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ANAMOSA - It didn’t take the Anamosa volleyball team very long to get into a winning mentality in the fall of 1997, and thankfully for Raider fans, it lasted all season long during that would prove to be one of the greatest campaigns the program would witness over the next quarter century.

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ANAMOSA - Today, Thursday, May 14, was supposed to be the day that Anamosa senior Olivia Nebergall, and the rest of her talented Raider girls track and field teammates, would make more memories by battling for berths to Drake Stadium in Des Moines competing at the class 3A state meet qualifier.

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ANAMOSA - The news hit like a bomb dropping in Anamosa Friday, May 1, and the ripple effects could be felt all the way into Johnson County.

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ANAMOSA - If the rules that are in play now would have been allowed back in 1996, the Anamosa football team’s class 2A co-district 5 championship would have earned that Raider team a berth into the playoffs, a place the program had only been one other time in school history at that point.

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       It was my first season covering football at the Anamosa Journal-Eureka in the fall of 1996, and I don’t mind telling you, I was a little nervous.

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Taking a page from what pretty much all of the major sports television networks have done during this pandemic era, I’ve decided to relive some Anamosa, Olin, Midland and Springville sports history by bringing back some of our area schools’ classic sports moments from the last quarter century.

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ANAMOSA - Though it was my first full year as sports editor at the Anamosa Journal-Eureka newspaper in 1996, I had actually already covered the Anamosa softball team as a sports correspondent in 1995 for then AJ-E sports editor Dan Digmann, as the Raiders made their first-ever state tournament berth.

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DUBUQUE - When former Midland High School four-sport superstar Alex Martens started his athletic career at Loras College three years ago, it was to play basketball.

      My how things can change.

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CEDAR RAPIDS - Former Anamosa High School standout Jessie Frasher was on a bus with the rest of her Kirkwood Community College softball teammates heading to Fayetteville, Arkansas, when all of a sudden, the bus they were in turned around and started heading back to Iowa.

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ANAMOSA - The doors to the Anamosa Bowling Center (ABC) may be closed right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but even while playing only about three-quarters of their normal regular season schedule before orders came down March 17, that their league campaign was over, bowlers were posting some mind-boggling numbers.

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KIRKSVILLE, MO. - Anyone who has watched former Anamosa High School standout Kara Hunt golf during a brilliant four-year career with the Raiders knows she’s talented and blessed with a dizzying array of skills that made her one of the top golfers in the state.

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CEDAR RAPIDS - Having already tasted some success with the Cedar Rapids High School hockey program as a mere freshman in 2018-19, Springville sophomore Brendan Shaner took his game to an entirely new level this past season while helping the Roughriders’ program to new heights in the Eastern division of the Midwest High School Hockey League (MHSHL).

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The Anamosa community is once again in heartbreak after hearing the news that Raider standout Maggie McQuillen was involved in a serious car accident Thursday, March 19, that has left the senior four-sport star fighting for her life at the University of Iowa Hospital.

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MANKATO, MINN. - Making the jump from the class 1A high school girls basketball level in Iowa to the Division-II women’s collegiate level at Minnesota State University (MSU) last winter was a big one for former Springville superstars Mikayla Nachazel and Rylee Menster.

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DES MOINES - Completing a run through class 1A substate 4, the Springville boys basketball team defeated Morning Star Academy, Lone Tree, Highland and Pekin on their way to the state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

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DES MOINES - Just by stepping onto the Wells Fargo Arena court Monday, March 9, in Des Moines, the Springville boys’ basketball team was making program hoop history.

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DES MOINES - After posting a sensational score of 3,415 competing at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) bullseye state tournament at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines Saturday, March 7, the Springville archery team played the waiting game.

      And they played it well.

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IOWA CITY - Coming into their class 1A regional championship game at Iowa City West High School Wednesday, Feb. 26, fans knew they were going to be in for a treat as 10th-ranked Springville looked for a sixth-straight state tournament berth facing fifth-ranked Montezuma.

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DES MOINES - Bursting onto the state scene after posting a stunning class 2A district championship at 152-pounds, Anamosa junior Alex Casey had high hopes heading into his first-ever state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines Thursday, Feb. 20.

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DAVENPORT - The start of the class 3A regional semi-final contest at 10th-ranked Davenport Assumption Wednesday, Feb. 19, couldn’t have gone any better for the Anamosa girls basketball team than it head coach Doug Arnold had ordered it off a menu.

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CENTER POINT - Anamosa senior Mitch Engelbart and junior Nathan Keating were hoping the third time would be the charm competing at the class 2A district wrestling tournament, held in Center Point Saturday, Feb. 15.

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WILTON - Knowing the chances were pretty good that he would get both of his state-ranked wrestlers through the class 1A district round in Wilton Saturday, Feb. 15, and on to the state tournament, Midland wrestling coach Casey Huston still took nothing for granted.

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ANAMOSA - Playing their final game of the 2019-20 campaign, Anamosa JV girls basketball coach Angie Lawrence may have hoped for a better finish for her team against visiting Bellevue-Marquette Tuesday, Feb. 11, but through what has been a challenging year at times this winter, Lawrence still left the court proud of what her Raiders have accomplished.

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MANCHESTER - It wasn’t something Anamosa wrestling coach Trever Greene was necessarily thinking of coming into the class 2A sectional tournament at West Delaware Saturday, Feb. 8, but it was something he did have an idea about based on the teams that were there and the success the Raiders had against many of them earlier this season.

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LISBON - There was good news and there was bad news for the Midland wrestling team competing at an absolutely loaded class 1A sectional tournament in Lisbon Saturday, Jan. 8.

      The good news?

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SPRINGVILLE - Setting the tone with dominating playing off the opening tip Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Springville girls basketball made it clear to visiting Starmont they were here to win the game, and were going to do it in dominating fashion, too.

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OELWEIN - It’s tough to maintain the amazingly high level of success that Anamosa junior Lilly Machart has had during what has been an absolutely brilliant high school career, yet somehow, she continues to do it over and over again.