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Class A state boys basketball tournament finished this year after being cancelled last year

Published: Mar. 20, 2021 at 9:34 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Last year the COVID-19 Pandemic started right before the boy’s state basketball tournaments.

Due to safety concerns, the tournaments were canceled leaving many wondering if a season this year was even possible.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force when the season began, the worry of it being canceled again was on everyone’s mind.

“A year ago, when all this went down our junior class, who are seniors this year obviously we were fearful they might not get a senior season at all,” said Jay Drake, Head Coach for the Vermillion High School basketball team. “So, to be able to have a senior season and finish it, conclude it at a state tournament, happy for those guys.”

Due to safety precautions the tournament, this year was a little different than years past.

“Obviously a little different, there’s a gap between games and sessions you don’t have back-to-back,” said Drake.

It wasn’t just the coaches and students you were concerned after last year’s cancellation, but the parents as well.

“This year, with all this stuff going on, I think this is a great experience for them, cause that one year they lost out on, you know you got to feel bad for those seniors,” said Scott Mockler, a parent to one of the players.

For some schools even getting a chance to play in state, tournaments aren’t always a guarantee, so having a chance after this last year is all the sweeter.

“For our kids, Vermillion High School, we hadn’t been in a state tournament in 32 years, so just to get here, enjoy the experience, be around another 3 days as a team and they do a great job here and have done a nice job and have been a great host,” said Drake.

To the students winning or losing may be the most important thing on their mind, for those around them, it is knowing they are getting these high school experiences while they can.

Coaches and parents were glad to see the students experience the tournament this year and hope things are back to normal for next year’s tournament.

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