May 27, 2015

William Penn and Grand View ready to move to new conference

As the college sports season comes to an end officials at Grand View and William Penn are preparing to move to a new home. Both schools will become members of the Heart of America Athletic Conference on July first. Grand View athletic director Troy Plummer says it will provide a home for all of their sports.

Previously, Grand View and William Penn competed in the Midwest Collegiate Conference and their football teams were part of the Mid-States Football Association. He says it was a big bonus when looking at conferences, as he says the geography works well and they will not have different conferences for different sports.

Plummer says from an administrative standpoint it is much better to have all the sports under the same umbrella so they have consistency in making decisions by having all the schools together talking about the same rules.

Plummer says even though most of the current members of the Heart of America are located in Missouri and Kansas the Vikings will still be competing against Iowa schools when they make the move. Clarke and Mount Mercy will come into the conference in the following year and Graceland will be joining.


Iowa coach says Big Ten baseball will continue to get multiple NCAA bids

Rick Heller

Rick Heller

Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller believes this season will become the norm for Big Ten baseball. The Hawkeyes were one of a record 5 teams from the conference to be selected for an NCAA regional. Just a few years ago the Big Ten only sent its conference tournament champion as the automatic qualifier.

“One of the major reasons I wanted to be at Iowa was because of the improvement the Big 10 was making in baseball. You can to be in a league where you don’t have to win the conference tournament to get into the NCAA tournament,” Heller says. “The way to get to Omaha is to make it the regionals on a consistent basis.” He says once you get into the regional if everything falls into place, then you’ve got a chance to get to Omaha and play for the national title.

Heller says the Big Ten has improved to the point where several teams each year will be playing NCAA Tournament. He says he felt bad for Michigan State not getting in as he thought they deserved it, but says getting 5 teams in is big for the league.

Heller says the Hawkeyes may have senior catcher Jimmy Frankos back for Friday’s regional opener against Oregon. Frankos was injured in a collision at the Big Ten Tournament in a loss to Michigan and Heller says he has passed his first round of concussion tests.


Radio Iowa/Baseball Coaches Association High School Poll 5/25/15

Class 4A
1. Cedar Rapids Kennedy
2. Johnston
3. Sioux City North
4. Waukee
5. S.E. Polk
6. Iowa City West
7. WDM Valley
8. DSM East
9. Cedar Rapids Jefferson
10.Dowling Catholic

Class 3A
1. Davenport Assumption
2. Dallas Center-Grimes
3. Fairfield
4. Norwalk
5. Pella
6. Central Dewitt
7. Cedar Rapids Xavier
8. Denison-Schleswig
9. Harlan

Class 2A
1. Clear Lake
2. Dyersville Beckman
3. Cascade
4. Wilton
5. Treynor
6. New Hampton
7. Hinton
8. Mount Vernon
9. Carroll Kuemper
10.Iowa City Regina

Class 1A
1. Alburnett
2. Mason City Newman
3. Van Buren (Keosauqua)
4. Martensdale-St. Mary’s
5. Pleasantville
6. Coon Rapids-Bayard
7. Council Bluffs St. Albert
8. Logan-Magnolia
9. Lisbon

ISU Athletic Director talks about Hoiberg’s future

Fred Hoiberg (file photo)

Fred Hoiberg (file photo)

Iowa State’s athletic director says he’s waiting just like everybody else to see what Fred Hoiberg will do. The men’s basketball coach has been rumored to be in the running for a number of jobs, including with the Chicago Bulls, and his silence on the issue has ramped up the issue in the last few days.

Speaking to the media at the Cyclone Tailgate Tour stop in Clear Lake last night, Athletic Director Jamie Pollard says everybody needs to take a step back at this point. “Fred has done a tremendous amount for our institution, and the last five years has been pretty special,” Pollard says. “What the future holds, I don’t have that answer. That’s a personal decision he’s got to make, and it’s complicated.”

