Written by John Kuhens on June 7, 2017

When the Iowa Wesleyan University’s baseball team takes to the field in 2018, the Tigers will be under the guidance of a new head coach.   A new head coach, but a familiar face, especially to the local community.  Blake Beaber, a native of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, who served as the team’s assistant coach this past season, has been elevated to head coach.  Beaber joined Iowa Wesleyan last year as an admissions counselor in addition to his role as assistant baseball coach. Previously, he served as an assistant baseball coach for William Penn University and Carl Sandburg College.  Beaber is a graduate of Mount Pleasant Community High School where he helped lead the Panthers to four conference titles and two state tournament appearances.  He began his collegiate baseball career at Southeastern Community College. Beaber received his bachelor’s degree from Ashford University in 2013 and his master’s in business leadership from William Penn University in 2016. Beaber resides in Mount Pleasant with his wife, Amie.

The 9th ranked MPHS softball team went to the Davis County Tournament yesterday and won two games and lost one.  Mt. Pleasant downed 13th ranked Class 3A Albia 13-6, then lost to #2 ranked Class 2A Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 4-3 and then rolled over Davis County 16-1.  Chi Glaha was 4-4 against Albia, went 3-3 with a grand-slam homerun against Davis County and Jackie Fraise also was 3-3 against the Mustangs.  Bailey Johnson pitched both wins.  Cali Liechty suffered the loss in the circle against Eddyville, and was 2-3 at the plate along with Bailey Johnson, Allison Buckert and  Sarah Moffett.  Tonight the Panthers travel to New London to play the Tigers in JV and varsity softball, KILJ-FM 105.5 and will broadcast the varsity game at 7 pm.  New London last night beat Pekin 13-5, Camryn Blint pitched the win and Layney Loyd and Breanna Metler each homered, each had 3 hits and 3 RBI’s, as well as scoring twice.  New London is 3-2 on the season.


The MPHS baseball team traveled to Oskaloosa and won the varsity game 7-3 over the Indians.  Zach Beason got the win on the mound and Patrick Canby was 3-4 at the plate with 3 doubles.  Panthers are now 6-7 overall and host non-conference foe L&M in JV and varsity action at Maple Leaf Field.


The MPHS girl’s track team held their awards banquet recently, special awards were given to:  Allison Buckert-MVP..Taylor Murray-Panther Award..Lexie Magnani-Most Improved award..Maggie Cristoforo-Newcomer award..The boy’s track team will hand awards Sunday evening.


Southeast Conference girl’s soccer All Conference awards have been announced by the coaches.  Mary West and Apryl Simon were named all-conference for Mt. Pleasant. Honorable mention honors went to:  Catherine Prough and Mellanie Vargas.  The Southeast Conference player of the year was Emma Rosner of Fairfield.


Two KILJ area senior track athletes have been selected for the men’s Senior All-star Track team that will compete this weekend in Dubuque against high school seniors from Illinois and Wisconsin.  Logan Murray distance runner from Mt. Pleasant High School and Cornell Hulme sprinter and hurdler from Waco will be competing.  No area senior girls were selected to the women’s team this year.


The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has relaxed fishing regulations at Geode State Park in Henry County as of June 6, to allow anglers to more freely harvest game fish before the lake is renovated this summer.

Anglers with a valid fishing license will be allowed to harvest fish of all species by hook and line only. Any number of fishing poles or jug fishing will be allowed. Anglers must remain in sight of these lines at all times, and follow all other fishing regulations and area rules.

Liberalized fishing regulations for Lake Geode will be in effect from June 6 through December 31, 2017. Specific regulation changes include:

  • Removal of bag and length limit restrictions on largemouth bass.
  • Removal of bag limit on channel catfish.
  • Removal of bag limit on crappie and bluegill.

Lake Geode is one of the lakes in the state selected for lake restoration work designed to improve water quality because of the potential economic return for the investment. Poor water quality has impacted the fish population and affected all water based recreation at the lake.  Implementation of water quality improvement practices in the watershed are currently underway.

Largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, redear sunfish, and channel catfish will be restocked after the renovation.