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SOLON - It’s often been called the most pressure-filled tournament of the season, more so than even the state meet itself.

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WAPELLO - Packing into a tiny gymnasium in Wapello Saturday, Feb. 13, the Midland wrestling team had five in attendance at the class 1A district tournament looking to make their state dreams come true.

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MANCHESTER - Knowing that getting any wrestler through the extremely competitive class 2A sectional tournament in Manchester Saturday, Feb. 6, would be a major accomplishment, Anamosa wrestling coach Bret Jones was pleased two advanced to the district round in seniors Alex Casey and Nathan Keating.

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LISBON - It had already been a successful 2020-21 season for the Midland wrestling team no matter what happened at the pressure-filled class 1A sectional tournament in Lisbon Saturday, Feb. 6.

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SPRINGVILLE - Fighting for their Tri-Rivers Conference championship lives Tuesday, Feb. 2, the class 1A seventh-ranked Springville boys’ basketball team wanted a similar performance on the defensive end against visiting and top-ranked North Linn as they had back in Troy Mills last month.

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SPRINGVILLE - Trailing by double-digits against one of the top teams in class 2A in visiting and fifth-ranked North Linn Tuesday, Feb. 2, the class 1A eighth-ranked Orioles never gave up the fight against the talented Lynx and amazingly worked their way right back into the game.

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ANAMOSA - Facing one of the best boys’ basketball teams Monticello has ever assembled, Anamosa needed several things to go their way in order to have a chance at hanging with the extremely talented and class 3A fifth-ranked Panthers Friday, Jan. 29.

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CORALVILLE - Attaining such lofty heights in their first year of existence as year ago, how could the Anamosa girls’ wrestling team possibly maintain that extremely high level of success heading into the state tournament Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 22, at the new Xtreme Arena and GreenState Family Fieldhouse in Coralville?

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ANAMOSA - It’s been a few years since the Anamosa boys’ basketball team can boast to having a three-game winning streak, but after the Raiders’ impressive 73-48 rout hosting Iowa City Regina Friday, Jan. 23, the program can now do exactly that.

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WYOMING - Having four wrestlers in the finals at their own John Byers Invitational Saturday, Jan. 23, Midland wrestling coach Casey Huston’s dream scenario played out perfectly as Damon Huston, Jared Crock, Caden Ballou and Cayden Miller made the championship round a perfect 4-for-4 for the hosts as each posted wins in their final home bouts of the 2020-21 campaign.

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ANAMOSA - Even while dealing with numerous injuries and illnesses, Anamosa boys wrestling coach Bret Jones continues to be amazed by the improvement his team his team makes each and every week, and Thursday, Jan. 14, hosting North Cedar, Mid-Prairie and Cascade, his team provided more proof of that fact.

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INDEPENDENCE - Last year before they made their miraculous run to a top-10 finish at the state tournament, the Anamosa girls’ wrestling team built their momentum with some outstanding performances leading up to the huge event held last season in Waverly.

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CENTRAL CITY - Having one of the top offenses in the entire state of Iowa, regardless of class, the Springville boys’ basketball team is more than accustomed to putting up points in a hurry.

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WYOMING - Playing their first game of the 2021 portion of the schedule, Midland girls basketball coach Jason Soper had a few things he wanted from his team as the Eagles started their new year with a clean slate hosting Cedar Valley Christian Tuesday, Jan. 5.

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SPRINGVILLE - Doing all they could to try and slow Springville girls basketball superstar Lauren Wilson from scoring the basketball, there was nothing visiting Starmont could do Tuesday, Jan. 5, as the Oriole junior joined the program’s exclusive 1,000-point club leading the team to a lopsided 66-16 rout over the Stars.

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WEST LIBERTY - Using the plan that worked so well a year ago, the Anamosa girls wrestling team continues to build themselves back into a state power, and their performance at the West Liberty tournament Saturday, Jan. 2, was more proof of that very real fact as the team posted an incredible 18 pins on the day.

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MAQUOKETA - With injuries quickly dwindling his team numbers down, Anamosa wrestling coach Bret Jones couldn’t have been happier with the way his Raiders came out and competed at a challenging Zimmerman Invitational in Maquoketa Saturday, Jan. 2.

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MAQUOKETA - As, by far, the smallest school competing at a loaded Zimmerman Invitational in Maquoketa Saturday, Jan. 2, Midland wrestling coach Casey Huston was completely confident his group of Eagles could more than hold their own against the bigger programs.

