Diamonds and Ice


Hawkeye coach supports UNI

Got University of Iowa baseball coach Jack Dahm to give his feelings on the possibility of Northern Iowa losing its baseball program after this season. The school has said it will drop the sport due to financial concerns if $1.2 million is not raised by next week.

According to www.supportunibaseball.com just over $250,000 has been pledged thus far. The site also has e-mail addresses of governor Chet Culver for others to complain about the decision.

Coach Dahm has known UNI head coach Rick Heller for quite a while, considering Dahm used to be head coach at Missouri Valley Conference rival Creighton.

“I’m very disappointed,” Dahm said. “Rick Heller is a good friend of mine. We’ve heard the rumors for years that Northern Iowa was going to drop baseball. There are no positives that come out of this – for college baseball or for baseball in the state of Iowa.

“You look at the number of kids we have from the state of Iowa. The opportunities to play Division I baseball in this state have been cut in half. There are a lot of talented kids in this state, so I’m very disappointed.”

Dahm said he had recently talked with Heller about the situation. Iowa and Northern Iowa are scheduled to play each other twice in April, including the Corridor Classic at Cedar Rapids’ Memorial Stadium.

“I know Rick is still working hard. I actually talked to him (last Thursday),” Dahm said. “He’s trying to find a way to get this done. I know he’s made some progress, and I hope they find a way to keep baseball there. Those players deserve it. Rick Heller and the coaching staff deserves it. The alumni deserve it. They’ve played baseball there for so many years.”

Dahm said he was disappointed at the timing of the announcement, coming on the heels of UNI’s first games of the season in early March.

“I wish they’d have given them a little more time to raise the money,” he said. “It has kind of been thrown on (Heller’s) back right now in a not very realistic time frame. Let him know. Don’t make it public, let him know he’s got to go out and do this. Unfortunately, they put him in a very tough spot. They put a lot of pressure on him.

“He’s trying to make this season special for his players, and yet he’s got so many (other) worries, trying to raise $1.2 million. That’s tough. And it’s probably not fair to put him in that spot.”

Dahm complimented Heller as a terrific coach.

“I tell you what, he’s done more with less,” Dahm said. “What he does at Northern Iowa, not being fully funded, the budget is very small, they have to raise a lot of money. Rick Heller is just a tremendous, tremendous baseball coach. And, again, those players do an incredible job over there. I hope they all find a way to keep it.”

 

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NHL’s Stars sign former RoughRider goalie Bachman

Richard Bachman signed a three-year entry level contract with the NHL’s Dallas Stars this weekend. Bachman played for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the 2006-07 season, then went on to play two stellar seasons at Colorado College.

Bachman is the second former Rider to sign a pro deal this week. Defenseman Zach Miskovic signed with the Washington Capitals earlier in the week.

Here’s the press release from the Stars:

 

FRISCO, Tex. – The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has signed goaltender Richard Bachman to a three-year entry-level contract. Bachman recently wrapped up a two-year career at Colorado College, and will forego his final two seasons of eligibility with the Tigers. Richard Bachman “Richard had an outstanding, highly-decorated career at Colorado College, and he’s ready to take the next step into the professional ranks,” said Dallas Stars Co-General Manager Les Jackson. “He has an outstanding set of fundamentals and a very bright future ahead of him, and we look forward to his continued development in our organization.” Bachman, 21, appeared in 35 games for Colorado College as a sophomore in 2008-09, posting a 14-11-10 record with a .914 save percentage, a 2.63 goals-against-average and three shutouts. As a freshman in 2007-08, the Salt Lake City native was named the National Rookie of the Year by the HCA (Hockey Commissioner’s Association) and Inside College Hockey magazine, and became just the second player ever to be named WCHA Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season. The 5-11, 170-pound goaltender also earned First Team West All-America and First Team All-WCHA honors, and was named to College Hockey News’ All-Rookie Team. Originally selected by Dallas in the fourth round (No. 120 overall) in the 2006 Entry Draft, Bachman backstopped CC to the WCHA title in 2007-08, shattering school records with a 1.85 goals-against-average and .931 save percentage, both of which ranked third in the nation. He posted a stellar 25-9-1 record with four shutouts, and allowed two-or-fewer goals in 25 of his 35 starts as a freshman.

bachman480



Floods force USHL’s Fargo Force to the road

The United States Hockey League’s Fargo Force have had their weekend home games moved from the Urban Plains Center because of record flooding that is deluging the North Dakota city.

