New, familiar faces found at Coyote game

New, familiar faces found at Coyote game By Joe â�?�?MOJOâ�? Reiser The University of South Dakota woman's basketball season kicked off on Saturday in an unusual way. Everyone knows there are many new faces as well as some vary familiar faces in some unusual places. The game was slated to tip at 1 p.m. at the Vermillion High School Gym. That was different. I am used to seeing the highly polished "show" of the DakotaDome and its staff. Now, this was still a great production, but it was at the high school gym, and let's just say the house was a little more intimate. There was a whole set of new coaches. I have met Ryun Williams, the new woman's head coach, and he is one of the most personable people in our village. He has a staff of three assistants. I did recognize Mandy Koupal, didn't she win some awards a few years back? So, I looked up in the broadcast booth and there was Chad Lavin. Lavin was doing the color commentary and another familiar face … Steve Mayer was doing the broadcast for the radio. (Just as a side note … doing a game on the radio is probably one of the hardest jobs around … maybe not for the people that do it all the time … but for these guys it must have been a real challenge). Based on all the reports I heard, their reporting was very good. Kudos to Mays and Lav. I looked at the scorers table and there was another familiar face. Don Ticknor was keeping time. I don't think everything is in the same place at the VHS Gym because there were a few glitches with the 30 second clock, but everything worked out fine. The ref was getting ready for the tip off and I asked if there was anything different about doing a game in a high school gym. He said yes, that he worried about the width of the floor and that would get things a little clogged up. Well, I think in retrospect that he must have been chuckling under his breath as this little comment got me to place my big foot in my big mouth. I passed along the comment to my friend Mel and he politely doubted if there was any difference. I pursued my line of thinking and he stayed firm to his beliefs. (I checked some on line references and am pretty sure I was wrong … yet again) … I glanced down to half court and saw P.J. Maloney in a familiar spot. P.J. has had some surgery and it's really great to see him back and cheering for the Coyotes. P.J. is a real fan of the Coyotes. At half time I asked him how he was getting along; he said it hurts to sit on the bleachers. I wondered at that point if that's why he was giving the refs the business. And as the rest of the story goes, there were no Hoffman twins, Amber Hegge is red shirting, Ashley Bjorkman has gotten married and is now Ashley Wiemann and there are two Youngberg women on the bench. That's a lot of change. Now be advised that Bridget Yoerger is still a dominant force in the paint, and Jasmine Mosley is stronger than ever. Kelli Fargen and Vermillion local women Ashley Wiemann and Annie Roche are on the court to give every bit of effort their hearts can muster. So this season will be a one of transition. New coaches and new players will find their way together and the fans will show up and P.J. Maloney will give the refs the business. I wish everyone a great season. And I would like to pass along a comment that I chuckled at … Lavin and Mayer reminded me of the old cronies that sat in the balcony on The Muppet Show. I sure hope most of you get that reference because it makes me look and sound verrrrryyyyyy old. Best Wishes to the Coyotes … MOJO.

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