Page 1


Lynx Wrestling

Pages: 6-7, 14-15, 25-26 The Lynx return state medalists Cooper Lawson and Drake Doolittle and a host of other talented grapplers as they attempt to reclaim the top spot in NCC.

Lynx Boys Basketball

Pages: 8-9, 20 Coming off an NCC title run last season, head coach Marty McKinney has an almost entirely new cast. But don’t write WCHS off just yet.

Lynx Girls Basketball

Pages: 10-11, 21 Role players return with new faces mixed into the rotation, and head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch is optimistic as the new season approaches.

Hawk Boys Basketball

Hawk Girls Basketball

Hawk Wrestling

Pages: 4-5, 12-13, 22 Three years removed from a trip to the Class 2A state tournament, the Hawks appear poised to make another run at it. Collin Hill is one of the state’s best.

Pages: 16-17, 23 Mark Henderson takes over a program that is looking to rebuild off several difficult seasons. The rookie head coach thinks it can be done.

Pages: 18-19, 24 Luke Peters and Keaton Hetland reached the state tournament a season ago and now they want to take it a step further and win medals.

The Fan, November 30, 2016

Twitter: @Troy Banning

Editor’s Note

Whew, this came together quickly! With the outstanding football season by the Webster City football team, we’re a little late with The Fan, the Daily Freeman-Journal’s comprehensive look at the area basketball and wrestling teams, but there’s still time to digest the information before the seasons kick into high gear. As always, thanks to WCHS wrestlers Cooper Lawson and Drake Doolittle for posing for the cover photo, as well as all of the athletes and coaches for helping bring this project together. Teams, good luck this winter! —Troy Banning, DFJ Sports Editor

832-2552 www.freemanjournal.net

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3


All signs point towards a run at state Hawks return four starters, led by a motivated first-team all-stater Collin Hill

Returning starters for South Hamilton include (left to right) Collin Hill, Marco Balderas, Conner Hill and Logan Klemp.

BY TROY BANNING tbanning@freemanjournal.net

C

ollin Hill was the best player on the court almost every time (heck, maybe every time) he stepped between the lines last season, but that wasn’t good enough, not for him anyway. His per game averages of 21.1 points and 10.6 rebounds were more than enough to earn him Class 2A firstteam all-state status, but the season could have gone better for South Hamilton’s leader. His once silkysmooth jump shot was off. His free throw shooting was erratic. And most frustrating was the fact that the team — his team — was inconsistent throughout much of the winter. “I have high expectations for myself and people might think it’s crazy, but it’s definitely not what I wanted,” Hill, now a 6-foot-6 senior that now longer feels the burden to impress college scouts after he recently signed with Truman State, said. Hill thinks he’ll play better and so well, have fun rest of the Heart of Iowa does his dad and head coach Nathan Conference. Hill. Much better, in fact. And with “Last year I really felt like he had the the other pieces the Hawks return, weight of the world on his shoulders,”

Nathan Hill said of his eldest son. “Now you can just see the maturity in him. Knowing where he’s going to (college) is going to make a big differ-

ence ... he can just go out and focus on what the team needs. If that means

HAWKS, See Page 5

“I have high expectations for myself and people might think it’s crazy, but it’s definitely not what I wanted. So I’ve worked really hard ...” —Collin Hill on his junior season in which he averaged 21.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game and was named first-team allstate

4

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The Fan, November 30, 2016


HAWKS

nearly 46 percent of his 3-point attempts. Marco Balderas, a junior and From Page 4 now a three-year starter at the point, averaged 10 points a night a season 30 points one night, fine. If that means ago. Logan Klemp, a beefed up 6-3 he scores 10 and gets 20 rebounds, so junior forward that has also started be it.” since his freshman season, is a fourth A healthy Collin Hill — don’t forreturning starter. get, last season he was returning to the Does South Hamilton have the court after missing his entire sophopieces in place to qualify for the state more year because of a broken leg — tournament for the second time in the and a supporting cast bubbling with last four seasons? You better believe it. confidence has South Hamilton think“You have to have some things ing big. Even with an up and down bounce your way during the course of winter last season, the Hawks still put the season, but that’s definitely our together a 14-10 record that included goal,” Nathan Hill, now in his third an 8-2 mark down the stretch with an year in charge, said. “Last year we were appearance in the Class 2A substate the hunter a little bit. This year we’re round. the hunted. Anybody that you talk to, Younger brother Conner Hill, a they have us picked at the top of the sophomore, is three inches taller and conference and we have to embrace ready to get started after a freshman that challenge. You have to bring it season in which he knocked down

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each and every night.” It all starts with Collin Hill, a twotime team Most Valuable Player and first-team all-HOIC talent who needs just 74 points to become only the sixth player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Most comfortable on the wing, he spent a lot of last winter banging down low with the bigs, but he’ll make his return to the perimeter for his senior season. At times he’ll be the scorer. Other times he’ll be the facilitator. But whatever his role, he’ll be the one that makes the engine go. “We’re going to want to get out and run and I’m going to be able to play on the wing more,” he said. Conner Hill and Balderas will get plenty of looks from behind the arc, but Nathan Hill says they’ve added Marco Balderas (No. 2)

HAWKS, See Page 22

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5


MEMBERS OF THE 2016-17 WEBSTER CITY WRESTLING TEAM include (front row, left to right) manager Kamry Dawson, Brady Auderer, Reece Taylor, Drake Doolittle, Trey Nelson, Hank Ambrose, manager Hannah Doolittle, (second row) Rocco Miller, Carson Hartnett, Luke Rohmiller, Sean Godfredsen, Hunter Hayes, Harrison Hayes, (third row) Brandon Peck, Cade Felts, Connor Pruismann, Carter Bedford, Cameron Savitski, James Cherry, Ashton High, (back row) Zane Williams, Cooper Lawson, Bryer McCoy, Caleb Olson, Hunter Collicott and Daltyn Peck. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

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Thursday, Dec. 1

Saturday, Dec. 3

Thursday, Dec. 8

Saturday, Dec. 10

Thursday, Dec. 15

Saturday, Dec. 17

Tuesday, Dec. 20

IF-Alden/Algona At Iowa Falls, 6:00

DC-Grimes Invite At Grimes, 10 a.m.

