Sports, Monday, March 30th

By: Nathan Bloechl —

Prep Football:

The Iowa High School Athletic Association hopes the new football schedules released this week will address the imbalance in the state’s largest class.

The 2019 season in class 4A produced scores of 93-0, 90-7, 77-0 and 75-0.

Todd Tharp of the association says the schedules are designed to provide more opportunities for struggling programs.

They were wanting competitive competition throughout the season. They were worried about safety. We just want competitive contests, we want some games to be competitive in throughout the regular season” Tharp explained.

Tharp said the needle the Association tried to thread was providing more competitive games for struggling programs while not harming the playoff chances for traditional powers.

I don’t know if we accomplished that or not. Certainly, some of our schools that have been successful in the past have a pretty daunting schedule. They will have some challenges.”

The Association said the new 4A schedule will be a one-year stop gap before being re-evaluated next year.

Brands Wins Top Honor:

University of Iowa head wrestling coach Tom Brands has been named 2020 InterMat Coach of the Year, the amateur wrestling website announced Friday.

This award, presented each year since 2006 to the best college wrestling coach in all divisions for his/her college wrestling coaching performance during the 2019-2020 season, is based exclusively on the balloting of writers at InterMat. Brands won the award with eight of 10 first-place votes, and 84 total points. Princeton’s Chris Ayers was second with 39 points.

Brands led the Hawkeyes to the top of every national ranking this season, posting a 13-0 dual record and 9-0 Big Ten Conference record.

The Hawkeyes won the 2020 Big Ten Championships, crowing three individual champions and scoring 157.5 points, its highest total since 1995. Brands was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, and junior Spencer Lee was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year.

The Hawkeyes entered the 2020 NCAA Championships with three top seeds, nine wrestlers seeded eighth or better, and another seeded 11th. Iowa was the favorite to win the NCAA team title. It would have been its 24th team title in program history.

Kinnick Stadium to Display Encouragement:

The videoboards in Kinnick Stadium will display the We Stand Together staff recognition initiative organized by staff at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics through this evening, in support of the initiative.

Following is a comment from Gary Barta, Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair:

“Hawkeye Athletics appreciates the part everyone is playing during this challenging crisis. Thank-you to the front-line health care workers in all settings, first responders, as well as so many individuals in each community providing continued support and service. We will get through this together.”

The videoboards sport the logo of the UIHC initiative, with the purpose of showing full support for UIHC administration and staff during the battle against the COVID-19 virus.