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A season cut short: LHS seniors look at positives during unusual circumstances

By Anne Homan

In December of 2019, four Lennox High School seniors—Madysen Vlastuin, Rianna Fillipi, Isabel Ihnen and Gracie Bowers—embarked on their final season of girls’ basketball at LHS. Each had high hopes of getting back to the State Tournament and with great determination and leadership, the Orioles went 19-1 in the regular season, with their only loss to Winner. Lennox went on to defeat Vermillion, 53-22 in the opening round of playoff action and then defeated Miller, 55-20 in the SoDak 16 match-up—reaching their goal of making it to the 2020 State A Tournament.

However, this year has been unlike any other and with the Nation dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, decisions had to be made whether or not the State Tournament could continue as planned. A week before the four seniors were scheduled to travel to Rapid City for the Tournament, the South Dakota High School Activities Association made the decision to suspend the State Tournaments for all Classes and on Monday, Apr. 6 it was decided State Tournaments would be canceled.

In a statement released by Dr. Dan Swartos, SDHSAA Executive Director, it stated that with the Governor’s announcement of in-person school closure for the remainder of the school year, all remaining SDHSAA events for 2019-20, to include all spring activities and all postponed winter events, are canceled.

Swartos went on to thank senior participants, “We thank you for everything you have done for your schools and communities and wish you the very best in your bright futures. This is difficult, but the lessons you’ve learned and friendships you’ve made through high school activities will last your lifetime.”

The cancellation will be formalized at the Apr. 21 regular meeting of the SDHSAA Board of Directors.

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