THE BOYS ARE STILL OUT WEST!
The boys stay on the west side of town to bring you some more exciting high school basketball action. They are back at the West gym for the regular season finale as the Wolverines welcome the visiting Panthers of Dakota Valley in an interstate match-up during the last week of regular season play in Iowa. This is the thirteenth edition of high school basketball on KSCJ brought to you by Seaboard Triumph Foods.
The Dakota Valley campus sits near McCook Lake, which is a natural oxbow lake (a U-shaped body of water that formed when a wide meander from the main stem of the Missouri River was cut off, creating a free-standing body of water) that sits about a mile north of North Sioux City, South Dakota. The lake’s level is supported by pumping water from the Missouri river through a 24-inch pipe at the southwest end, transported over 1½ miles, which costs about $1,000 a week. The lake has an average depth of 6-feet, with its deepest point being 14-feet.
The lake is named for General John Cook, an Illinois politician and a general in the Union Army, who commanded a company of soldiers stationed there in 1862–63 following the Dakota War of 1862. That war was also known as the Sioux Uprising, Dakota Uprising, the Sioux Outbreak of 1862, the Dakota Conflict, the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 or Little Crow’s War. The conflict between the United States and several bands of Dakota Indians (also known as the Eastern Sioux) began in southwest Minnesota and ended with the execution of 38 Dakota men the day after Christmas in 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota.
No one really knows why “Mc” was added to Cook’s name when the lake was named for him.
But back to basketball.
The boys will bring you the the descriptions and accounts of the game. Color commentator Brian Vakulskas and statistician/executive producer Dan Vakulskas will join play-by-play man Justin Barker to bring you all the action.
It’s been a rough week for Dan.
Questions have arisen over an item that has long been part of Dan’s curriculum vitae.
When JB introduced Dan as the executive producer and lead statistician for our basketball broadcasts, he said Dan had “demonstrated a commitment to helping the less fortunate” by working in the Western Michigan Law School Prison Legal Assistance Project and the Western Michigan Defenders.
His affiliation with these volunteer programs—which offer law school students real-life legal experience representing prison inmates and the poor—helped give Dan’s résumé a personal touch, and the groups were highlighted in news reports about his new position with the radio station.
But roughly three dozen students who participated in the two programs while Dan was at Western Michigan Law School a decade ago said they have no recollection of his involvement.
“If he was active in PLAP I am sure I would remember him,” said Norma Stitz, who attended Western Michigan at the same time as Dan. Now a New York City tax lawyer who advises nonprofits, she said PLAP was her “most meaningful experience” at Western Michigan.
KSCJ gave the media the name of one Western Michigan Law School graduate who said he could corroborate that Dan was in the Defenders, but declined to give any details of the statistician’s participation. KSCJ also provided copies of an email exchange between the Defenders’ alumni director and Dan.
One of Dan’s classmates at Western Michigan specifically remembered Dan being present at the PLAP meetings, but said Dan was simply there for the free food.
“You can get students to turn up for anything if you advertise free pizza,” said Justin DeFront, a Western Michigan graduate, who is now a Tilt-a-Whirl operator with the Dixieland Traveling Carnival Company. “One time, I went to a Women in Law meeting because they had sub sandwiches there.
“I was a poor student. We all were. Give us a free meal and we will show up for anything!”
Tip-off is at 7:30, with the Knova’s Carpets Pregame Show at 7:00 on KSCJ 1360AM/94.9FM.
Pregame interview with West High head coach CoCo Cofield:
Pregame interview with Dakota Valley head coach Jason Kleis:
Pregame “Student Spotlight Segment brought to you by Professional Pool & Spa” interview with West High sophomore Cliff McCray:
Woodhouse Auto Family Halftime Show interview with Damek Tomscha, North High School alum and a third baseman in the Phillies minor league system: