Are the 1959 CEB Braves one of the top-ten Native teams in South Dakota history?

Here are the 1959 State B champions from Cheyenne in the locker room after their win: (from left) Delane Chasing Hawk, Freddie Knife, Percy Philips, Keller Condon (11), Eugene Red Bird, Tommy Makes Him First, Elgin Stricker, Robert Mandan, Melvin Bagola and Chester Condon. American News Archives Photo

By Rich Winter

    Well, it's official, I'm getting fired up for high school basketball in South Dakota.

I was sitting around trying, without help from the internet, trying to figure out some of the top Native teams in South Dakota history. Where to start?

I know more about Todd County and St. Francis I suppose, because I lived in Mission for ten years. I know quite a bit about Red Cloud, Little Wound and Pine Ridge over the last ten years and in the mid to late 80's but don't know much from 1990-2004.

How to fill in the blanks?

So, with the help of the internet I ventured onto the 1959 CEB Braves team that won a state championship. I'm guessing this team would likely be in the top-10 of all-time Native basketball teams in South Dakota.

Dug up a little history on the CEB program this morning.

The 1940 Cheyenne team started the school’s boys’ basketball tradition, making it to the school’s first state tourney. Then came a 85-13 three-year run led by standout player Freddie Knife and coach Gus Kolb (a South Dakota State graduate from Leola). That run included a third-place State B finish in 1958 and a State B championship in 1959 — years when Cheyenne played its home games about 20 miles away in Gettysburg because of an inadequate gym that could not begin to hold its fan base, according to accounts in the American News archives.

At the end of the 1959 school year, the aging Cheyenne boarding school was moved into Eagle Butte due to flooding from the Oahe Reservoir, according to those newspaper accounts. One of the benefits was a spacious new gymnasium was being built in Eagle Butte. The American News reported that the Cheyenne and Eagle Butte schools would meld into Cheyenne-Eagle Butte. 

Hmmmm, interesting!

Trying to find out some more information on great Native teams and players as we head into November and basketball season. Please feel free to contact me on twitter @panicgalore or via emial at

Old photos would be killer.

Long-term goal, try to put together some kind of book or at least scribe some material on some of these great athletes and players.

Fantasy - Sit Giovanni Bernard this week, he's not going to play!

Giovanni Bernard is nursing a hip injury and a shoulder injury. The Bengals host the Jags and the Browns in the next two weeks so it might be a good time to sit Bernard.

By Rich Winter

         I noticed a little blurb yesterday about Giovanni Bernard not practicing because of a sore hip. I didn't give it much of a glance because I don't have Bernard on my roster. With little or no thought, I just automatically thought Bernard would play this Sunday. 

     And then I got to my buddy's house to watch the Thursday night game and he's sitting there fiddling with his lineup, trying to decide what to do with Bernard, and then it got a little more serious.

    "Who do they play," I asked.

     "Jacksonville," was the reply.


     To further complicate things, the injury report this morning says that Bernard didn't practice Thursday, (hasn't all week) and that in addition to the hip injury that took him out of the Baltimore game last week, he is also dealing with a previously undisclosed shoulder injury.

So, in thinking about this on Friday morning, I had to look a little more at who the Bengals are playing this week and next.

Home vs. Jacksonville this week

Home vs. Cleveland next week

The season has been sorta up and down for this Bengals squad. The AJ Green toe injury has really taken this offense backwards, but it looks like Green will go on Sunday. I gotta think in my heart of hearts the Bengals think they can beat Jacksonville at home with or without Bernard. I also think they probably think they can beat Cleveland next week at home, with or without Bernard.

With the nature of the two injuries that Bernard is nursing and the soft schedule for two weeks and the return of Green, I'm saying no way Giovanni Bernard touches the field this week. He's too valuable of an asset for these Cincinnati Bengals and with a tougher road-schedule coming up in November, I gotta think the Bengals want to have Bernard at full strength for the stretch run.

Bench - Giovanni Bernard

Start - Jeremy Hill

The NFL injury reports are pretty lame on Friday and Saturday so make sure you check this one out on Sunday morning as he'll likely post as a game time decision, but if I've got him, I'm already making plans.

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Will LeBron James' legacy be hero or villain?

After leaving Cleveland to go to Miami and now back to Cleveland, will LeBron James ever be able to shake his 'Villain' image?

By Rich Winter

My Facebook page is already starting to light up with CAV NATION crap and can't wait for LeBron's game tonight.

Of course the flip side of that is my Facebook page is lighting up with people that can't stand LeBron and hope that he fails miserably in Cleveland. 

Ahhhhh, King James takes the court tonight and while it's just the lowly Knicks he's facing, I'm guessing I'll be splitting time between the NFL's Thursday Night game and the Cleveland vs. New York game.

As King James takes to the court tonight I gotta say, I don't think LeBron James is ever going to shake the villain image.

Let's review the facts: (or at least my opinion)

* I don't think people are ready to appreciate LeBron's game for him anointing himself King James. It rubbed some people the wrong way.

* The way he took off his jersey after the loss to the Celtics in the playoffs (ESPN was thumbing through the top-3 LeBron James, Cleveland highlights and they came up with a bunch of stuff. My burning Cleveland memory of LeBron is that of him being a pout-sack and a poor sport as he walked off the court for the last time. (Allegedly)

* The pompous way he left Cleveland - Maybe he was too young to know what he was doing but that interview with Jim Gray was nonsense and then the way he waltzed around with his not one, not two, not 7 act. That was disrespectful to the legends of the game that won their championships the old-fashioned way.

