The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

Ploof, Hyde among Hall inductees

November 29, 2005 by

Dave Ploof and Kent Hyde, who set records that most likely will never be broken, are among 10 individuals chosen for induction into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. Ploof has made Rapid City Post 22 one of the most successful Legion baseball programs in the country, guiding the team to 31 state titles. Hyde set a national record by averaging 50 points a game in high school. He is one of three basketball players selected. The other two are Bob Swanhorst and John Diefendorf. Also chosen were basketball coach Dave Strain, golfer Indy Titterington, track and cross country coach Andy Zephier, athletic trainer Keith "Doc" Fitzpatrick, sportswriter Bob Oates and radio sportscaster Norm Hilson. Ploof and Strain live in Rapid City, Zephier and Swanhorst in Sioux Falls, Oates in Los Angeles, Hyde in Little Rock, Ark., and Fitzpatrick in Mitchell. Hilson, Titterington and Diefendorf are being honored posthumously. The 10 will be inducted at a banquet April 8 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Ticket information will be released at a later date. The Hall of Fame was established by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association in 1968 and is now an independent, nonprofit organization. With the new inductees, the Hall will boast a membership of 167. Dave Ploof The Austin, Minn., native and Mankato State grad has coached Post 22 for 41 years, compiling a 2,190-683 record. He has never had a losing season. Under Ploof, Post 22 has won 31 state titles and advanced to the Legion World Series eight times, winning the national title in 1993. Post 22 won 18 state titles in a row from 1970-87. Ploof, who once had a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals, was named national Legion baseball coach of the year in 1982. He was a wrestling coach at Rapid City Central for about 25 years and led the Cobblers to state titles in 1977, '78 and '84. Kent Hyde In 1954 at Onida, the 6-foot-51/4 senior averaged an incredible 50.4 points a game. His point total (1,411) and average that season were national records. His high game for the season was 66 points. The previous year he had helped Onida win the state Class B title. Hyde had 42 major-college offers but he went to South Dakota State, where as a sophomore (freshmen were not eligible) he averaged 17.2 points a game and led the Jackrabbits to their first North Central Conference title in almost 20 years. The next year he again led SDSU to an NCC title as he averaged 19 points a game. A ruptured disk in his back, suffered during his senior year, prevented him from trying out with the St. Louis Hawks of the NBA. The Hawks had drafted him after his junior year. Bob Swanhorst One of the leading scorers in South Dakota boys basketball history, Swanhorst was an outstanding coach and college player as well. At Cresbard, Swanhorst scored 2,404 points, which is now No. 4 in state history (was No. 2 when he graduated). He led Cresbard to a state "B" runner-up finish in 1956 and state title in 1957 and set a record for points in the championship round (91) in 1957. Recruited by seven NCAA Division I schools, he chose Augustana. Freshmen were ineligible then, but he started three years, was all-NCC first team twice and set Augustana career records by averaging 15.2 points and 15.5 rebounds in his 60-game career. As a coach, he guided Webster High to the 1966 state "A" title and Huron College to the NAIA national tourney in 1974. He also was a prep coach at Huron and Burnsville, Minn. John Diefendorf The 1946 Irene High grad, named Mr. Basketball in South Dakota for the first half of the 20th century, rewrote the University of South Dakota record books. He was a three-time all-NCC performer (1948-50) and led the NCC in scoring in 1949 and '50. He set school records for points in a game (39), season (434) and career (861), field goals in a game (18) and season (167) and free throws in a game (13) and season (99). Following graduation, he was invited to training camp with the Minneapolis Lakers, but he went into the service instead. At Irene, he starred in football and basketball and competed in baseball and track. Independence "Indy" Titterington Born on the Fourth of July in 1912, the Fairmont (Minn.) High grad won five state women's amateur golf titles (1956, 59-60, '62 and '67) and was runner-up four times (1952, '55, '57, '68). It's an impressive feat, especially for someone who didn't play in the state tourney until about age 40 and then didn't play in the state tourney every year. The Yankton golfer was the state's Independent Athlete of the Year for 1962. Titterington's father had been a club pro and club maker in Scotland at St. Andrews and Royal St. George's. Andy Zephier The 1949 Flandreau Public High and 1957 Augustana grad coached and taught at the Flandreau Indian School for 33 years (1957-1990). His cross country teams won seven state championships and were runners-up four times. His 1962 track team was a state champion, snapping Washington High's streak of nine straight titles. He is a member of the S.D. Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In high school, Zephier was a Class B all-state basketball player in 1948. He played basketball at Augustana. Dave Strain The White River High and SDSU grad guided Rapid City Central boys basketball to statewide prominence in his 24 years as the Cobblers' head coach (1963-86). Strain's Cobblers won state titles in 1969 and '80 and were runners-up six times. He coached at Deadwood for three years, then came to Rapid City as an assistant coach. His overall record as a head coach was 398-231. As a player, he led White River to the 1949 state Class B tourney. He also played at SDSU. He was the first recipient of the Ralph Ginn coaching award at SDSU. In 1985, he was the first active coaching recipient of the S.D. Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Shrine. Keith "Doc" Fitzpatrick The father of athletic training in South Dakota, Fitzpatrick has been an athletic trainer/physical therapist for more than 50 years. A graduate of Sioux City Trinity High, Morningside College and the University of Iowa Physical Therapy School, Fitzpatrick started his career in Omaha in 1954. He came to Mitchell in 1957, where he's been ever since. He has treated thousands of athletes across the state. For years, he treated athletes at the hospital for free. At 79, he is the oldest active physical therapist in the state. He started the student trainer program at Mitchell High. He was interviewed for the job of being the first athletic trainer of the Minnesota Vikings. Norm Hilson At WNAX-AM in Yankton from 1956 until his death in 1990, Hilson was the voice of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits for most of his career. The five-time South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year was the first sportscaster elected to the North Central Conference Hall of Fame. A 1946 Knox (N.D.) High and 1953 Brown Institute of Broadcasting grad, he worked briefly in radio at Fergus Falls, Minn., and Fairmont, Minn., before joining WNAX. Bob Oates The Aberdeen Central and Yankton College grad has been in the newspaper business for 70 years, mostly in Los Angeles. He has covered every Super Bowl. Oates worked for the Aberdeen American News and Yankton Press & Dakotan before moving to Los Angeles in the 1930s. For more than 35 years he served on the selection committees for both the baseball and football Halls of Fame as one of a handful of media members with both responsibilities. While at the Los Angeles Times, he became the first newspaperman whose sole job was to cover national pro and college football. He is the author of "Football in America: Game of the Century" and "Sixty Years of Winners."

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