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Sports Columns

AYALA THE TIGER

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Drake Ayala checked another box from his lofty list of personal goals at the Super 32 Challenge here on Sunday. The Fort Dodge Senior High superstar earned the 126-pound championship at the prestigious national event, building on the momentum he’d established with a ...

BE LIKE DRAKE

Young wrestlers are working in rooms across Iowa right now, with dreams of becoming the next Drake Ayala. And parents everywhere are pondering a similar notion: “if a kid from Fort Dodge can do this, why can’t mine be next?” The Dodger senior reached an almost-mythological level of ...

PHYSICALLY FIT

I remember walking off the Newton high school football field in 2017 and thinking to myself, “I will never see a game like that again.” Twenty touchdowns. A total of 1,326 yards from scrimmage. A combined 141 points, with Fort Dodge losing to the Cardinals, 71-70 in regulation. The ...

SALUTE TO NAN BROWN: a Hall of Famer in her own right

Sports journalists keep odd, often dysfunctional hours. Nights. Weekends. Holidays. Never really “off” the clock. Always on the road. As we research, conduct interviews, cover games, keep records or put the paper to bed and walk out of the office in the early-morning hours on a ...

PROMISE RINGS

Roxanne Kuhlman had all but given up hope. The Fort Dodge resident was playing in the 40th annual Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota Webster County golf tournament at Lakeside Golf Course when she noticed a precious piece of her past was suddenly missing. Three rings previously worn by her late ...

50th anniversary at Rogers Park: Please respect each other’s space

The first pitch of the state softball tournament’s 50th anniversary at Rogers Sports Complex is right around the corner. Fittingly, Dodger all-state ace hurler Jalen Adams will throw it when homestanding FDSH opens a week that will be anything but normal with a quarterfinal contest against ...

FD Am’s future depends on its willingness to change

Nate McCoy’s oldest memory from the Fort Dodge Amateur has very little to do with the tournament itself. “I remember being really little and coming up here one of the years my dad won it (Iowa golf legend Mike McCoy was the FD Am’s Open Division champion in 1993, 1994 and 2000),” said ...

Lost in translation

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about civility. It started with sports, shifted to politics, and landed on society. Generally speaking, we just aren’t treating each other very well these days. I see it constantly at ballgames in behavior toward umpires and officials, ...

THE SERVANT LEADER

If I ever felt the need to measure my level of involvement in the Fort Dodge community, I’d always look for Steve Springer. The more you saw Steve, the better off we all were. Because that meant something was being done for the greater good. Steve was ubiquitous. Did he have a stunt ...

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 ...