Five N’West Iowa seniors have been selected to play for the North team in the 2021 edition of the Iowa Shrine Bowl all-star football classic.

West Lyon offensive lineman Jordan VerMeer, Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley running back Kody Noble, West Sioux kicker Jason Topete, Western Christian defensive lineman Levi Vanden Bos and Sioux Center linebacker Matthew Bomgaars are this year’s honorees.

The 49th annual edition of the game will be held on July 24 at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.

The players are selected by a process of nomination by coaches, balloting by statewide sports media professionals, and official invitation from a representative of the Iowa Shrine Bowl.

To date, the Iowa Shrine Bowl has raised over $2,760,000 for The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. The funds are raised through ticket sales, advertising in the game program, merchandise sales, contributions and sponsorships.

Noble ran for 1,545 yards and 20 touchdowns, caught 19 passes for 214 yards and three scores and completed two passes for 28 yards for the Nighthawks last fall. Noble had 29 tackles and two fumble recoveries on defense. He returned 21 kicks for 368 yards and brought back two punts for 46 yards.

VerMeer opened holes for a West Lyon team that put up 3,851 yards and scored 41 touchdowns.

Topete put 20 of his 51 kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks. He was 4-for-7 on field goals with a long of 47 and 36-for-36 on PAT attempts.

Vanden Bos played on the offensive and defensive lines for the Wolfpack. Defensively, he managed 49.5 tackles, including four tackles for loss and a sack. He recovered one fumble.

Bomgaars was a two-way standout for the Warriors. Offensively, he ran for an average of seven yards per carry, totaling 689 yards and four touchdowns. He caught nine passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns. On the defensive side, he made 53.5 tackles, seven for loss and 2.5 sacks. He recovered one fumble. He also returned four kickoffs for 74 yards.

One more big show

The people at IAwestle are brining a unique event to The Arena in Sioux City on March 13.

TRUE will be a tournament designed to determine who is the best wrestler overall in each class in the state of Iowa. The exhibition is the first of its kind.

The state champion at each weight from every enrollment class has been invited, with one wild card in each class to fill out the bracket. The semifinal winners meet in a match to determine a TRUE champion.

Doors open at 4 p.m. with the meet starting at 6 p.m. with an introduction of the wrestlers.

Sanctioning girls

State senator Chris Cournoyer of Le Claire has introduced a bill urging the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union to sanction the sport of girls wrestling.

Cournoyer referenced that over 100 schools were represented at the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association state championships in Coralville in January. There were 457 athletes that participated in the tournament.

I’m not sure why it is necessary for the government to get involved since the last time I checked, the IGHSAU has never rejected wrestling as a sport. There simply hasn’t been an application from enough member schools to move it forward. In my discussions with IGHSAU representatives about this subject for a series on girls wrestling, I got the idea that if enough schools asked for it, it would be approved.

However, it is nice to see the continued growth and interest in the spot.

Congrats Defenders

The Dordt University men’s track and field team won the school’s first ever Great Plains Athletic Conference indoor title on its own track on Feb. 20. Dordt had finished third two years ago and was second last season.

Jacob Vander Plaats, who is from Sioux Center and is a graduate of Unity Christian High School, won Outstanding Male Athlete honors after winning the mile, placing second in the 3,000-meter run and third in the 1,000-meter run to account for 24 team points.

Craig Heynen from Dordt was named the Fred Beile Great Plains Athletic Conference men’s coach of the year.

The NAIA Indoor National Championships will be held Thursday and Friday in Yankton, SD.

Giving back

Despite the glamour and glitz that comes with playing in Miami, Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel hasn’t forgotten where he’s from.

Last week, Van Ginkel donated an autographed, game-worn jersey from his Dec. 26 contest against the Las Vegas Raiders to an auction that benefitted seven-year-old Jake Dieters of Inwood, who was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor for the third time. A Wilms’ tumor is a rare kidney cancer that affects mostly children.

The jersey Van Ginkel donated was from a game in which he had two sacks, a career-high for a single game. Van Ginkel, a fifth-round draft pick out of Wisconsin in 2019, played in all 16 games for the Dolphins this season and started 10. Van Ginkel finished the season with 48 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He had 10 quarterback hits, four passes defensed, forced three fumbles and recovered one fumble that he returned 78 yards for a score.

According to the auction website, the Van Ginkel jersey brought in $2,550 to the cause.