Remembering the Top Your Prep Sports Moments of 2016
By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
Time flies when you’re having fun.
It has been less than five months since Your Prep Sports was launched. It seems like it was just last week.
Time has definitely seemed to have moved quickly since August when Your Prep Sports began operating and the months since have certainly been fun.
We are looking forward to having a full season of stories for 2017 but before our attention turns to the new year here is a quick look back at the top moments in the brief 2016 history for Your Prep Sports.
|West High junior Bailey Nock|
Bailey Nock Wins Gold
The third time was the charm for West High junior Bailey Nock.
After placing third and seventh in her first two trips to the state cross country meet Nock became the sixth individual champion in West High history this season winning the Class 4A title in 18:06.9 at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
Nock finished more than three seconds in front of runner-up Jessica McKee of Johnson to become the first West High individual champ since Sarah Wickman won her second title in 2005.
Andrea Adam Dives Into History
Andrea Adam just wanted a medal in her second trip to the state swimming and diving meet.
The Regina senior, who competes for City High got a lot more than that.
Adam earned the first medal of her career, finishing second two-time state champ Claire Park of Pleasant Valley at the state diving competition at the Marshalltown YMCA.
Adam was 10th in her first state appearance as a junior and posted a career-best score of 468.5 in her state runner-up performance.
West High Returns to the UNI-Dome
Prior to this fall it had been 14 years since West High had played in a state semifinal.
The Trojans didn’t just make it back to the UNI-Dome they blew up any possible lingering postseason frustration along the way.
West High avenged every postseason loss of the past five seasons with consecutive postseason wins over Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids Prairie and Cedar Rapids Washington to return to the state title game for the first time since 199.
The Trojans upset Bettendorf 24-17, avenged a regular season loss with a 38-21 win over Prairie and rolled past Washington 35-7 in its first UNI-Dome appearance since 2002.
West High (10-3) fell to West Des Moines Dowling 23-10 in the 4A state title game as the Maroons claimed their fourth consecutive 4A title.
Regina Makes Another Title Game Appearance
|Regina players at the state title game. Jeff Yoder/For Your Prep Sports.|
Another year, another title game appearance for Regina.
The seventh consecutive state title appearance for the Regals came with a different ending as Western Christian snapped Regina’s six-year title run with a 47-34 win in the 1A title game.
Regina had a 33-game post-season winning streak end in the 1A title game after earning its seventh straight title game appearance with a 42-6 semifinal win over Denver.
Liberty High Sports Take a Big Step
Liberty High School won’t open until next year.
That didn’t stop the Lightning from starting their athletic history this fall.
Liberty High recorded its first every competition with a freshman volleyball match in August and also played a full ninth grade football slate this fall.
Liberty High will host eight freshman sports this season with girls and boys basketball teams as well as girls and boys soccer and softball and baseball.
When it opens in August Liberty High will sponsor 14 varsity sports in its first year of operation.
West High Returns to State Volleyball
To returns to the state volleyball tournament for the third straight season West High needed to get past a postseason nemesis.
The Women of Troy needed every bit of five sets but finally found a way to beat Bettendorf.
After falling to the Bulldogs in the quarterfinals of the state tournament each of the past two seasons West High held on for a 25-23, 25-16, 24-26, 24-26, 16-14 win Bettendorf in a 5A regional final.
The win snapped an eight-match losing streak to Bettendorf which was state runner-up each of the past two seasons.
West High led 14-9 in the fifth set before Bettendorf scored five unanswered points to tie the score at 14.
A Colby Greene ace block and a Bettendorf hitting error secured the win for West High.
Clear Creek Amana’s Historic Start
|Clear Creek Amana senior Drake Mougin.|
Clear Creek Amana football had started a season 5-0 one time in 1999.
The Clippers matched that and more this season.
Clear Creek Amana opened the season with six straight wins for the first time in program history this season with a resounding 30-14 upset of fifth-ranked West Delaware at Clipper Field.
The Clippers forced five turnovers and blocked a punt in the win that was tabbed by many as the biggest in program history.
Clear Creek Amana finished the season 7-2, narrowly missing the Class 3A playoffs.
City High and West High Play Overtime Thriller
City High and West High both have plans of reaching the state basketball tournament this spring.
The cross-town rivals played a state tournament worthy matchup in their first meeting this season at West High.
Class 5A second-ranked City High (8-0) held off a late rally to edge third-ranked West High (7-0) 74-73 in overtime.
The two teams will meet again on January 24 at City High.
Luke Lenoch Makes History
|West Branch senior Luke Lenoch|
Luke Lenoch had already put his stamp on the West Branch football program before his 26-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of an opening round playoff matchup with Regina.
That touchdown run, the 88th of a brilliant career for Lenoch cemented his legacy as one of the most productive ball carriers in state history.
Lenoch became the 14th player in state history to surpass the 6,000 yard mark on that touchdown run.
The senior tailback rushed for 1,838 yards and 30 touchdowns this season and finished with 6,022 yards.
Solon Returns to State Cross Country
For a decade the Solon girls cross country team was a regular at the state meet.
The Spartans made 10 straight trips from 2003 to 2012 but hadn’t qualified since.
That changed this season as the Spartans secured a spot at the Class 3A state meet with a runner-up finish at the regional qualifying meet at the Solon Nature and Recreation Area.