* And then he leaves Miami and comes back to Cleveland - Pretty cheesy to abandon Miami after the Heat bought all in on his services.

I have to be honest in saying in my book LeBron James' legacy is going to be that of a villain and there is nothing he can do in the next ten years that will change my mind. In the Finals last year I took a step back to not dislike his game so I could take a real look at this guy. He's a fabulously talented athlete that is easily the best, all-around player in the game. I appreciated his talents for a few games but now he's off to Cleveland and his legions of Brand-fans, not basketball fans, think it's ok to suddenly be a Cleveland fan.

Good for Cleveland and I wish them success and even a championship because it would mean so much to that city. 

But, my lasting impression of LeBron James will be that of a big, whiny, baby that flops (overreacts to every little hit that he gets). What I'll remember from the championships down in Miami is that he lost two of them and that when the going got tough, he always passed the ball to someone else. He's a great player but when the game is on the line, he's looking to distribute.

If Cleveland doesn't make the finals this year, can you imagine the pressure that's going to mount for this man?

What if they don't win it next year?


I love his game and I'll always appreciate his game, but sorry, I have more fun cheering against King James




Fantasy - Is Rob Gronkowski poised to ball out the rest of the year?

Nine catches for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns, is Patriot tight end Rob Gronkowski headed for a huge second half?

By Rich Winter

       If you have Rob Gronkowski on your FF team, I'm sure his 149 yard, 3 touchdown performance against the Bears last week needs no introduction. If you played against the guy that had Rob Gronkowski last week, well, welcome to moving one spot down in your fantasy standings.

Prior to that outburst against the Bears, Gronkowski was having a nice year, but nothing that would strike feat into an opponent. 

@ Miami - 4-40 with 1 TD

@ Minnesota - 4-32

Vs. Oakland - 3-44 with 1 TD

@ Kansas City - 2-31 With 1 TD

VS. Cincinnati - 6-100 with 1 TD

@Buffalo 7-94

Vs. the Jets - 5-68

Cumulative through these games - 31-409 with 3 Touchdowns

And then he just went off against the Bears

Okay, so Gronkowski isn't likely to catch three touchdown passes again any time soon, but doesn't it seem like this big-ole Fantasy Horse just woke up?

Gronkowski had been very slow to come back from last year's season ending injury, suffered against the Broncos. It took some time and although Gronk looked good, he didn't look great...Until Sunday. 

    Suddenly Brandon LaFell looks like an elite, No. 1 WR (11-124 with 1 td) and Timothy Wright, the Aaron Hernandez replacement, is back to tantalize us with his potential (7-61 with 1 td).

I don't think it's any surprise that as Gronk has gotten better so has the Patriots offense that cranked out those 51 points.

Rob Gronkowski is Tom Brady's favorite target and as long as big fella stays healthy, you can expect massive production.

Gronk is the best receiver on that team.

Gronk is the best goal-line threat on that team.

Brady trusts Gronk more than anyone else on that roster.

It's a good combination and one that could very well lead you to a 2014 Fantasy Football title. 

Follow me @panicgalore

Who are the top-5 (current) Native ball players in South Dakota?

Cheyenne Eagle-Butte's Creighton LeBeau had a monster junior year and is the No. 1 Native Basketball player in South Dakota.

By Rich Winter

       With football season over, it's time to start thinking about basketball and the Lakota Nation Invitational.

First of all, before I get started on my list, I'm just trying to stir things up a little and get everyone fired up! With stats sometimes limited, along with my knowledge of some of these teams, the list likely won't be perfect, so if I don't put someone on the list, feel free to comment and I'll see if we can't do something about those I forgot!

No. 1 - Creighton LeBeau - CEB - LeBeau scored 491 points last season and is sure to help CEB be a contender this year. The loss of Xavier Norris will be hard to fill, but LeBeau has a way of filling that stat sheet. Watched him just light it up in St. Francis last year. Great shooter, great ball-player, Panic Button wishes him success in his 2014-2015 campaign. 

No. 2 - Kobe O'Rourke - Red Cloud 

Kobe O'Rourke averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds in 2013-2014

With Pine Ridge having graduated everyone, I move Red Cloud up to the favorite to come out of Region 7 this year. I think, Kobey O'Rourke is just a junior, so this 6-foot-2 guard/forward is likely to light up LNI for the next two years.

This is where it gets a little harder for me -

No. 3 - Joe Clairmont - Todd County

Joe Clairmont averaged 13.5 points per game last season. Following a great senior football campaign, Clairmont should be ready to lead the Falcons to a winning record in 2014-2015.

No. 4 - Justin Prue - White River

White River made it to the state tournament again. With senior, Justin Prue in the lineup, it could be another banner year for the Tigers.

I'm sorry but I can't find stats on Justin Prue and White River from a year ago. Prue has been a steadying force in the White River lineup for the past two seasons. As a junior, he was MVP of the Jones County tournament and his experience and toughness will be crucial to the success that Eldon Marshall and company have up in White River.

5. Leon Bad Hand - St. Francis Indian School

St. Francis senior, Leon Bad Hand will be counted on to take on the scoring load for a St. Francis team that had some heavy graduation losses.

Early in the 2013-2014 season, St. Francis junior Leon Bad Hand was tearing it up as the leading scorer for St. Francis Indian School. Although is scoring numbers dipped in the middle part of the season, St. Francis Indian lost Charles Broken Leg and Jacob Black Bear and starter, Dru Espinoza (transferred to Todd County), so Bad Hand will be counted on to take over the No. 1 scoring load.

Love to hear your thoughts on some of the other Native players across South Dakota.

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