Author Archives: John Thayer

About John Thayer

Son. Brother. Uncle. Friend. Baseball umpire. Broadcaster.

USD and SDSU add rivalry game, unofficially

USD-SDSU managers

USD and SDSU manages pose for a picture following the first game played between the two squads. SDSU won the first game in Vermillion. A rematch is set for Feb. 12 in Brookings.

There isn’t much better than a rivalry game.

There are storied rivalries between teams, players, coaches, etc. Some have developed over time. Some have been more forced. And some have been renewed.

South Dakota and South Dakota State is a storied rivalry that has been renewed in recent years. And one more event has been added to the list.

A managers game. Continue reading

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Holly Johnson career at NDSU is over

Someone is going to pick up a talented player.

According to Jeff Kolpack of the Fargo Forum, Holly Johnson has played her last game for the Bison due to an injury. A foot injury has kept Johnson out of the lineup this season and apparently the injury has not healed enough for her to play this season. NDSU head coach Maren Walseth decided not to redshirt Johnson and move the program in a different direction.

Johnson has played every season for the Bison, including as a true freshman. Over the last two years she has averaged over 13 points and 6 rebounds per game. Johnson played in 87 games for the Bison and started all 59 over the last two years.

Johnson will be able to use the graduate transfer rule, since she will graduate from NDSU, and be immediately eligible next season.

In her career against South Dakota, Johnson has averaged 12 points and six rebounds in 27.5 minutes per game. Johnson’s best game against the Coyotes was in 2014 when she scored 31 points and grabbed eight rebounds. In that game USD rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Bison in overtime, 95-87. Oddly enough, in the only win for the Bison over USD in her career Johnson was held scoreless in a 2013 game.

With the ability to play right away Johnson can be a big addition to a team that needs immediate help on the inside.

Holly Johnson career against USD (regular season)

DATE               RESULT         PTS        REB          MIN
2/8/2015        L 83-79             8             6               33
1/15/2015       L 84-69           14            10             33
2/27/2014     L 95-87 OT       31            8               37
1/30/2014      L 83-70            13             5               24
2/2/2013        W 57-50            0             3               16
1/3/2013         L  73-52            6              6               22

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Congrats to a friend for a deserved award

Jeremy and John 2

I was sitting in the KCSR studio at Chadrad Communications in Chadron, Neb. when I received a phone call from a reporter of a newspaper in Yankton, SD. He introduced himself as Jeremy Hoeck of the Yankton Press & Dakotan and he wanted to interview me for a story about me taking a job with 5 Star Communications in Yankton.

That happened to be the first of many conversations I would have with that guy. Over the last 3+ years we have covered many of the same sporting events – in South Dakota and Nebraska, discovered our love for dilly bars, tried changing a flat tire, had conversation over brewskies, talked about random stuff on the radio and so much more.  Continue reading

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Officials can decide a game

Sports Equipment

For the longest time I have kept the position that officials do not decide games. Sometimes they make calls that certainly have an impact and when those calls happen late in a contest we, as fans, blame the officials for our team losing. In many of those instances you can argue that turnovers earlier in the game or poor shooting or whatever could have changed the outcome of the game. My argument has always been a game that has 40 or 60 minutes of game play does not get decided by a call that takes a couple of seconds. I realize some will not agree with that. Continue reading

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Beranek passes, leaves legacy

paul beranek

Paul Beranek earlier this month at a basketball game. Photo credit: The Independent and Doug Koster.

Paul Beranek lost his battle with cancer this morning.

Perhaps you know him, maybe you have heard of him or you might not have any clue who Paul Beranek is.

#Bstrong….that’s who he is.

#BStrong made a push on Twitter late last night and some people, out of curiosity, probably learned a little about Beranek.

To get a better understanding of what Paul Beranek stood for and who he is read the article written by Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha World Herald. It will help you learn about a man that you may never get to meet.  Continue reading

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USD hires Bob Nielson

SD PawPrint_2C_whiteToday the University of South Dakota announced Bob Nielson would be its next head football coach. And, it appears, the Coyotes have hit a home run.

