Stanley senior signs to play basketball, golf at DSU

With his decision to play basketball and golf at Dickinson State University, Stanley High senior Seth Hetzel is joining a growing group of dual-sport athletes donning the Blue and Grey.

With his decision to play basketball and golf at Dickinson State University, Stanley High senior Seth Hetzel is joining a growing group of dual-sport athletes donning the Blue and Grey.

Hetzel said he was deciding between Dickinson State and Lake Region State College, but the fact that both his parents and sister are Blue Hawks aided in his final choice. He also said the agriculture program feeling like a family was a factor, and of course, the ability to continue being an athlete was a huge appeal as well.

"I always wanted a players coach and since (Dickinson State head coach Josh Vaughan) was a player, he knows what players want and how much to work them during practice, and I thought that was pretty cool," Hetzel said. "They have a good program and it gives me the opportunity to play basketball at the next level."

Vaughan first saw Hetzel play as a junior at the 2018 Class B state tournament, where the Blue Jays finished eighth with the help of eventual Mr. Basketball Wyatt Hanson.

This year, the 6-foot-3 guard didn't get to see the state tournament but played a large role on a youthful team that went 16-9. The Blue Jays fell to Powers Lake 56-40 in the Region 8 semifinal.


Over his high school career, Hetzel netted 554 points on 55.9% shooting from the field. He hit 31.2% of his shots from three-point range, and sunk 70% from the free-throw line. Additionally, he's been named to the All-District 16 team, All-Tournament team, All-Region 8 Tournament team, and was the District 16 Senior Athlete of the Year.

"He's a guard who's about 6-3, 6-4. He can play a number of different positions," Vaughan said of Hetzel's strengths. "He played point guard a lot for his high school team, so he can basically play one through four. .. he can really shoot it. He's a guy who's pretty skilled, hitting shots from NBA-range three, get to the hoop. He's got a high skill level as well as size to go with that. He's going to be a good player."

In the fall and spring, Hetzel will trade a ball for a club and aim for a hole rather than a hoop.

"It's going to be a lot of work for sure," Hetzel said. "Just playing one sport is kind of like a full- time job. ... I think it'll be fun. It'll definitely be a lot of work and a lot of time, but I guess I'll see how it goes."

Hetzel has been golfing for a long time.

"Ever since I could stand up and hold a club, my dad had me out there," he said.

This year, Hetzel is eyeing the ambitious goal of helping his team win a state championship. The Blue Jays were 10th in 2018. In the individual championship, Hetzel finished 26th with a two-round total of 168, 19 strokes behind the medalist.

"He's got a great arc for a swing because he's pretty dang tall. He's a basketball player, so he's pretty tall," Dickinson State golf head coach Thadd O'Donnell said. "He's a solid golfer. He's a smart kid. Most importantly, he loves golf. He's been playing ever since he was little. The most appealing part is he's got some consistent scores. He's got a lot of upswing as he matures and gets older."


The golf team, which is funding itself after being cut from the athletics budget following the 2018 season, has to be creative in recruiting. Acquiring a dual-sport athlete, is an effective way to do so.

"We're able to get some real good athletes that want to do more than one sport, where they don't have to pick. (Athletes) that might be able to go somewhere else to play basketball, but you've got the option to do both here and that was a pretty good incentive to get him to come to Dickinson," O'Donnell said. "For us, obviously, it's going to be a benefit and basketball and golf is a great combination because they don't overlap."

Joining Hetzel in the 2020 men's golf signing class is Ethen Wolf of Gillette, Wyo., and Jose Galarza of Worland, Wyo. The trio of freshmen will join a team that graduates no seniors this spring.

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