Sports, Tuesday, June 9th

Written by Nathan Bloechl on June 9, 2020

By: Nathan Bloechl — sports@kilj.com

Rawson Named Head Coach of Mount Pleasant Varsity Basketball:

A familiar face is heading back to the sidelines for the Mount Pleasant boys’ basketball team.

Yesterday the Mount Pleasant School worked to approve and announce Eric Rawson as the next head basketball coach at the school.

Rawson takes over for former colleague and friend Caleb Akey, who left to take over at Burlington High School.

Many will remember Rawson for his exploits as a prep at Winfield-Mount Union where he helped guide the Wolves to the 1995 Class 1A State Title, routing Pomeroy-Palmer.

He was named the Des Moines Register Male Athlete of the Year, that season as well.

Rawson will take over for a Panther team that will return just one starter from this year’s 12-11 squad that fell to Davenport Assumption in a Class 3A Substate Semifinal.

Wesleyan Announces Intent to Head Back to NAIA:

In a letter penned to alumni and key personnel Iowa Wesleyan has announced their intent to transition from NCAA Division III back to NAIA.

The institution had been a full-time member of NCAA Division III since the 2012-13 academic year.

In the letter both Iowa Wesleyan president Chris Plunkett and Director of Athletics Derek Zander said “NAIA offers enhanced options beyond the NCAA, including student engagement and outreach, stronger scholarship opportunities.”

Tiger Athletics will remain a member of the NCAA Division III, the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC), and the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC), through the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Mount Pleasant Boys Soccer Under New Direction:

The Mount Pleasant boys’ soccer team will be under a new skipper next year.

Yesterday the Mount Pleasant Community School Board officially approved the resignation of head varsity boys’ soccer coach Ryan Chabal.

Chabal is leaving the Mount Pleasant School District to explore other professional opportunities.

This was his first year as head coach and unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out any chance to compete.

A replacement for Chabal has yet to be identified.

Hawkeye Football Lifts Social Media Ban, Will Kneel For National Anthem:

In a monumental culture shift at the school, Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz has lifted the team Twitter ban and players have agreed to kneel during the national anthem, as more and more former players have spoken out on some degree of racial disparity in the program.

The original plan was to allow players to have one pre-approved tweet per month, however the program quickly retracted that and allowed for full autonomy on the social media site.

Iowa assistant athletics director Steve Roe clarified Iowa’s Twitter policy on Monday, saying “While that was the original agreement last week, players are currently on Twitter and do not have restrictions.”

Sophomore defensive back Kaevon Merriweather used the social media giant to announce that the program will kneel before the anthem saying yesterday, “If you can not support us right now with this movement and with our team taking a knee during the the national anthem, do not support us during the football season.”

Last year, the program eased restrictions on hats, earrings and hoodies in the football building.

Chris Doyle remains on administrative leave.

Wesleyan Wrestling Picks Up Local Heavyweight:

Iowa Wesleyan wrestling coach Shawn Contos continued his hot recruiting start for Iowa Wesleyan’s men’s wrestling program securing a commitment from former Fairfield Trojan Brendon Lunsford.

Lunsford began his college career at Hannibal-LaGrange University an NAIA power in Hannibal, Missouri.

As a senior at Fairfield, Lunsford finished 5th in the Class 2A State Tournament at 285, defeating Bishop Heelan’s Kobe Clayborn in the 5th place match.

The Iowa Wesleyan wrestling program now has 51 known commits combined between the men’s and women’s program.