SPORTS AUGUST 3, 2018Written by John Kuhens on August 3, 2018
The 2018 football season for the Mt. Pleasant Panthers opens 3 weeks from tonight when the Panthers host Clear Creek Amana. Shawn Striegel is heading into another season as head coach with lots of optimism and enthusiasm. The high school players have been attending a mini-camp that began Wednesday and ends today. It appears in the off season many of the players have been working hard at improving their strength and speed, two very important needs for a successful team. Quarterback Zach Beason will be entering his senior season and is looked to as the team leader to make things happen on the offensive side of the ball and with his rugged stature and strength he may be hard to keep off the defensive side of the ball at times. After hosting Clear Creek-Amana the Panthers travel to Pella on August 31st, host Central Lee on September 7th as an early season homecoming foe. M.P. then hosts Ottumwa, travels to Fairfield and hosts Keokuk to wrap up the September schedule. In October the maroon and gold will be on the road for two of their three games, at Solon on October 5th followed by a trip to Ft. Madison and then close at home with the Washington Demons. Hopefully the last Friday in October M.P. will be in a post season playoff game, but 1st they have to get thru 3 weeks of preseason injury free and get out of the gates quickly in the regular season as even non-district games this year will count in deciding the post season qualifiers.
After an 8-5 record and a bowl victory expectations are high at Iowa State as the Cyclones open preseason football practice today. Matt Campbell begins his third season on the sideline and the Cyclones open at home on September first against South Dakota State.
Campbell says there is always a sense of urgency when practice begins.
Campbell says there will be plenty of position battles and most notably on offense it is in the offensive line where the Cyclones have added depth.
On defense there will be battles at linebacker and safety.
You can tune into KILJ-AM 1130 and kilj.com and hear all the Cyclone football action for the 2018 season.
The Iowa Hawkeye football team is also preparing to open fall practice sessions, one of the players that Iowa will look to for leadership is Matt Nelson and he excels on the grid iron as well as in the classroom. If the NFL is not in Nelson’s future University of Iowa defensive lineman Matt Nelson has options. The Cedar Rapids native plans to apply to medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming a surgeon.
Nelson began his career as a defensive end before moving to tackle last season.
A deep and experienced defensive line is expected to lead an Iowa defense that will feature three new starting linebackers this season. Senior defensive end Parker Hesse has high expectations for that unit.
Hesse says it is also an unselfish unit and points to fellow senior Matt Nelson’s willingness to make the move from defensive end to tackle.
Iowa opens at home on September first against Northern Illinois.