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Roger Toland



In a 43-year sportswriting career, all at the Rapid City Journal, Toland was No. 1 when it came to numbers. A graduate of Rapid City High and National College of Business in Rapid City, Toland began working at the Journal in 1964. He retired in 2007. The 43 years is thought to be a state record for a sportswriter working at the same newspaper. "I never thought I'd be here this long," Toland said. "It wasn't long after I started here that my father told me that one day I'd have to get a real job." Toland reported on thousands of sporting events, from Legion baseball to high school football, basketball, wrestling and track. Statistics were Toland's specialty. He compiled lists of state records in a number of sports, lists used by coaches, fans and media throughout the state. "Roger is simply a legend in this business," said Aberdeen American News sports editor John Papendick. "Everyone connected to sports in South Dakota owes Roger. We have all benefited from his words and talent. His attention to detail and record-keeping of statistics in this state are second to none." Readers, athletes and coaches long had a love-hate relationship with Toland's practice of picking scores of important games and tournaments in his columns. The prognostications wound up on many a locker-room wall, and prompted more than a few phone calls and e-mails, both congratulatory and angry. "I got just as much of a kick from the people who disagreed with me as I did from those who thought I was great," Toland said. He was a four-time winner of the South Dakota Sportswriter of the Year award and also a three-time winner of the award as chosen by the South Dakota Coaches Association. He also was named Sportswriter of the Year as chosen by the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Association. He is a member of the Rapid City Sports, the South Dakota High School Basketball Coaches Association and the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Association halls of fame. He has received distinguished service awards from the South Dakota High School Activities Association and the South Dakota Press Association.












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