Three West Sioux High School wrestlers will be involved in the Night of Conflict exhibition put on by IA Wrestle on Saturday, Oct. 2.
The event will be held at the Long Lines Rec Center in Sioux City with doors opening at 4:40 p.m. and the wrestling scheduled for a 6:30 start.
Senior Cameron Clark, who went 41-7 and placed fourth in the Class 1A 126-pound bracket at the state tournament last year, will face Ty Koedam of Sergeant Bluff-Luton. Koedam went 36-10 last season and was a state qualifier in Class 2A at 126.
Senior Braden Graff, who went 42-1 and placed second in Class 1A at 113 pounds, will take on McKinley Robbins of Greene County. Robbins was the Class 2A state champion at 120 pounds and went 34-0 last season.
Junior Mike Baker, who went 46-6 and placed fourth at state in Class 1A’s 132-pound bracket, will take on Ryder Downey of Indianola. Downey went 43-4 and placed fourth in Class 3A at 132 pounds in Des Moines last season.
Unity Christian High School junior Gracie Schoonhoven was named the Iowa Player of the Week by Max Preps and the American Volleyball Coaches Association for matches played Sept. 6-12.
Schoonhoven, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter, played in six matches during that span and had 50 kills, 32 digs, 55 service receptions, 13 blocks, four assists and three ace serves.
IHSAA tickets cheaper
Spectators purchasing digital tickets will pay flat and listed pricing to the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s postseason lead-up events during the 2021-22 athletic year.
The IHSAA began utilizing HomeTown Ticketing in February to provide digital tickets for select postseason events, with each ticket carrying additional fees for service and credit card processing.
Starting with the fall golf state tournament, the IHSAA will absorb those fees on every ticket so that fans may attend at the listed price of $6, $8, or $10 per ticket, depending on the event.
“Digital tickets receive positive feedback from our postseason sites, but the processing fees have been frustrating for our fans and member schools,” said IHSAA executive director Tom Keating. “We will take on those fees for 2021-22 and try to provide an even easier ticket-buying experience so that what you see is what you get.”
The ticketing measure was approved at the board of control meeting on Sept. 17. Processing fees paid by spectators for the digital ticketing service and credit card processing in the 2020-21 winter, spring, and summer postseasons went directly to those services and were not received as income by the IHSAA. Ticket prices for regular season events are set by member schools or host sites.
Kind words from coaches
A couple of statements involving N’West Iowa natives caught my attention during the Big Ten Conference football coaches’ news conferences on Tuesday.
University of Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck took time to sing the praises of Sioux Center High School graduate Ko Kieft, who is a senior tight end on the team. Kieft is a skill position player, but doesn’t see the ball much. His one catch for 4 yards last Saturday in a win over the University of Colorado was his only reception in the Gophers’ three games thus far. He has just six receptions in his career, but Fleck considers him a key part of the offense and of the football team as a whole. Minnesota’s coaches credited Kieft with eight pancake blocks at Colorado.
“He is, really, the attitude of this team,” Fleck said.
The University of Iowa has seen great success on special teams in the last two seasons, and coach Kirk Ferentz pointed to moving LeVar Woods to the position of special teams coordinator as a key point. Woods is a graduate of West Lyon High School.
“For all the specialists, just for them to meet with LeVar daily just like everybody else does with their position coaches, I think that’s been huge,” Ferentz said. “And then to have a coach who’s solely focused on the schemes, the calls, strategies, all those things. That’s a whole world within the world of football.
“LeVar has really grown into that role, really embraced it and grown into it. That’s how he made his living in the NFL, being a good special teams player,” he said. “So he can fully appreciate the value of it and what goes into it and what difference it can make. He’s engrossed himself in it.”
Trailblazers in sport
The University of Iowa announced Thursday it will become the first NCAA Division I, Power Five conference institution to add women’s wrestling as a varsity sport.
The NCAA recognized women’s wrestling as an emerging sport in 2020 for all three divisions. There are 45 intercollegiate women’s wrestling programs, including five in the state of Iowa. In addition, 32 states have a sanctioned high school girls wrestling state championships. In Iowa, the state tournament is sponsored by the Iowa Coaches Association and over 600 girls participated in high school wrestling a year ago.
“This is important to a lot of people for a lot of reasons,” said Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands, a Sheldon High School graduate. “This is historic. This needed to happen and it’s appropriate that it is happening first at the University of Iowa. There is no greater place in the world to wrestle than Iowa City, Iowa, and with our new wrestling facility we are prepared to offer world-class training for both our Hawkeye men and women.”