June 5, 2020 - 12:19 pm - Posted in Sports

The NAIA national office, in partnership with leaders of the association, continues to plan for the fall season. Our work is guided first and foremost by the health and safety of your students. Our second priority is to serve our member institutions as you plan for a return to campus and a successful fall term.

The NAIA originally set July 1 as the date we would announce our plans for the fall. After discussions with many of you, the NAIA knows that institutions and conferences are anxiously awaiting direction from the NAIA. As they have considered options related to fall sports, they have been helped tremendously by input from presidents, athletics directors, conference commissioners and athletic trainers. The colleges’ insights and suggestions have been instrumental to the process of establishing policies and guidelines for return to play.

To provide this needed guidance, the Council of Presidents (COP) Executive Committee met yesterday and the following national office recommendations were approved:

1. Return to Play Threshold
The COP Executive Committee approved the use of a threshold system as a guideline for determining return to play. The threshold goal is for about half the participating institutions in each sport to receive clearance from local authorities to return to competition before the season can begin. For example, NAIA football has 95 participating institutions. When half (47) of these programs gain clearance from authorities to play, the NAIA football season will be authorized to begin.

The rationale for this decision is that a significant number of institutions need to participate to offer student-athletes a significant competitive and championship-caliber experience. Additionally, the fewer the number of participating programs, the higher the likelihood for scheduling challenges leading to increased travel costs and missed class time.

2. Start Dates
Based on input from NAIA presidents, AD’s, commissioners, athletics trainers and health care professionals, the COP Executive Committee approved the recommendation of practice and competition start dates for each sport. The practice start date for all sports, will be Saturday, August 15. As a result, from today through August 14, any activities deemed practice by the NAIA are strictly prohibited. (Click here for NAIA definition of practice.)

Many NAIA campuses may be engaging in conditioning activities now or plan to as we get closer to August 15. These conditioning activities, as long as they are not “practices”, are not restricted and can take place at any time, in keeping with any institutional guidelines.

Beginning on August 15, student-athletes may practice consistent with any health and safety protocols your institution deems necessary. While practices can begin August 15, only individuals identified with your institution can participate in these practices. No scrimmages, exhibitions, or competitions of any kind that involve individuals not identified with your institution may take place prior to the competition start date listed below.

Competition start dates are as follows:
*All sports except football: September 5 (providing 3 weeks of practice prior to competition)
*Football: September 12 (providing 4 weeks of practice prior to competition)
Please note: these start dates apply to all sports that schedule practices or competitions in the fall, regardless of when the regular season is played.

The rationale behind the selection of these dates is to provide an adequate acclimatization, conditioning and practice period prior to competition for each sport, while minimizing the need for student-athletes to return to campus early. Establishing start dates also creates a more level playing field for all institutions that are able to compete this fall.

Maximum Contests Allowed
With the delayed start dates, there are fewer weeks to complete the season. As a result, the COP Executive Committee approved a reduction in the maximum number of contests as follows:
*Cross Country: 7 meets, down from 8
*Football: 9 games, down from 11
*Men’s and Women’s Soccer: 14 games, down from 18
*Women’s Volleyball: 22 dates, down from 28

The reductions are proportional to the shortened seasons and are consistent with recent feedback from presidents, athletics directors, and commissioners expressing a desire to reduce regular season costs.
Currently, the NAIA intends to host all fall national championship events as currently scheduled. They cannot predict what will happen in the next six months, but are optimistic that the championships will be hosted as planned.
Finally, the NAIA knows the health and safety of their student-athletes is imperative if they are to host fall sports. The national office and the COP Executive Committee are currently examining various options for health and safety protocols, including testing and screening, and will share decisions related to these areas as soon as they are made.
While their focus is currently on fall sports, they know there are already concerns related to the winter sport season. At this time, there are no planned changes for winter sports. The NAIA will begin to evaluate the possible impact of COVID-19 on the winter season and prioritize any decisions that will help their institutions prepare for possible adjustments, if necessary.
June 4, 2020 - 3:13 pm - Posted in Sports

Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840

NORTHWEST
Black Hawk Lake
Water temperature is around 70 degrees. The outdoor walkway on the fish house structure in Town Bay is open to anglers; the indoor portion of the structure remains closed. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish anywhere from shore with rock and structure. Use a small jig tipped with crawler or small minnow fished under a bobber along shore in Town Bay, Ice House Point from the inlet bridge and from the floating pier and fish house in Town Bay. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast traditional bass lures and plastics along shore. You can catch fish anywhere around the lake, but some of the best areas include Ice House point shoreline, inlet bay and bridge area near the outlet, and along Gunshot Hill. Walleye – Fair: Walleye fishing from shore has been hit or miss. Use twisters, crankbaits and leeches or crawlers fished under a bobber.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig fished under a bobber near shore in 5-10 feet of water by rocks or woody structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Throw traditional bass lures, plastics or weedless lures near submerged structure and along weed lines. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try crawlers on a small jig in 5-10 feet of water. Some is sorting needed. Walleye – Fair.

North Raccoon River (above State Highway 175 bridge near Auburn)
Water remains slightly turbid, but anglers are catching walleye and channel catfish in pools below riffles and along outside bends.

North Twin Lake
Water temperature is around 70 degrees with around 4 feet of water clarity. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish anywhere with structure near shore or downed trees near the shoreline. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellow bass have moved in close to shore. Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or waxworm fished under a small bobber in 3-6 feet of water near shore. If fishing from boat, you may need to move around to stay on top of fish. Yellow bass are 6-10 inches long.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Water clarity has increased. Anglers continue to have good luck with walleye in the main lake and panfish in the marina. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye, and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Black Crappie – Fair: Use crawlers and minnows on a small jig fished in the marina near the inlet and along the north and east shore of the main lake. Walleye – Good: Anglers have had luck in the main lake. Boat anglers are catching fish trolling crankbaits in the dredge cuts. Yellow Perch – Fair: Pick up perch along shore in the marina and north and east shores. White Bass – Fair: The bite has been hit or miss. Anglers are picking up white bass from shore and in the main like while trolling. Use twisters, crawlers or crankbaits in the marina, near the inlet and north and east shores in the main lake.

Water temperatures are in the low 70’s in the Black Hawk District. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low 70’s. Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching walleyes drift fishing a jig and crawler near vegetation. Try slip bobber fishing a leech on the rock reefs. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are still spawning. The best bite is early morning. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on jigs fished near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try a piece of cut bait or chicken liver fished on the bottom after sunset. Black Crappie – Good: Use a small minnow fished in the edge of the rushes.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie – Good: Use a minnow or small jig near shore and around vegetation. Largemouth Bass – Good. Northern Pike – Fair. Bluegill – Good.

Lake Smith
Anglers are catching bluegills and crappies along the shoreline. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Good.

Lower Pine Lake
Bluegill – Good: Shore anglers are catching good numbers of 4 to 7 inch fish. Black Crappie – Good. Largemouth Bass – Good. Channel Catfish – Good: Try chicken liver or cut bait fished on the bottom near the spillway.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Good. Bluegill – Good: Cast small jigs or a piece of worm below a bobber.

Upper Pine Lake
Bluegill – Good: Shore anglers are catching good numbers of 4 to 7 inch fish. Largemouth Bass – Good. Black Crappie – Good.

For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

East Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. The water temperature is 70 degrees. There is a great panfish bite along the shorelines in the shallows; many fish are bedding, allowing for easy shore and dock fishing. Bluegill – Excellent: Large schools are moving into the shallows to bed and can easily be caught around hoists and docks. Black Crappie – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms. Black Crappie – Good: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use rubber worms or other slow moving jigs.

Lost Island Lake
The Palo Alto County Conservation Board is hosting a Virtual Kid’s Fishing Derby for ages 15 and under, June 5th-15th. Go to their Facebook page for details. Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Good.

Spirit Lake
The walleye season is open. The water temperature is 70 degrees. Walleye and panfish bite has been great. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Walleye – Good: Evenings have had fairly good bites; daytime bite is picking up. Black Bullhead – Fair: Anglers have been successful at the north grade.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. The water temperature is 70 degrees. A good spring bass bite has been observed in canal areas, as well a good panfish bite in various harbors and around docks and hoists. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Black Crappie – Good. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair:

This weekend, June 5th-7th, is Iowa’s free fishing weekend – a great time to get out fishing! Iowa Great Lake water temperatures are warming up quickly and are currently around 70 degrees. The bite has been picking up with warmer water temperatures. This week’s extended forecast is temperatures ranging from the upper 70’s to mid-90’s. The panfish bite has taken off throughout the chain of lakes; they are bedding in the shallows along the shoreline. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

June 4, 2020 - 2:39 pm - Posted in Sports

Ashayla Soodsma, a graduate of Boyden Hull High School, has announced her intention to attend Dordt and join the Defender softball program.