Friday night’s game against the Tri-City Storm was moved to the Centennial Center in Grafton, N.D. The listed attendance for the game was 630.

Saturday night’s game between the teams will be played in Grand Forks, N.D., at the Purpur Arena.

“With all that is going on out there, these are just games and out there is real, it would be very distasteful for us to move forward playing these games in town.  This was not a hard decision to make, it is the right thing to do,”  Force Director of Media Andy Leapaldt told USHL.com.

The Force is donating $1 from every ticket sold to the local Red Cross to aid in the fight against the flood.  In addition, all concession revenues will be donated to local venues. 

“Our hearts go out to those in the Red River Valley affected by this flooding,” said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince.  “Together with the ownership, management, staff and players of the Fargo Force, we at the USHL want to thank the cities of Grafton and Grand Forks for opening their doors and being partners during this turbulent time.  Without the support and flexibility they have shown, this could not be possible.”



Former RoughRider Miskovic signs with NHL’s Capitals

Former Cedar Rapids RoughRiders defenseman Zach Miskovic has signed a one-year entry level contract with the NHL’s Washington Capitals, it was announced Thursday. The contract is for the 2009-10 season.

Miskovic was a first-team ECAC Hockey defenseman this season and is considered an all-American candidate. He played 154 career games for St. Lawrence University in upstate New York, not missing any. This season, his senior season, he had 17 goals and 26 points in 39 games. The 17 goals led NCAA Division I rearguards.

Miskovic is a River Forest, Ill., native. He played for Cedar Rapids for three seasons, from 2002 through 2005. His contract with Washington doesn’t begin until next season, though he will join the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears for the rest of this season on a amateur tryout contract.

“Nothing Misky has done has surprised me,” said RoughRiders head coach/general Mark Carlson. “Other people might be surprised, but I’m not.”

Zach Miskovic

Zach Miskovic



A chat with Hawkeye football recruit Jordan Cotton

Iowa Hawkeye football recruit Jordan Cotton was outstanding at Monday’s A.D. Dickinson indoor track and field meet at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.

The Mount Pleasant senior was the only athlete to post a sub seven-second time in the 60-meter dash, going 6.97 seconds in the prelims. His 7.01 finals time was first by a solid .12 over Pleasant Valley’s Ellis Robinson.

Cotton also anchored Mount Pleasant’s 4 x 200 relay team to a second-place finish at the all-class meet and to third place in the 4 x 400. The defending Class 3A state champion in the 400-meter hurdles, Cotton said he plans on running that event, the 100-meter dash and a relay or two most of this season.

A running back who rushed for 3,120 yards and 43 touchdowns as a junior and senior at Mount Pleasant, he is expected to be a wide receiver and possible kick returner at Iowa. He’ll room with Sioux City Heelan all-stater Brandon Wegher this fall.

The son of former Iowa running back Marshall Cotton was kind enough to answer some questions about track and being an Iowa Hawkeye.

How much do you enjoy track? Is it just something you do to keep in shape for football?

“Track is right there for me with football. If I wasn’t playing football, I’d probably run track in college. Iowa is actually talking to me about running track up there, too. I might look into that. I’m not sure, yet. Right now, football is my main thing.”

What are your goals this track season?

“Defending my title in the (400) hurdles is definitely my first goal. We’re trying to win a team championship. And I want to place real well in the 100 at the Drake Relays. That’s a big one.”

How did you get into the long hurdle races? That seems like a grueling event.

“Well, I qualified for Drake as a freshman in the hurdles. I didn’t really pick them up again until last year. I just did the hurdles to help out my quarter time. It did bring my quarter time down, so I just kept doing it.”

What are you going to be doing from now until you head to Iowa for fall practice?

“I’ve already started my workout program for them a month ago. That’s helping out a lot. I’m going up there June 1 just to throw the ball around with (red-shirt freshman quarterback) James Vandenberg a little bit. I know him real well. He was in the same conference I was (in high school) and everything. Then June 8 is when we actually start working in our (weight and conditioning) program with Coach (Chris) Doyle. So I’m looking forward to that.”

What are your expectations for yourself this fall?

“Going into it, my mind is set that I’m going to be the best receiver they’ve got. That’s my mindset. You can’t go in there thinking that you’re going for the number two spot or anything like that. My sights are set on trying to get the number one spot. Those are my expectations. I’m going to work really hard when I’m up there, and hopefully I can get a spot.”

