Board Members
  • David Stverak Board Member (Director)

  • Brandon Bitz Treasurer
    Why did I join the South Dakota Junior Football board?  To help foster and develop youth through a game that I love!
     
    I am honored to be entering my third year as a member of the Board of Directors for South Dakota Junior Football.  The objective and mission of South Dakota Junior Football is to promote, manage, and conduct an organized football program for youth around the Southeast corner of South Dakota.  Our certified coaches teach the basics of football, team, and sportsmanship; but more importantly we cultivate commitment, dedication, and character.  I am proud of what South Dakota Junior Football has accomplished since 1969 as a non-profit organization.  Football is a gateway for our youth and our league sets us apart - our tenured coaches have multiple years of experience mentoring youth- many both on and off the field.  Our custom built football fields (at the Sanford Sports Complex) provide players an exclusive and exciting place to play.  Not only does South Dakota Junior Football give the kids a great way to get out and have fun, but it provides the opportunity to be part of a team, build confidence, and learn the fundamentals of football. South Dakota Junior Football is a great organization that I am proud to be a part of.

  • Chris Blackwelder Chair - Sales and Marketing

  • Andrew Darkow Board Member
     
    I was a part of South Dakota Jr Football as a player from 3rd grade through my 8th grade year. Being a player in the league not only helped prepare me for high school football, but also taught me many lessons I still apply to my life today. Being a part of South Dakota Jr Football as a board member gives me the opportunity to hopefully pass some of those same lessons I learned as a player on to today's youth. 

  • Kyle Gross Member

  • Russ Harter Director of Coaching

  • Nancy Hetherington Missouri Valley Rep.

  • Gail Houfek Missouri Valley Rep.

  • Brent Hubers President

  • John Kirchner Vice-President

  • Nick Kisch Missouri Valley Rep.

     To put it simply, it’s what we are all called to do. Not this board specifically, but to serve. We are all called to be servants. As a coach, I try to do my best to teach my players about self-sacrifice. To do what is best for the betterment of the team. Basically, to be a servant to their teammates. If I am going to ask this of my players, I better be willing to act on this myself. So I serve.

    I serve to help be the change. If I want, not only my boys, but all their friends and classmates to have the best opportunity to play a game that they all love, I owe it to them to dig in and get my hands dirty. In the two years I have been on the board, I have been blown away at everything this great league has to offer. From Heads Up training required of our coaches to help with player safety, the great equipment provided for the players so they don’t have to purchase their own, the camps that are put on to help each and every player to be able to learn the fundamentals of each position, to the great fields we have to play on both in Yankton and Sioux Falls. And I haven’t even mentioned the games yet!

    I serve on the board and as a coach, because I love these kids. I know that coaches love to talk about how many life lessons kids can learn from youth sports, and that can be true. What isn’t usually mentioned is how many life lessons we learn from these amazing kids. Every day at practice, every Sunday at our games, and even a Friday night in late October whenever you’re lucky enough to still be playing. They remind us that no matter how bad things can look sometimes, as long as you stay positive and love the people around you, good things are going to happen. The kids remind us that we don’t have to be the best, just that we are better than we were the day before. They teach us about true unity; when only four kids are supposed to go out for the coin toss, and next thing you know the entire team is hand-in-hand walking out to midfield. But most of all, these kids teach us how life is supposed to be lived, with a smile on your face excited about what is to come.

    To know that I even have the chance to help these kids come to learn about self-worth, inclusion, dedication, and mental toughness gets me pumped. To see them come together as a team, to see them understand that great things come through hard work and working as one unit, I get goosebumps just thinking about past teams and excited about those to come in the future.

    So why did I join? In reality, it’s probably a little selfish, because I want to keep learning from these kids. Being on the board, with so many other great board members that have so many gifts and graces, and being around these kids from August – October, is an absolute blessing.

    Why am I on the board? Because I don’t know a better way I could spend my time than giving back to those that give me so much more in return


  • Joe Kleinschmit Chair - Equipment

  • Elden Lasley Member

  • Nate Laubach Member

  • Larry Leveranz Treasurer

  • Ryan Mediger Member

  • Mike Metivier Registrar

  • Wes Meyer Member

  • Becky Souchek Chair-Missouri Valley Conference

    WHY DID I JOIN THE SOUTH DAKOTA JUNIOR FOOTBALL BOARD?

    Probably a good question for a female on what used to be an all- male volunteer based board and for a person with no children to participate in the program. One reason is just the pure love for the sport of football, at any level…youth, high school, college, or pro! I want to help make sure the sport remains in place for many more years to come to allow youth of all ages to participate and experience the game of football and also so spectators like myself can continue to watch and encounter the thrill of the game! However, through my years volunteering with the youth 
    football league, I have seen how much the program means to so many youth.

    It is more than just a game for the participants. To see the “organized chaos” of the 6 and 7 year olds develop through the years into cohesive unified teams with goals and a mission while the player is involved in SDJRFB is remarkable. The leadership, team camaraderie, the heart and passion, the will and determination are just a few of the things you see come out of these players by being able to follow and watch them throughout the years. Once they grow out of our program, the development of these players doesn’t stop, it is just as fun to continue to watch them grow and share in their success and feel their pain in defeat.

    At times, I feel I get more back from the program then I give because these players are great reminders to me as an adult to not be afraid to face your fears and to give it your all each and every day. The kids have also given me some thrilling football games to watch over the years! It always brings a smile to my face when I hear juniors or seniors in high school reminisce about their youth football days. Knowing that I have helped play a part in something that meant so much and left a lasting memory on these young players is what keeps me wanting to volunteer on this board.


  • Dave Spencer Missouri Valley Rep.