Soodsma played softball for Boyden Hull Rock Valley and has played first base and pitcher.

“I chose Dordt because it has always been my dream to go to Dordt, receive a Christian education and play with the Defender softball team. Not only will it be a great place to advance my softball abilities, it will also be a great place for me to grow academically and in my faith. I am so excited to be able to call myself a Defender,” said Soodsma.

Ashayla is the daughter of Jack and Anita Soodsma of Doon, Iowa. She plans to study Civil Engineering at Dordt.

June 4, 2020 - 10:22 am - Posted in Sports

Statewide Iowa — The preseason rankings for Iowa High School Baseball is out from IAbaseball.

CLASS 4A
Rank Team
1. Urbandale
2. Southeast Polk
3. Dowling
4. Ankeny
5. Western Dubuque
6. Johnston
7. Waukee
8. Iowa City West
9. Ankeny Centennial
10. North Scott

CLASS 3A
Rank Team
1. Central DeWitt
2. Davenport Assumption
3. Bishop Heelan
4. Cedar Rapids Xavier
5. Harlen
6. Waverly Shell-Rock
7. Carlisle
8. Vinton-Shellsburg
9. Marion
10. Winterset

CLASS 2A
Rank Team
1. Van Meter
2. North Linn
3. West Sioux
4. West Lyon
5. Underwood
6. Dike-New Hartford
7. West Branch
8. Pochahantas Area
9. Hinton
10. Treynor

CLASS 1A
Rank Team
1. Remsen St. Mary’s
2. Martensdale-St. Mary’s
3. Alburnett
4. Calamus-Wheatland
5. Newman Catholic
6. Don Bosco
7. South Winneshiek
8. Coon Rapids Bayard
9. HLV
10. St. Albert

June 1, 2020 - 12:13 pm - Posted in Sports

Statewide Iowa — The 2020 Preseason softball rankings from the IGHSAU were released Monday.

Class 1A
School 2019 Record
1 Collins-Maxwell 28-1
2 Newell-Fonda 38-7
3 Clarksville 33-2
4 Wayne 24-9
5 Algona Bishop Garrigan 29-8
6 Lynnville-Sully 27-9
7 Newman Catholic 21-14
8 North Mahaska 18-10
9 AGWSR 20-7
10 Central City 31-11
11 Gehlen Catholic 21-13
12 Akron-Westfield 21-13

13 Grand View Christian 20-10
14 Lisbon 34-7
15 Lenox 26-7

Class 2A
School 2019 Record
1 North Linn 42-4
2 Louisa-Muscatine 35-5
3 Mount Ayr 27-3
4 Ogden 26-8
5 West Sioux 24-8
6 Jesup 30-10
7 Central Springs 28-9
8 West Monona 30-6
9 Earlham 29-9
10 Beckman Catholic 30-14
11 Emmetsburg 23-10
12 Interstate 35 18-11
13 Northeast 20-14
14 Pleasantville 25-12
15 West Lyon 20-8

Class 3A
School 2019 Record
1 Davenport Assumption 41-2
2 Humboldt 28-3
3 Williamsburg 31-12
4 Anamosa 31-5
5 Mount Vernon 27-13
6 Albia 27-6
7 Spirit Lake 22-7
8 West Liberty 30-6
9 North Polk 22-11
10 Algona 18-11
11 Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 24-11
12 Atlantic 27-9
13 West Burlington 25-12
14 Boyden Hull-Rock Valley 22-9
15 Bishop Heelan 16-14

