Pierre T.F. Riggs standout athlete Peyton Zabel and wrestling coach Shawn Lewis won awards that were voted on by the South Dakota Sports Writers Association. Zabel was named Independent Male Athlete of Year, while Lewis was named Prep Boys Coach of the Year.
While Zabel was a force in both football and basketball during his senior season — winning Player of the Year honors in both — he was nearly untouchable when he was on the mound. The hard-throwing right-handed pitcher notched 79 strikeouts during the spring, including a 16-strikeout performance in the state semifinals. Zabel was taken in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. He opted to go to college instead. He is competing in both football and baseball at Augustana University.
The Govs wrestling continued their reign of Class A wrestling dominance under Lewis in 2018, winning their seventh title in eight seasons. Under Lewis, who started with the program as an assistant in 2012-13 and took over in 2013, the Governors qualified 12 wrestlers for state, placing 10 including two state champions in William Turman and Michael Lusk. Lewis credits all this success to the youth wrestling program in Pierre that teaches the kids the basic skills they need to succeed once they get to high school.
Full 2018 SDSWA Year-End Awards list
Sports Celebrity: Adam Vinatieri, Rapid City
Independent Male Athlete: Peyton Zabel, Pierre baseball
Independent Female Athlete: Taryn Kloth, Creighton volleyball
Independent Team: Canova Gang amateur baseball
College Men’s Athlete: Seth Gross, South Dakota State wrestling
College Men’s Coach: Paul Sather, Northern State mens basketball
College Men’s Team: Augustana baseball
College Women’s Athlete: Macy Miller, South Dakota State womens basketball
College Women’s Coach: Jason Christensen, Dakota Wesleyan womens basketball
College Women’s Team: Dakota Wesleyan womens basketball
Prep Boys Athlete: Nash Hutmacher, Chamberlain wrestling
Prep Boys Coach: Shawn Lewis, Pierre wrestling
Prep Boys Team: Colome football
Prep Girls Athlete: Paiton Burckhard, Aberdeen Central girls basketball/track
Prep Girls Coach: Darci Wassenaar, Sioux Falls Christian volleyball
Prep Girls Team: St. Thomas More girls basketball