Pollard says Hoiberg’s record of establishing one of the top programs in the Big 12 and his NBA background as a player and being in the front office make him a hot commodity. Pollard says Hoiberg has earned the chance should he decide to take it. “Life will go on and hopefully he will be our coach, but if he is not, it won’t be the first or last time that a program has had to move forward. We’re far better suited today for that day than we were five years ago. He has done wonders for us and I hope he is still here going forward, but he has earned the right to have this opportunity,” Pollard says.

Pollard says he’s prepared in the event Hoiberg decides to leave the program as he says he is always thinking that about all of his coaches.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City


State coed track meet ready to run in Des Moines

When the state’s top track and field athletes compete in Drake Stadium this week they will be taking part in what has become one of the nation’s largest track meets. It will be the 11th year for the State Coed Track Meet which has become bigger than the NCAA Championships.

“It is the largest attended high school state track and field meet in the nation. And behind the Penn Relays and the Drake Relays, we are the third largest attended track meet in the United States, its’ a great thing,” Jared Chizek of the Iowa High School Athletic Association says.

The meet is a cooperative effort with the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and Drake University. He says Drake Stadium is a great place to hold the event where more than 5,100 athletes will compete.

John Overton of the IGHSAU says the Iowa state meet has become the envy of the nation. “When I go to national meetings, most of the people are just in awe of the fact that we are able to have the venues that we do use for our state meets and our kids. Because most of their meets are broken down into classes and they are in different high school sites. They can’t believe what we have,” Overton says.

Overton says it is the largest high school track meet in the country as they average between 35 and 37,000 people over the 3 days of the meet. Overton says the meet draws plenty of track fans who have no connection to an athlete or a school. He says he found a group of 10 people from Nebraska last year outside the stadium that have come to the state meet since it went to the coed meet.

The state meet begins with competition in class 2A and 3A today.


Hawkeyes win Big 10 Tourney opener in dramatic fashion

tiger hawkSenior Nick Day slammed a dramatic two out homer to left field in the bottom of the ninth as the 15th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes edged Ohio State 3-2 in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Target Field.

Day says he got a couple of fast balls early and he doesn’t know why he didn’t swing at them. “I was expecting a slider late, it was a pretty decent pitch, I don’t know how I got to it. I’m still kind of shocked I guess.”

It was a huge hit for the Solon native who sat out a portion of the season with an injury. He says it’s nice to be back in the lineup and says he has been struggling, but the first hit gave him some confidence late in the game.

It was Iowa’s 39th win of the season as they advance to play Michigan on this afternoon. Iowa coach Rick Heller says it was a relief after “stubbing their toe” in losing two games in the final regular season series. Heller will send junior Blake Hickman to the mound against the Wolverines.


Iowa baseball team opens Big 10 Tourney against Ohio State

Rick Heller

Rick Heller

Just a few years ago it was a one bid league but as the Big Ten Baseball Tournament gets set to open in Target Field several teams have hopes of playing in the NCAA Regionals. In his second year at the helm Rick Heller has led Iowa a second place finish in the regular season and a number 15 national ranking.

The Hawkeyes open this afternoon against seventh seeded Ohio State. “A few years ago everyone started to make a commitment to baseball and the money started trickling down to baseball. Different teams came into the league — Nebraska came in with some tradition and a great field and a lot of people followed suit, and it has just really blown up from there,” Heller says.

Heller says his team is looking forward to playing in Target Field, a big league park. The Hawkeyes are 38-14 and Heller says he is proud of the buzz that baseball has created on campus.

“It has been a lot of fun, a lot of excitement, a lot of positive feedback for our program. I felt like when I was first hired that if we could showed some signs that the Hawkeye fans would come out and support us like they do all the other sports, and they do, it has been a lot of fun,” Heller says.

The Buckeyes are 35-18 and are one of the other teams looking for an NCAA bid.