Center Republican Sports

December 18, 2008

Definite learning experience

Practice makes perfect is the tried and true learning strategy most coaches like to use. Practice, practice, practice. But Center-Stanton have been so busy playing that they've missed out on practice time to get all the young players on the same page. But with two games the opening week and a holiday tournament all this past week, the Wildcats have been getting in basketball mood. "Just need more practice time. We went through stretches where we don't get to see the floor a lot," head coach Michael Bergstrom said.

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At first glance, Center's Skyler Johnson seems like a typical 17-year-old farm boy. He is enjoying football season, spending time with friends, and helping around the family dairy operation. What isn't so typical, though, is a remarkable bull-riding season crowning the end of his junior riding career. Skyler earned his sixth championship this past season including two buckles. Of the two years Skyler's competed in high school rodeo, he has made the State Finals both times including a sixth place finish as a sophomore. Also, the 5-foot-7 cowboy made the National Professional Rodeo Association finals this fall where as the events youngest rider, Skyler earned fourth place in the second round before being bucked off in the short round.

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The Center-Stanton Centations have invited area high school and Just for Kix dance teams to Center Dec. 6 for a "HomeShow." It's a time for the teams to perform for the fans at the Center-Stanton High School gym starting at 2:30 p.m. CST. Teams attending this show are Dickinson High Midgettes, St. Mary's Junior High Saintiques, Century High Centahnas, Glen Ullin-Hebron High Kickin It Dance team, Bismarck South Just for Kix, Hazen Just for Kix, as well as the Center Just for Kix teams.

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"Fun and exciting." Those are the words that head coach Janet Erhardt used to sum up a wonderful volleyball season that ended last weekend with Center-Stanton taking sixth place at the State Class B Volleyball Tournament in Minot. And for the Wildcats, who finish the year 29-14, the final three days of their season were no different. Dickinson Trinity 3, Center-Stanton 0

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After a stellar season the Center-Stanton volleyball team can boast it has two more reasons to be proud: their roster includes not only the Coach of the Year out of Region 5 but the Senior Athlete of the Year for Region 5 as well. Although many weren't surprised after watching the pair all season, both recipients, head coach Janet Erhardt and senior Connie Miller, were not expecting the prestige.

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Connie Miller named Senior Athlete of the Year By Robyn Rohde A sign sitting high above a bleacher full of Center-Stanton fans reads, "We're so hot even a blizzard couldn't cool us off." And as the final point was put on the scoreboard Saturday, the Wildcats proved that sign was not just another piece of gym artwork. After stormy weather across the western part of North Dakota postponed the final day of the District 9 Tournament twice, C-S withstood Standing Rock's attacks to claim the district championship, second year running.

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Wildcats enter districts with regional confidence boost By Robyn Rohde Center-Stanton volleyball head coach Janet Erhardt has said many times that the first day of postseason is a brand new start for every team. And to a point she may be correct.

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Slow starts have been a nagging pattern with the Wildcats this season as fans saw again when Center-Stanton traveled to Glen Ullin-Hebron Oct. 21 for a non-conference match. But the Wildcats showed the disciplined defense and service execution they are also known for to defeat the Bearcats 3-0.

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Failing to make the playoffs several weeks ago, Center-Stanton said goodbye to another football season last Thursday as Richardton-Taylor came to town. During a year that had people guessing if the Wildcats would even field a varsity team, the 19 players the team ended with in the season may not have tallied the most in the win column but they never failed to play with heart.

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Every coach and player in hopes of advancing deep into postseason action knows that the key to success is getting the top seeding and avoiding the grueling first round matches. As of Monday night, Center-Stanton was one win away from the top spot as they played Standing Rock this past Tuesday in the final district bout of the regular season.

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