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Todd County, St. Francis and White River cross country runners dressed as super-heroes and all rode on the same float during Rosebud Fair

There is no rebuild for TC cross-country, only RELOAD
Aug 29, 2017

By Rich Winter

It seems about every Aug. 24 or so, Todd County cross-country coach, Tonya Whirlwind Soldier and I have the same conversation. I ask her who she lost, who she has pack and who the promising prospect are...While the Falcons always lose a few, they always gain a few and by the time Regions come around, they're gonna be up in the mix.


That's how Falcon cross-country roles baby!


I've always thought that the bonds between athletes, coaches and fans of cross-country are about the tightest you will find in sports (wrestling moms might argue with me), but there is something about a common bond forged between athletes and those they compete against. For 3.1 miles, athletes try to run each other into the ground, and then, when the final sprint is authored, it's a congratulatory hand-shake or even sometimes a hug for those that have competed valiantly. 




Well, over the past few years I've enjoyed seeing Tonya grow as a coach and even as a person. Whirlwind Soldier and the St. Francis coaching tandem of Totes Waln and Karita Marshall have joined forces and over the summer host a number of running camps and running events, including, bringing guys like Billy Mills and Robert Iron Shell to speak to the youth and also to host running events. 


Earlier this summer I was very excited to see the Lyman and Philip cross-country teams come to Mission to participate in a camp with the SDSU coach, the USD coach and the St. Thomas More coach all there in Mission. 


Love that the Falcons and Warrior family is sharing the wealth and letting new folks in. 


Saw a great photo from Rosebud Fair over the weekend! It showed runners from Todd County, St. Francis and White River, all dressed as super-heroes, all out participating, doing things and doing them together. 


About Nov. 15, Whirlwind Soldier and I always have a reverse conversation where she is reminding me, the journalist, that both the boys and girls teams made the Academic All-State team. They do it every year, EVERY YEAR!


I think a lot of people know that Whirlwind Soldier has been battling cancer for the past few years. While the cancer took her strength, her hair, it could never touch her smile or her spirit. Somehow that spirit seems to flow through her athletes and by the end of the season they will not be running for just themselves but for the FALCON FAMILY!


Alright, so first meet in the books and I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty fired up about these Falcons, especially the boys team. 


Sophomore Jacob Wike was 13th at Douglas with an 18:30. Right behind him, and just missing the podium was TC freshman Xavier Little thunder, who lowered the boom on the field during his first varsity race that he petitioned Whirlwind Soldier to let him run. The Falcons had a solid effort from TJ Allen, who is also just a ninth grader. Look a little deeper on that roster though and there are some seniors who are going to be rounding into shape and getting after it in team competitions throughout the year. Lee Sharpfish, Morris Kills In Sight and Sam (Wink) Grimshaw are back for their senior years and will be improving every week as the season goes along.


Dangerous team here with a nice mix of veteran leadership and youthful talent. 


Todd County sophomore Kelsie Herman ran just over 21-minutes and medaled at Douglas with a 12th place finish. Junior teammate, Karli Prue wasn't far behind. Medicine Eagle and Roach (can't spell either of their first names correctly, EVER), rounded out the four that ran varsity for Todd County.


But, don't count out these Lady Falcons. 


 “We need to fill two spots for girls Varsity and that will come from some of our new runners, Samantha Yellow Eagle, Doris White Hat, Marissa Murray, Shallon Bordeaux, Jenaya DeCora, Sadie Lapointe and Thalia Trimbe.”


I'm excited about this new pool of runners to pull from. There are some good athletes that are giving running a shot for the first time. Somehow, some-way, the Falcon WAY is likely going to grab them, push them and by Regions....


Look the heck out!


Believe Todd County and St. Francis are both at the Red Cloud Invitational today. 

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