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Sports Columns

The face of ‘Iowa Nice’

Less than two weeks ago, Carson King was a random Iowa State fan from Altoona with a funny idea for a sign. Fame works in mysterious and often unpredictable ways, though, especially in the day and age of social media. So when an ESPN College GameDay camera caught King’s sarcastic plea — ...

The perfect storm

So much emotion and energy goes into Cy-Hawk week every year. Now we have ESPN’s popular pregame football show, “College GameDay,” coming to Ames for the first time ever on Saturday morning to heighten the excitement leading up to a 3 p.m. kickoff between the Iowa State Cyclones and Iowa ...

Saying goodbye to one of our own

As an athlete, Vinnie Harvey took on an almost mythical persona. When he wanted to be, he was relentless and overpowering. And if he couldn’t be, he’d work until he became so. As a person, Vinnie Harvey was the antithesis of his dominant, competitive alter ego. He’d give a friend or a ...

Opening Day

This week’s state softball tournament is the 50th to be played at Rogers Sports Complex. The 50th anniversary celebration will be next year, even though it’s technically the 51st championship. And don’t ask me if it will be the 50th or 51st annual at that point ... that’s a debate for ...

State softball is a community effort

The state softball tournament first arrived on Fort Dodge’s doorstep nearly 50 years ago, when a freshly-christened Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex was still in the beginning stages of its development. So much has changed since 1970. The sport has evolved. The Iowa Girls High School ...

Strength in numbers

They wear green and white. Red and black. Red, white and blue. Different schools. Different backgrounds. Different allegiances. Yet on Monday, they were one in the same. Not Gaels, or Dodgers, or Marshalltown Bobcats, or Hampton-Dumont Bulldogs. Nearly 100 high school players and coaches ...

Unassuming leaders are often the backbone of our communities

You won’t find Walt LaFollette’s name on any prestigious Hall of Fame lists. He’s not in the record books for coaching state champions at Fort Dodge Senior High, or leading teams to titles that bring everlasting glory to a community. If you’re looking for Walt’s credentials in the ...

A summer home in FD

Patterson Field and the newly-formed Fort Dodge Gypsum Miners need our help. The iconic venue tucked into the southeast corner of town will be home base this summer for the Pioneer Collegiate Baseball League team, which is entering its inaugural summer on the diamond. It’s an exciting ...

Column: Ruffridge, Missouri State are “Little Giants”

AMES — Almost every single time she steps on the basketball court, Elle Ruffridge is taking on competition that towers over her 5-foot-3 frame. And time after time, Ruffridge finds a way to come out on top. That’s why Monday night’s NCAA Women’s Tournament second round game between ...

Role player equals role model

Nick Collison has always been that guy. The one who doesn’t need acknowledgement or rewards to tout his hard work. In his 15-year career with Oklahoma City, Collison averaged a pedestrian six points and five rebounds. So why, you ask, was he the first player in Thunder history to have ...

Admire the athlete, but aspire to be the person

Mammas, let your babies grow up to be like Megan, Bridget or Becca. Now that the Big Ten, Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conference basketball players of the year — Megan Gustafson, Bridget Carleton and Becca Hittner — all officially hail from programs in our own backyard, it’s time to crown ...

Renewing our vows

I had a very eye-opening conversation with a local teenage athlete about our industry recently. What started as a casual discussion about sports articles turned into an enlightening experience for — hopefully — both of us. And for the well being of our profession, I want to share the ...

A teachable moment

Five days ago, I started to write a column about Gary Dolphin, Gary Barta, King Kong references in sports, the University of Iowa’s often tone-deaf athletic department, public discourse, the struggle to find a happy medium when it comes to sensitivity in today’s society, and the importance ...

What is the secret to Dodger success?

It almost seems as though winning championships has become second nature to athletes in the Fort Dodge Community School District. Another whirlwind run through the state wrestling and bowling competitions netted the Fort Dodge Senior High athletic department four more titles recently. Dodger ...

Time has come for Iowa to give girls wrestling serious consideration

Fort Dodge head coach Bobby Thompson doesn’t mince words when discussing the future of high school girls wrestling in our state. “It’s going to happen,” Thompson said. “Hopefully soon. It’s long overdue.” When Thompson’s defending state champion Dodgers hosted the annual Don ...

Hawks, Cyclones playing with an early swagger

Drawing any conclusions from November basketball is almost always an exercise in futility. Early-season success often wanes and ultimately winds up being fool’s gold by March. Teams are simply too unpredictable from game to game; the execution is lacking, the defense is ragged, the flow is ...

AGAINST ALL ODDS

With the clock quietly ticking past 2 a.m. in the middle of a town virtually asleep, I slowly drove past Dodger Stadium and toward home as I always do after a football Friday road trip. For me, what started as a simple routine is now a tradition. Regardless of what transpired hours before — ...

For both Iowa and Iowa State, this is just the beginning

Contrary to the narrative pitched by many — typically fans of the winning team in a given year — the Iowa-Iowa State football outcome doesn’t represent a zero-sum game. Sure, there are bragging rights. It’s either a “Hawkeye State” or a “Cyclone State,” depending on the ...

Passing the torch

Comparing Drake Miller to Randy Reiners seems only natural these days, given the Dodger senior has been busy rewriting the record books as the most statistically accomplished quarterback in Fort Dodge Senior High football history. That’s no small feat. Reiners is still, to this day, Dodger ...

THEIR FIELD OF DREAMS

There is a poignant — and what I would consider the defining — exchange in the iconic movie “Field of Dreams” where the story’s protagonist, Ray Kinsella, gets asked by his resurrected father, John, if Iowa is heaven. Ray famously answers for the second time in the film, “it’s ...