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Iowa and Oklahoma continue preparations for Insight.


December 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops says playing the Iowa Hawkeyes in Friday’s Insight Bowl gives this game a much different feeling. Stoops played on Hayden Fry’s first Big Ten championship team back in 1981 and later served on Fry’s staff. Stoops says having been a part of the Iowa program he knows the last thing his Sooners should do is take the Hawkeyes lightly. Oklahoma is a better than two touchdown favorite. Stoops expects a hard fought game. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says it was no surprise to him that Stoops led the Sooners to the national title in only his second year at the helm.

This is the second straight trip to the Insight Bowl for the Hawkeyes who beat Missouri in last year’s game. Injuries hurt the Oklahoma offense late in the season but Ferentz says Sooner quarterback Landry Jones has a bright future at the next level. Oklahoma arrived on Phoenix last night. You can hear the action from the Insight Bowl live on KJAN, Friday night.

(Radio Iowa/Ric Hanson)

Book recalls history of Iowa State High School Wrestling Tournament


December 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An annual event that draws thousands of spectators and athletes to Des Moines every February is the subject of a new book. “Reach for the Stars: The Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament” includes 620 pages of stories, facts and photos from the event’s 90 year history. “Reach for the Stars,” by Dan McCool Author Dan McCool says he conducted over 160 interviews for the book and one of highlights involves the story of Jack Barron, who won a state title in 1980 as a member of the Iowa School for the Deaf.

"Reach for the Stars," by Dan McCool

“This is how smart Iowa wrestling fans are – here’s a guy, deaf, wrestling for a state championship and he wins it. Obviously, he’s not going to hear (the crowd) if they applaud, so they got the idea to stand up and stomp their feet,” McCool explained. “(Barron) could feel the vibration and he must have thought the place was coming down.” The early years of the state tournament were much different than today – primarily because of a lack of strict rules and participation limits. The first tournament in 1921 included a place winner at 95 pounds who was just 11 years old.

“I found an account of a situation where Esterville was going to wrestle Fonda. They found out a couple of the guys on the Fonda team were 20, 21 or 22 (years old),” McCool said. “They were staying in school long enough to wrestle and as soon as wrestling season was over, they dropped out.” The Iowa High School Athletic Association began sanctioning the tournament in 1926 and put stricter guidelines in place. McCool became a fan of wrestling as a youngster, growing up in Clarion, when a friend won a state championship. He later covered the sport for 30 years as a writer for the Des Moines Register. McCool said he enjoys the “individual aspect” of the sport.

“You can have a terrible shooting night and still win a basketball game because the four other guys might chip in for you. You might miss some really big blocks in football, but you have 10 other guys who might be able to patch in your hole,” McCool said. “If you have a bad night in wrestling, it’s on you and everybody sees it. You can have a great night and everybody sees you pin the guy. But, if you get pinned, everybody sees it. There’s no hiding.” The championship round of the 2012 State High School Wrestling Tournament is expected to be sold out for the 25th consecutive year. McCool plans to be at the tournament, scheduled for February 16-18, to sign and sell copies of his book. The book is also available online at Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Sunday Sports Capsule – Top Stories


December 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers tossed five TD passes and the Green Bay Packers routed the Chicago Bears 35-21at Lambeau Field. The 14-1 Packers, who bounced back from their only loss of the season last week at Kansas City, earned the No. 1 seed throughout the NFC playoffs.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose hit a 10-foot jumper with 4.8 seconds left and scored 22 points in leading the Chicago Bulls to an 88-87 win over the L.A. Lakers in their season opener. Kobe Bryant shook off a torn tendon in his wrist and scored 28 points but had his last-second jumper blocked by Luol Deng (LOO’-ul dehng).

DALLAS (AP) — LeBron James and the Miami Heat couldn’t keep the Dallas Mavericks from winning the most recent NBA championship. They did a nice job, however, of getting the Mavs’ title defense off to an ugly start as James had 37 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Heat beat the Mavericks 105-94.

DALLAS (AP) — NBA Commissioner David Stern opened his lockout-delayed season by hearing boos from Mavericks fans. Stern was in Dallas for the NBA finals Mavs-Heat rematch was booed at the start of the Mavs’ banner-raising ceremony honoring their first championship.

