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Youth organizations cooperate to form new soccer league.

It looks like the frustration of finding enough competition during youth soccer seasons is about to end for some South Dakota organizations. Tempo SC, Watertown Youth Soccer and Mitchell Soccer

Darien Poelstra announces college commitment

Our Soccer605 series on College Commitments continues with South Dakota high school soccer midfielder Darien Poelstra Harrisburg rising junior Darien Poelstra has publicly announced her verbal commitment to South Dakota

Julie Teslow follows in family footsteps, creates her own path

Continuing our series on early college commitments with South Dakota high school soccer midfielder Julie Teslow. Since she was younger, Julie Teslow, a rising junior at Sioux Falls Lincoln, dreamed of

#TBT with Soccer605′s First Interview

Story by Carol McKee Our very first interview at Soccer605 was with Bob Lowery of the South Dakota High School Activities Association in September 2011. With all but three high school

Early Commitments – SF Roosevelt’s Kelsi Wipf

Part 3 in a series on college commitments Story courtesy of Barbara Smither Sioux Falls Roosevelt rising senior Kelsi Wipf has verbally committed to NDSU Since she was 5 years old, Kelsi

Youth organizations cooperate to form new soccer league.

Prairie SL Header 650

It looks like the frustration of finding enough competition during youth soccer seasons is about to end for some South Dakota organizations.

Tempo SC, Watertown Youth Soccer and Mitchell Soccer have joined forces to create the Prairie Soccer Leage, which promises to deliver opportunities for their teams to find some diverse competition opportunities.

Building on the success of the Spring Dakota Challenge, the organizations are hosting the format and looking for some of the organizations that benefitted from the spring soccers to join them in the Prairie Soccer League. The Dakota Challenge was organized largely by Robert Hoffman and organizations from Tempo SC, Yankton, Huron, Watertown, Mitchell, Vermillion, Groton and Pierre participated.

While the Prairie Soccer League is a US Club Soccer – based league, the Watertown and Mitchell associations still plan on registering players with USYSA (South Dakota State Soccer Association) and also with US Club Soccer. Players are allowed to register in both organizations and many clubs and youth organizations across the US are registered with both organizations.

The organizers point out that they are not starting a new state association – that their only goal is to create more soccer for the players in their communities and to have an organized platform. Soccer605 visited with Robert Hoffman (Tempo SC), Mike Greco (Technical Director WYSA) and Jodie Lambert (Mitchell Soccer President) to get the story directly from them. Here is that round-table discussion.

Darien Poelstra announces college commitment

South Dakota High School soccer midfielder Darien Poelstra of Harrisburg High School verbally committed to SDSU in January of her sophomore year.

Harrisburg midfielder Darien Poelstra verbally committed to SDSU in January of her sophomore year.

Our Soccer605 series on College Commitments continues with South Dakota high school soccer midfielder Darien Poelstra

Harrisburg rising junior Darien Poelstra has publicly announced her verbal commitment to South Dakota State University for the 2016 college season.  Putting on a Jacks shirt has been something Darien has wanted to do since she was a little kid.  

We have had the pleasure of interviewing Poelstra a couple of times in the last year, both during the high school season and during the South Dakota State Cup of SoccerFest, where she helped lead the DASC U16 girls to their fourth straight State Title. 

Last fall when Poelstra was selected as a midfielder to the 2013 Soccer605 Elite Eleven, we affectionately referred to her as the “Swiss army knife” of soccer because she has so many tools that she can cover about any job on the field. Statewide, there has been a larger move to keep more South Dakota high school soccer talent playing at South Dakota universities. We look forward to seeing Darien on the SDSU pitch in a few years.  For now, we will continue to enjoy her wreaking havoc in the midfield at Harrisburg this fall – and next!

Soccer605 was In The Bleachers with Darien and here is her interview.

Julie Teslow follows in family footsteps, creates her own path

South Dakota high school soccer player Julie Teslow, trapping the ball with her chest in a high school match for Sioux Falls Lincoln.

Julie Teslow trapping the ball with her chest during a high school match.

Continuing our series on early college commitments with South Dakota high school soccer midfielder Julie Teslow.

Since she was younger, Julie Teslow, a rising junior at Sioux Falls Lincoln, dreamed of playing soccer at the Division I level. Now, her dream has finally come true. Teslow is extremely proud to announce that she has made a verbal commitment to play soccer at the University of South Dakota – and she is excited to become a Coyote. “Picking a college is no easy task,” said Teslow. “It is a huge decision and I knew I had to choose a college that fit me just right. USD is definitely that college.”

Julie made her decision to verbally commit in the spring of her sophomore year. “I just felt so comfortable there and could see myself playing there and attending school. I love the coaches and the whole team’s atmosphere, and I love the fact that I’m just a 45-minute drive from home. Family means a lot to me and staying close them is very important.”

USD also means a lot to the Teslow Family. Julie is following her father’s and sister’s footsteps, as they both attended USD and participated in USD athletics. Her father, Mike, played football and wrestled at USD Her sister Jenny played soccer. “I am very excited to follow my family’s footsteps at USD – and I’m hoping to create my own legacy there. I’m so happy I found the perfect fit at USD and I can’t wait to start playing there.”

