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1999-2000 Women's Basketball Team
The 1999-2000 season was a year to remember for the Lady T's basketball team and their fans. The Lady T's made it clear they were post-season ready by defeating Huron University 102-72 at Huron in the final game of the season. The Lady T's ended their regular season with a 21-7 record and a conference record of 10-4, which gave them a share of the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference (SDIC) championship. In the SDIC post-season games, the Lady T's first-round win was against Mount Marty College (79-61) and the championship game was played in Rapid City against South Dakota Tech. Tech had handed the Lady T's two regular season losses prior to this third meeting between the two teams and as the saying goes, "the third time's a charm." A win would ensure a bid for DSU into the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. As was often the case, the game between these two teams was intense but the Lady T's upset the Hardrockers 79-71, winning the SDIC Tournament Championship and making history by being the first women's team from DSU to qualify for the NAIA Division II National Basketball Tournament. Head coach Jeff Dittman stated, "While DSU was a power in the SDIC, this group was the first to reach the NAIA National Tournament and advance to the 'Elite 8' round."
At the national tournament, DSU's first round opponent was St. Thomas Aquinas, a team out of New York state. The Lady T's dominated on defense and with strong post play and rebounding domination, they won their first round game on Thursday, March 9, 2000 by a score of 74-55. This put the women into the 'Sweet 16' round.
In the 'Sweet 16' round, they met a familiar foe from Sioux City, Iowa, the Briar Cliff Chargers. The two ranked teams had played in December at the DSU Fieldhouse in a high scoring, exciting overtime contest. At that time, the Lady T's were ranked No. 22 in the national rankings while the Chargers were ranked No. 4. The Lady T's won that game 92-88 and so everyone knew going into the national tournament game, the Chargers would be determined to avenge that December loss.
This game was not to be a repeat of the scoring spree of the earlier game, but it proved to be no less exciting on a national stage. Both teams had identical 24-7 records coming into the game. However, it was the defense that dominated this game. With eight minutes remaining in the game, Briar Cliff moved out to a seven-point lead. DSU came storming back with two consecutive three-point baskets by Kathy Shypulski and a lay-up by Sheila Haack to take a one-point lead. DSU extended that lead to five points with two minutes remaining, but BC went on a 7-0 run to take the lead with 47 seconds remaining. After a Lady T's timeout, Shypulski found Krista Peterson open on the left wing for a three-point basket and DSU was back on top by one. After a missed shot by the Chargers, Peterson was fouled and made both free-throws to go up by three. Shypulski added one more free-throw and Dakota State had a 58-54 win. Shypulski scored a game-high 16 points with 10 of those coming in the second half. Sheila Haack Peterson pulled down 13 rebounds. DSU's largest lead in the game was five points while Briar Cliff led by seven midway through the second half. There were a total of thirteen lead changes and nine ties in the game. According to Dittman, "the key to this game was our rebounding, we had 21 more boards than Briar Cliff which gave us second-chance shots."
The Lady T's Saturday 'Elite 8' game was against Northwest Nazarene, Idaho. After trailing 34-21 at halftime, the Lady T's used a 19-7 run to trim their deficit to 41-40 with eleven minutes and 54 seconds left. Northwest Nazarene staged a scoring surge of its own outscoring DSU over the next eight minutes, putting the game out of reach for the Lady T's. Unfortunately fatigue became a factor in this game as the Lady T's played three games in three days. They lost the game 70-55 ending their season with a 25-8 record, the most wins by any Lady T's team.
"Overall, I think our first trip to the NAIA National Tournament was a huge success," stated head coach Jeff Dittman. "Obviously, we would have liked to win it all, but these ladies played their hearts out and gained the respect on the DSU campus and in the Madison community. They did a great job in the classroom and were true student-athletes."
It was a year to remember...
|2012||1999-2000 Women's Basketball Team|
|2010||1989-1991 Men's Cross Country Team|
|2007||1977 Football Team|
|2005||1983-84 Women's Basketball Team|
|2003||1966-67 Men's Basketball Team|
|2002||1991-92 NAIA Final Four Team|
|2001||1971 Boot Hill Bowl- Football|
Maureen Green Casey (posthumously) (Class of 1982)
Maureen (Green) Casey's passion for outdoor activities like biking and fast-pitch softball was topped only by her passion for golf. Her golfing talents proved to be a real bonus for Dakota State's women's golf team in 1982 when she and her teammates took third-place honors at the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Golf tournament in Wilmington, North Carolina. Casey placed sixth on the individual leader board earning her All-American honors.
Prior to her college career, Casey was the top golfer for the Madison Bulldogs golf team in the late 1970's. She was a 'Top 20' State Tournament player from 1976-1979. As a result of her stellar high school career, Casey earned induction into the Madison High School Hall of Fame in 2003. In addition to lettering in golf, Casey also lettered in basketball.