HONOLULU (AP) — Tu Holloway poured in 21 points to lead No. 14 Xavier to an 87-77 victory over Southern Illinois on Sunday in the seventh-place game of the Diamond Head Classic. That ends a three-game losing streak for the Musketeers, who won for the first time since Dec. 10.

Sunday Sports Scorecard


December 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Final     Green Bay     35     Chicago     21

Final     New York     106     Boston     104
Final     Miami     105     Dallas     94
Final     Chicago     88     L-A Lakers     87
Final     Oklahoma City     97     Orlando     89
Final     L-A Clippers     105     Golden State     86

Final     (14) Xavier     87     S. Illinois     77

Chiefs may be playing for Romeo in season finale


December 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday, their roller-coaster season taking one more dip when they lost to the Raiders in overtime. That doesn’t mean they don’t have something to play for in their finale. Romeo Crennel may be coaching for his job against the Broncos next Sunday. The interim coach has already said he wants the permanent job after leading the Chiefs to a victory over Green Bay last week in his first game replacing the fired Todd Haley. Kyle Orton may also be auditioning for a job. The quarterback is a free agent after this season, and general manager Scott Pioli might try to sign him to create competition for Matt Cassel, who went down with a season-ending injury to his throwing hand earlier this season.

Wildlife refuges announce Neb., Ia. deer hunts

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Boyer Chute and DeSoto National Wildlife Refuges are holding a January muzzleloader deer hunt for Iowa and Nebraska hunters. The hunt will run from Jan. 11 through Jan. 18, and will apply to antlerless deer only. Nebraska hunters need a Season Choice Area 21 permit for the hunt. Iowa hunters will need a January antlerless deer license, but they can use similar permits from Harrison or Pottawattamie counties. Boyer Chute Refuge is open to Nebraska hunters only. DeSoto has land in both the states of Iowa and Nebraska, and hunters from both states may hunt.

NFL-WEEK 17 FLEX SCHEDULE: Giants-Cowboys moved to prime time


December 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has moved the Dallas Cowboys’ game at the New York Giants to decide the NFC East title to prime time on New Year’s Day. The game will kick off at 8:20 p.m. (Eastern) with the teams both at 8-7. The winner goes to the playoffs and the loser goes home. Also next Sunday, Baltimore at Cincinnati, Cleveland at Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay at Atlanta have been moved to 4:15 p.m. EST. No times have been set for Carolina at New Orleans and Chicago at Minnesota. The Ravens lead the AFC North and need a victory to clinch. Pittsburgh also is 11-4, but Baltimore swept the Steelers. Cincinnati must win to clinch the last AFC wild card.

In the NBA….

UNDATED (AP) — The NBA unwraps its lockout-shortened season on Christmas Day with a handful of games on the holiday schedule. Things will get going in New York, where the Knicks await a Boston Celtics team that swept them out of last season’s playoffs in the first round. An NBA Finals rematch follows, with defending champion Dallas hosting Miami. The Lakers welcome the Chicago Bulls and league MVP Derrick Rose to town for Game 3 of the day. L.A. all-star Kobe Bryant is nursing a wrist injury but says he intends to play. Next it’ll be Orlando at Oklahoma City, followed by the L.A. Clippers at Golden State.

Saturday’s NFL Scores & Highlights


December 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

UNDATED (AP) — After a decade of losing, the Detroit Lions are in the playoffs. And the San Diego Chargers are out. With their fans chanting “PLAYOFFS” for the final minutes, Detroit got there for the first time since 1999 as Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes in the first half to beat the Chargers 38-10. Following the game, coach Jim Schwartz and the players did a victory lap at Ford Field, high-fiving fans in the front row. The Chargers missed the postseason for a second straight year after making it five times in a six-season stretch. And that might cost coach Norv Turner his job after his underachieving team fell to 7-8.

Elsewhere around the NFL:

—Baltimore and Pittsburgh continue to share the AFC North lead after getting to 11-4 with wins on the day before Christmas. But the Ravens hold the tiebreaker and will be division champs with a first-round bye if they win at Cincinnati next Sunday. The Ravens managed to hold off upset-minded Cleveland 20-14. Ray Rice ran for 87 yards and caught one of Joe Flacco’s (FLAK’-ohz) two touchdown passes.

