Killdeer Donkey Basketball Championship

Man, enough negative reporting on drugs and crime here recently.


By Pat Merriman

Dunn Co. State’s Attorney

So, turning to the lighter side of our new home town, the Bear, Steph, Sam, Jack and I attended the Killdeer Donkey Basketball Championship Wednesday night at Killdeer High School along with an estimated 440 other local residents (including all the karate kids and their parents). Yes, the place was packed and, another reminder of why one needs to leave the big city, move to a small town and enjoy the sight of good, clean (well mostly clean), wholesome family entertainment as the local youth vied for the vaunted title of KDBC. The four teams competing for the title were sponsored by the local Killdeer FFA chapter and, all proceeds went to fund that organization. Much like regular basketball, with one major difference, the competitors (4-person teams) had to ride (read that, try to stay on the back of)…well… donkeys as the humans played traditional basketball, albeit, with a much smaller ball. Two elimination rounds (two, 8-minute periods each) and, one 8-minute championship round under the rules established by the Dairyland Donkey Basketball Show of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Try saying that three times in a row really fast!

The FFA Rural Rednecks, coached by Larry Lundberg, and comprised of Hayes LeMieux, Katelynn Lane, Colby Dukart, Derek Tabor and Ty Truchan. In the first round, they played the Future Business Leader’s of America “Takin’ Care of Business” team, coached by Amber Kukla, and comprised of Kasey Houghton, Meghan Praus, Emery Dobitz, Lily McFadden, Rachel Kisse, and Chenneth Morlock. The Rural Rednecks were the winners with a final score of 14-2. A low-scoring, defense-oriented, well that ain’t exactly true, it was more of a donkey-dragging, stubborn as a mule…well….you get the drift.

In the next round, the Dunn County All-Stars, coached by Dane Larsen, and comprised of Abby Case, Ashley Jelly, Becki Anderson, Andy Murphy, Janis Harris and Ashley Viveros. They competed against the Smart Donkeys, coached by Dillon Jepson and comprised of Codi Schaper, Jasmine Ridl, Taycee Butts, Gabi Flaget, Zeb Doe and Trae Murray. Final score? DCAS was the winner 12-8. During the halftimes, children rode the donkeys, stuffed their faces, snapped photos and watched as the “Sanitation Crew” (Jordan Martin, Gabi Larimer, Hannah Kisse, and Jessica Geotz)…well… cleaned up what donkeys do (or doo as the case may be). And, as the Donkey (Eddie Murphy) quipped in the movie Shrek, “Yeah, right, brimstone. Don’t be talking about no brimstone. I know what I smelled, it wasn’t no brim and it didn’t come off no stone neither…”

Coupled with the “spoils” of battle on the gymnasium floor was a donkey called the Goobinator in the championship round. When the Rural Rednecks squared off against the All Stars, this particular donkey, shall we say, provided a whole new level of hilarity as the Redneck players simply tried to stay mounted on him. Dipping, whirling, bucking and, generally, refusing to cooperate did not stop the Rednecks though as they still won the tournament posting a 8-2 score over the All Stars. I learned another couple of lessons from my grandson Jack at the game too—Rule #1: If you teach a 20-month-old to head butt, watch your nose. Rule #2: The little guys learn by observation. He was eating most of Ken Roschau’s bag of popcorn, so, we bought him his own. He was intent on eating it all himself too. And, as I leaned in for a kernel, he pretended to lure me in with his little paw and, then, jerked it right back out of my mouth and stuffed it into his. Monkey see…monkey do!

Killdeer…thank you very much for quite a night of entertainment on a cold, blustery Tuesday! And, congratulations Rural Rednecks. A very pleasant night of diversion.

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