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I’ve been a sports writer long enough to know how incredibly difficult it is to become a Division-I athlete.

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ANAMOSA - Coming off a tough three-game stretch just a week earlier that saw his team go 1-2 going against some top quality opponents, Anamosa boys basketball coach Kevin Barnes wanted to see his team create a little momentum heading into the Christmas break hosting Wilton Tuesday, Dec. 22.

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ANAMOSA - As her team continues to make improvements on the offensive end of the floor, Anamosa girls basketball coach Angie Lawrence has several other goals as her team makes their way in 2020-21, and in the 2020 finale hosting Wilton Tuesday, Dec. 22, even more improvements were made.

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ANAMOSA - He’s already been one of the most decorated players in Anamosa High School football history, now Raider senior Connor Andresen just added yet another amazing honor to his long list of prep accomplishments.

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WYOMING - He had his choice of numerous Division-III programs to pick from to play his collegiate football, but Midland senior superstar Iziek Soper, while honored and humbled at the attention he’s received, had another plan in mind.

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WEST BRANCH - Playing their second of back-to-back games against two of the state of Iowa’s top basketball programs, the Anamosa girls didn’t back down from the challenge of facing class 2A top-ranked West Branch Saturday, Dec. 19.

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WILTON - Using the same formula that worked so well last season, the Anamosa girls wrestling team continues to make consistent strides and continues to see positive results, and plenty more came during an outstanding effort at the Wilton tournament Saturday, Dec. 19.

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WYOMING - Ending a stretch that saw the Midland girls basketball team take the court four times in a seven-day span, the Eagles struggled to find offense during a tough 45-20 setback hosting Tipton Monday, Dec. 14.

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CENTER POINT - Still working their way wrestling shape, the Anamosa boys’ team made their way to Center Point Tuesday, Dec. 8, and were the dominant team on the mat sweeping a triangular with the host Pointers as well as Central Elkader and Washington.

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ANAMOSA - Very little was going right for the Anamosa boys basketball team early in their 2020-21 home opener against Durant Friday, Dec. 11, and coach Kevin Barnes decided to address some of the problems his team was having during the halftime break.

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SPRINGVILLE - Playing without star junior Rhenden Wagaman, Springville’s Alex Koppes knew he’d have to step up and accept a little more of the scoring load as the fifth-ranked Orioles hosted Cedar Valley Christian Tuesday, Dec. 8.

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WINTHROP Playing an extremely challenging early season schedule, Midland boys basketball coach Dalton Harms knew his team was in ‘must win’ mode then they made their way to Winthrop Friday, Dec. 4, to play host East Buchanan.

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WYOMING - By merely looking at the final score of the Midland girls basketball team’s loss hosting class 2A fourth-ranked North Linn in the season-opener for both programs Tuesday, Dec. 1, it would appear very little went right for the Eagles.

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CEDAR RAPIDS - Through most of her high school athletic career, Anamosa senior Grace Lubben hadn’t really considered playing sports at the collegiate level.

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DES MOINES - With COVID raging all over Iowa, the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association (IPSWA) and Iowa Football Coaches Association (IFCA) wanted to make sure high school football players from all over the state would still be recognized for their outstanding 2020 accomplishments, even without the two organizations being able to get together for their annual face-to-face All-State football meeting.

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WYOMING - Thinking he was most likely going to be attending college and wrestling for a D-III program a little closer to home, lightning all of a sudden struck for Midland senior superstar Damon Huston.

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FORT DODGE - Bursting onto the scene with an outstanding qualifier performance in the rain and cold just a week earlier, Anamosa sophomore Shea Keister came into his first-ever state cross country meet Saturday, Oct. 31, with some pretty lofty goals.

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VAN HORNE - Struggling through their class 1A regional semi-final match just two days earlier, Springville volleyball coach Claude Howard called the Orioles’ match against Clinton Prince of Peace a wake-up call leading into their pressure-filled regional final Wednesday, Oct. 28, against Belle Plaine in Van Horne.

      The Springville girls got the message, loud and clear.

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JESUP - It was supposed to be nearly 70-degrees as the Anamosa cross country team was set to compete at their class 2A state qualifier event in Jesup Thursday, Oct. 22.

      Rain, however, was in the forecast as well.

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WYOMING - As a program who has regularly been in the playoffs each of the last six years, ending the season with a win is a tough proposition for all but six teams in the state of Iowa.