Local Sports 12-27-23

University of Washington Head Football Coach and Milbank native Kalen DeBoer has been selected as the South Dakota “Sports Celebrity” of the Year by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association.

DeBoer is in his second season at the helm for the Huskies, where he has led Washington to a 13-0 record, and a berth in the College Football Playoff. DeBoer has been named Pac-12 Coach of the Year in each of his two seasons in charge, and holds an overall record of 24-2 as Huskies Head Coach.

DeBoer has been a head coach 9 seasons in total, starting at the University of Sioux Falls, and has compiled an overall record of 103-11. DeBoer has also claimed three NAIA National Championships during his time at USF.

The South Dakota State Football Program were honored by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association yesterday, as the program as a whole was selected as College Men’s Team of the Year, while former coach John Stiegelmeier and current coach Jimmy Rogers were chosen as College Men’s Coaches of the Year.

The Jackrabbits never lost a game in the year of 2023, starting with their FCS National Championship victory over North Dakota State in January. That title win would be the last game for SDSU under head coach John Stiegelmeier, as Jimmy Rogers would take the reins ahead of the 2023 season. Since taking over, Rogers has led the Jacks to a perfect 14 and 0 record, and a spot in the FCS National Championship game against Montana on January 7th.

Former South Dakota State Women’s Basketball standout Myah Selland was selected as the College Female Athlete of the Year by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association.

Selland led the Jacks to a 29-6 record in her final season, which concluded with an NCAA tournament berth. Following the conclusion of her career, Selland became the only player in SDSU history to rank in the top-five in career scoring (2,167), rebounds (887) and assists (452). 

Carson Noecker from Hartington and Ashlyn Koupal from Wagner were honored earlier this week by the Yankton Press and Dakotan as the male and female prep athletes of the year,

Noecker was chosen by the P&D for the second straight year, off the back of a 2023 track campaign that saw him set state records in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs, en route to state titles in both events. Noecker was also part of the Cedar Catholic 3,200 meter relay team that took the top spot in the Class C State Meet. Noecker has continued his running career at South Dakota State University, where he has already been recognized as a NCAA Midwest All-Region cross country runner following his freshman campaign.

Koupal, a multi-sport sophomore athlete from Wagner, shined in Basketball, Track, and Volleyball throughout the year. Koupal led Wagner basketball in scoring with 21 points per game during her freshman campaign last season, and won the high jump at the Class A State Meet in the spring.