DM North/Ankeny At Des Moines, 6:00

Kennedy Duals Home, 10 a.m.

CGD/Humb/Poky Home, 6:00

Don Miller Invite At Ft. Dodge, 11 a.m.

Forest City Away, 6:30

Thursday, Jan. 5

Saturday, Jan. 7

Thursday, Jan. 12

Saturday, Jan. 14

Thursday, Jan. 19

Saturday, Jan. 21

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Hampton-Dumont Home, 6:30

Morrison Duals At M’Town, 10 a.m.

Cl Lake/St. Edmond At Clear Lake, 6:00

Perry Invite At Perry, 10 a.m.

SH/Nevada/Ogden At Jewell, 6:00

NCC Tournament At Algona, 10 a.m.

E Grove/Rol-Story *Home, 6:00

Saturday, Jan. 28

Saturday, Feb. 4

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Saturday, Feb. 11

Wednesday, Feb. 15

Feb. 16-18

*The triangular with Eagle Grove and Roland-Story will be held in Jeff Gym. **Must finish first or second in the team race at sectionals to qualify for regional duals.

Norsemen Duals At St City, 10 a.m.

2A Sectional Tourney At Humboldt, 12:00

**Regional Duals TBA

2A District Tourney Home, 12:00

WHAT WILL THE NCC OFFER IN 2016-17? 106 Pounds — 1. Eric Faught (soph), Clear Lake; 2. Connor Johnson (jr), CGD; 4. Cameron Peterson, sr), Algona; 5. Aaron Diesburg (soph), Humboldt; 6. Quinton Buresh (jr), IF-Alden. 113 Pounds — 1. Drake Doolittle (soph), Webster City; 3. Parker Allen (jr), HamptonDumont; 5. Todd Raisch (sr), IF-Alden; 6. Jackson Hamlin (jr), Clear Lake. 120 Pounds — 2. Dante Tacchia (sr), IFAlden; 3. Cole Allison (sr), St. Edmond; 4. Carson Hartnett (jr), Webster City; 5. Braxton Doebel (soph), Clear Lake; 6. Alex Bronson (sr), Algona. 126 Pounds — 5. Carson Devine (soph), Algona; 6. Darin Lemke (jr), IF-Alden.

132 Pounds — 1. Joey Busse (soph), Humboldt; 4. Will Kirschbaum (jr), Clear Lake; 5. Mitchell Priebe (jr), Algona; 6. Cade Felts (soph), Webster City. 138 Pounds — 1. Ryan Leisure (sr), Clear Lake; 2. Tanner Abbas (jr), CGD; 5. Jaden Kampen (sr), Humboldt. 145 Pounds — 3. Jaxon Kampen (sr), Humboldt; 4. Brandon Peck (sr), Webster City; 5. Austin Chase (jr), Algona; 6. Logan Steelman (sr), IF-Alden. 152 Pounds — 2. Gus Arnold (sr), Humboldt; 3. Zane Williams (jr), Webster City; 5. Caleb Chaney (sr), Hampton-Dumont; 6. Dakota Hennigar (sr), CGD.

State Tournament At D.M., TBA

***State Duals At D.M., TBA

***Must reach and win regional duals to qualify for the state duals.

Place winners from the 2016 league tourney that could potentially return this season.

160 Pounds — 3. Sam Wigans (soph), CGD; 4. Colton Monson (sr), Humboldt; 5. Riley McWherter (jr), IF-Alden. 170 Pounds — 1. Michael Kent (sr), IFAlden; 2. Caleb Olson (soph), Webster City; 3. Mason Carpenter (jr), CGD; 4. Dalton Chipp (soph), Hampton-Dumont; 6. Dalton Grell (jr), Clear Lake. 182 Pounds — 2. Ben Powers (sr), CGD; 3. Malcolm Boyd (sr), Humboldt; 4. Noah Murphy (jr), Algona; 5. Kade Hambly (soph), Clear Lake; 6. Rocco Miller (jr), Webster City.

195 Pounds — 3. Dominick Etherington (jr), Algona; 5. Trayton Harris (jr), Humboldt; 6. Ashton High (sr), Webster City. 220 Pounds — 3. Cadan Hanson (soph), CGD; 5. Spencer Christensen (soph), Clear Lake; 6. Wyatt Folkerts (soph), HamptonDumont. 285 Pounds — 1. Cooper Lawson (jr), Webster City; 2. Kyle Willms (sr), Clear Lake; 3. Josh Wegener (sr), Algona; 4. Pablo Gonzalez (sr), Hampton-Dumont; 5. Trent McAtee (sr), CGD.

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MEMBERS OF THE 2016-17 WEBSTER CITY VARSITY BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM include (front row, left to right) Dyllan Beisell, Connor Shannon, Nick Wallen, James Van Diest, Zane Carter, Devin Cornish, (middle) Trevor McCoy, Romel Martinez, Jordan Tanner, Noah McKinney, Quentin Henry, (back) Logan Duff, Cameron Moen, Tyler Anderson, Ty Eklund, Tyler Bultena, Maison Vasquez and Tristan Vesterby. Not pictured is team member Nathan Reed. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

