I've had the good fortune of announcing around 1,000 sporting events over the years. I've done college and high school play-by-play all across our great state, calling games from Aberdeen to Winner, Raid City to Sioux Falls, and most of the communities in between. I was around and did play-by-play for the very first-ever South Dakota high school football playoff game in the Dakota Dome, and the first-ever sanctioned girl's basketball tournament. And please stop your snickering, no I wasn't there for the leather football helmets.

With all that being said, I love the, what I would call, 'unique' team names. Perhaps that's because I went to a high school with what might be considered a unique (some would say weird) name. Yes, I am an alumni of Edgerton Minnesota Public High School, the proud home of 'The Flying Dutchmen'...and we played the Jasper Quartzsiters.

South Dakota has its fair share of unusual (and cool!) names, too. After all, think about it: There really aren't that many 'Coyotes' around (USD) and even fewer 'Jackrabbits' (SDSU).

And then there's the schools I really love, the high schools.

Yes, we do have the Tigers and the Lions, the Bulldogs and the Raiders and the Wildcats. But perhaps somewhere along the way this school season you'll catch the Moguls (Edgemont) or the Scoopers (Sturgis). You might drive through a town and see there on the football field the Cobblers (Rapid City Central) or the Scotties (Philip). You could be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Gorillas (Gregory) or the Highlanders (Scotland). Wouldn't it be something if the Skyhawks (Takini) battled the Nighthawks (Tripp-Delmont). Maybe the Thunder Hawks (Tiospaye Topa) could be part of the fun. In fact, South Dakota high schools have lots of kinds of Hawks.

We have Longhorns (Faith) and Ranchers (Harding County) which may not be all that unusual for South Dakota.  We have Golddiggers (Lead-Deadwood) and Rustlers (Miller) which harken back to the 'old days' I suppose. Need a drink of water? Stop by and watch the Irrigators (Newell). You don't hear about a lot of Tanagers (Vermillion) outside of South Dakota, and do you really need to wonder why the Governors are in Pierre or why the Kernels call Mitchell home?

Yep, I loved doing high school play-by-play in our great state. I loved the Warriors and the Eagles and the Patriots and all the various cats and dogs. I did a lot of games for the Cossacks (Sioux Valley) when I was up in the Volga/Brookings area.

But you know one team I missed, the one team that maybe had the most unusual, unique, and odd name of all? My old friend Gene Hetland told me about them. The school had closed before I got to the state, so I missed out on calling a game for the....

Monroe Wooden-Shoe Canaries.

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