Class 4A
School 2019 Record
1 Carlisle 38-3
2 North Scott 28-15
3 Ballard 26-10
4 Oskaloosa 25-16
5 ADM 28-7
6 Charles City 37-4
7 Dallas Center-Grimes 25-15
8 Sergeant Bluff-Luton 27-7
9 West Delaware 31-12
10 Decorah 18-12
11 Fairfield 22-19
12 Washington 22-15
13 Winterset 19-15
14 Webster City 21-7
15 Central DeWitt 18-5

Class 5A
School 2019 Record
1 Fort Dodge 35-7
2 Iowa City High 36-8
3 Johnston 35-10
4 Cedar Rapids Kennedy 37-4
5 Ottumwa 33-9
6 Waukee 40-4
7 West Des Moines Valley 32-10
8 Pleasant Valley 27-13
9 Indianola 34-5
10 Dubuque Hempstead 32-8
11 Ankeny Centennial 26-12
12 Muscatine 31-8
13 Cedar Rapids Prairie 29-12
14 Southeast Polk 24-17
15 Bettendorf 22-15

June 1, 2020 - 10:52 am - Posted in Sports

Orange City, Iowa — Northwestern College men’s golf recruit Kyle Christy has been named one of the recipients of the prestigious Herman Sani Scholarship Award for 2020.

The Herman Sani Scholarship Program was established in 1958. Herman Sani had a passion for golf and young people and was the first director of the Iowa Golf Association, serving the organization for over 30 years. This scholarship was created in his memory with the purpose of helping Iowa students further their education. As of 2020, 187 college-bound students have been awarded this four-year scholarship. Most of the scholarship money comes from generous donations by individuals and corporate sponsors.

One of four high school seniors from across the state to receive the Scholarship in 2020, Christy was a three-year letter winner for the MOC-Floyd Valley High School golf team. Christy was two-time all-conference selection (Soph. / Jr.) and helped lead his team to the conference championship as a junior. Christy was a state qualifier (team) as a freshman while qualifying as an individual in his junior year.

“Kyle is a great, young man,” said Northwestern Head Coach Aaron Aberson. “He’s a very deserving recipient of the Herman Sani Scholarship award and will undoubtedly be a great addition to the golf team and Northwestern community.”

Christy’s brother, Ryan, who played for the Red Raiders from 2014-17, received the Herman Sani Scholarship in 2013.

May 29, 2020 - 11:59 am - Posted in Sports

The Red Raider women’s soccer program rounded out their recruiting class with six more signings this semester.

From Northwest Iowa, Abigail Dahl of Orange City is a central midfielder who has showed growth in the position over the years. She is a strong defender and tackler and does a great job protecting her back line.

“Abby is someone who has the drive to develop and grow after missing out on some soccer during high school. She is coachable and brings an effort that is seen and felt by her teammates.”

Dahl plans to study Graphic Design while at Northwestern.

May 28, 2020 - 3:31 pm - Posted in Sports

Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840

NORTHWEST
Black Hawk Lake
Water temperature is around 60-65 degrees. The outdoor walkway on the fish house structure in Town Bay is open to anglers; the indoor portion of the structure remains closed. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up some perch in Town Bay. Sorting is needed, but keepers are 8-10 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish anywhere from shore with rock and structure. Use a small jig tipped with crawler or small minnow fished under a bobber along shore in Town Bay, Ice House Point from the inlet bridge and from the floating pier and fish house in Town Bay. Largemouth Bass – Good: Cast traditional bass lures and plastics along shore. You can catch fish anywhere around the lake, but some of the best areas include Ice House point shoreline, inlet bay and bridge area near the outlet, and along Gunshot Hill. Walleye – Fair: Walleye fishing from shore has been hit or miss. Use twisters, crankbaits and leeches or crawlers fished under a bobber.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler or minnow on a jig fished under a bobber near shore in 5-10 feet of water by rocks or woody structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Throw traditional bass lures plastics or weedless lures near submerged structure and along weed lines. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try crawlers on a small jig in 5-10 feet of water. Some is sorting needed. Walleye – Fair.

North Raccoon River (above State Highway 175 bridge near Auburn)
River levels are up due to recent rains; the water is turbid.

North Twin Lake
Water temperature is around 60-65 degrees with around 5 feet of water clarity. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish anywhere with structure near shore or downed trees near the shoreline. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellow bass have moved in close to shore. Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or waxworm fished under a small bobber in 3-6 feet of water near shore. If fishing from boat, you may need to move around to stay on top of fish. Yellow bass are 6-10 inches long.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Water clarity has increased. Anglers have had good luck with walleye in the main lake and panfish in the marina. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; and no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Black Crappie – Fair: Use crawlers and minnows on a small jig fished in the marina near the inlet and along the north and east shore of the main lake. Walleye – Good: Fishing the main lake has been productive. Boat anglers have had good luck trolling crankbaits in the dredge cuts.Try a twister crankbait or a leech or crawler fished under a bobber. Yellow Perch – Fair: Pick up perch along shore in the marina and north and east shores. White Bass – Fair: The bite has been hit or miss. Anglers are picking up white bass from shore and in the main like while trolling. Use twisters, crawlers or crankbaits in the marina, near the inlet and north and east shores in the main lake.

Water temperatures are around 60-65 degrees in the Black Hawk District. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low sixties. Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching a few walleyes drift fishing a jig and crawler near vegetation. Try slip bobber fishing a leech on the rock reefs and along the vegetation edge. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are spawning. The best bite is early morning. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on jigs fished near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch – Fair. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try a piece of cut bait fished on the bottom near areas where water is coming into the lake. Black Crappie – Good: Use a small minnow fished in the edge of the rushes.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie – Excellent: Use a minnow or small jig near shore and around vegetation. Largemouth Bass – Good. Northern Pike – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.

Lake Smith
Anglers are catching bluegills and crappies along the shoreline. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Good.

Lower Pine Lake
Bluegill – Good: Shore anglers are catching good numbers of 4 to 7 inch fish. Black Crappie – Good. Largemouth Bass – Good. Channel Catfish – Good: Try chicken liver or cut bait fished on the bottom near the spillway.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Good. Bluegill – Good: Cast small jigs or a piece of worm below a bobber.

Upper Pine Lake
Bluegill – Good: Shore anglers are catching good numbers of 4 to 7 inch fish. Largemouth Bass – Good. Black Crappie – Good.

For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

East Okoboji Lake
The Walleye Season is open. The water temperature is 60 degrees. There has been a good panfish bite in many of the bays and harbors, in and around boat hoists and docks. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms. Black Crappie – Good: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use rubber worms or other slow moving jigs.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Good.

Spirit Lake
The Walleye Season is open. The water temperature is 62 degrees. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Walleye – Fair: Evenings have had fairly good bites; daytime bite is picking up. Black Bullhead – Fair: Anglers have been successful at the north grade.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
The Walleye Season is open. The water temperature is 60 degrees. A good spring bass bite has been observed in canal areas, as well a good panfish bite in various harbors and around docks and hoists. Bluegill – Good: Large schools have been found gathering around hoists and docks. Black Crappie – Good. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair:

The Walleye season is open on Spirit Lake, East Okoboji Lake and West Okoboji Lake. Iowa Great Lake water temperatures range from 60 to 65 degrees.The bite is picking up with warmer water temperatures. This week’s extended forecast is temperatures ranging from the upper 60’s to upper 70’s. Recent rain has brought lake levels up a few inches since last week. Big Spirit is 10 inches above the spillway and the Okobojis are 14.2 inches above the spillway. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

Sioux City, Iowa — The Great Plains Athletic Conference is planning on offering a fall sports season.

GPAC commissioner Corey Westra says they have formed a task force to look at a return from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Westra says students must return to campus for athletics to be offered in the fall.

Westra says the NAIA has set a July first target date for a decision on fall sports.

Westra wants to task force to come up with recommendations before the end of June.

Morningside, Briar Cliff, Dordt and Northwestern are all members of the GPAC.

May 22, 2020 - 2:49 pm - Posted in Sports

Jenna Dekkers, a senior at Unity Christian High School, has announced her intention to attend Dordt and join the Defender softball program.

Dekkers has played third base and second base during her career for the Knights.

“I chose to commit to Dordt University because of the atmosphere. The people at Dordt are kind and caring and help you grow not only in your schooling but in your relationship with God. They help you see God in the career you are preparing for so when you do go out into the world you can live for and serve God,” said Dekkers.

Jenna is the daughter of Bryan and Deanne Dekkers of Hawarden, Iowa. She plans to study Digital Media at Dordt.