Did playing running back your final two years at Mount Pleasant hurt your development as a wide receiver at all?

“I don’t think it has hurt me at all. Like Coach (Reese) Morgan has said, I remind them of Andy Brodell. He played tailback in high school at Ankeny. You want to get your best players on the team the ball, so that’s why I played running back my junior and senior years. I played wide receiver my sophomore year, so I know the position.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Linn-Mar’s Hutcheson wins Dickinson high jump

 

 

 

By Jeff Johnson

The Gazette

CEDAR FALLS — It’s not supposed to work this way.

A kid decides to go out for his high-school track and field team for the first time his senior season, practices all of twice, then has his first meet. He wins the darned thing.

Welcome to the high jump, Nate Hutcheson. You’re apparently a natural.

“I’ve never done it before, so there’s no pressure on me or anything,” the Linn-Mar senior said after winning Monday’s all-classes A.D. Dickinson indoor meet at the UNI-Dome. “It’s just a really fun thing to do.”

Yeah, things are fun when you’ve got a knack for them, and Hutcheson’s obviously got a knack for this. He said he high jumped “a little bit” when he was in middle school, but never pursued the activity until being persuaded by coaches to go out this spring.

Despite a form you’d expect from a novice, he managed to clear 6-feet, 6 inches Monday, just missing at 6-7. For a little comparison, the Mississippi Valley Conference held its indoor meet at the UNI-Dome last week and the winner went 6-feet.

The winning jumper at last year’s outdoor state meet in Class 4A cleared 6-10. Hutcheson’s jump would have placed him fourth.

And the dude has little idea about what he’s doing, yet.

“My goal was 6-7, and I didn’t quite get that,” Hutcheson said. “That’s my height, and I think you’re supposed to be able to jump your height.

“I think I can get it, though. I was looking at the tape, and my shoulders were over (the bar) pretty good. I just need to get my form down. I don’t have very good form.”

Hutcheson said after the competition had been completed, one of the judges (a UNI high jumper) stopped him and gave him some tips on his form and approach. He said he competed with sprinter’s spikes, as he’s waiting for a pair of high jumper’s shoes that are on order.

“When you play as much basketball as I do, I guess you’ll develop some ups, you know?” Hutcheson said. “My form is terrible. I’ve got to get my hips up and stuff, get my back arched. Right now, I’m just going on (pure leaping ability), I guess.”

As Hutcheson mentioned, he is a basketball player, a 6-7 all-state forward who is headed to Western Michigan University this fall. He’s also the guy everyone remembers for getting suspended for the state basketball tournament two weeks ago.

Marion police cited him for a disorderly house after a party at his family residence got out of hand. Drinking was involved, though Hutcheson tested negative for alcohol.

“It’s been pretty difficult,” he said. “I really wanted to play in the state tournament and everything. But I’ve learned a ton from what’s happened. Letting all of my teammates down has really pushed me to try and be a better person.

“Most of all, I learned who I should be associating myself with. Because in the end, that’s what got me in trouble — the guys I associated myself with. It’s a learning process, a really tough, hard learning process. But it’s going to help me. I’ve got to turn it into a positive, you know?”

Linn-Mar ended up finishing second in Class 4A, losing by 10 points to unbeaten Ames in the championship game. Hutcheson was asked if he thought the outcome would have been different had he played.

“That’s hard to say,” he said. “I’m not trying to say anything about my teammates, but I think I would have been a better matchup on (prep all-American) Harrison Barnes. Just because I’m his size and athletic. But I can’t say yes or no.”

 

 



Now THIS is ballpark food
March 23, 2009, 7:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Thanks to my cohort Mike Hlas for sending me this link. It’s pure minor league baseball.

The West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League have concocted a new item for their food menu at Fifth Third Field this season. It’s called the Fifth Third Burger.

The Fifth Third Burger is 1.66 pounds of beef (five-thirds of a pound) and includes lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, chili and Fritos.

It’ll sell for $20, feeding one to four people. If one person manages to eat the entire Fifth Third Burger, he’ll be given a T-shirt to commemorate the event (and sure bellyache).

The Fifth Third Burger conains a whopping 4,889 calories. Yes, that 4,489 calories!!!!

Here’s a link to a story on the burger:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/29838746?__source=RSS*blog*&par=RSS

 

 

The Fifth Third Burger

The Fifth Third Burger