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The Fan, November 30, 2016


Monday, Dec. 5

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Friday, Dec. 9

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Friday, Dec. 16

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Friday, Jan. 6

Pocahontas Area Away, 7:45

S.C. Calhoun Home, 7:45

Humboldt Away, 7:45

Algona Away, 7:45

CGD Away, 7:45

St. Edmond Home, 7:45

Hampton-Dumont Home, 7:45

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Friday, Jan. 13

Saturday, Jan. 14

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Friday, Jan. 20

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Friday, Jan. 27

Manson-NW Web Home, 7:45

Clear Lake Away, 7:45

Waverly-SR Away, 6:30

Iowa Falls-Alden Away, 7:45

Algona Home, 7:45

Humboldt Home, 7:45

CGD Home, 7:45

Saturday, Jan. 28

Tuesday, Jan. 31

Friday, Feb. 3

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Friday, Feb. 10

Thursday, Feb. 16

Monday, Feb. 20

Gilbert Home, 6:30

St. Edmond Away, 7:45

Hampton-Dumont Away, 7:45

Clear Lake Home, 7:45

Iowa Falls-Alden Home, 7:45

Boone Away, 7:45

3A Districts Begin TBA

WHO’S BACK IN THE NCC? Returning All-Conference G Pos G G G C Pos G F

First Team Thomas Storbeck Sr Second Team Player Gr Drew Thomas Sr Sam Urness Jr Charlie Doyle Sr Jace Ites Sr Third Team Player Gr Zach Lester Jr Rhett Darland Jr

Clear Lake School Humboldt CGD St. Edmond IF-Alden School Clear Lake CGD

Note: Five first-team members graduated, including WCHS brothers Alec and Avery Fuhs.

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Points Player Yr School Thomas Storbeck Sr Clear Lake Jace Ites Sr IF-Alden Sam Urness Jr CGD Charlie Doyle Sr St. Edmond Rhett Darland Sr CGD Rebounds Player Yr School Will Woodruff Jr St. Edmond Jace Ites Sr IF-Alden Zack Leist Sr CGD Will Weidemann Jr CGD Drew Thomas Sr Humboldt

Pts 502 385 258 291 218

PPG 19.6 18.3 12.3 12.1 11.5

Reb 163 142 137 133 125

RPG 7.8 6.8 6.2 6.0 5.7

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The Fan, November 30, 2016

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MEMBERS OF THE 2016-17 WEBSTER CITY GIRLS VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM include (front row, left to right) Halle Mason, Rihanna Wood, Nicole Sweazey, Devyn VanKooten, Sarah Vogelbacher, (back) Atlanta Hopp, Cynthia Whitehill, Taylor McKinney, Cassidy Nerland, Grace Hoversten, Haley Flaws, Stacey Meyer and Zoey Woodle. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

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The Fan, November 30, 2016


Saturday, Nov. 26

Friday, Dec. 2

Monday, Dec. 5

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Friday, Dec. 9

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Friday, Dec. 16

Boone Away, 3:30

Iowa Falls-Alden Home, 7:45

Pocahontas Area Away, 6:15

S.C. Calhoun Home, 6:15

Humboldt Away, 6:15

Algona Away, 6:15

CGD Away, 6:15

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Friday, Jan. 6

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Friday, Jan. 13

Saturday, Jan. 14

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Friday, Jan. 20

St. Edmond Home, 6:15

Hampton-Dumont Home, 6:15

Manson-NW Web Home, 6:15

Clear Lake Away, 6:15

Waverly-SR Away, 5:00

Iowa Falls-Alden Away, 6:15

Algona Home, 6:15

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Friday, Jan. 27

Saturday, Jan. 28

Tuesday, Jan. 31

Friday, Feb. 3

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Thursday, Feb. 9

Humboldt Home, 6:15

CGD Home, 6:15

Gilbert Home, 5:00

St. Edmond Away, 6:15

Hampton-Dumont Away, 6:15

Clear Lake Home, 6:15

South Hardin Away, 7:45

THE NCC FORECAST FOR ’16-17 Returning Statistical Leaders

The Team Edge Following the graduation of the bulk of the allNorth Central Conference first team, the race for league supremacy appears to be wide open. But who has the inside track? •Clear Lake: The Lions bring back the league’s top scorer in first-team selection Emily Snelling (17.1), as well as another efficient points producer in Jordyn Barragy (10.0). •Algona: The Bulldogs graduated plenty of talent, but Maddie Miller (12.6 ppg) returns and the team will be aided by a talented freshman class that was dominant in middle school. •Humboldt: Avery Terwilliger (14.4 ppg) is still in a Wildcats’ uniform and she will make them dangerous once again.

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Points Player Yr School Emily Snelling Sr Clear Lake Avery Terwilliger Sr Humboldt Maddie Miller Sr Algona Megan Flattery Sr St. Edmond Jordyn Barragy Jr Clear Lake Rebounds Player Yr School Megan Flattery Sr St. Edmond Cassidy Nerland Jr Web City Erin Flattery So St. Edmond Janna Julius Sr Algona Grace Renaud So IF-Alden

PPG 17.1 14.4 12.6 12.0 10.0

Reb 207 166 117 128 115

RPG 9.9 7.2 5.6 5.6 5.2

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The Fan, November 30, 2016

Pts 359 331 289 251 240

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The Daily Freeman-Journal

11


MEMBERS OF THE 2016-17 SOUTH HAMILTON BOYS VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM include (front row, left to right) manager Gaige Pickering, Cole Berg, Conner Hill, Marco Balderas, Colton Coy, Jared Ullestad, Zeke Balderas, manager Connor Blue, (back) manager Brandyn Feighner, Wes Wynkoop, Logan Peters, Jordan McSparin, Collin Hill, Logan Klemp, Cade Balvanz and manager Alex Utrera. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

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The Fan, November 30, 2016


Tuesday, Nov. 29

Saturday, Dec. 3

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Friday, Dec. 9

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Friday, Dec. 16

Saturday, Dec. 17

Gilbert Home, 7:30

West Marshall Away, 6:30

Saydel Away, 7:30

Nevada Home, 7:30

Greene County Away, 7:30

PCM Home, 7:30

St. Edmond Away, 7:30

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Friday, Jan. 6

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Friday, Jan. 13

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Friday, Jan. 20

Tuesday, Jan. 24

CMB Away, 7:30

Roland-Story Away, 7:30

North Polk Home, 7:30

Gilbert Away, 7:30

Gladbrook-Reinbeck Away, 7:45

Saydel Home, 7:30

Nevada Away, 7:30

Friday, Jan. 27

Saturday, Jan. 28

Tuesday, Jan. 31

Friday, Feb. 3

Saturday, Feb. 4

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Friday, Feb. 10

Greene County Home, 7:30

South Hardin Home, 6:30

PCM Away, 7:30

CMB Home, 7:30

Iowa Falls-Alden Home, 6:30

Roland-Story Home, 7:30

North Polk Away, 7:30

HOIC’S RETURNING SCORERS, REBOUNDERS, DISTRIBUTORS, THIEVES Player Collin Hill Trey Tucker Will Clapper Marco Balderas Trey Hinote Conner Hill Caleb Lomica Luke Merfeld Brady Kemp Logan Klemp

Yr Sr Sr So Jr So So So Jr Sr Jr

Points School S. Hamilton Greene Cty CMB S. Hamilton Greene Cty S. Hamilton North Polk Nevada CMB S. Hamilton

Pts 506 364 215 240 183 195 183 188 151 141

PPG 21.1 19.2 10.2 10.0 8.7 8.1 8.0 7.8 7.2 5.9

Player Collin Hill Caleb Lomica Logan Klemp Brady Kemp Will Clapper Trey Tucker Luke Merfeld AJ Strottman Wade Adcock Andrew Van Ryswyk

Rebounds Yr School Sr S. Hamilton So North Polk Jr S. Hamilton Sr CMB So CMB Sr Greene Cty Jr Nevada Sr Nevada Jr Greene Cty So PCM

Rbd RPG 254 10.6 158 6.8 127 5.3 106 5.0 99 4.7 88 4.6 109 4.5 105 4.4 89 4.2 82 3.9

Player Yr Marco Balderas Jr Trey Tucker Sr Conner Hill So Schuyler Hop Sr Brady Kemp Sr Collin Hill Sr John Peterson Sr Hunter McWhirter Sr Tyler Shafer Sr AJ Strottman Sr

Assists School S. Hamilton Greene Cty S. Hamilton Gilbert CMB S. Hamilton North Polk CMB Nevada Nevada

Ast 114 83 87 68 64 67 58 43 50 45

APG 4.8 4.4 3.6 3.1 3.0 2.8 2.5 2.2 2.1 1.9

Player Yr Trey Tucker Sr Collin Hill Sr Schuyler Hop Sr Marco Balderas Jr Conner Hill So Trent Stahl Jr AJ Strottman Sr Hunter McWhirter Sr Steven Lawrence Sr Will Turner So

Steals School Greene Cty S. Hamilton Gilbert S. Hamilton S. Hamilton Nevada Nevada CMB Gilbert Gilbert

Stl 42 49 41 44 32 29 29 22 18 15

SPG 2.2 2.1 1.9 1.8 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.1 0.8 0.7

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13


e k a r D e l t t i Dool

Lynx state place winners had plenty of success last season, but it’s a new year with new goals

r e p o o C n o s w La

BY TROY BANNING, DFJ SPORTS EDITOR

W

re o m o h p o S y t i Webster C , t s i l a d e M e z n o 2016 State Br 113 pounds 14

The Daily Freeman-Journal

www.freemanjournal.net

restling isn’t for everybody. Mat burns and constant cuts are bad enough. The incidental elbows to the face, the never-ending bloody noses and the bumps and bruises that come with the territory are simply too much to take for some athletes. Even the best and most dedicated grapplers sometimes need to shove the headgear in the closet and take a break to recharge the batteries before the grind begins again. That’s what Webster City’s Cooper Lawson and Drake Doolittle did this past summer and they hope the sabbaticals will pay dividends as they forge out again in their quests to win more state medals. “Wrestling is the toughest sport around, and it wears and tears on your body. Sometimes it’s just too much and you need a little break,” Doolittle, a sophomore who put together a 42-7 record and placed third at 113 pounds in Class 2A at last winter’s state tournament said. “Every now and then something’s got to give,” Lawson, the returning state runner-up and preseason top-ranked heavyweight said. “If you do it too much it’s not fun anymore.” Fun for the talented Lynx tandem comes in the form of victories, something they’re expected to pile up in droves this season. Doolittle, ranked No. 3 at 120 in the first

ior n u J y t i C r e t Webs t, s i l a d e M r e v l 2016 State Si 285 pounds

LYNX, See Page 25 Twitter: @Troy Banning

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15


MEMBERS OF THE 2016-17 SOUTH HAMILTON GIRLS VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM include (front row, left to right) Brittany Spindler, Paxton Wicks, Bree Hodnefield, Autymn Olson, Jenna Woodall, MaKayla Tapper, (back) Breanne Diersen, Taylor Volkmann, Sydney Friest, Taylor Ratzke, Marla Grubb, Anna Moss and Rylee Woodall. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

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The Fan, November 30, 2016


Tuesday, Nov. 22

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Saturday, Dec. 3

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Friday, Dec. 9

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Friday, Dec. 16

North Polk Away, 7:30

Gilbert Home, 6:00

Ogden Home, 6:00

Saydel Away, 6:00

Nevada Home, 6:00

Greene County Away, 6:00

PCM Home, 6:00

Saturday, Dec. 17

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Friday, Jan. 6

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Friday, Jan. 13

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Friday, Jan. 20

St. Edmond Away, 6:00

CMB Away, 6:00

Roland-Story Away, 6:00

North Polk Home, 6:00

Gilbert Away, 6:00

Gladbrook-Reinbeck Away, 6:15

Saydel Home, 6:00

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Friday, Jan. 27

Saturday, Jan. 28

Tuesday, Jan. 31

Friday, Feb. 3

Saturday, Feb. 4

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Nevada Away, 6:00

Greene County Home, 6:00

South Hardin Home, 5:00

PCM Away, 6:00

CMB Home, 6:00

Iowa Falls-Alden Home, 5:00

Roland-Story Home, 6:00

HOIC LEADERS WHO RETURN Points Yr School Jr Nevada Sr PCM Jr Rol-Story Jr Gilbert Sr North Polk Rebounds Player Yr School Mikayla Eslinger Sr CMB Laurin Lyons Jr Greene Cty Katie VandeWall Sr PCM Lexy Koudelka Jr Nevada Player Lexy Koudelka Kayla Jennings Jenna Clark Sarah Hinners Riley Murphy

