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Yankton: An Athletic Village
Jun 12, 2013
The Cincinnati Reds gained a lot of fans in Brookings and Yankton last week when they smartly drafted Yankton's hometown hero and SDSU star Layne Somsen in the Major League baseball draft. We might still watch a Twins game or two, but surely Joe Mauer will understand that many of us had hot dogs and popcorn while we watched young Layne strike out batters at Riverside Ball Park."
And now we're watching the NBA draft, set for next week, to see what sort of cap we'll be wearing in the winter because we're rooting for another local kid — 7-footer Colton Iverson.
One can only imagine the amount of work put forth by Layne and Colton as they reached this stage in their respective athletic careers. And most of the credit goes to them as individuals. But it takes a village to raise an athlete. Their parents and grandparents and siblings, their coaches from T-ball to Division One, teachers and neighbors and anyone else who gave them a cheer or threw them a ball can share in these summer triumphs.
The accomplishments for Layne and Colton are especially sweet because both suffered adversity along the path. Layne had a near-career-ending arm injury, but recovered from Tommy John surgery to lead the South Dakota State Jackrabbits to the NCAA tournament.
Colton started his college career at the University of Minnesota, but it was a frustrating few years with the Gophers. He bravely packed his bags and re-located at Colorado State University, only to become First Team All Conference.
There are no guarantees in life and even fewer in professional sports. Nobody knows what will happen next for these two fine young men. But they are already winners, and all of Yankton can be proud of how they've represented Yankton, the little village by the river.
So back to the Reds. Where is Cincinnati? Isn't that where Johnny Bench played? What is a Red?