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The Mission Mayhem captured a tournament title in Ft. Pierre last weekend

Alright Rosebud do ya want baseball or not
Jul 29, 2017

By Rich Winter

Pretty fired up to see the picture of the championship team, the Mission Mayhem from their recently completed run at the First Annual Veterans Memorial Baseball Tournament in Ft. Pierre last weekend. 


Championships are rare for the Mayhem as all levels play in a TUFF league, and while I've seen some tremendous baseball from all levels this season, no championiships until last weekend. Even better I think it was kind of a last minute deal and the coaches had to scramble and pull everyone together at the last minute to make it work.


As a casual observer of baseball across South Dakota I've seen some really great baseball programs. The folks over in Platte/Geddes have really turned their program around. Bennett County is on the right track! Gregory is coming along nicely at all levels and of course there is the Winner/Colome/Clearfield influence that just keeps spitting out good ball players. 


One thing I see with the Mission baseball program is it seems it is a mad scramble every tournament to make sure enough players will show. Not faulting anyone here, it's kinda just the way things go. Drove over to a Jr. Teener tournament in Colome here a while back and while Mission was entered, they didn't have enough players so they forfieted (played a scrimmage) and then were bounced from the tournament. 


Frustrated coaches, players didn't show, some were here, some were there, some promised and didn't show. 


It's gotta be frustating for everyone involved. 


Have been following a lot of the 'other' baseball programs this season, and the one thing they have that Mission doesn't have is depth at coaching. All the way down to t-ball, these teams have multiple coaches that show up to herd cats, talk fundamentals, wife off a scraped knee and help explain the many nuances of the game of baseball. 


Each team multiple coaches that show up for practice, games, help with rides, etc, etc. 


Had a great conversation with Burke softball/hardball legend Bill Beckers a few weeks ago. Asked him how many girls participate in the Burke summer softball league and I was astonished to hear a number in the 50-60 range. 


"How do you get that many kids to stay in the sport," I asked him. He basically told me it all comes down to coaching, really coaching and getting after the girls when they make mistakes but always showing up. 


Kind of excited to head to Winner this morning for a Jr. Legion tournament. And, right out of the bat, it's Mission vs. Winner (of course). Don't care how they do I always get a jolt to watch the Mayhem play. 


Really wanted to point out fact that many might not know here on the Rosebud. When that game starts today, Bryant Burnette will be coaching. 


He has to!


Beyond the high school season, which he coaches, Burnette hits the summer and coaches the Jr. Teener, Teener, Jr. Legion and Legion teams. Most of it by himself.


That's not a possible job!


The Legion team from Mission played about four games this year before hitting tournament play. Just watched the state legion tournament and those teams had played about 20 games this summer. 


Trying to coach and call and schedule games, travel to games, get players to practice...PRACTICE, well, that's a job for about ten men/women to get in there and help. 


The thing that is frustrating is THE TALENT IS HERE and Burnette would be the first to tell you that. Watched Mission just crush the Winner/Colome team that got third in the state for about five innings this summer. Mission gave it up late and think they lost 6-5 to a very good ball club. 


If the Rosebud put their top 20, 16-19 year olds together and practiced every night for a month, I'd put them up against the rest of the state and be encouraged about the prospects. 


Like a lot of things, we need more parent participation! Flat out, bottom line, more people need to get off their butts and get involved.


Am excited to hear that the Boys & Girls Clubs over here are sinking their teeth into baseball and getting some fledgeling leagues going over here. I'm encouraged because just about everything that B&G club is doing is being done and stuck to.  (Encourage everyone to check out the facilities...The Mission one has come leaps and bounds and there are some great things going on in that building). 


Haven't had the opportunity to write a story about this but there is a group of young ladies playing in the Big Dave's softball league this summer, think they are the Young Guns. Seems like the girls are ages 12-18 or so and for many of them it is their first year of playing ball. The Wright family over there has taken an interest in these girls and while they've taken their lumps in an adult, slow-pitch league, they are getting some experience, having something to look forward to and having something to do. 


That's awesome!


As the Beckers crew over in Burke rallies with 50-60 girls participating in fast-pitch softball, I can't imagine how many young ladies we have over here on the Rosebud that would benefit from forming a girls softball league. 


All the resources are here, it just takes people to show up! The Jr. teener through Legion squad needs help. At some point, if new people don't show up and volunteer there time and talents and self to the young folks, something's gonna break...And that, would be a travesty!


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