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Sports Columns

Walk the walk

One of the nation’s last live high school sporting events took place in Des Moines a little over two months ago. A total of 12 boys basketball programs — including Bishop Garrigan — played six contests to wrap up the state tournament on March 13 inside Wells Fargo Arena. On Wednesday, ...

Rallying around one of our own

Love and fight. That’s all Steve Springer can do these days in the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis. Nearly two months ago, the 59-year-old Fort Dodge resident was told he has stage four esophageal cancer. The disease has metastasized to his stomach, liver, adrenal glands, blood and ...

The Koll connection

Last week, we published an article about Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Lisa (Koll) Uhl’s pending Iowa State Athletics Hall of Fame induction. We also decided to dedicate our “throwback” picture that day to one of Lisa’s relatives, fellow former Dodger and wrestling legend Bill ...

A look back…before we look forward

It’s only natural for people to dust off the history books during a global health crisis. We do a lot of comparing and contrasting when faced with adversity or tragedy. So naturally, the flu pandemic of 1918-20 became an immediate reference point when COVID-19 first hit the mainstream ...

Until we meet again

I miss sports. Not for the reasons one may assume, though. Sure, I long for the games. The performances. The excitement of competition. I’d take the NCAA Tournament back in a heartbeat. A run-of-the-mill Major League Baseball slate would suit me fine. And I can just picture moving day at ...

Doing our part to localize a global pandemic

Spend enough time fixated on the national news these days and you tend to lose all sense of hope. With sports on the shelf and the COVID-19 pandemic looming large over all of us, I often find myself inundated with dire opinions from national talking heads, politicians and – because of the ...

Proceed with caution

Some of the hardest decisions in life come when there are no definitive solutions in sight. The NCAA’s unprecedented call to keep fans away from all major upcoming championship tournaments — men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling — certainly shocked our system. Due to the ...

All-area classic could be just the beginning

DES MOINES — If this is what we have to look forward to in the years to come, buckle up. The instant Class 1A girls basketball rivalry between Newell-Fonda and Bishop Garrigan — born on Saturday night with the Mustangs’ show-stopping comeback and last-second 65-63 championship-game ...

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

Fans love to compare and contrast eras and sports. Doing so is human nature and fun to discuss, given a “right” answer rarely exists. This happens even at the local level with high school programs. In the last 15 years alone, Fort Dodge softball, football, baseball, tennis and swimming ...

The death of a dad

If the news of Kobe Bryant’s death had arrived on my doorstep at 22 years old, I would’ve written about the incomparable basketball player. Relentless competitor. Fearless champion. Olympian. Hall of Fame legend. And that would’ve been more than enough for a sports columnist to ...

Girls wrestling builds momentum

Girls wrestling is here to stay. The steady increase in participation numbers proves the need is there, and after 376 athletes competed in the second annual IWCOA Girls State Championships on Saturday, the sport’s growing popularity again took center stage. In 2013, there were 36 girls ...

Fry’s passion for players extended beyond the game

Most Hawkeyes will recite a clever story or quirky anecdote in remembrance of the late, great Hayden Fry, who passed away on Tuesday night at the age of 90. Randy Reiners thinks about the worst days of his life. It’s been 21 years, but it may as well have been yesterday. Reiners, Fort ...

Media honor represents devoted staff, loyal community

The plaque technically has my name on it, but it’s an individual honor by the letter of the law only. If I could find a nice bronze plate and a local engraver, my entire staff would have their names on the 2019 Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Dan McCool Media Award. And ...

A man of the people

I was standing near the sidelines at the end of a Fort Dodge football game in 2003 when I had my first extended conversation with Mark Cady. We had exchanged cordial hellos before, mostly on the golf course or just in random moments around town. This was different. I was by myself, taking ...

More than just a coach

Someday, when Matt Miller is long gone and all of his accomplishments are nothing more than faded memories, a Fort Dodge fan will look at this era of Dodger football and ask why his time here was so special. On paper, he lost more games than he won. On paper, the Dodgers’ playoff victory ...

A bursting bubble

We need to have a very difficult conversation about both the condition and direction of youth sports in America. I’m going to localize this column to a certain extent — not because the Fort Dodge area is “worse” than others when it comes to dwindling participation numbers, trending ...

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 ...