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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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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Hawkeye football/hoops recruits playing in C.R. Monday

Fans of Iowa football and men’s basketball in Cedar Rapids will get a glimpse of the future tonight, as basketball recruit Eric May and football recruits Jordan Cotton and Drew Clark play in a Class 3A boys’ basketball substate final double-header tonight at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Dubuque Wahlert (17-6) plays Mount Vernon (16-7) in the first game at 6:30. May, a 6-foot-4 forward, averages 24.3 points per game for the Golden Eagles, who won last year’s 3A title on a 40-foot shot at the buzzer from May.  He’s a good athlete, with strength, jumping ability and some shooting range. 

Mount Pleasant (19-4) plays Marion (19-4) in the other substate final at The Cell. That’ll give fans a chance to see Cotton and Clark, albeit on the basketball floor and not the gridiron.

Cotton is a 6-foot-1 senior guard for the Panthers who averages 14.4 points per game, second on the team. He is shooting 50 percent from the field and is 24 of 79 from 3-point range. He’s also a 71-percent free-throw shooter.

Cotton, son of former Hawkeye running back Marshall Cotton, was ranked a three-star (out of five) recruit as a wide receiver. He played running back for Mount Pleasant. Clark is an offensive line recruit for the Hawkeyes from Marion who averages 3.8 points per game.

Here’s football video of Mr. Cotton and hoops video of Mr. May: