SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Post 15 East fell short of its state championship goal, falling to Renner in the Class ‘A’ Legion State title game, but their season isn’t over, as they earned an automatic bid into next week’s Central Plains Regional as the tournament host
Though Sioux Falls East knew they were already playing in the Central Plains Regional as the tournament host, that didn’t take away any of the sting from Tuesday’s loss in the state championship.
“Let it hurt a little bit. It’s ok to let it hurt. A lot of people wanted to see us bounce back the second we lost. Well you know that’s not how it works. These are kids. They put everything they had into it. They wanted a state championship,” Head Coach Matt Storo said.
But the loss did provide some perspective.
“We wished we would have got that. It sucks, but we all know we’re capable of winning this one too. So honestly it’s a lot of motivation to push us forward through this tournament as well so,” Nick Lounsbery said.
East has been steady all season long, entering the state tournament as the top seed in South Dakota, and winning both the Lewis & Clark and Dakota Classic tournaments.
“One of the things I say every time before we take the field is it’s just another day. Treat them all the same and then you’ve already played 50 huge games,” Storo said.
Along with approaching each game the same, the team also competes with a chip on its shoulder.
“We’ve been preaching all year that we came in as underdogs and hopefully that’s what we can achieve with an underdog mentality. And come in as winner’s in that tournament,” Catcher Aidan Beck said.
They hope that combination, and home field advantage will help propel them to the Legion World Series.
“We’re hoping to play in front of a bunch of passionate fans and the guys thrive off that. They loved the environment this past week in Brandon Valley. We’re ready for whatever happens,” Storo said.
Sioux Falls East will play in the nightcap of day 1 of the Central Plains Regional Wednesday night at 7:45. They’ll face the Wisconsin state runner-up in the first round of the double elimination tournament.