(Nov. 19, 2014)

Showdown Series fights hunger in South Dakota

VERMILLION, S.D.—Fans can participate in the state’s biggest rivalry by donating funds to feed hungry families in South Dakota.

Saturday’s football match-up between South Dakota and South Dakota State is part of the South Dakota Corn Showdown Series, which tracks athletic and academic performance among student athletes of both universities and aims to create awareness and raise funds for hungry families in South Dakota.


“During the first two years of the Showdown Series, South Dakotans showed their generosity by donating enough money and food to provide tens of thousands of meals for those who are less fortunate,” said Mark Gross, president of the Corn Utilization Council. “As we enter the holiday season, this is a perfect time to step up once again to help those who are down on their luck.”


Feeding South Dakota, the state’s largest hunger relief organization, is the philanthropic organization benefitting from the Showdown Series. First Bank & Trust has joined the South Dakota Corn Council in support of the Showdown Series for Feeding South Dakota. Leading up to the game, fans are encouraged to make donations at their local First Bank & Trust branch or online at


“Fishback Financial Corporation, through our 16 First Bank & Trust locations, is happy to serve as the collection point for donations to Feeding South Dakota as part of the USD/SDSU Showdown Series,” said David Waligoske, President/CEO of Fishback Financial Corporation. “We have a lot of fun with the rivalry within our organization, having locations in each of the college towns and employing many graduates of both universities.  It’s nice to see the rivalry fuel donations to a great cause.”


Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity members from both universities will participate in a 137 mile run from Vermillion to Brookings benefiting Feeding South Dakota. The group is taking pledges/donations per runner and mile in order to help the Showdown Series fight hunger in South Dakota. Around 40 students will leave the DakotaDome at 8 a.m. Friday. Once in Brookings, the group will present the game ball to South Dakota State University President, and fellow fraternity member, David Chicoine.


The South Dakota Corn Utilization Council will be distributing Showdown Series rally towels to commemorate the event and serve as a reminder to help hungry families in South Dakota. The rally towels will be available to the first 5,000 fans on the east side of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.


Special videoboard messages from South Dakota State student athletes will emphasize to fans and players the importance of the Showdown Series’ sportsmanship initiative.


South Dakota leads South Dakota State 3-2 in the South Dakota Corn Showdown Series point standings, following the 2014 volleyball, soccer and cross country match-ups. The series is in its third season and the 2014-15 winner will be announced at the conclusion of the athletic and academic year.


For additional information, visit Showdown Series ( or South Dakota Corn Utilization Council(










Jacks Bested Coyotes 18-9 in Season-Long, In-State Rivalry Competition


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (May 29, 2014) – South Dakota Corn Utilization officials announced today that South Dakota State University again will hold bragging rights another full year as winner of the “South Dakota Showdown Series”, a point-based, athletic and academic competition between the two in-state university rivals.

Following the 2012-13 athletic season – the Showdown Series’ inaugural year – the SDSU Jackrabbits bested the University of South Dakota Coyotes with a score of 14-13, while at the conclusion of this season, the Jackrabbits came out on top with a score of 18-9.

Overall, both universities succeeded in the academic achievement portion of the 2013-14 competition, earning a maximum of three points toward the final total. Presented by South Dakota Corn, the Showdown Series is structured against a point system in which each school can earn 24 points per year based on head-to-head competition and conference championships between SDSU and USD in a total of 17 men’s and women’s sports. For a complete breakdown of point totals against the sport won by the respective university, visit

“For years, this storied rivalry has captivated our state on the fields of play. Now, the South Dakota Corn Showdown Series spotlights academic and philanthropic achievements in addition to athletics,” said Justin Sell, Director of Athletics, South Dakota State University. “We’re proud to showcase the successes of our student athletes, celebrate their victories and help them become lifelong champions.”

“The South Dakota Corn Showdown Series has enhanced a great rivalry by providing outstanding exposure to the achievements of both institutions. We congratulate SDSU on their victory this year and look forward to the series for years to come,” said University of South Dakota Director of Athletics David Herbster.

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SDSU Jacks Win South Dakota Showdown Series/Page 2 of 2


A critical complement to the Showdown Series is the concerted effort demonstrated by both universities all year long to assist Feeding South Dakota, the competition’s designated non-profit organization. In February, a total of 3,583 backpacks were filled when USD and SDSU athletic departments, student athletes and Learfield Sports’ personnel teamed up for Feeding South Dakota’s BackPack program. Additionally, nearly 32,000 meals from monetary donations and pounds of food collected during the entire athletic season have gone to directly benefit families in the immediate region.

“The way these two universities put their rivalries aside to provide us vital assistance all year long is remarkable,” said Feeding South Dakota’s Executive Director Matt Gassen. “Being aligned with the Showdown Series has meant so much to us and the families we help every day, and we really can’t thank the schools and South Dakota Corn enough for their ongoing support.”

“We are proud to be a part of this historic rivalry between state’s two largest universities featuring the state’s top student-athletes,” said South Dakota Corn Utilization Council President Mark Gross. “With its enormous popularity, the Showdown Series offers our organization a unique opportunity to tell the story of the state’s number one industry, agriculture to an ever growing fan base.”

Spearheading this initiative with the South Dakota Corn and the two universities are Jackrabbit Sports Properties and Coyote Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holders for SDSU Athletics and USD Athletics respectively. Both are properties of Learfield Sports, which manages multimedia rights for 99 collegiate properties. Other Learfield Sports’ schools hosting rivalry series include Oklahoma/Oklahoma State (Bedlam Series) and Iowa/Iowa State (Cy-Hawk Series).

For additional information, visit Learfield Sports (; South Dakota Corn Utilization Council ( or Feeding South Dakota (

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Showdown Series food drive to benefit Feeding South Dakota

(Feb. 20, 2014) – The annual Showdown Series challenge between the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University continues on the basketball court and also in grocery aisles.

From Saturday, Feb. 22 through Sunday, March 2, Coyote and Jackrabbit fans will deposit food in barrels at seven Hy-Vee grocery stores in Sioux Falls as well as Hy-Vee stores in Brookings and Vermillion. All food that’s collected will be donated to Feeding South Dakota.

The food drive will conclude after basketball games between the men’s teams March 1 in Brookings and the women’s teams March 2 in Vermillion. Cash donations also can be made at the games or by calling Feeding South Dakota at 605-335-0364.

The drive is a partnership involving Coyote Sports Properties, Jackrabbit Sports Properties, Hy-Vee, Feeding South Dakota and South Dakota Corn, which sponsors the Showdown Series.

A similar drive held last November raised 35,360 pounds of food for Feeding South Daktoa, the state’s largest hunger-relief organization. That food provided 29,467 meals.

The Showdown Series is a yearlong athletics and academic competition between the state’s two NCAA Division I universities.

Food will be distributed locally through food banks and pantries. Items that are collected in Brookings and Vermillion will be given out through food pantries operated by local churches.

To track the Showdown Series standings, visit