Casey was recruited to participate in golf at the University of South Dakota (USD) in Vermillion where she qualified for the AIAW National Tournament as a freshman. However, she decided to transfer to Dakota State. While women's golf was not an organized sport at DSU in 1981, Maureen, her sister, Alice, Mary T. Grogan, Sara Egan and Jane Rajewich joined together and became the women's golf team.
"I became the team's coach on a volunteer basis," said Madison resident Rick Sterling, who coached the squad. "At the time, there were no other colleges our size in South Dakota competing in tournaments, so we ended up playing against bigger schools like USD, South Dakota State University or Augustana (S.D.)." Sterling pointed out that Casey was a petite-sized golfer, but that did not hamper her playing abilities. "She had in her bag seven different woods," said Sterling. "She knew the distance she could get from every one of her clubs and she hit the ball straight almost every time. Maureen was an outstanding individual and a very humble person. Her humility and competitiveness came naturally."
Casey became a top-flight golfer, leading her team to a first-place win in the AIAW Region Six Tournament in North Dakota which qualified the team for the AIAW Nationals in Wilmington, N.C. in May of 1982. Wilmington University, host of the national tournament, won the championship and Casey's sixth-place finish was the result of a sudden death playoff loss, but still earning her All-American status.
Casey grew up with two brothers - John and Larry, Jr., and ten (yes, ten) sisters - Alice, Jacque, Mary Ellen, Carolyn, Catherine, Margaret, Jeannie, Liz, Roberta and Theresa. "Maureen and the rest of the Green children were given the opportunity to play golf early on by their parents - Larry, Sr. and Jeannie," said Madison PGA professional Gordy Anderson. "They were on the Madison Country Club course a lot growing up. Their dad would have them play games within the game, like best scores on individual holes and closest to the pin."
In 1982, Maureen earned her associate's degree in Computer Science and married Mike Casey from Chamberlain. The couple moved to Sioux Falls and then in 1983, Maureen received her Bachelor's degree from Augustana.
Later, the Casey's moved from Minnesota to Arizona and as a member of the Aspen Valley Country Club at Flagstaff, Maureen was a three-time club champion, winning her last title in 2007. Although, she loved golf, Maureen's husband, Mike, their three sons - Joseph, Connor and John Patrick - and her daughter-in-law Katie and grandson Aiden, were the loves of her life and dominated her time after her career.
Dawn Gaffney Dittman (Class of 1998, 2003 and 2012)
When headed to an event in the Midwest during the winter, every seasoned Midwesterner knows to first check the weather. Snowstorms often prevent an event from occurring when it is originally scheduled. In the case of Dawn Dittman, her career as a Lady T was made possible because of a game that was played earlier than originally scheduled due to bad weather.
Assistant coach Judy Dittman was on her way to a game in Rochester, Minnesota when she discovered the game had been changed to an earlier time. She knew the head coach, her brother Jeff Dittman, would not be happy if she did not see a game and so she quickly switched on the radio to see if there was a game nearby. That game happened to be the district championship between two rival teams from Iowa, Storm Lake and Cherokee. Dawn was the starting post player for the Storm Lake Tornadoes and the rest is history.
Over the duration of Dawn's career, the Lady T's improved and went from finishing last in the South Dakota-Iowa Athletic Conference (SDIC) her freshman year to a third-place finish her senior year. During that time, the SDIC was one of the top conferences in the NAIA with teams consistently qualifying each year as a final four team in the national tournament.
"One of the things that I am most proud of is how each year, through a lot of hard work and sacrifice, we improved," said Dawn. "We were competing for a conference championship my senior year."
As the forward/post for the Lady T's, Dawn was named as a third-team NAIA All-American her senior year. She earned first-team All-Conference honors in the SDIC and was also named SDIC Athlete of the Year her senior season. Academically, Dawn was a two-time NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete.
As a Lady T, Dawn set several school records. She is currently listed in the record books as 4th in career blocked shots (127), 7th in single season blocked shots (42), and 3rd in single game blocked shots (7 versus Concordia, Minn. on Nov. 10, 1996). She is also tied for 7th in single game field goals (13 versus Mount Marty College on Feb. 25, 1997), 9th in career field goals percentage (51.1 percent), 2nd in single game free throws (13 versus Black Hills State on Feb. 21, 1998), 5th in career free throw percentage (74.4 percent), 8th in single season free throw percentage (79.5 percent), and 7th in single season free throws (99). Dittman also holds the number three spot for single game points when she scored 33 versus Mount Marty on Feb. 25, 1997.
After graduating from DSU with a bachelor's degree in English for Information Systems in 1998, Dawn returned to DSU in 1999 to work as a web designer and assistant coach for the Lady T's. In 2003, she earned her MSIS degree from DSU. During this time, she also worked as the project manager/web designer for the HealthEDventure program.
In 2008, she moved to Hastings, Neb., with her husband Jeff and daughter Taylor. At Hastings, Dawn was an assistant coach and instructional designer for three years. During this time, she also completed her doctorate of science from DSU in 2012. She is currently an IT project manager for Hastings College.