When former head coach Joe Glenn announced his retirement USD Athletics Director David Herbster made one thing clear – he wanted a coach who is a proven winner and has experience as an FCS Coach or higher.  Continue reading

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Joe Glenn press conference

Today the University of South Dakota held a press conference to announce the retirement of Joe Glenn as the head football coach. As Glenn entered a quiet, somber ballroom at the Muenster University Center he shouted “This isn’t a funeral”, which followed with laughter from those in attendance.

USD Sports Information Director Bryan Boettcher welcomed those in attendance before turning it over to Athletic Director David Herbster who thanked Coach Glenn for his time and effort as the head coach of the football program before giving the floor to Glenn.

Joe Glenn delivered the following statement:

After the statement Coach Glenn took questions from the media in attendance:

Per USD Athletic Director David Herbster the search for a new football coach begins immediately.

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South Dakota OL Sam McLeran discusses recovery

sam mcleranThe worst sight on a football field is when a player falls to the ground and doesn’t get up. It’s sickening when they aren’t moving. As a fan, player, coach, etc you hope for even the slightest movement. Something to make you feel as if the player is going to be OK.

Earlier  this season South Dakota traveled to Macomb, Ill. for a conference game against Western Illinois. In the first half right guard Sam McLeran pulled around the left side and double-teamed a linebacker as he’s done many times before. Sam fell to the ground and didn’t get up. The training staff for South Dakota rushed onto the field, joined by staffers from Western Illinois. After an on-field evaluation the ambulance was called onto the field. Sam’s dad and brother walked onto the field to be with Sam as he was strapped onto a backboard and loaded into an ambulance. Players and coaches from both teams sat on a knee, concerned for Sam’s health. Fans prayed. There was encouraging applause as Sam was lifted into the ambulance and again as the ambulance drove off the field. Continue reading

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A look back at USD’s upset of No. 2 NDSU

Fargodome 3 hours before kickoff

Fargodome 3 hours before kickoff

Stunned.

It’s the only way to describe the feeling in Fargo on Saturday. I have had the opportunity to be around the South Dakota football team for three seasons. I was on the sidelines through many losses, there for the upset of then-No.5 Northern Iowa in 2013, I’ve seen them win non-conference games at home and a fun victory on Dakota Days a couple years ago.

This was different. Continue reading

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The Bat Flip: Jose Bautista

TOM SZCZERBOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES

TOM SZCZERBOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES

Normally, I would tell you I hate the bat flip. It’s arrogant and disrespectful. It shows up the pitcher. It makes you look like an idiot. But, yesterday….yesterday I absolutely loved it.

If the Blue Jays and Rangers were simply playing in a regular season game I would have been disgusted with the way Jose Bautista carried himself. But it wasn’t just a regular game. It was a playoff series-clinching win for the Blue Jays with so much more involved in the game. And the moment of that home run is something we just don’t get every day Continue reading

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MLB Postseason Predictions

mlb postseasonI wasn’t very good predicting who would be in the postseason. Of the 10 teams who will play in the playoffs, I had four of them. That’s not very good. In fact, it’s awful. But, hey, it’s better than not getting any correct. Here’s a look back at the April predictions.

So now we turn the page. The MLB Postseason gets underway tonight with the Yankees hosting Houston in the AL wild-card game. Since I am so awesome at predictions I will offer these. Continue reading

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SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier talks about win over Southern Utah, bye week

South Dakota State defeated Southern Utah on Saturday, 55-10, to improve to 2-0 on the season. The Jacks are off this week before they welcome Robert Morris (Pa.) into Coughlin Alumni Stadium on September 26. John Stiegelmeier joined John Thayer Wednesday morning on “On the John” to talk about the 2-0 start to the season and the upcoming bye week.

Coach Stiegelmeier is on “On the John” each Wednesday throughout the season at 9:30am. You can listen locally on 1570AM or around the world on kvtk.com.

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Joe Glenn looks back at win over UC Davis

The University of South Dakota football team defeated UC Davis on Saturday, 27-17. With the win the Coyotes improved to 1-1 on the season. The Coyotes used a healthy rushing attack from Trevor Bouma – 18 car. 186 yds, 2 TDs – in the win. The performance, which also included a team high 48 yards receiving, earned Bouma Missouri Valley Football Conference offensive player of the week. Kicker Miles Bergner was named special teams player of the week.

