Grant County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Joel Foster was presented the True Friend of Education award by the Milbank Education Association today, Monday, November 14, during the regular meeting of the Milbank Board of Education.
Known as an avid sports fan and athletic enthusiast, Foster has volunteered at athletic events in the community and school district since he moved to Milbank in 1996. He can be seen running the scoreboard and announcing for basketball, volleyball, football, and wrestling events at MHS and also fills in as a referee for lower level football games.
When he first arrived in Milbank, Foster joined the Milbank Ball Diamond Association. He served as president and currently serves as vice president for the group. He was instrumental in Milbank twice hosting the American Legion regional tournament for the American Legion national tournament.
Foster also joined the Milbank Wrestling Boosters Club. He served as vice president until he turned over the reins two years ago to Jason Kettwig.
Foster broke into the high school athletic scene when Jim Hadorn was the MHS athletic director. He began running the scoreboard for boys and girls basketball games after Gary Armstrong retired from that position. “I remember my first varsity game,” Foster said. “Jay Larson was one of the referees. He also ran the clock for South Dakota State University games. I told him that was my first game and right then he gave me a lesson in Scoreboard 101.”
Foster expanded his duties to wrestling and football, taking over announcing and scoreboard duties after Tracy Upton retired from his teaching position. “My favorite wrestling match I announced was last year’s dual between Milbank and Redfield-Doland. It was one of the few matches that the winner of the dual came down to the final heavyweight match.”
A few years ago, Foster also took over the announcing duties at basketball games when Chad Nolz began announcing the games on the radio. “The most memorable basketball game I encountered was the Summit-Warner girls regional championship,” he said. “That was more like a state championship game than a region game.”
Most recently, he began announcing and keeping score at volleyball matches. Foster has also been a city councilman for the City of Milbank since 2001.
“It is a honor to receive this award,” he stated. “I am a sports nut and enjoy sports, both MHS and the Jackrabbits, but doing this is my way of being part of the community.”
Pictured: Clay Brakke and Joel Foster