MMC Wins 8-Player Iowa Football State Championship

Quarterback Tanner Utesch picked up 126 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground in Thursday’s 8-Player State Football Championship game, leading Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn to a 51-16 win over Gilbertville-Don Bosco.  Utesch also threw for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns in the contest.  Jake Meehan added 57 yards and one touchdown to contribute to the win.

MMC had the game under control early on, leading 15-0 at the end of the first quarter, and taking 37-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.  At the end of the third quarter, MMC led 44-0.  Don Bosco managed to come up with 16 points in the fourth quarter to MMC’s 7, but it was too little, too late for Don Bosco, as MMC picked up the 51-16 win.

MMC ends the season with an unblemished 14-0 record and the state championship, while Don Bosco falls to 12-1 and a runner-up trophy.

Fishing Spotty on Big Spirit Lake

Big Spirit Lake

Yellow Perch – Fair: Action has been spotty but active fish can be found. It just takes a little leg work. Try drifting mud flats or weed lines with either wigglers or minnows and don’t overlook shallow water. Walleye – Good: Action seems to be picking up especially for wader fishermen in the evening. Many of the fish being caught are in the 11- to 14-inch range along with a few slots. Trolling crank baits has yielded a few fish but action is still a little hit and miss.


Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Wader fishing should be good for walleyes in the late afternoon. Try using twister tails, minnow baits and minnows along drop offs and other structure.


West Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch – Fair: Try fishing on the drop offs and don’t be afraid to move around to locate a school of bigger fish as there are many small ones. Fishing 8 to 15 feet of water using jigging spoons with wigglers has been bringing some results. Yellow Bass – Good: Try using a jigging spoon tipped with wigglers in 15 to 25 feet of water just off the weed edge and down the drop a bit.


Lost Island Lake

A mixed bag of walleye, crappie and yellow bass has been coming in and action has been good. Try pitching jig and minnow combos for all three along drop offs and other structure.


Scharnberg Pond

Fifteen hundred trout were stocked Nov. 10.


Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Walleye fishing has been good. Look for deep pools and try white twister tails and minnows.


West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)

Fishing has been good especially for walleye, but catfish action has also been good. Try twister tails and minnow baits for walleyes and minnows for both catfish and walleye. Target the deeper pools and don’t be afraid to venture away from the bridges, but ask permission before fishing private lands.


College Basketball Wrap from Wednesday: Red Raider Men Win Thriller in OT

Sioux City, Iowa — Northwestern Red Raider Ben Miller played the role of hero not once but twice in thrilling 94-93 overtime victory over Briar Cliff Wednesday night in Sioux City.

With time winding down, Miller sank at thirty-footer at the buzzer to tie the game at 83 and send the contest to overtime. The two teams battled, exchanging leads in the extra session when Ben Miller knocked down a free-throw line jumper with less than a second to go for the win!

Northwestern improves to 5-1 on the year and are now 1-0 in the GPAC. Briar Cliff drops to 4-2, 0-1 in the GPAC.

The Dordt Defender women’s basketball team improved to 2-4 on the season with a dominating 87-34 non-conference victory over the AIB Eagles Wednesday.

Dordt’s Kara Van Dyke led all players in scoring with 22 points while also snaring a game high 15 boards. Van Dyke was 8-14 from the floor and a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line.

The Defenders will next be in action on Saturday, November 17 at 1:00 pm as they begin Great Plains Athletics Conference action against the Doane Tigers in Crete, Nebraska.

The second-ranked Red Raiders women’s basketball team came up short against the seventh ranked Briar Cliff Chargers in the GPAC opener for both squads 91-79. With the loss Northwestern drops to 4-2 on the year, 0-1 in GPAC. Briar Cliff improves to 5-0, 1-0 in the GPAC.

