Summit League Tournament for the second consecutive season. Then, they fell to Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Jacks return redshirt junior Mike Daum, who is one of the nation’s leading scorers. The team has veteran leadership in seniors Reed Tellinghuisen and Ian Theisen while sprinkling in some added pieces that seem to better fit the playing style for T.J. Otzelberger’s system.

I see no reason why there shouldn’t be a Summit League Tournament three-peat at the end of the season. 


There are high expectations once again for Head Coach Chris Bono and his wrestlers.

Last season, the Jacks saw stiff competition with more duals against prominent wrestling schools. This season, they return key wrestlers who saw time on the national stage.

Junior Seth Gross finished second at nationals last season and will look to help his team climb the rankings throughout the season, hoping for another top 25 finish and possibly a Big 12 Championship. Senior Nate Rotert had a close encounter this summer after he sustained head, face and hand injuries in a moped accident. He is expected to make a full recovery and compete for the Jacks this upcoming season.

Cross Country/Volleyball/Soccer/Golf

Both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams are looking to repeat as Summit League champions.

The Volleyball team will come into the 2017 season with a younger team but the program is six wins from a program 900 wins.

New head coach for the women’s soccer team, Brock Thompson, hopes to continue the path of success as the team tries to reach its fourth straight NCAA Tournament.

The women’s golf team will try to repeat as Summit League champions after winning the first title in program history last year. 

Football and basketball get all the attention here at SDSU, but if you look at the rest of the sports, there is success from top to bottom and it should be no different during the 2017-18 school year.