(Vermillion)- 93-year old Ardell Hatch played big role in getting the Dakotadome built in 1979. Then for two years, the Vermillion city leader pushed for the high school football championships, with the title games in the dome.
"Back in those days we had state championships for basketball and tennis and the others, so why not football." says Hatch.
And back in those days, Hatch and the others, got there hands dirty.
"We didn't have electronics, so we hand wrote the teams names on cardboard and hoisted them up to the scoreboard." says Hatch
"I can remember Ardell on a 15-foot step ladder, putting those signs up, making sure they were straight, and then changing the team named between games." says former Chamber president Dan Christopherson.
It was Ardell's idea, to take things a step further with the teams.
"Ardell came up with the idea to have team hosts, so members of the community, some still do it, some are no longer with us, would host a team one on one, and we'd take them places to eat, and get them practice time and stuff like that."
Hatch, hasn't missed a game in the 32-years of state championships. And the man who helped make it happen, loves to see what it's become.
"It makes me happy." says Hatch.