Alexis Bart And Kayla Gesink Named All-GPAC Volleyball First Teamers

The all-GPAC Volleyball Teams have been released for this season and a pair of area athletes were named to the first team. Earning first team honors were Northwestern sophomore Alexis Bart from Sheldon and Dordt sophomore Kayla Gesink from Sioux Center.

Gesink  leads a list of five Dordt College volleyball players earning all-GPAC honors for the recently completed 2012 season.

Gesink earned first-team honors while Kayla Broekhuis (Junior; Edgerton, Iowa), Danae Geels (senior; Sheldon) and Katelyn Schuller (sophomore; Orange City) all claimed second-team honors. Lindsey Floen (junior; Sioux Center) and Loy Sahr (senior; Sutton, Nebraska) were named to the honorable mention list.

Gesink led the Defenders in assists with 9.26 per set and also had a 2.5 digs per set average along with 35 ace serves. Geels earned second-team honors for the third time in her career after averaging 2.57 kills with a .262 kill efficiency. Schuller came back from an early season injury to average 2.46 kills with a .193 kill efficiency to claim second-team honors one year after taking first-team accolades. Broekhuis led the team in digs with a 4.32 per set average and she also had 30 ace serves.

Also named to the first team for Northwestern was sophomore outside hitter Kaitlin Floerchinger from Treynor.

Named to the second team was senior outside hitter Jaci Moret from Orange City.

Winter Bird Feeding Season is Here Tips From The DNR

Overnight lows in the teens and 20’s are a chilly reminder. The winter bird feeding season is here. For a lot of us, it has been here for some time. Whether you feed birds year-round or gear up as the snow flies, birds lock in your location along their daily feeding regimen. They may be summer nesters which stick around longer, migrants passing through or winter arrivals which spend the cold weather months here.

“Fall is the perfect time to go out and get your feeders cleaned, to make sure your water source is in place,” recommends Pat Schlarbaum, wildlife diversity technician with the Iowa DNR. “Putting out the water in the fall is a proven strategy to have birds in your backyard.”

I keep a sunflower feeder and thistle tube filled most of the year. From there, I follow my “firewood schedule.” As I start hauling wood from the stack to the back door, the winter feeders get a soapy-water scrubbing, and regular fill ups. Safflower seed goes out. When the woodstove is fired up for more than three or four days in a row, the wire suet cages are hung and the last few feeders go up—more sunflower, thistle and safflower, maybe peanuts if the squirrels are looking the other way.

“We recommend the black oil sunflower seeds. They are getting pretty pricey, but are worth every penny,” advises Schlarbaum. “Cardinals, white-throated sparrows, the more desirable songbirds all like sunflower seeds. With peanuts for the tufted titmice and nyger (thistle) for the finches, you’ll have a full palette of color in your winter backyard.”

Sunflower seed has gotten expensive in the last few years. Producers have to decide whether to grow birdseed or high dollar corn or soybeans. It remains, though, a much better choice than the cheaper heavy-on-millet, milo or grain mixes.

Also, consider the quality of the seed. Fat content is important. Serious birders swear they’ve seen songbirds sorting through seed. The cheaper stuff ends up on the ground. Compare the ingredients on the shelves; higher fat content will be worth the price.

Across Iowa, we spend $300 million each year viewing wildlife—primarily bird feeding and bird watching. It is surpassed only by gardening, according to the every-five-year outdoor recreation survey assembled by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

“It just brings the colors of nature to the picture window,” says Schlarbaum. “I recommend having those feeders where the family can enjoy them. It’s just a great way to enjoy the great outdoors.”

Birding “To Do” List…

Wash your feeders. Hot water with a 10 percent bleach solution washes away loose, old—possibly moldy—seed and minimizes threat of disease.

Provide open water. A bird bath, with an attached heating element is used for a drink and to splash in, even in cold weather. The quick bath allows birds to “thermoregulate,” or stay warm.

Stick with the good stuff. Black oil sunflower, striped sunflower, safflower, nyger thistle, suet and reject peanuts are magnets for the “desirable” songbirds. Cheaper “discount” mixes, heavy on millet, milo or cracked corn, are less desirable.