Pts 381 276 262 160 170

PPG 14.7 12.0 11.4 8.0 7.7

Reb 167 148 169 185

RPG 8.0 7.4 7.3 7.1

Assists School Nevada PCM Rol-Story Greene Cty Nevada Steals Player Yr School Kayla Jennings Sr PCM Anna Moss Jr S. Hamilton Abby Stephenson Sr Nevada Riley Murphy Sr North Polk Player Yr Abby Stephenson Sr Jayci Vos Sr Elli Jennings Sr Laurin Lyons Jr Claire Ausman Sr

Ast 93 69 67 55 63

APG 3.6 3.0 2.9 2.8 2.3

Stl 94 63 80 63

SPG 4.1 3.2 3.1 2.9

# $

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17


MEMBERS OF THE 2016-17 SOUTH HAMILTON WRESTLING TEAM include (front row, left to right) Cole Ellis, Tristan Cleveland, Keaton Hetland, Mason Alsager, Jamie Hildreth, Michael Delegaard, (back) Nate Laube, Drake Thompson, Anthony Hanley, Luke Peters, Noah Lutter, Zach Larson, Jacob Kooker and Nathan Wilson. Note pictured is team member Trelonias Wright. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

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The Fan, November 30, 2016


Saturday, Dec. 3

Thursday, Dec. 8

Saturday, Dec. 10

Thursday, Dec. 15

Saturday, Dec. 17

Saturday, Jan. 7

Thursday, Jan. 12

Doug Wood Invite At Manson, 10 a.m.

Saydel/Roland-Story At Saydel, 6:00

C. Springs Duals At Manly, 10 a.m.

CMB/North Polk Home, 6:00

Jim Kinyon Invite At St. Cty, 10 a.m.

BCLUW Duals At Conrad, 9:30 a.m.

PCM/Greene Cty At Monroe, 6:00

Saturday, Jan. 14

Thursday, Jan. 19

Saturday, Jan. 21

Saturday, Jan. 28

Saturday, Feb. 4

Saturday, Feb. 11

Feb. 16-18

Perry Invite At Perry, 9:30 a.m.

WC/Nevada/Ogden Home, 6:00

HOIC Tourney At Alleman, 10 a.m.

Poky Area Invite At Poky, 10 a.m.

1A Sectional Tourney At Eagle Grove, 12:00

1A District Tourney At Lake Mills, 12:00

State Tournament At D.M., TBA

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South Hamilton veteran wrestlers Luke Peters (left) and Keaton Hetland (right) both competed under the bright lights in Des Moines this past February. But getting back to the state tournament won’t be enough for them this season. For Peters, this is his final shot to reach the podium and the top of it would be preferred. As for Hetland, he felt what it was like to win at state as a sophomore and he hopes his junior season leads to even better things. For more on the Hawks’ upcoming season, turn to page 24.

The Fan, November 30, 2016

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19


You may not recognize the defending NCC champs Hit hard by graduation, Lynx turn the page with a new cast; Shannon expected to take over leadership BY TROY BANNING tbanning@freemanjournal.net

I

t doesn’t take Mike Krzyzewski to realize that this will be a different Webster City boys’ basketball team this winter. Any novice that watched just one game a season ago could quickly come to that conclusion by watching just five minutes of the season opener. Head coach Marty McKinney knows it and accepts it. With a senior-dominated team loaded with experience last winter, the Lynx were a well-oiled machine that ripped off a 20-3 record, won the North Central Conference championship and advanced to the

20

Class 3A substate round for a second consecutive year. But that’s not the team that he saw on the first day of practice. Gone are more than 56 points, 20 rebounds, 12 assists and six steals per game, not to mention dependable and all-league twin brothers Alec and Avery Fuhs. Welcome to the new reality. But don’t get overly discouraged, McKinney says. These Lynx may surprise you. “It’s definitely a different group than we’ve had in the past, but our (junior varsity) team was 17-2 last year and the nucleus there was mostly sophomores,” McKinney said. “We have some basketball players.”

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The challenge will be adapting to the speed of the varsity game in a timely manner. Only senior forward Connor Shannon saw significant minutes a season ago and that was strictly as a role player, usually on the perimeter. He will see a drastic uptick in what will be expected of him, but McKinney thinks he’s prepared himself to tackle the new challenge. “Connor worked really hard in the weight room over the summer and he’ll definitely have an expanded role,” McKinney said of his 6-foot-5 forward who averaged 1.6 points and rebounds a season ago. “The offense will go through him (on the inside) and he’s going to have to get touches every time down the floor.” Teams won’t be able to sleep on talented junior point guard Jordan Tanner, who was the leading JV scorer last winter and saw some varsity action. His quickness and ball-handling make him a weapon on the drive, and he’s also more than capable of knocking down shots from the perimeter. He’ll make everything go for the Lynx at the offensive end of the floor. “He’s definitely going to be a guy we’ll look to for a leadership role,” McKinney said. “Jordan practiced with the varsity all year long last year, so he got to see how a great point guard (Alec Fuhs) leads a team. He’s going to have to score and he’s probably our best one-on-one defense, so he’ll get that role. He’s going to have a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but we’ve got other guys, too.” Seniors Zane Carter and James Van Diest, and juniors Noah McKinney, Cameron Moen and Tyler Bultena will all be asked to provide support. Senior forward Nathan Reed could also factor into the equation on the inside.

