Here we are, nearing the end of the year.
We’ve survived the Mayan apocalypse (thankfully!) and prepare to head into 2013, a year that could be a special one for sports in our area.
Murray senior guard Austin Halls is poised to become the next 2,000-point scorer in Iowa boys basketball history, needing just 20 points against Orient-Macksburg on Jan. 4 to reach the historic milestone.
Halls is putting together a special senior season, averaging 27.5 points per game, 7.7 assists per game, 4.7 steals per game and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, Halls’ Mustangs are one of three area basketball teams putting together special seasons so far.
Murray heads into the 2013 portion of the schedule at 8-0 overall, and ranked fifth in Class 1A, winning by an average margin of 26.5 points per game. Nodaway Valley has steamrolled its way to a 7-0 record, winning by an average margin of 52.6 points per game this season. The Wolverines enter 2013 ranked first in Class 2A.
Creston finished the 2012 portion of its schedule with an 8-0 mark, winning by an average margin of 19.8 points per game. The Panthers are ranked third in Class 3A.
The Wolverines look for a repeat appearance in the state tournament, after finishing fourth in Class 1A last year. The Panthers, under direction of Billy Hiatt, hope to make its first trip to the state tournament since Jim Calkins coached back-to-back state tournament teams in 2004-05 and 2005-06. Murray looks for its first state tournament trip since the 1930s.
On the mats, Creston/Orient-Macksburg’s Jake Marlin tries for his fourth state championship in wrestling. Only 21 grapplers in the history of Iowa high school wrestling have accomplished that feat. Marlin, along with Denver-Tripoli’s Brandon Sorensen, each has a chance to add his name to that elite list of champions this year.
Fellow Panther senior wrestler Keaton Hulett is putting together a special senior campaign, and after finishing second at 195 pounds last year, could be one of the favorites at the weight this year.
And on the lanes, the Creston/Orient-Macksburg girls bowling team has been putting together a solid season, entering the break with a 7-2 record. The Panthers look to return to state after just missing out last year. The Panthers host two key home events shortly after break, hosting Harlan on Jan. 5 and the Panther Tournament on Jan. 12, which includes all of the best teams in the area, including potential regional teams Clarke and Central Decatur.
And that’s just the winter sports teams.
There is a lot of potential and promise for area spring, summer and fall sports teams during the 2013 calendar year, but a lot of what they accomplish will come down to the time and effort they put in during the offseason.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2013 is the year of the water snake. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but based on my Internet research, it means all things will be possible, and that in order to gain the greatest benefits from this year, one should use his or her talents wisely.
Perhaps, then, 2013 could be the year of the championship in southwest Iowa.
But, that will be left up to the athletes and how they use their talents.
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