Dan Stratton (Class of 1976)
December 4, 1971, December 18, 1971 and June 2, 2012. Those are three of the most important dates for Wentworth's Dan Stratton.
On December 4, 1971, Stratton and his fellow Dakota State football Trojans made South Dakota college football history by becoming the first college team in the state to win a post-season bowl game. That day in Dodge City, Kansas, Stratton and the Trojans came from behind to beat the Northwestern Oklahoma Raiders 23-20 in the Boot Hill Bowl. Two weeks later, December 18, Stratton married fellow DSC student, Faith Riggin of Milbank, S.D.
In 2001, the Boot Hill Bowl team (coached by Lee Moran) was the first team to be inducted into the DSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
For his outstanding play, Stratton was named an NAIA All-American honorable mention player his senior year, as well as SDIC All-Conference and NAIA District 12 in both his junior and senior seasons.
"Dan had great natural abilities," said Moran. "He had a pair of great hands, which made him a very good possession receiver. He was able to get into crossing patterns, 15-yard passing plays and other play situations. Really, he was able to catch the ball anywhere on the field." According to Darwin Robinson, "Dan was quick on his feet and he was a good blocker. All in all, he was an upbeat position player. He never complained and went out and did his job well."
Stratton came to Dakota State after a solid four-year football and basketball career at Chester High School where he earned All-State honors in both sports as a senior in 1968. That year, he was tabbed by KJAM-Radio as the Lake County High School Athlete of the Year.
"I learned a lot from my high school coaches Phil Dobbs and Jerry Buchanan," added Stratton. "At Dakota State, my gridiron education came from coaches George Blankley, Lee Moran, Al Weisbecker and Jon Walczyk."
After graduating from Dakota State, the NFL's Cleveland Browns invited Stratton to camp. Not making the Browns' cut, Stratton returned to Wentworth where he helped his parents Arvin and Doris Stratton (now deceased) in their farming operations. Today when not farming, he is a part-time employee at Chester Farm Service.
He and his wife Faith have three children - Kyle, Kari and Kasey.
|2012||Maureen Casey Green '82|
|2012||Dawn Gaffney Dittman '98, '03, '12|
|2012||Dan Stratton '76|
|2011||Bob Casagrande '75|
|2011||Terry Kasperbauer '77|
|2011||Kent Kersten '73|
|2011||Marie Sample '98|
|2011||Rob Van Laecken '74|
|2010||Gene Appelwick '61|
|2010||Amy Crissinger '91|
|2010||Connie (Robinson) Nyhaug '78|
|2009||Joyce Farrell '70|
|2009||Tom Farrell '70|
|2009||Anthony 'Toney' Blanks '75|
|2009||Richard 'Dick' Anderson '63|
|2009||Phil Dobbs '66|
|2008||Tom Orton '69|
|2008||Simon Schloe '68|
|2008||Brett Schwartz '91|
|2008||Paul Tanke '68|
|2007||Fred Tibbetts, '72|
|2007||Gene Danielsen, '68|
|2007||Linda Collignon, '78|
|2006||LeMar Nelson, '54|
|2006||Dr. Judy Dittman|
|2006||John Collignon, '70|
|2006||Danny Barker, '56|
|2005||Tom Schlimgen, '74|
|2005||Kevin Berg, '79|
|2005||Adam Clark, '88|
|2005||Lynne Warwick, '85|
|2003||Suzanne LaMaack (Allard), '80|
|2003||Maury Poppen, '59|
|2003||John "Cal" Mathison Posthumously, '51|
|2003||Rick Fisher, '68|
|2002||Bob Rumrill, '59|
|2002||Ray Riley, '67|
|2002||Gary Munsen, '66|
|2002||Lori Coble, '80|
|2001||Merle "Pete" Struwe, '51|
|2001||Monique Nelson (Reed), '86|
|2001||Dick Miller, '59|
|2001||Eldor "Lars" Larson, '52|
|2000||Michael Freidel, '79|
|2000||Patricia Murphy, '90|
|2000||Julie Heinz Johnson, '90|
|2000||Rick Dunlap, '87|
|1999||Pauline Tulson, '67|
|1999||Bill Larsen, '72|
|1999||Bob Nangle, '61|
|1999||Julie Fiegen-Price, '86|
|1998||Daryl Fletcher, '73|
|1998||Joe Iosco, '50|
|1998||Susan Halsted Simon, '68|
|1998||Deb Boomsma, '80|
|1997||Lee Stoddard, '68|
|1997||Donna Kruggel Matti, '75|
|1997||LeRoy DeBeer, '63|
|1997||Bob Bennett, '72|
|1996||Monica Matthies-Severson, '85|
|1996||Sally Kirkegaard-Wiggins, '74|
|1996||Clifford Anderson, '73|
|1995||Thomas Shea, '72|
|1995||Jeffery Rodman, '77|
|1995||Darwin Robinson, '74|
|1995||Myron Moen, '67|
|1995||David Gassman, '71|
|1995||Robert Caselli '51|
|1995||William Bulfer Posthumously|