On Monday South Dakota head football coach Joe Glenn joined me to talk about the win.

The Coyotes host Drake Saturday at 2:00pm in the DakotaDome.

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South Dakota State B Amateur Bracket Challenge

The South Dakota State B Amateur baseball tournament begins tonight in Mitchell and runs through August 16. What began as an office pool has sprung questions about entering a bracket challenge.

You can now enter the bracket challenge free of charge by going here:
State B Amateur Baseball Tournament

All you have to do is register yourself and you can predict the tournament field. It’s free and there is no prize…..except pride….

When you click on the link above it will take you to a page where you select “State B Amateur Tournament”. Right above the tournament name click “Predict It” and you will be asked to register. Select your winners of the first round and click “Enter” at the bottom. It will then give you second round matchups and you can select those winners. Proceed until the bracket is complete.

Good Luck and thanks for entering!

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NWU departs GPAC, commissioner reaction

Last week rumors began that Nebraska Wesleyan was working on its exit from the Great Plains Athletic Conference. On Monday, the school and conference made it official. Conference commissioner Corey Westra released a statement Monday afternoon after the school notified him of their decision.

The move means NWU will enter NCAA DIII as a full affiliate and will be the 9th member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It also means travel for sporting events will increase significantly. Continue reading

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REPORT: Ashley Luke leaving Western Illinois

Western Illinois star forward Ashley Luke is reportedly leaving the women’s basketball program for personal reasons.

WGEM Sports Director Ben Marth tweeted late Tuesday night about the departure..

ben marth 1Why would she leave? According to Marth she is getting married, though he suggests the decision is not final.  Continue reading

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South Dakota Amateur Baseball needs a change in a big way

It starts at the top.

Culture starts at the top. Leadership starts at the top. Attitude starts at the top.

Amateur baseball in South Dakota has long been a tradition. For over 80 years South Dakota has had a State Amateur Tournament. And the tournament is an event. It’s been a good run. With teams folding and others struggling to find players some wonder if this storied tradition is slowly dying. With 54 teams across the state in Class B it’s not on life support, however, a change is necessary to re-energize and perhaps save this tradition for the long-term.    Continue reading

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NSSA Awards Weekend and STAA Seminar

2015 NSSA Awards Banquet at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC.

2015 NSSA Awards Banquet at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC.

This weekend I had the chance to go to Salisbury, North Carolina for the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Awards weekend. My main reason for going on the trip was to attend the One Day Ticket to Sportscasting Success seminar put on by Jon Chelesnik of Sportscaster Talent Agency of America (STAA). I was encouraged by a few people if I am going to make the trip then to make a weekend out of it and take in the NSSA Awards weekend events. I was hesitant at first and mostly because of financial reasons. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pay for everything. Eventually I talked myself into it and now, a day after it all ended, I know that it was money well spent. I felt like the last few days were an investment in my career and if I had to do it over again, knowing what I know now, it would have been an easy decision. Continue reading

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2015 MLB Predictions

MLB_OpeningDay_TileI am one of the worst when it comes to predictions so don’t put any stock in what you read below, but it’s tradition to make predictions on Opening Day.

The Padres have made a ton of moves and you have to wonder if the moves will lead them to the playoffs or if it will be a total bust. It’s hard to believe they miss the playoffs with the roster they have put together, but it’s a long season and a lot of things have to go their way.

Last year the Royals made a run that many didn’t think was possible and they lost the World Series to the Giants. Can either team get back into the playoffs? It’s going to be tough.  Continue reading

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When coaches teach players to disrespect the game…..we all lose

sportsmanshipSometimes I think I should blog more. Perhaps no one will read it, but a blog is a good place to vent. And, when stories pop up that makes me cringe I pop over to the blog and share my thoughts. Maybe someday I will be better at doing this thing more regularly.

I saw a story today that really bothered me. It’s a story of not one, but two, yes TWO, basketball teams trying to lose a game. When the hell did we start trying to lose? The problem is trying to find an easier road. If you lose a certain game you can get a better postseason bracket than if you win it. One that you feel is “easier”. While I don’t think I have seen the effort to try to lose in person I have seen the effort to make the road easier to get to a state tournament.  Continue reading

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