South Dakota high school soccer player Julie Teslow of Sioux Falls Lincoln defends the ball from Washington's Peyton Stenzel.

Teslow (right) turns with the ball under pressure from Sioux Falls Washington’s Peyton Stenzel (left)

Julie began playing soccer at the age of 5 and immediately fell in love with the game. Soccer was the family game, with both her older sisters playing competitively for Dakota Gold. Julie also started her club soccer journey at Dakota Gold and continues to play for Dakota Alliance. Her team has been South Dakota State Champions the last four years. Teslow was recently named MVP by her teammates at the Puma College Showcase in Illinois. She was on the South Dakota ’98 ODP State Team in 2010, 2011 & 2013.

Teslow attends Lincoln High School where she has a 4.0 GPA. She was the only sophomore to make the All-State 2nd Team in South Dakota high school soccer, and hopes to help Lincoln take State this fall, as they have been #2 the last two years. Her enthusiasm for the game is contagious, as you can see in this Soccer605 interview with Julie at the 2013 State High School Tournament.

Teslow has made her college decision, and is still determined and focused to grow and develop as a player. She just attended the adidas College Camp in North Carolina held at Wingate University. She is excited to see what her next two years of high school will bring, then it’s “GO YOTES!”

Congratulations Julie – and USD! You are, and always will be, Soccer605. Best of luck!

#TBT with Soccer605′s First Interview

Bob LoweryStory by Carol McKee

Our very first interview at Soccer605 was with Bob Lowery of the South Dakota High School Activities Association in September 2011.

With all but three high school soccer programs – Custer, Chamberlain and Vermillion Boys – kicking off sanctioned high school soccer this fall, for our first Throw Back Thursday story, we thought we’d take a look at the path to sanctioning in South Dakota. Ironically, Soccer605′s very first interview was with Bob Lowery of the South Dakota High School Activities Association at his office in Pierre in September 2011. Bob retired in May 2012, but his impact on the adoption of sanctioned high school soccer must be remembered. As Stu Whitney of the Argus Leader said, “…while (SDHSAA Executive Director Wayne) Carney has been the face of the SDHSAA in recent years, Lowery has been the engine.” See Stu’s story here.

When we first launched Soccer605, YouTube would only allow us to post videos up to 15 minutes long. So we split this 24-minute interview with Bob into three parts.  While the path to sanctioning high school soccer began long before September 2011, and involved a lot more people than just Bob Lowery, we hope you enjoy this glance back at our Soccer605 entrance into the saga in this #ThrowBackThursday story!


Early Commitments – SF Roosevelt’s Kelsi Wipf

Part 3 in a series on college commitments
Story courtesy of Barbara Smither
Kelsi wipf

Kelsi Wipf, Sioux Falls Roosevelt & DASC Midfielder/Defender, has verbally committed to play for North Dakota State University in fall of 2015

Sioux Falls Roosevelt rising senior Kelsi Wipf has verbally committed to NDSU

Since she was 5 years old, Kelsi Wipf, who will be a senior at Sioux Falls Roosevelt this fall, knew that someday she would play soccer in college. It had always been her dream. Playing NCAA Division One was an even bigger, more exciting dream. In March, Wipf, then a junior took the step to make her dream come true with a verbal commitment to play D1 soccer for the North Dakota State University Bison in 2015.

According to Wipf, deciding on NDSU was not an easy task.  After her father passed away from cancer in her sophomore year, she realized that she wanted to be close to her mom and sister – but also to venture out on her own and become her own person.  “I had it narrowed down to Augustana, SDSU and NDSU,” said Wipf. “I liked Coach Barkus but didn’t think Augie was the right fit for me.” 

It took longer for her to decide between SDSU & NDSU.  “I loved both schools, their programs and the distance from home.  I’ve known Coach Lang at SDSU ever since I can remember. But I knew the second I went to visit NDSU that it was the school for me. It gave me ‘that feeling’ that all athletes get when they know which school is for them. The coaching staff at NDSU was excited about NDSU soccer and my future.  I knew Coach Cook would make me a better soccer player in the future.”

Like many girls, Wipf started playing recreational soccer at 5 years old. But what set her apart from some of the other 5 year-olds was that she wanted something more. So at the advanced age of 8, she joined club soccer at Dakota Gold. She still didn’t feel it was competitive enough, so she started playing up an age bracket with older girls and guesting on her older sister’s team.  Kelsi always pushed herself to the next level and it paid off.  As a freshman, Wipf made All State Honorable Mention. In her sophomore year as an offensive midfielder, she was named to All State and selected as Most Dedicated Practice Player at Roosevelt. She helped lead Roosevelt to back-to-back state high school championships; was named best defensive player at Roosevelt and All State First Team as a defensive midfielder in her junior year.  Kelsi and her DASC club team have also been to Midwest Regionals for 3 years. As an individual player, Wipf played for South Dakota ODP & attended Region II ODP Camp for 2 years. 

Whether playing central midfielder or as a defender, Wipf has the ability to step into multiple positions on the field and be a game changer. And she looks forward to being a game changer at NDSU. “I can’t wait to live my dream of being a college student and a Division I athlete.”