Boone, Iowa — The Board of Control approved and accepted the lone recommendation out of recent meetings of the joint IHSAA and IGHSAU classification committee, adding one classification of football ahead of the 2021 season.

The new classification will be Class 5A, adding an 11-player group to reduce the disparity in enrollment in the IHSAA’s largest class of football, and to increase the number of participating teams and student-athletes in the postseason.

The board approved separate scheduling and playoff plans across the seven football classifications:

Class 5A, Class 4A, Class 3A: 36 teams, 9 regular season games, 16 playoff qualifiers.

Class 2A, Class 1A: 48 teams, 8 regular season games, 32 playoff qualifiers.

Class A: Remainder of 11-player teams, 8 regular season games, 32 playoff qualifiers.

Eight-Player: All 8-player teams, 8 regular season games, 32 playoff qualifiers.

Teams in 2A, 1A, A, and 8P will be permitted to play a ninth regular season contest should they not qualify for the postseason.

Additional information regarding playoff qualification and district assignments will be released at a later date.

Member schools will be contacted to confirm BEDS data; questions or concerns must be directed to the Iowa Department of Education and the IHSAA.

January 21, 2021 - 2:57 pm - Posted in Sports

The eighth Iowa Girls High School basketball rankings are out.

In Class 1A, Kingsley-Pierson moves up one spot to 3rd, and MMCRU remains in the 5 spot.

Class 2A keeps Central Lyon moves up one spot to 8th.

Class 3A keeps Cherokee top ranked, followed by Unity Christian in 2nd. West Lyon is up to 6th, and ELC jumps to 10th.

Class 1A
School Record LW
1 Bishop Garrigan 13-0 1
2 Newell-Fonda 12-1 2
3 Kingsley-Pierson 15-0 4
4 St. Ansgar 12-1 3
5 MMCRU 11-1 5
6 Exira-EHK 14-0 6
7 Collins-Maxwell 12-0 7
8 Montezuma 15-1 8
9 Springville 14-2 9
10 Winfield-Mount Union 13-0 10
11 Burlington Notre Dame 11-1 11
12 Westwood 11-2 NR
13 Lenox 10-2 NR
14 North Mahaska 8-2 12
15 Woodbury Central 13-4 15
Dropped Out: Logan-Magnolia (13) Turkey Valley (14)

Class 2A
1 Maquoketa Valley 15-0 1
2 Dike-New Hartford 12-0 2
3 West Branch 9-1 3
4 North Linn 12-1 4
5 Nodaway Valley 12-0 5
6 Bellevue 13-1 10
7 Grundy Center 9-2 11
8 Central Lyon 12-2 9
9 West Hancock 11-2 6
10 Treynor 13-2 7
11 Underwood 13-1 12
12 Sioux Central 9-3 13
13 Denver 9-4 8
14 Jesup 12-2 14
15 Cascade 12-4 15
Dropped Out: None

Class 3A
1 Cherokee 13-0 1
2 Unity Christian 11-1 3
3 Des Moines Christian 12-2 2
4 Clear Lake 11-1 5
5 Osage 11-1 6
6 West Lyon 11-1 8
7 West Liberty 8-3 9
8 West Burlington 13-1 7
9 Roland-Story 8-3 11
10 Estherville-Lincoln Central 12-2 14
11 Solon 10-4 12
12 Vinton-Shellsburg 13-2 14
13 Center Point-Urbana 10-4 4
14 Panorama 10-3 10
15 Waukon 9-3 NR
Dropped Out: Bishop Heelan (13)

Class 4A
1 Glenwood 12-2 1
2 Ballard 12-0 2
3 Gilbert 12-1 3
4 Dallas Center-Grimes 11-2 4
5 Central DeWitt 10-1 5
6 North Scott 8-1 6
7 Waverly-Shell Rock 11-2 7
8 Bondurant-Farrar 7-4 10
9 Creston 10-4 8
10 Denison-Schleswig 10-2 11
11 Harlan 9-3 12
12 Cedar Rapids Xavier 6-5 9
13 Boone 6-4 NR
14 Lewis Central 7-5 NR
15 Marion 8-4 NR
Dropped Out: Dubuque Wahlert (13), Clear Creek-Amana (14), Winterset (15)

Class 5A
1 Johnston 7-0 1
2 Waukee 3-1 2
3 Waterloo West 11-1 3
4 Southeast Polk 8-2 5
5 Ankeny Centennial 8-1 6
6 Iowa City West 5-3 7
7 Cedar Falls 10-2 4
8 Iowa City High 7-2 8
9 Cedar Rapids Washington 9-1 11
10 Dowling Catholic 7-3 12
11 Des Moines Roosevelt 2-1 10
12 West Des Moines Valley 5-4 13
13 Ankeny 5-3 NR
14 Indianola 11-2 14
15 Davenport North 2-1 9
Dropped Out: Cedar Rapids Prairie (15)

January 20, 2021 - 11:36 am - Posted in Sports

Emma Zoet (Hull, Iowa) has signed a letter of intent to continue her track and field career at Northwestern College in the fall.

Zoet is a four sports standout who has competed two years for the Boyden-Hull High School track and field team heading into her final season this spring. Zoet qualified for state during her freshman (2018) and sophomore years (2019), placing sixth in both the 400m hurdles and the shuttle hurdle relay. She also qualified in the 100m hurdles and 4×200 relay. Zoet won the Siouxland Conference championship in three events in 2019; 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and shuttle hurdle relay. She has personal bests of 15.9 in the 100m hurdles, 1:06 in the 400m hurdles and 1:00.9 in the 400m.

“Emma is a very talented runner who we are thrilled to have join our Raider women’s track and field team,” said Northwestern head coach Scott Bahrke. “Emma has worked hard throughout her high school career to be one of the top hurdlers in the state. I know she will bring that same drive and competitiveness to our Northwestern team during her time here. Emma will help our team continue to have success both at the GPAC and NAIA level.”

Zoet also lettered in basketball, softball and volleyball for the Comets, earning all-conference honors in both basketball and softball. A member of the honor roll and National Honor Society, Zoet is the daughter of Brian and Jacinda.

“I chose to come to Northwestern because of the outstanding coaches,” said Zoet. “The coaches were genuine and showed great interest in me as an athlete and as a student.”

January 20, 2021 - 9:44 am - Posted in Sports

Concordia University’s Track & Field program have picked up an award based on their performance last week at the Scott Nisely Memorial Classic. Senior Morgan De Jong has been named the GPAC Hauff/Mid-America Sports Women’s Field Athlete of the Week.

A 2020 NAIA All-American in the weight throw, De Jong nearly matched her personal best in the same event with her toss of 56’ 8 ¾” in a winning performance the Nisely Memorial hosted by Doane. The native of Orange City, and MOC-Floyd Valley grad, also competed in the shot put and placed 10th with a mark of 37’ 5.” De Jong owns the top weight throw in the NAIA so far this indoor season. On the program’s all-time weight throw list, De Jong ranks No. 8 (57’ 9 ¾”) as part of a long line of All-Americans in the event.

January 18, 2021 - 2:19 pm - Posted in Sports

Lexie Van Kekerix (Rock Valley, Iowa) has signed a letter of intent to continue her basketball career at Northwestern College in the fall.

Van Kekerix is a 5’11” forward who is in her fourth year playing for the Rock Valley High School basketball team. In her fourth year as a starter for the Rockets, Van Kekerix has scored over 1,000 points and grabbed 573 rebounds heading into the final two months of her senior season.. She has earned all-conference honors three years and has been named to both the IBCA all-region and IGCA all-district teams.

“”We are excited that Lexie will be at Northwestern and will be joining our basketball program,” said head coach Chris Yaw. “She is a hard worker and high character young lady who will positively impact people on our campus and team. Lexie has worked to develop the ability to score from behind the arc and around the basket. Those combinations of skills and her length allow her to take advantage of different match ups. We look forward to Lexie’s journey as a Red Raider.”

Van Kekerix is currently averaging 16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and over two steals in leading Rock Valley to an 8-4 record. She is both an honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society and plans to study either Biology / Health Professions or Exercise Science at Northwestern. Van Kekerix is the daughter of Bruce and Lisa.

January 18, 2021 - 11:34 am - Posted in Sports

Gabriel Andres (Orange City, Iowa) has signed a letter of intent to continue his soccer career at Northwestern College.

Andres has earned three letters playing for the MOC-Floyd Valley High School soccer team heading into his final season this spring. Andres started all 22 games as a defender during his sophomore year. A member of the National Honor Society, Andres plans to study Bio-Physics / Computer Science / Math at Northwestern. He is the son of Michael and Joan.

“I chose to come to Northwestern because I think it is a great fit for me, both in academics and in athletics,” said Andres.

“We have been really impressed with Gabe’s progress as a player over the last couple of years,” said Northwestern head coach Dan Swier. “Having his junior season cancelled was disappointing, but he has still managed to develop as a player. Gabe is a very smart player and his vocal leadership is impressive. We are looking forward to seeing how his senior high school season goes this spring.”

January 18, 2021 - 10:09 am - Posted in Sports

Bailey Baccam (Hull, Iowa) has signed a letter of intent to continue his soccer career at Northwestern College.

Baccam excelled in multiple sports competing for Western Christian High School. Baccam helped lead the Wolfpack soccer team to a 14-4 record, good for second place in the league, as a sophomore. He scored 10 goals and totaled seven assists, earning all-conference honors in the 2018 season. He is a versatile player, getting minutes at a few different positions under head coach, Sou Baccam.

“Bailey will be a fun player to coach and watch grow over his four years in our program,” commented head coach Dan Swier. “He possesses great work ethic, has good positional knowledge and has a strong passion for the game. I am excited to see Bailey play with his brother Kobi this upcoming fall; the two brothers are known for their great connection and understanding when playing together.”

Baccam is the son of Sou and Mindy and plans to major in education during his time at Northwestern.

January 14, 2021 - 3:38 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

Arrowhead Lake
Ice thickness at the boat ramp is 5-6 inches of good ice. Ice may be thinner near shore.

Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is 7-8 inches in front of the Ice House Point boat ramp. Ice in the east basin is more variable and may have thinner areas. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Most angling activity has been near the Ice House Point boat ramp and near the Gunshot Hill shoreline. Ice is thinner in the inlet bridge bay. Black Crappie – Fair: Try waxworms and small live minnows. Sorting is needed; 8-10 inch fish reported. Anglers have had good luck fishing the rock pile just off the shoreline from Gunshot Hill. Yellow Perch – Fair: Most have been picked up in the southwest portion of the lake between Provost Point and Ice House Point in 3-7 feet of water. You may have to move to find fish. Use waxworms or live minnows on a small jig. Most fish are 6- to 10-inches with some 11- to 12-inches. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have picked up occasional walleyes with jigging spoons and minnow heads. Low light conditions are more productive. Bluegill – Fair: Try a waxworm on a small jig fished in 3-6 feet of water. Sorting is needed with some fish up to 8-inches.

Black Hawk Pits
Ice thickness near the boat ramp is 6-7 inches. Ice conditions are variable; use caution and check ice thickness often. Ice has degraded along shore in some areas due to recent precipitation.

Brushy Creek Lake
Ice is variable; areas with fishing activity have roughly 5-7 inches of ice in most places. Reports of possible open water and thinner ice near the beach at the southwest part of the lake. Expect thinner ice near the spillway and near any inflows in the arms. Anglers have been out on foot at the north end, mid-lake and near the south end boat ramp. Use caution and check ice thickness often; conditions can change quickly with recent precipitation. Yellow Perch – Good: Try minnows and waxworms fished in 10-20 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have had luck in 10-20 feet of water. Walleye – Fair: Try a jigging spoon with a small minnow or minnow head fished in the north end of the lake.

Crawford Creek Impoundment|
Fishing has been productive. Reports of 6 inches of good ice earlier in the week, before the precipitation. Ice conditions can change daily, especially along shore and near inflows. Use caution and check ice thickness often as you venture out. Black Crappie – Fair: Pick up 7- to 10-inch fish in 15-22 feet of water in the main basin. Use waxworms and minnows for best luck. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are picking up 7- to 9- inch bluegills with waxworms in the main basin in 15-20 feet of water. Yellow Perch – Fair: Reports of 6-inch perch caught with the occasional larger fish.

Moorehead Park Pond
Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching 9- to 10-inch bluegill. Black Crappie – Fair: Reported catches of 10- to 12-inch fish last week.

North Twin Lake
Ice remains variable; use caution and check ice thickness often if you venture out. Anglers have been out; foot traffic only at this time. Anglers have had luck with panfish and the occasional walleye while fishing the very southwest corner of the lake and near the narrows in front the state park beach. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have picked up crappie along the southwest shoreline of the lake. The bite is hit or miss; morning and evening bite is best.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Ice conditions remain variable with 9-10 inches of ice in locations and much thinner areas mid-lake. Reports of heaves and thinner ice near the big island. Use caution and check ice thickness often. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up perch with waxworms and minnows near the dredge cuts along the west side of the lake. Walleye – Fair: Use jigging spoons with a minnow during low light conditions near the dredge cuts in the west end. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a waxworm or minnow on a small jigging spoon in 8-10 feet of water.

Ice conditions vary and can change quickly from one area to another; use caution and check thickness often if venturing out. Most ice in the district is between 5 -10 inches with the occasional pocket of open water, seam, or thin ice in the main basins. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Bluebill Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches.

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 4 to 10 inches. Avoid the open water area by the island, the channel between the little lake, and the main lake; use extreme caution if you fish within the aeration holes boundary. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellows are biting on a variety of baits. Use your electronics to find fish; stay mobile. Best bite is a half hour before sunset. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Try near vegetation in 2 to 6 feet of water. Use a jigging spoon and minnow to catch the bigger fish. Walleye – Slow: Best bite is near sunset. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow: Try a small jig in the open areas near the rushes.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 10 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a small minnow fished along the edge of the dredge cut.

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 6 to 10 inches. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are catching lots of 3- to 7-inch fish. Yellow Bass – Fair: Catch 5- to 8-inch yellows on small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 7.5 inches off the boat ramp.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness varies from 6 to 10 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use jigs tipped with bait.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 6 to 10 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with red spikes near vegetation.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 7.5 inches off the boat ramp.

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

Center Lake
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice thickness is around 12.5 inches.

Dog Creek (Lake)
Fishing has been fair to good.

East Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. Ice conditions vary across the lake with around 11 inches with some bad spots that have more recently frozen over in recent weeks. Bluegill – Good: Easily catch lots of bluegill; a lot of sorting may be needed with many 7.5- to 9-inch fish. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.

Ingham Lake
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice thickness is around 8 inches with two major open holes caused by geese and the lake aeration unit. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching larger yellow perch, but with low frequency.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms.

Lost Island Lake
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently running on the north east side near the nature center. Ice thickness is 10-13 inches. A good amount of fishing pressure has been seen recently. Yellow Perch – Good. Walleye – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Bluegill – Good: Lots of 4- to 6-inch fish are being caught. Black Crappie – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice conditions are around 10 inches, but can be variable. Use caution; a side-by-side went through the ice the last week of December. Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
The walleye season is open. Ice conditions vary across the lake with 10-13 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch fishing has been tough, but once you find them, many quality 9- to 10.5-inchers have been caught. Walleye – Fair: Walleye bite has been tough, but anglers have been able to limit out.

Trumbull Lake
Ice thickness is around 11 inches with an open hole on the north end caused by geese.

West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. West Okoboji was the last lake to fully ice up. Ice thickness varies from 9-11.5 inches in the bays (North Bay- 10 inches; Millers Bay – 9 inches; Emerson Bay – 10.5 inches; Smiths Bay -11 inches). Pan fishing has been spotty in many of the bays where many anglers have been able to sight fish in around 10 feet of water along weed lines. Yellow Perch – Fair. Bluegill – Good.

Iowa Great Lakes are fully iced up with conditions ranging from 10-12 inches. There are still many spots in the main basins that are somewhat thinner; use caution when going out. The use of full sized vehicles is not recommended. Remember to bring a form of ice picks, a form of flotation, a friend, and be smart out on the ice! A blizzard advisory is in affect until the end of Friday. This weekend temperatures should remain below freezing with highs in the upper 20s and low 30s. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

January 14, 2021 - 10:51 am - Posted in Sports

The Iowa Football Coaches Association released their award winners for the 2020 season.

Central Lyon/George Little Rock head coach Curtis Eben was named the Class 2A head coach of the year. Eben lead a Lions team that won Class 2A District 1, and ended the year at 11-1 and State runner-up.

Heath Swanson of BHRV was named an Assistant Coach of the year in Class 3A. Swanson helped the Nighthawks go 8-3, Co-Class 3A District 1 champion, and a semifinal appearance at the UNI-Dome.

January 13, 2021 - 4:26 pm - Posted in Sports

Kleyton DeGroot (Orange City, Iowa) has signed a letter of intent to continue his baseball career at Northwestern College next fall.

DeGroot has played three years for the MOC-Floyd Valley High School baseball team heading into his final season this summer. DeGroot, a 6’3″ pitcher, posted a 1-1 record with a 1.91 ERA in six appearances and two starts. He struck out 13 hitters in 18.1 innings and helped lead the Dutch to the Siouxland Conference title and 18-3 overall record.

“We are excited for Kleyton to join our baseball team,” said Northwestern Head Coach Briar Wede. “He is a pitcher who has shown tremendous upside and who we know will continue to improve because of his work ethic and love for the game. Kleyton is a great fit for what we want our baseball program to be and will an asset to the Northwestern community.”

DeGroot is a member of the honor roll and plans to study Biology / Health Professions at Northwestern. He earned all-conference honors in cross country and is the son of Don and Michelle Vaas.

“I chose to attend Northwestern because of the sense of community felt between the students, professors and coaches,” said DeGroot.