Good Afternoon Friends and Foes,
As I am back to the daily grind today after a much needed day off to relax and enjoy the holidays with my family, Its hard to enjoy this down time because the upcoming months of 2014 will be some of the most fun you (as a high school sports fan) will have. State wrestling, Girls Regionals, Boys Districts, Girls State and Boys State. Seriously, does it get better? Add in the fact that there is always the chance of a blizzard occuring pre or post contest, and you get the rush of adrenaline in there as well. As we head to the new year, let us take a look back at 2013 and some of the great moments in Iowa High School Sports.
Creston-OM’s Jake Marlin won his four state title for the Panthers (photo courtesy of Waterloo Courier)
Denver-Tripoli’s Brandon Sorensen brings home his 4th title for the Titans
If you are not a wrestling fan, I first have to ask how do you even live in Iowa without being a wrestling fan? It must be hard. If you are one of these people who are not a wrestling fan, go to one day of the state tournament and I assure you that your mind will be changed.
Jake Marlin and Brandon Sorensen not only won state titles, they were dominant. Sorensen lived up to all the hype. He was ranked #1 his freshman year before he had ever wrestled a varsity match. He is tied for the state record in career victories with 208, Marlin had 200. They went down as #22 and #23 of the All-Time Iowa four time state champions. Marlin jumped on the scene in 2010 when he won the title at 130. Think about that……200 times……200 times those guys walked on the mat and were more man than another….and that is just in high school….not to mention all the AAU matches and summer tournaments.
2. Western Christian becomes Girls Basketball power
The Wolfpack brought home the 2A girls crown in 2013 (photo courtesy of Sports Spotlight)
So, remember when Western Christian was a volleyball school, and basketball was left to the boys? Not anymore. The 2012-13 Wolfpack were 26-1, the 1 was to Heelan….at the buzzer. That was really the only game that was even close. Their average win, was by 33 points. In 2011-12 they knocked off OA-BCIG (who Im sure everyone thought was unbeatable) on their way to a state title. Brooke Wolterstorff will always be one of my favorite athletes in state history. She was just fun to watch in any sport. Wolterstorff graduated with 2 state volleyball titles, 2 state basketball titles and a slew of Track and Field titles……..yea, Id say that would be “fairly” successful.
3. Iowa City West wins back to back State Titles.
Its hard to go 26-0….its even harder with distractions and West won despite distractions, and that is what true champions do. Led by Jeremy Morgan and Wyatt Lohaus, they again won the 4A crown. I always thought the piece that made the puzzle was Myzeah Batie-Gatty (now at Kirkwood CC). Winning a state title is hard, its harder when one of your better players quits in February (Deondre Alexander). Even watching Bettendorf and Dubuque Senior at State a year ago, you could just see that West was at a different level than everyone else. They continue to pass early season tests this year even with all the graduation (of course having a freshman named Mccaffery never hurts)
4. Dike-New Hartford three-peat
Bri Weber has been the 2A All-Tournament Team captain 3 times (photo courtesy of Waterloo Courier)
As good as any team in the state of Iowa was in 2013, you probably will not find a better one than what Diane Harms has built at Dike-New Hartford. The Wolverines won their 3rd consecutive 2A crown. DNH was 45-1…..the 1 was to the #1 rated team…..in the NATION (St. James Academy). The Wolverines defeated Western Christian for the 3rd straight year. A match that has become THE rivalry in Iowa Volleyball. DNH’s lineup boasts 3 Division 1 recruits in Bri Weber and Rachel Koop (Northern Iowa) and Brooke Morgan (Wisconsin). What is very scary is that all of those girls along with Lizzy Blough will all be seniors….next fall. DNH will bring a 99 match winning streak against Iowa competition into play in 2014. There is a very good chance that when the 2014 Volleyball season begins, that Dike-New Hartford could be the #1 rated team….in America.
5. Iowa City Regina football…….speechless
4 consecutive state football titles….in 2 different classes. A 56 game winning streak which is now a state record. Since Marv Cook took over the program at Regina, all they have done is won. Cook has a long ways to go to reach the Dick Tighe’s and Curt Bladt’s of the world, but he is well on his way. Odds are that someday Regina will lose. But the odds also said it was highly unlikely that any team would ever come close to Waterloo East’s record of 56 in a row set from 1965-1971. So maybe they will never lose again. I can tell you this, Regina’s winning streak will not directly followed by the states longest losing streak (ie East)