— Backup quarterback Charlie Batch directed Pittsburgh to a 27-0 romp over the Rams while starter Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH’-lihs-bur-gur) rested an ankle injury. Rashard Mendenhall accounted for 116 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The Giants have bragging rights in the New York area after a 29-14 win over the Jets. Ahmad Bradshaw ran for two TDs and Victor Cruz caught three balls for 164 yards, including a 99-yard scoring reception that set a franchise record. The G-Men will be NFC East champs if they beat Dallas next Sunday night at the Meadowlands.

—The Cowboys will enter that game on a down note. The Philadelphia Eagles, who were eliminated from the playoff hunt earlier in the day, still had enough incentive to whack Dallas 20-7. Cowboys QB Tony Romo injured his throwing hand on the first series and did not play afterward.

— Tom Brady rallied New England to a 27-24 win over Miami that clinched a playoff bye for the Patriots. The Pats’ star quarterback ran for two touchdowns and threw for third score to help bring his team back from a 17-0 halftime deficit and post its seventh straight W.

— Tim Tebow (TEE’-boh) threw a career-high four interceptions and Denver dropped a 40-14 decision in Buffalo that snapped the Bills’ seven-game skid. Denver lost its second in a row while squandering a chance to inch closer to clinching its first playoff berth since 2005. The Broncos fall to 8-7 and into a first-place tie with Oakland in the AFC West.

— Sebastien Janikowski’s 36-yard field goal 2:13 into overtime lifted the Raiders past the Chiefs 16-13 in Kansas City. It was his third of the game.

— David Akers kicked four field goals, including a 39-yarder with 2:57 left to give San Francisco a 19-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Akers set an NFL single-season record with his 42nd field goal, breaking the record set by Arizona’s Neil Rackers in 2005. The win keeps the Niners in position for No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

— Cam Newton broke Peyton Manning’s single-season rookie record for passing yardage in Carolina’s 48-16 whacking of Tampa Bay. Newton threw for 171 yards and three TDs, including a 91-yard scoring pass to Brandon LaFell that is the longest in franchise history. It’s the Buccaneers ninth straight loss.

Cincinnati survived a fourth-quarter rally by Arizona and beat the Cardinals 23-16 to keep its postseason hopes alive. Rookie QB Andy Daulton had two TD passes to help the 9-6 Bengals secure only their third winning record in the last 21 years.

Tennessee is still alive in the playoff race thanks to a 23-17 win over Jacksonville that snapped a two-game losing streak. Matt Hasselbeck threw for 350 yards and a touchdown. The 8-7 Titans head to Houston for their finale with a chance at their first winning record since 2008.

Minnesota snapped a six-game losing streak by topping Washington 33-26. Joe Webb threw for two scores and ran for a third after subbing for starting quarterback Christian Ponder, who suffered a concussion early in the second half. Adrian Peterson suffered a torn knee ligament that tempered the win. The victory takes the Vikes out of the hunt for the No. 1 draft pick, which now will go to either Indianapolis or St. Louis.

Raiders stay alive with 16-13 OT win over Chiefs


December 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 36-yard field goal 2:13 into overtime Saturday, giving the Oakland Raiders a 16-13 victory over Kansas City that eliminated the Chiefs from the playoff race and kept their own AFC West hopes alive. Carson Palmer threw for 237 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders (8-7). His perfectly thrown 53-yard pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey early in overtime set up Janikowski’s winning kick, allowing Oakland to avoid a second straight late-game meltdown. Kyle Orton threw for 300 yards for Kansas City, his only touchdown pass going to Dwayne Bowe with 1:02 left in regulation to tie the game. The Raiders went three-and-out, giving Kansas City the ball back with little time on the clock, and Orton hit Bowe for 25 yards and Terrance Copper for 11 more to set up Ryan Succop for a potential winning field goal on the final play of the game. Succop’s 49-yard try was blocked by Trevor Scott to send the game to overtime.

Top Iowa Sports Stories of 2011


December 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State’s football team entered the 2011 season picked to finish next-to-last in a league many thought might dissolve. Two months later, the Cyclones were celebrating the biggest win in school history. The victory had a major impact on the BCS national title and topped The Associated Press’ list of 2011 Iowa sports stories to remember. Iowa State’s 37-31 double-overtime win over then-No. 2 Oklahoma State on Nov. 18 was the program’s first over a top-5 team. It clinched a bowl bid for the Cyclones and knocked the Cowboys out of the national title picture.

Other top stories included Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman becoming the first girl to win a match at the state wrestling tournament and the hospitalization of 13 University of Iowa players with a muscle disorder.