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Connor Shannon (No. 34)

Scoring may not always come easy for an inexperienced team, but McKinney says the team can offset any struggles with what the program has always relied on — hard-nosed, in-your-face defense. It’s been a staple since McKinney took over the program nearly a decade ago and he’s not about to change his philosophy. “We’ve got to be built off playing defense and that’s what we say with every team,” he said. “We’re not going to outscore anybody and that’s no different than any other year. “We’re not going to show up and use rebuilding or no experience as an excuse. Nobody’s going to care that we graduated a lot of people.” But which team is the favorite to unseat WCHS at the top of the NCC? Your guess is probably as good as McKinney’s. “In the years that I’ve been the head coach, it might be as wide open as it’s ever been,” he said. “Everybody graduated a lot of people, so I don’t think you can say there’s one dominant team.”

The Fan, November 30, 2016


Lynx turn to new group to take the lead on court Nerland gives WCHS strength, scoring ability in paint; team owns talent, but inexperience on perimeter BY TROY BANNING tbanning@freemanjournal.net

A

fter a three-year run with a core group of players that graduated in May, the Webster City girls’ basketball team is in reconstruction mode as it gets set to tackle the 2016-17 campaign. There are new roles to fill, new weapons to be utilized and new strategies to implement that will hopefully put the Lynx in the best position to improve upon last winter’s 8-15 record that included 5-9 mark and sixth-place finish in the North Central Conference. Fifth-year head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch is aware of the challenges she and her players face, but a solid summer together and a strong preseason worth ethic show her there’s reason for optimism. “These girls are fun, that’s the type of kids they are,” Muhlenbruch said. “We think we got a good idea of what we have this summer. At Spirit Lake (team camp) I bet we played four state tournament teams and the girls just met the challenge. It’s not that we beat them, but we were in there challenging them.” Replacing 73 percent of the scoring off last season’s squad won’t be easy though, which is why WCHS will look to multiple players to increase their production. It will start with junior post player Cassidy Nerland, who averaged 8.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season. She’s not overly tall, but few girls can match her strength. Nerland scored most of her points last year by crashing the offensive boards, and along with fellow post Devyn VanKooten, the Lynx hope to continue

The Fan, November 30, 2016

that tradition. “She’s always around the ball,” Muhlenbruch said of Nerland. The backcourt will be manned by combinations of senior Nicole Sweazey and juniors Sarah Vogelbacher, Haley Flaws and Haley Mason. Muhlenbruch says all four have the ability to stretch defenses, and Sweazey’s length and athleticism will give the Lynx the opportunity to create mismatches. “She’s our secret weapon,” Muhlenbruch said of Sweazey, who became acclimated to the varsity scene off the bench last winter. “She may come out one game and give you 12 or 15 points and then the next game she’ll be quiet and you won’t notice the things she’s doing. She can shoot the 15-foot shot, but then she’s also really good at rebounding.” And then there’s dynamic freshman point guard Taylor McKinney, who is also expected to leave her imprint on the team. Quick, strong with the ball in her hands and a talented shooter from the perimeter and on the drive, McKinney will see plenty of playing time. McKinney jumped into the spotlight two years ago as a seventh grader when her half-court buzzer beater against Clear Lake not only made it on ESPN’s SportsCenter, but was also named the Play of the Day, complete with a live interview on national television. It’s not like the varsity stage is new to the rookie either. McKinney took over the starting role at shortstop for the Lynx softball team this past summer and earned all-conference honors. However, McKinney has been sidelined for much of the preseason with a foot injury and Muhlenbruch says she’s taking a wait and see approach simply

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because the freshman hasn’t had a chance to practice with the team. “Is she a good ball player? Absolutely, but she’s also young,” Muhlenbruch said of McKinney. “We just want to stay away from putting pressure on her because that’s not fair to her.” New faces and unknown talents will be the theme of the NCC this season, as only a handful of all-league players return. Clear Lake will be strong with shooting guard Emily Snelling and Humboldt brings back do-everything guard Avery Terwilliger, but which team is the conference favorite? Now that’s the $25,000 question that is yet to be answered.

Cassidy Nerland (No. 51)

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21


HAWKS

Peters to step up this year,” Nathan Hill said. “Logan Klemp can absorb From Page 5 contact and he’s not afraid to mix it up inside. new skills that will make them harder “Colton Coy, he’s one of those guys to guard. that I’m going to ask to do some of the “They both had a lot of experience dirty work like play tough defense and and they’ve physically matured,” rebound. Cole Berg also had a really Nathan Hill said. “They’ve really good offseason and Wes Wynkoop learned to attack the basket and that’s really brought a lot of energy in the going to open up things. Now teams offseason. He’s a hard-nosed kid that will have to pick their poison with can rebound and run the floor for us.” how they want to guard us.” South Hamilton averaged 63 points Sophomore Logan Peters gives South per game a season ago and should be Hamilton a fifth player back with even more productive this winter. But ample varsity experience. Colton Coy, if the Hawks are to live up to the lofty Cole Berg, Wes Wynkoop and Jared hype, they’ll have to be better at the Ullestad will also have their roles and defensive end of the floor. They the depth will only be a benefit allowed 63 or more points on seven throughout the long and grueling sea- occasions and surrendered more than son. 70 points twice last season. “We’re really looking for Logan “We know that we have to get better

defensively,” Nathan Hill said. “We have to keep teams in front of us and then we just have to really learn to help and communicate.” Before the Hawks begin to think about the postseason possibilities, they first want to focus on earning the HOIC crown. It won’t be easy either; Gilbert will be tough behind veteran coach B.J. Terrones, who was the architect of the Hawks’ run to the 2A state tournament in 2014. Nevada returns several starters and will have a size advantage on the rest of the league, and Nathan Hill thinks North Polk could sneak into the title conversation as well. “I think it’s going to be pretty balConner Hill (No. 25) anced, so it will be exciting to see how it all shakes out,” Nathan Hill said. “Every year the goal is to reach your have coming back, a conference champeak performance. With the players we pionship is obviously the goal.”