If you want, scatter the lower-cost mix on the ground to divert sparrows, grackles and other birds away from your feeders.

Squirrels? No squirrels? No peanuts if you want to minimize squirrel traffic. They will pass up safflower, but do eat sunflower seeds. Full service bird feeding stores have squirrel proof feeders or baffles that keep them out.

Northwestern Has Seven Named to GPAC All-Conference First Teams Sheldon Grad Named to Second Team

Jordan Carlson from Northwestern was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year while Joel Nixon from Morningside has been named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year. Steve Ryan from Morningside was named the Hauff Mid-America/GPAC Coach-of-the-Year.

Morningside was the regular season conference champion for 2012 (9-0). Morningside and Northwestern qualified for the NAIA Football Championship Series opening on Saturday, November 17th, with first round action. Morningside will host Montana Tech, while Northwestern travels to Marian of Indiana.



GPAC Football First Team Offense 2012

QB Joel Nixon Morningside Sr. Wakefield, Neb.
RB Brandon Smith Northwestern Sr. Mankato, Minn.
RB Josh Endres Dakota Wesleyan Sr. Ethan, S.D.
RB Theo Bartman Northwestern Jr. Rock Valley, Iowa
WR Bryce Harshman Briar Cliff Sr. Tucson, Ariz.
WR Tyrone Curry Doane Sr. Lincoln, Neb.
WR Kyle Schuck Morningside Jr. Cherokee, Iowa
SLOT Joel McCabe Morningside Jr. Jefferson, S.D.
TE Austin Klett Morningside Jr. Everly, Iowa
OL Nathan Nieuwendorp Northwestern Sr. Orange City, Iowa
OL Dillon Carmichael Doane Jr. Loomis, Neb.
OL Cole Albright Morningside Sr. Bronson, Iowa
OL Nathan Little Dakota Wesleyan Sr. Aberdeen, S.D.
OL Tanner Paxton Hastings So. Lincoln, Neb.
OL Wil Van’t Hof Northwestern Sr. Alvord, Iowa

GPAC Football First Team Defense 2012

DL Jordan Carlson Northwestern Sr. Storm Lake, Iowa
DL Russell Walton Nebraska Wesleyan Sr. Franklin, Neb.
DL Marcus Smith Morningside Sr. Crete, Neb.
DL Phil Latimer Nebraska Wesleyan So. Broomfield, Colo.
DL Ethan Lensch Northwestern Sr. Glidden, Iowa
DB Jared Goforth Morningside Sr. Polk City, Iowa
DB Colby Henderson Morningside Sr. Wakefield, Neb.
DB Darnell Woods Concordia Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
DB Cody Eiler Nebraska Wesleyan Sr. O’Neill, Neb.
DB Nick Carlson Midland Sr. Tucson, Ariz.
LB Chris Calvillo Morningside Sr. Sioux City, Iowa
LB Aaron Jansen Northwestern Sr. Orange City
LB Brett Kaczor Nebraska Wesleyan Sr. Ewing, Neb.
LB Jeremy Wallace Doane Jr. Omaha, Neb.
LB Aaron Roberg Morningside Jr. Grand Island, Neb.

GPAC Football First Team Special Teams 2012

K Kenny Zoeller Concordia Sr. Houston, Tex.
P Kelby Vandenberg Nebraska Wesleyan Jr. David City, Neb.
KRS Colby Henderson Morningside Sr. Wakefield, Neb.
PRS Derek Blessing Concordia Jr. Ogallala, Neb.

Sheldon grad Brett Doorenbos, a 6-2, 255 lb. junior defensive lineman from Boyden was named to the second team defense.

Playing for Morningside Doorenbos totaled 27 tackles, including 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 33 yards during the regular season. He has a team-high three quarterback hurries and is second on the team with four quarterback sacks.