Sports, Saturday, May 30th

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

McCaffery Granted Hardship Waiver:

University of Iowa forward Patrick McCaffery’s hardship waiver petition has been approved by the Big Ten Conference.

McCaffery saw limited action in the first two games of his true freshman campaign before missing the remainder of the 2019-20 season due to residual health and wellness issues related to his thyroid.

McCaffery joined the Hawkeyes after finishing his prep career at Iowa City West High School as its all-time leading scorer.

He won a combined 86 games with the Trojans, including the 2017 4A State Championship, and runner-up finishes in 2016 and 2018. McCaffery was a three-time all-state honoree.

Iowa senior Jordan Bohannon and sophomore Jack Nunge had their hardship waiver petitions approved earlier this month.

Five of UNI Football Named Preseason All-Americans:

Five UNI Football players to the preseason All-American team as chose by Hero Sports.

Defensive end Elerson G. Smith earned first-team honors after an outstanding junior season that landed him in the top 10 for the Buck Buchanan Award final voting.

Isaiah Weston and Jared Brinkman were named to the second team and Spencer Brown and Xavior Williams received third team honors.

Smith had a breakout season in 2019. He tallied 14.0 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and set the school record with 14 quarterback hurries in a season. He also blocked a pair of field goals, had four pass breakups and five forced fumbles. He closed the season out with 63 total tackles.

Brinkman earned second-team honors after recording 83 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks. He had five quarterback hits and three forced fumbles. Outside of his stats, he was a force on the inside, eating up blockers.

Isaiah Weston returned from an injury redshirt season in 2018 and became the number-one receiver for quarterback Will McElvain. He led the FCS in yards per reception at 24.49, catching 43 passes for 1,053 yards. He scored 10 touchdowns, including a TD in seven consecutive games. He went over 100 yards receiving in a game five different times. He missed three games and parts of others after going down with injuries.

Williams made the move from corner to safety in 2019 and didn’t take a step back. He tallied 50 tackles while also breaking up a team-high 13 passes. He had a fumble returned for a touchdown against Iowa State and tallied an interception against James Madison.

Spencer Brown started every game at right tackle and earned second-team MVC honors. The 6-9 senior anchors a Panther offensive line that returns four of five starters.

Iowa Soccer to Build New Complex:

The University of Iowa, pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, will break ground in late fall on a $4 million state-of-the-art soccer operations facility on the west side of the Iowa Soccer Complex. This new space will open in time for the 2021 fall season — the 25th year of Iowa women’s soccer.

The proposed facility, funded entirely by private support, will include:

  • A spacious locker room and lounge/team room that will dramatically improve Iowa soccer student-athletes efficiency and experience while creating a “one-stop home” for Iowa women’s soccer.
  • A multi-purpose room, overlooking one of the best soccer fields in the Big Ten Conference, that creates a space for student-athletes to enjoy pregame and postgame meals, watch film, study, and socialize, as well as to host donors and other events before and after matches.
  • An athletic training room, allowing student-athletes to receive treatments from sports medicine staff after a practice or game — without having to travel to another campus location.

Additional amenities including; coaches’ offices, visiting team and officials’ locker rooms, press box, and storage.