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The Fan, November 30, 2016


Henderson takes over Hawks’ rebuilding project Longtime boys’ assistant coach goes back to basics as he attempts to teach his team what it takes to win BY TROY BANNING tbanning@freemanjournal.net

M

ark Henderson may be a rookie head coach, but he’s not walking into this wearing blinders. He not only understands the challenges, but accepts them. Patience will be needed, he knows that, too. But whatever is called for, he’s ready to take it all on. “In some ways it’s easy because expectations are super low, so if our girls go out there and play hard and are competitive, I think the fans will be happy,” Henderson, the first-year head coach of the South Hamilton girls’ basketball team said. “Now, I won’t necessarily be happy if we don’t win some games as well.” The last four seasons haven’t exactly been kind to the Hawks, who won just nine of 89 games during that stretch. They’ve won just two games in each of the last three campaigns and that has taken a toll on participation and enthusiasm. Enter Henderson, who has more than a decade of experience as an assistant coach at the varsity level for the South Hamilton boys’ squad. Yes, it’s his first opportunity to work with a girls’ team, but the ball is still round and the hoop remains 10 feet off the floor. “The similarities are that the girls work just as hard as the guys do,” Henderson said. “They’re just as dedicated. They come to practice and want to listen and want to learn. If we can keep the numbers up and let them enjoy the game, then I think we can have success. Between myself and (assistant coach) Jay Heeren, we’ve

The Fan, November 30, 2016

had success at all the levels we’ve coached, so I’m pretty confident we can get it turned around” What is working in South Hamilton’s favor is the squad isn’t short on experience. A large portion of the core players from a season ago return, but Henderson has taken them back to basics in an attempt to build from the ground up. What does that all mean? Simply put, the Hawks are a work in progress. “We’ve got talent, we just need to let them understand the game a little bit,” Henderson said. “They don’t know how to win in this sport yet.” Seven of the top eight players from last season are back, keyed by senior Bree Hodnefield, junior Anna Moss, and sophomores Sydney Friest and Rylee Woodall. Fellow seniors Autymn Olson, Brittany Spindler and Paxton Wicks will also be counted on to contribute at both ends of the floor. But what South Hamilton needs to find is consistent scoring. Moss and Hodnefield are the returning leaders, although neither averaged five points per game a season ago. The Hawks averaged just 26.9 points an outing while shooting only 18.4 percent from the field. Woodall is the team’s best ball handler and shooter, while Moss has a knack for harassing opponents on defense. Friest is arguably the team’s most versatile player with the ability to play in the post and also on the perimeter. Scoring is essential, Henderson said, but so is getting a better handle on the ball. “We’ve put a big emphasis on taking care of the ball. We work on it every

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day,” Henderson said. “Last year we had 490 turnovers and 65 assists ... we’ve got to take care of the ball much better and we have to share the ball much better.” Whether the start from scratch approach will lead to more victories, Henderson says there are no guarantees. Instead, he’ll be looking for signs of improvement that will get the program trending upward. “I know that we can win games. But if we win two games, if every game we lose by five, then I’d say we’re being competitive,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking for.”

Paxton Wicks (No. 40)

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Peters eyes the big prize in final season on mat Hetland gives inexperienced Hawks a second returning state qualifier, Lutter also an expected contributor year. That corner that Luke turned from a sophomore to a junior, we may see that corner turned with Keaton, too.” hether it’s a big win or a soul Peters and Hetland will be the leadcrushing loss, Luke Peters is ers of a South Hamilton team that is a master of masking his emomissing experience at a majority of the tions. That stoic demeanor has served weights. Of the 14 bodies in the room, him well in a sport where mental staonly six have wrestled multiple varsity bility is every bit as important as physimatches. Noah Lutter is the only other cal ability. team member to put together a winBut what will happen if the South ning record a season ago. Hamilton senior attains the goals that “There’s just not a whole lot of he’s set for himself in his senior season wrestling experience on the squad,” on the wrestling mat? That calm and Brodie said. “It’s the first year or first cool exterior will likely crack and then year in a very long time that they’ve crumble. Noah Lutter (top) put together a 28-19 record on decided to come out for wrestling. So “Luke’s focus is winning the state the wrestling mat a season ago for South Hamilton. victories, we’re not really worried tournament, winning a state title,” about those at the moment. We’re just South Hamilton head wrestling coach trying to get them to be better Dan Brodie, entering his sixth year at wrestlers as a group.” him to go out there and be as domithe helm, says of his veteran grappler. son at 170 pounds before eventually Lutter will be expected to provide dropping down to 160, will use the reg- nant as he can be against the oppo“That’s been his goal for the last couteam points, as he’s coming off a 28ular season as a warm-up for February. nents who are across from him.” ple of years and I think that it’s good win season last winter. He still has the bitter taste of falling Keaton Hetland, a junior, gives the that he has that.” “He’s definitely someone that we’re Peters, a two-time state qualifier and one win short of the Class 1A podium Hawks a second returning state qualifigoing to lean on to win a lot of matchthe reigning Heart of Iowa Conference last winter, something he used as moti- er. An abbreviated sophomore camvation throughout the offseason. He paign translated into a 19-8 record and es,” Brodie said of Lutter, who will champion at 160 pounds, owns 108 bounce between 170 and 182 pounds. his first stop in Des Moines where he career victories and has the chance to was forced to dig deep and figure out “Matches can end very quickly and where the improvements needed to be picked up one victory. reach the 155 wins notched by JD Noah can be the one ending them, he made. “He knows he belongs and we’ve Rader, South Hamilton’s all-time has that ability.” “Mentally, I think he’s taken that always had an inkling of that,” Brodie leader. To get there Peters will need to Mason Alsager, Michael Delagaard said of Hetland, who projects as a 126equal the 47-3 mark he put together a next step,” Brodie said. “Wrestling and Zach Larson all saw varsity time a wise, he had it last year and he had a pounder this season. “Going into this season ago. season ago as well. season, it’s a mental thing with him Peters, who will likely begin the sea- chance to do some really nice things, and that’s much improved from last but he fell short. This year we want BY TROY BANNING tbanning@freemanjournal.net

