Nodaway Valley didn’t let the pressure of being the favorite get in the way of a three-peat Saturday at state.
To say Nodaway Valley is used to the pressure of being at state is a bit of an understatement.
Nodaway Valley boys track coach Darrell Burmeister remembers vividly his first impression of Jared Corder. He was standing at the starting line of the 200 meters at the beginning of practice when he spotted an eighth-grader in a black warmup suit running down the stadium stairs.
When Shane Breheny goes all in on cross country, it’s a display of true devotion. And it’s a necessity at Nodaway Valley, where Breheny is No. 2 in the Iowa Association of Track Coaches Class 1-A individual rankings.
Here are the first four finalists for The World-Herald’s western Iowa athletes of the year awards. Winners will be chosen among the six girls and six boys finalists.
Jackson Lamb won’t remember the final box score. The Nodaway Valley senior will remember leading his school to its first state baseball appearance and taking the mound at Principal Park, home of the Iowa Cubs, with his buddies.
On July 14, Nodaway Valley trailed 5-1 heading to the sixth inning against an Orient-Macksburg baseball team with a 9-15 record. The Wolverines were down to their last six outs. With no state appearances to their credit, it would have been difficult at that point to imagine where they are now.
The Exira-EHK girls refused to sulk when their fourth-quarter ball handling broke down to the tune of seven turnovers. Instead, the Spartans sprinted to the other end and did something about it.
With Iowa’s leading scorer and rebounder on the court, one of the game’s most unassuming players stole the show. Junior Kaleb Anderson, all 5-foot-7 and 125 pounds of him, drained 6 of 9 from 3-point range and finished with 20 points as visiting Lenox handled Nodaway Valley 73-61 Thursday in a key Pride of Iowa Conference boys basketball matchup.
Each member of the Nodaway Valley boys cross country team left the state meet last fall with a bitter taste in his mouth. With expectations high, the Wolverines settled for fourth place in the team standings, 23 points away from a state title.
Darrell Burmeister knows he has a boys team that can “Walk the Deck.” The Nodaway Valley cross country coach is referring to the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the state meet when the top three teams come out to the deck at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge to be recognized by their fellow runners and coaches.
Destiny Scar and Shane Breheny of Nodaway Valley made it look easy. So did the top-rated Wolverines’ boys team. Those who understand cross country know that it’s anything but easy.
Four western Iowa schools will be represented when the Iowa state boys golf meets tee off this weekend.
They used their unique talents in different ways, but they shared two things in common. All three earned praise from their coaches for their ability to combine production with leadership, and all three did a lot of winning.
Any hopes Nodaway Valley harbored of pulling a state-tournament upset were shot down Monday by the sweet shooting strokes of Joe Smoldt and Camden Kickbush.
Nodaway Valley needed three quarters to find its groove. It used the fourth to show why it belongs at the boys state basketball tournament.
Tatem Bluml (106), Tucker Bluml (132), Jacob Vogel (138) and Coy Maher (285) all won their sectional brackets for Riverside, which claimed its Iowa Class 1-A sectional Saturday afternoon behind six district qualifiers.