Fremont-Mills hung right with Class 1-A No. 12 Boyer Valley for a quarter, but the pressure defense of the Bulldogs overpowered the Knights girls to the tune of a 62-42 victory in a regional semifinal Friday night.
Fremont-Mills knew it would have to play its best game of the year to have any hope of slowing Canaan Cox and the high-flying offense of Remsen St. Mary’s.
It’s been six years since Fremont-Mills won the Iowa state championship, but it’s hard not to notice some parallels between that team and its 2017 squad.
For 16 teams in The World-Herald’s western Iowa coverage area, the season marches on.
The Knights turned in the nearly impossible feat of holding CAM without a first down in the first half on Friday. Fremont-Mills earned its eighth straight trip to the playoffs with a 42-12 Eight-Man, District 7 victory.
During his bullpen session Thursday before the Class 1-A district semifinal against Fremont-Mills, a thought struck Brandon Williams. “It kind of hit me that this was the last time I was going to do this at Chuck Wolever,” the Council Bluffs St. Albert senior said, referring to the Falcons’ home field.
The Council Bluffs St. Albert boys know the history. And nobody wants to be the group that ends it.
Sam Phillips confesses he’s a terrible welder in shop class. That might be the only thing the Fremont-Mills senior has failed to master.
Few Iowa high school football programs in the playoff era, if any, have experienced higher highs and lower lows than Fremont-Mills.
David Sorensen had been a go-to scorer all evening during Stanton’s 48-44 victory in Saturday’s Corner Conference tournament final against Fremont-Mills.
Sam Phillips is a 6-foot-1 junior at Fremont-Mills who leads the Knights (7-1) in scoring (14.4 points per game) and rebounding (7.6). F-M will resume play after the holiday break when it hosts Stanton on Jan. 7.
Jeremy Christiansen didn’t look like a coach who had just kept his team’s unbeaten record intact Friday. That’s because the Fremont-Mills coach was left puzzled by a number of mental miscues throughout the night, despite seeing his team hang on for what turned out to be a dramatic 30-22 victory over Eight-Man, District 8 foe Stanton.
Sam Phillips looked exhausted. His jersey was ripped, and he was dripping with sweat. It happens when you put a team on your back. Phillips was brilliant for Eight-Man No. 1 Fremont-Mills Friday against East Mills.
Normally, learning that your opponent had shot 79 percent from the field in the first half would have a jarring effect. But Fremont-Mills coach Rod Williams was unfazed, because it seemed even worse.
The past week has conjured fond memories for Penny Malcom and some of her former Fremont-Mills teammates. The former Penny Alexander was a starting sophomore guard on the 1965 Fremont-Mills girls basketball team that reached the Sweet Sixteen, the famed one-class, 6-on-6 Iowa state tournament.
Nodaway Valley needed three quarters to find its groove. It used the fourth to show why it belongs at the boys state basketball tournament.
For the majority of players on the Fremont-Mills boys basketball roster, only five days separated their final football game from the start of hoops season.
Fremont-Mills (23-1) will add to its only other state trip — in 1965 — and play No. 11 Springville on Monday at 3:15 p.m. in a 1-A state quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
With the nets cut down and a majority of the home crowd still in the gym, Fremont-Mills boys coach Mike Wood shouted two words that brought everyone to a scream. “Go Knights!”
Fremont-Mills put together one of its signature runs early Friday evening. The Lady Knights didn’t need much else to defend their Corner Conference tournament championship.
Jess Schaben, Katelyn Schechinger and Taryn Williams enjoyed stellar senior seasons.
Among the six honorary captains of The World-Herald’s All-Western Iowa football teams, only one, Logan-Magnolia’s Brady Charbonneau, earned the right to celebrate a state championship.
Spencer Phillips knelt to the turf after the trophy presentation, struggling to accept the outcome, the anguish on his face telling it all.
Second-rated Fremont-Mills (13-0) will face unrated Newell-Fonda (10-3) in the Eight-Man title game on Thursday at 10:06 a.m. in the UNI-Dome.
And Haydn Meier’s fourth-down sack capped an improbable 30-27 victory for top-rated Fremont-Mills over the Eagles in Thursday’s Eight-Man semifinal at the UNI-Dome.
Coaches are famous for believing, even where there’s little to believe in. So here’s what Fremont-Mills coach Jeremy Christiansen had to say about his team’s chances at halftime.