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The Fan, November 30, 2016


LYNX From Page 15 rankings released by iawrestle.com, is a no-doubt state title contender. Lawson, who was 37-2 a season ago and takes a 67-14 career mark into the campaign, is the man to beat among the big boys. Does either one of them buy into the hype? Not even a little bit. “For myself, I just want to go out there and wrestle every match like it’s my last,” Doolittle said. “(Ignoring the chatter) is somewhat easy for me. It’s everywhere, so you can’t really avoid it, but I think I do a pretty good job of keeping it all out.” Lawson’s only hiccups last season were to 3A bronze medalist Daniel Ramirez of Southeast Polk and twotime state champion and UNI recruit Carter Isley of Albia in the state final. But he’s not bitter about coming so close to attaining gold; he’s motivated to make that small step up to the top rung of the podium. “Last year was a learning experience more than anything else,” Lawson said. “Every year you want to set your goals a little higher and (a state title) is the next step. But I’m not really worried about a ranking. I just want to wrestle and get better every day in the room.” It’s easy to put the spotlight on the two, but WCHS has plenty of other talented individuals that would like to join their teammates at the state tournament. Yes, the Lynx must replace 2016 220-pound state champion Gavin Dinsdale among others, but the cupboards are far from bare. “I look at it as we have a lot of guys back other than (Lawson and Doolittle),” WCHS coach Chad Hisler said. “We’ve got a lot of experience and the kids have put in a lot of time.” Junior Carson Hartnett, a projected 132-pounder, is a two-year starter who won 30 matches and advanced to dis-

The Fan, November 30, 2016

Webster City’s returning district qualifiers (left to right) Cooper Lawson, Zane Williams, Drake Doolittle and Carson Hartnett.

tricts last season. Zane Williams, another junior and expected 160pounder, also made it to districts and put up 29 victories a winter ago. Sophomore Caleb Olson (195) earned 20 wins as a freshman facing mostly upperclassmen. The list goes on and on. “Football showed us what it takes as a team to be one of the best in the state,” Lawson, a first-team all-state offensive linemen on the gridiron and one of many wrestlers who helped the Lynx to a 3A runner-up finish this fall, said. “They say wrestling is an individual sport, but it takes everyone in the room to do big things.” WCHS will also be aided by the return of junior Luke Rohmiller, who was considered a candidate to qualify for state last season before an ankle

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injury ended his run in late December. He rolled up 29 wins and marched on to districts as a freshman in 2015, and was 8-2 a season ago before it came to an abrupt end. Rohmiller spent the summer improving his strength and was expected to be a starter in football before another

injury — this time it was his back — shelved him for the entire season. He recently received medical clearance to return to the mat and Hisler says he’s poised for a breakout season. “Luke was a legitimate state place

LYNX, See Page 26

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LYNX From Page 25

GO LYNX!

winner last year possibly if he was healthy,” Hisler said. “I think he will be able to perform very well ... he will be a big difference maker for us.” In all, WCHS returns 13 wrestlers that saw some or a lot of time in the varsity lineup a season ago. Brandon Peck won 11 matches, Ashton High claimed 10, Rocco Miller picked up eight, Bryer McCoy went 7-2 behind Lawson and Trey Nelson claimed six victories in a back-up role at 106. The Lynx are packed at the upper weights with Lawson, McCoy, High and James Cherry. But with Lawson at the front of the line, the other three will attempt to trim down to 220 to find a spot in the starting 14.

26

contend again and stalwarts Clear Lake and Humboldt won’t be pushovers. WCHS and Clear Lake both return a pair of individual league champions. Doolittle and Lawson secured gold for the Lynx, while two-time state chamBryer Ashton James pion Ryan Leisure (138) and state runMcCoy High Cherry ner-up Eric Faught (106) led the Lions. Humboldt’s Joey Busse (132) and Iowa “We really hope that one will get Falls-Alden’s Michael Kent (170) will down there because they’re all good also be back to defend their NCC and I think it will happen,” Hisler said. crowns. “It might not be at the beginning of Lawson will be tested by sophomore the year because of the late start with Spencer Trenary, who transferred to football ... it’s a good problem to have CGD after competing for Pocahontas though.” Area a season ago. Trenary placed sevAfter winning the North Central enth in 2A as a freshman and then Conference tournament in 2014, the went on to win a cadet national title Lynx have finished second behind in Greco-Roman wrestling over the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows in back-tosummer. back seasons. Both are expected to Lawson, who beat Trenary twice last

winter, says the more the merrier in the NCC. “Wrestling is wrestling,” he said. “I’m going to have to wrestle him sometime, so I might as well wrestle him three or four times.” WCHS will again place winning the league crowns — both the dual and tournament titles — up on a pedestal. “We’ve got a long ways to go, but every year our goal is to try to win the conference and try to get as many kids as we can to state. That’s not going to change,” Hisler said. “With the duals, you just can’t have a down night. Personally, I like to win the conference duals because it’s the best team all year long.” The Lynx will open the season with a league triangular against Iowa FallsAlden and Algona in Iowa Falls on Thursday, Dec. 1.

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The Fan - Winter 2016-17  

The Daily Freeman-Journal's comprehensive look at the winter sports teams at Webster City and South Hamilton.

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