Stu Whitney of the Argus Leader joins Jeff Thurn on Wednesday's edition of Overtime talks about Mixed Martial Arts in South Dakota and Roosevelt as the team to beat in Class AAA for football. 

Recently, the South Dakota Athletic Commission adopted a baseline set of polices and approved the first-ever sanctioned Mixed Martial Arts event to be held August 22nd at the Sanford Pentagon. Thurn asks Whitney if it was a good move: 

"I do. I think this is a good opportunity for South Dakota. I think the MMA has always been pretty big in Sioux Falls and South Dakota, but it was more of an underground movement for a long time. This legitimizes it and I know the common line of MMA is going more mainstream, but I think it is true sort of the regulation of it, and cleaning it up and making it. To truly got mainstream, you have to prove to people this is safe and is not some to the death cage match. I think Sanford has very much been on the forefront of that and now the Sanford Pentagon has an opportunity to sort of showcase some of these events, but the first step as you pointed out is to kind of get this commission established and I do think this is a good move."

Who could be some of the top teams in high school football this Fall in Class AAA? 

"Well it starts with Roosevelt. I mean they've got the skilled guys coming back. Plus, you start with Grant Schmidt. Anytime you have a left tackle going to Ohio State, that's not a bad place to start in high school football. Taryn Christion, the best quarterback in the state is just a playmaker and a guy that can blow the game open. A lot of defenses really have no answer for him as the game goes on. So, as you start with that, an elite left tackle and the best quarterback in the state, it's tough to argue with that. Plus, a coach (Kim Nelson) who knows a little bit about offense, and then of course you put Chase Vinateri, who is going to be sort of a multipurpose weapon in addition to the best kicker in the state, they are going to put up a ton of points. The question is whether their defense holds up. They get into right away, Jeff, against Brandon Valley on August 29, their opener at Howard Wood Field. Brandon Valley, a lot of people think is the second-best team in the state. I think we need to see a little bit more before we make that determination, but certainly we are going to get a pretty good look at both those teams on the 29th. O'Gorman, I think with (Luke) Fritsch coming back at quarterback, how much better they've been the last couple of years. Then, Washington, a nightmare season last year with a ton of young talent including Matt Farniok, who is going to follow in the path of Grant Schmidt as a major Division I recruit."

To hear more of Whitney's (@stuwhitney) interview with Thurn, listen below:

Listen to Thurn everyday on ESPN 99.1 from 3 to 6 p.m. and follow him on Twitter @jtespn991.

Barb French