State Basketball Recap and Construction Update

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

The quiet of a week-long Spring Break was shattered this past Sunday as students and staff returned to campus ready to head into the 4th quarter. We held a prayer service to kick off the last quarter of the school year on Tuesday, asking for God’s guidance and direction and the support of the Holy Spirit as the academic year begins to wind down.

The students have been quite busy signing up for teeball, softball, cross country and a gymnastics camp being held in downtown Chamberlain. There is also some preparation underway to have student vs staff basketball games next week as 7th and 8th grade girls and boys prepare to take on St. Joseph’s staff members. These games are usually a lot of fun and some very creative scoring throughout the game keeps the games close to the very end.

As was mentioned last week, the Chamberlain Cubs qualified as the #2 seed for the State A Basketball tournament held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Things were looking good for the Cubs to perhaps make it to the championship game, but we ran into some trouble as the first game against Tri-Valley unfolded. The Cubs moved out to a nine point lead in the second quarter, but Tri-Valley suddenly caught fire and took the lead by one point. By halftime, the Cubs were able to claw back and regain the lead. The third quarter had the teams battling back and forth, but a 9-0 run and solid defense took the wind out of the Cubs’ sails as they found themselves unable to drive the lane or hit outside shots. Though the Cubs got within 3 points in the fourth, Tri-Valley held on to win 59-47.

The second game was against St. Thomas More of Rapid City, South Dakota, and the Cubs dug a deep hole for themselves early due to cold shooting and turnovers. St. Thomas was ‘hot’ from the three point range and scored 24 of their 51 points from behind the arc. The Cubs kept it close and tried to set up a final shot for their ‘3 point shooter’ to send the game into overtime, but it bounced off the rim instead of going in. Final score: St. Thomas More- 51, Chamberlain- 48.

The last game of the tournament was against Mt. Vernon/Plankinton (MVP), a team the Cubs had played and beat during the year. The Cubs got off to a hot start and ended the quarter with a 23-14 lead. MVP went on a 15-10 point run, helped in part by six Chamberlain turnovers, but the Cubs held on to a 33-29 lead at half. Though both teams had a sluggish third quarter, the Cubs were able to stretch the lead to 45-37. The last quarter was a bit bittersweet since seniors from both teams were getting ready to end their playing careers. The Cubs’ offense finally got moving as they scored 20 points, many coming from the free throw line. As each Cub senior came off the court, the coaches were there to give them a hug while the fans gave standing ovations to thank the players for a wonderful season.

The game ended with a Cubs victory, 65-52. The boys ended their season with a 20-5 record. Two of the players for the Cubs – Nate and TJ – are St. Joseph’s students and one – Brant – is the son of a St. Joseph’s teacher.

While all the action was taking place on the court, each team of cheerleaders were also vying for a prestigious award, the “Spirit of Six”. The “Spirit of Six” was created by the South Dakota Peace Officers’ Association to remember and honor six Rapid City Central High School cheerleaders who were killed in a small-plane crash as they returned to Rapid City from the 1968 Boys’ State A Basketball tournament in Sioux Falls.
Each year, the “Spirit of Six” award is given to the cheerleading team that best demonstrates crowd control, sportsmanship and enthusiasm during the State A Tournament.

This was the second year in a row that the Chamberlain Cheerleaders won this prestigious award! We are very proud of the effort our Lady Cubs put forth. Two cheerleaders and the mascot are St. Joseph’s students – Danielle, Hope and Listella, and two others – JJ and Hadley – are the daughters of St. Joseph’s staff.

Another piece of good news is the progress being made on our new Health and Family Services Center. Due to the milder winter we have had thus far, a lot of progress has been made.

The construction still appears to be on schedule for completion by the end of 2017.

It was recently announced that the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC), located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, has decided to make a very generous donation to the new Health and Family Services Center. The federally-recognized sovereign tribe has focused for many years on being a good neighbor, good steward of the Earth, good employer and has also made commitment to charitable donations. Out of a Dakota tradition to help others, the SMSC has donated nearly $300 million to organizations and causes since opening its Gamin Enterprise in the 1990s and has contributed millions more to regional governments and infrastructure- such as roads, water and sewer systems and emergency services. Their generous gift will help us provide each St. Joseph’s student with the opportunity to receive comprehensive health services. We are honored they have chosen to support our students!

Be assured of our continued prayers for you as we say a big pilamaya – thank you – for your generosity and support. May the Great Spirit continue to bring people into your life who will be supportive and encouraging.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

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