Sports Columns

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 ...

Proper perspective

We tend to be a hypercompetitive society, concerned more about the bottom line than lessons learned along the way.The results from last Thursday's district cross country meet in Columbus Junction are missing Zach Houghland's name. Despite winning an individual championship in the race, the ...

A clean slate

There have been curses and jinxes. Black cats, billy goats and Bartman.Teams that had enough talent to win it all, and teams that had no talent at all. Long-suffering fans who have faithfully stood by the franchise every step of the way.Most of us know the precarious history of the Chicago Cubs ...

Seeing is believing

The question originated locally during the summer months, but has since spread like wildfire across the entire state.Just how good is the Fort Dodge football team?The Dodgers are currently ranked fourth in Class 4A with a 4-0 record. Because we aren't talking about a traditional, ...

Zero tolerance

AMES - With all due respect to C.J. Beathard and the revamped Iowa offense, the most valuable players from Saturday's come-from-behind victory over rival Iowa State rarely had the ball in their hands.They spent the entire second half making sure the Cyclones didn't much, either.Hawkeye ...

The importance of commitment, in sports and beyond

Commitment.It's often what separates the great from the good enough. The achievers from the dreamers. And in sports, the champions from everyone else.Commitment is about never settling or being satisfied. Staying the course when outside influences pull in a different direction. Working ...

Family first

This is a sports page. I am well aware of the typical boundaries. We're not here to discuss politics, religion or delve into other topics away from the athletic arena.With that being said, please forgive this momentary tangent.When my family moved to Fort Dodge almost 30 years ago, the first ...

As good as it gets

There is just enough scandal and dysfunction in sports to summon the cynic in all of us.Every once in a while, though, a pure, vulnerable, passionate moment will recapture our innocence and remind us why we love this stuff so much - imperfections and all.Zach Johnson, the aw-shucks golfer from ...

Together again

Opening day of the state softball tournament comes with an added twist this summer.Forty teams from five classes will be in Fort Dodge on a championship mission, which is standard operating procedure. Almost 700 players and 20,000 fans are here for the 45th consecutive year, and before all is ...

Side by side

It has happened before, but just once.For the first - and only - time since 2006, the Fort Dodge and St. Edmond softball teams will be active co-hosts of the state softball tournament next week at Rogers Park.The second-seeded Dodgers and No. 1 seed Gaels are on a short list of frontrunners in ...