August 23, 2014

Lansing Kee baseball coach retires with most wins (audio)

Gene Schultz says the time is right to move on. Schultz retired as the baseball coach at Lansing Kee High School this week as the nation’s all time leader in wins. He says they moved from Lansing to just over the Minnesota border and that was one of the reasons he decided to retire. “I think the longevity and I felt that the time was right for someone else to maybe get a chance to do what they want to do with the baseball,” Schultz says.

Schultz, who is 68, says golf will take over and he’ll also fish now that he’s not on the baseball diamond. “Looking back I wonder where all those 44 years of baseball went. It seems just like yesterday that we were in the thick of the 10th year. Time really flys and I just want to sit back and enjoy it a little more rather than beeing so busy,” Schultz says.

In 45 years at the helm Schultz led Kee High to 19 appearances at the summer state tournament, including nine state championships. His teams regularly played and beat schools from larger classes and no season was ever too long for Schultz who did not like limits on the number of games. His 1981 team that won the class 2A state championship finished with a record of 53-9.

Schultz says Iowa has too short a season and they should still be playing baseball at this time of year.

Audio: Dar Danielson interview with Gene Schultz 8:00.


Northwestern football team looks for another playoff bid

Football teams want to be good in the trenches and that is one of the reasons Northwestern College has lofty goals for the upcoming season. The Red Raiders return several starters on both sides of the line of scrimmage and coach Kyle Achterhoff’s team was picked to finish second in the pre season Great Plains Athletic Conference poll.

Achterhoff says their philosophy is that everything starts with the lineman and having a lot of them back is a good thing. There are some holes to fill. Achterhoff’s says three players are vying to take over at quarterback where Davis Bloomendal passed for more than 2,200 yards and 30 touchdowns last year: Sophomores Braden Miltenberger and Craig Bruinsma and freshman Isaac Heard.

The Red Raiders have nearly all the starters back from a defense that made big strides last season. “When you return 9 starters on that side of the ball and bring in a couple of young guys who are going to be competing right away — there’s not doubt that that’s initially going to be kind of the strength of our team,” Achterhoff says.

Northwestern has qualified for the NAIA playoffs the past two years but after two first round losses Achterhoff says they want to take the next step.


Weisman part of deep Iowa backfield

Mark Weisman

Mark Weisman

A deep corps of running backs should have take some of the pressure off of Iowa senior Mark Weisman this season. Weisman led the Hawks with 975 yards on the ground in 2013 but more than 600 came in the first five games of the season. Weisman says all of the running backs bring something different to the offense.

Weisman says they will all benefit from running behind an experienced offensive line. “Its fun to run behind them, absolutely it’s fun to run behind them. They make the job easy for any of us runningbacks out there,” Weisman says.

Iowa is coming off an eight win season and has a lot of experience but Weisman says that does not guarantee success this season. “It’s hard to tell, we have a lot of guys returning, we have a lot of guys who left, that’s how it happens every year. Right now is when we build a team, and I’m excited to see what we can do,” Weisman says.

Iowa opens August 30th against UNI.


Richardson named starting QB for Cyclones

Sam Richardson ( ISU photo)

Sam Richardson ( ISU photo)

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads has named Sam Richardson as the Cyclones starting quarterback for the August 30th opener against North Dakota State. The junior from Florida started eight games during an injury plagued 2013 campaign in which the Cyclones finished 3-9.

He will lead an ISU offense that has changed under first year coordinator Mark Mangino. “It’s similar to what we’ve been running, but definitely something that he’s pretty experienced in running…I guess just a faster pace than last year, that’s the main difference,” Richardson says.

Richardson says he has worked at running less and making more plays from the pocket. “We have a lot of threats outside and getting them the ball fast is the main difference,” Richardson says.

Richardson says that will also help him stay healthy and he says that is something they wanted to do after last year, is keep him in the pocket and not getting hit.


Upper Iowa looks to build on 2013′s winning record

The Upper Iowa football program hopes to make even more progress during the upcoming season. The Peacocks posted a 6-5 record in 2013, their first winning record since joining the NCAA division two ranks back in 2005. “We were happy with where we were at and things like that, but we weren’t satisfied,” Upper Iowa coach Tom Shea says. He says there have only been 16 teams at Upper Iowa that have won 6 or more games.

Shea has an experienced team that face another challenging schedule in the North Sun Conference. “You never stay the same, you either drop off or you take another step forward. And that’s our goal this year,” Shea says.

Shea says the atmosphere has changed at Upper Iowa where there have been numerous stadium and facility upgrades to help the Peacocks become more competitive. He says the boosters and board of trustees has help them raise money for a new weight room, the stadium has filled up and he says they have a good pregame atmosphere.

Upper Iowa opens at home against Minnesota-Moorhead on September sixth.


Cyclones hope experience in the line will improve the offense

An experienced offensive line hopes to pave the way for big numbers at Iowa State this season. Senior center Tom Farniok leads a unit that has a returning starter at all six spots. Farniok says a key will be remaining healthy as he says an older players can handle things better physically as they have had more time to develop strength and technique.

Farniok says the offensive line also has more depth this season. “We’ve got a lot more size, a lot more strength…I think we are more cohesive as a unit, so I think it will be pretty good,” Farniok says.

As one of the seniors Farniok considers himself a leader. “I’ve always been a leader, I’ve always been an intense person and I’ve just kept it going as I’ve gotten older, Farniok says.

ISU offensive coordinator Mark Mangino has been pleased with the progress of the offensive line. “It all starts with them, the play starts with them, if they protect,they block, they do the things they are supposed to we have skill people that can make plays,” Mangino says. He says the linemen understand the burden they carry, as he says this is one of the smartest groups of linemen he’s been around.

The Cyclones open August 30th at home against North Dakota State.


Grand View football begins defense of national title

For Grand View football coach Mike Woodley they question is what will he do for an encore? In just it’s sixth year of offering varsity football Grand View rolled to a 14-0 record and won the N-A-I-A championship.

The Vikings open this season top ranked. “I remember Nick Saban saying after they won the first one, the hardest thing is to win the second one. And hopefully that’s the mindset that our kids understand that, that it’s going to be tougher this time around,” Woodley says.

A key area will be the front seven on defense. The Vikings must replace five starters from last year’s unit that surrendered a little over 15 points per game. He says they have some big shoes to fill and he says they believe they have the talent level, but need to find the leadership and chemistry to replace what they lost.

Eight starters return from an offense that averaged 38 points per game in the playoffs. That includes junior quarterback Derek Fulton who will throw to a talented group of receivers. Grand View went unbeaten despite a very tough schedule. Eight of their 14 wins were against teams ranked in the top 25.

“I thought we had the toughest school in the country,” Woodley says. He says the league has proven to be the toughest one in the country, and that speaks to the competition they face.

Grand View opens at Drake on August 30th.