Sports Columns

Seasoned by the seasons

Let me preface this by saying I am in no way, shape or form marginalizing the efforts and accomplishments of high school students who participate in just one sport. I don't want to turn this into an ''us vs. them'' column. Different strokes for different folks.I would like to take a moment, ...

Home-field advantage

For the 47th consecutive season, state softball champions will be crowned in Fort Dodge at the end of this week.The five days of tournament action at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex always seem to go by in a flash. Before the first pitch christens the event Monday morning and the ...

Collective souls

The Fort Dodge softball program often recites the mantra, ''team beats talent when talent isn't a team.''At first blush, that may sound like a swipe at many of the bigger, stronger opponents the Dodgers have to face through their ultra-competitive schedule. When 30 of 41 games are against ...

Glass half full

It wasn't supposed to end like this for Kole Kampen at Fort Dodge Senior High.The Dodgers' senior left-handed ace had big plans for the final month of his prep baseball career. Kampen was striking out nearly two batters per inning, and had a sparkling 1.17 earned run average. He was batting ...

Emotional tribute

Dutch Huseman tried his best to make a late wish come true.His grandson kept a promise for him instead.Andrew Huseman captured the Travis Habhab Lakeside Amateur championship on Sunday, almost two months to the day after his grandfather's death at the age of 92.The Hall of Fame coach and ...

Homegrown talent

If the names fueling Fort Dodge's recent state championship surge sound familiar, they should. The red and black roots definitely run deep in this new era of Dodger athletic success.Jaci Cochrane and Beth Murman recently put the finishing touches on FDSH's 10th title the last 16 months. To put ...

Missed opportunity

The Webster County I-Club banquet is conspicuously absent from this year's spring sports schedule, abruptly bringing an end to a tradition four full decades strong.Fort Dodge isn't the revamped tour schedule's lone casualty. Nine of the 21 I-Club stops from a year ago were cut from the 2016 ...

Missed opportunity

The Webster County I-Club banquet is conspicuously absent from this year's spring sports schedule, abruptly bringing an end to a tradition four full decades strong.Fort Dodge isn't the revamped tour schedule's lone casualty. Nine of the 21 I-Club stops from a year ago were cut from the 2016 ...

No place like home

Last June, my wife and I had the distinct privilege of escorting Frontier Days parade marshals Dutch and Joyce Huseman down Central Avenue to begin the weekend's ceremonial festivities.I'd always known Dutch loved Fort Dodge. His eyes lit up every time we talked about the Dodgers, or the ...

UNI fight

The Northern Iowa men's basketball team did this to themselves.By "this," I mean reaching the NCAA Tournament the year after losing their All-American forward and three of the team's top four scorers to graduation.By "this," I mean emerging from the shadows of what was once a 2-6 Missouri ...

Hoop dreams become a reality in Iowa

You'll never forget it. Years down the road, even when the specific details and exact dates fade, the feeling will always be there - like an old, familiar friend.The memories. The moments. The experience.March 17 and 18, 2016. A 36-hour stretch of hoop hysteria unlike any our state has ...

Head held high

Levi Peters was always a free-spirited athlete who played football with a reckless abandon. His intensity became legendary. His motor had no quit.Yet through it all, the 2011 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate's vibrant public persona became increasingly detached from the reality of the situation ...

A lesson in perseverance

DES MOINES - Drew Bennett found himself at the familiar state tournament crossroads.Fort Dodge's second-ranked 106-pounder had just dropped a crushing triple-overtime decision in the Class 3A quarterfinals to No. 1 Kyle Biscoglia of Waukee. His state championship dreams had been dashed in ...

A need for dialogue

At first, I didn't completely understand - or wholeheartedly agree with - the approach head coach Bobby Thompson and the Fort Dodge wrestling team took to their regional dual situation on Wednesday night.You know who else didn't particularly like it? Head coach Bobby Thompson and the Fort Dodge ...

Together as one

As the doors of the old Duncombe Elementary School building closed this past summer, I selfishly - though I suppose somewhat naturally - focused on how the change would directly affect my family.We were weeks away from seeing my son begin his final year, and my daughter was just getting started ...

Earn respect

Fort Dodge Senior High is the place to be on Thursday night, when nationally-ranked wrestling programs square off inside the Dodger gym.Fort Dodge, the early No. 1 team in Iowa's largest class, tests the waters of the elite in a highly-anticipated dual with defending state champion and No. 3 ...

The perfect storm: Hawkeyes vs. Spartans

From Chuck Long's naked bootleg that first spoiled my innocence to the Marvin McNutt miracle quick slant as time expired, the Iowa Hawkeyes have always been a haunting shadow in my life as a football fan.There was the 12-7 upset in 1990. The 17-point lead, blown in '96. The inexplicable 21-16 ...

Bottom-line business nixes affable leader

With 91 seconds of game time left in what should have been Iowa State's 35-28 win at Kansas State on Saturday, cameras captured an elated - and undoubtedly relieved - head coach Paul Rhoads jumping for joy on the sidelines.Nine seconds later, the Wildcats had the ball back after the Cyclones ...

Survive and advance

Depending on the point of view, Iowa's football schedule is either incredibly soft or much more challenging than initially assumed. The Hawkeyes themselves, meanwhile, remain pretenders to some and legitimate contenders to others.The debate rages on, intensifying by the week. We're nine games ...

Indomitable Royals win first championship in 30 years

By and large, professional athletes are completely detached from the realities of today's general public.The 2015 world champion Kansas City Royals - let that sink in - are a refreshing representative to the contrary. That will forever be their legacy.They're a bunch of guys playing the game ...