By LARRY PETERSON
CNA contributing writer
A look back at the year 2021 in sports in the Creston News Advertiser begins with the following highlights from the months of January through June.
(The year in review for the months of July through December will appear in Thursday’s News Advertiser.)
Items are listed by date of publication.
6 — Kelsey Fields became Creston’s all-time five-player leading scorer in girls basketball by scoring 28 points in a 71-28 victory over Clarinda, giving her 1,191 career points to pass Brielle Baker’s record. Baker’s sister, Braelyn, gave the assist to Fields for the record-breaking basket.
11 — Brance Baker played in his final game for the Creston basketball team, scoring 15 points in a 77-48 win over Denison-Schleswig. A shoulder injury requiring surgery sidelined Baker for the rest of his senior season. At the time Baker ranked second on the team in scoring, first in assists and third in rebounding.
22 — Seniors Jackson Kinsella, Andy Weis, Kaden Bolton, Adam McElwain Keaton Street, Tyson Stuart and Garon Wurster were honored prior to three home shutout wrestling victories by Creston/O-M over Denison-Schleswig (81-0), Shenandoah (82-0) and East Union (80-0).
22 — Retirements were accepted by the Creston Community Schools Board of Directors for longtime teachers and coaches Pat Schlapia, Steve Birchard and Mike McCabe.
25 — Creston/O-M won the John J Harris Invitational wrestling tournament in Corning with 191 points to edge Winterset’s 187. It was the first Panther championship in the event since 2016. Jackson Kinsella won the 195-pound class, his third John J Harris title.
26 — Southwest Valley’s Ady Lundquist placed second at 106 pounds in the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials girls state wrestling tournament. Creston’s Savannah Sistad won three matches but did not place at 195 pounds.
29 — Creston/O-M clinched the Hawkeye Ten Conference wrestling dual meet title with wins of 81-0 over Lewis Central and 55-15 over Harlan. Head coach Cody Downing was named the Class 2A Southwest Iowa Coach of the Year by the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association.
1 — Creston/O-M wrestlers won the Hawkeye Ten Tournament at Red Oak with 257.5 points. Clarinda, coached by Creston graduate Collin Bevins, was second with 185.5 points. Winning titles for the Panthers were Triston Barncastle (132), Kaden Bolton (152) and Jackson Kinsella (195). Finishing second were Christian Ahrens (113), Keaton Street (145), Andy Weis (182) and Chris Wilson (285).
4 — Darrell Burmeister, co-coach of boys basketball at Nodaway Valley, earned his 600th win as boys basketball coach at Nodaway Valley and Bridgewater-Fontanelle over 37 years in a 66-53 victory over Mount Ayr. Burmeister coached in six state tournaments, including a 2A state championship in 2006. Burmeister retired at the end of the school year but remained cross country coach.
8 — Bedford/Lenox won a wrestling sectional championship with 200 points to qualify for regional dual competition at Logan-Magnolia.
8 — Creston girls defeated Red Oak 64-32 on senior night when seniors Sam Dunphy, Kelsey Fields, Rylie Driskell and Braelyn Baker were honored prior to the game.
8 — Creston/O-M won a sectional wrestling title at Glenwood with 264.5 points and qualified to host regional dual competition on Feb. 9.
10 — Creston/O-M wrestlers defeated Bondurant-Farrar 42-31 in the Creston gym to earn the program’s first appearance in the State Dual Tournament in four years.
11 — Bedford/Lenox lost a regional dual wrestling meet to Pleasantville, 48-27.
11 — The Southwestern Community College men’s basketball tam beat No. 2-ranked DMACC, 70-58.
18 — Creston/O-M placed eighth in the State Dual Meet Tournament, falling to Davenport Assumption 48-25 after earlier losses to Winterset 41-30 and Crestwood 47-23. The Panthers finished with a 22-6 dual record, including 10-0 in the Hawkeye Ten Conference.
19 — Creston boys basketball ended the regular season (10-9) with a 59-44 win over Clarke, as Cael Kralik made his return from a knee injury in football with four points and one steal in four minutes of action. Colby Burg, Kyle Strider and Clayton Stafford each scored 13 points.
22 — Jackson Kinsella of Creston placed third at the State Wrestling Tournament, beating Reese Moore of Forest City, 7-2, in the consolation finals. Kinsella, now wrestling at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, became a three-time state placewinner for the Panthers. Teammate Triston Barncastle placed eighth.
22 — Creston girls advanced to their second straight regional final with a 62-56 semifinal victory over Norwalk. Kelsey Fields had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Sam Dunphy added 20 points.
23 — The Creston boys basketball season ended at 10-10 in a 53-47 district tournament loss to Atlantic. Making their last appearance in a Creston uniform were seniors Cael Kralik, Brance Baker, Ethan Freeman, Kaden Briggs, Clayton Stafford, Brandon Berry, Cole Strider, Colby Burg and Evan Bruce. Burg scored 296 points during the season and was named to the Hawkeye Ten all-conference first team.
24 — No. 3-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes girls defeated Creston 50-28 in a Class 4A regional final. Sam Dunphy scored 10 points and Kelsey Fields added six in their final games. Also making their final appearance were seniors Rylie Driskell and Braelyn Baker. Fields finished with program records of 1,394 career points and 1,019 rebounds. Dunphy finished fourth in scoring with 903 points and fifth in career rebounds with 492.
24 — Mount Ayr boys beat Moravia 62-51 in a 1A district final at Leon. Jaixen Frost scored 21 points and Payton Weehler had 20.
25 — Nodaway Valley girls improved to 23-0 in a 55-33 regional final victory over AHSTW in Atlantic, earning the school’s first state tournament appearance. Maddax DeVault scored 23 points for the Wolverines and Lindsey Davis added 16.
25 — Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton defeated Lenox in a 1A girls regional final, 66-56, ending the Tigers’ season at 20-6. TJ Stoaks scored 22 points for Lenox to pass 1,000 career points. McKinna Hogan added 15 and Cassidy Nelson scored 10.
1 — No. 4-ranked Montezuma boys defeated Mount Ayr 64-29 in a 1A substate final.
3 — Nodaway Valley girls made their debut in the Class 2A state tournament with a 53-47 quarterfinal victory over North Linn. Lindsey Davis scored 20 points and Maddax DeVault added 17.
8 — No. 1-ranked Maquoketa Valley girls edged Nodaway Valley, 47-45, in the Class 2A semifinals, ending the careers of Wolverine seniors Lexi Shike, Macy Kuhns and Corinne Bond. Maddax DeVault scored 15 points and Lindsey Davis added 11.
15 — Jenna Taylor of Creston scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Simpson College to an 89-85 overtime victory over Coe College in the American Rivers Conference Tournament championship game. The Storm finished with a 12-0 record in the abbreviated season and Taylor was selected as the conference’s Most Valuable Player. There was no national tournament in NCAA Division III in 2021.
22 — Southwestern’s Brielle Baker of Creston was among those honored on Sophomore Day as the Spartans lost to No. 2-ranked Kirkwood, 77-51. Other sophomores Whyter Waterhouse-Brennan and Kaylynn Tucker chose to use their extra COVID year of eligibility in the 2021-22 season. Baker is now playing at Iowa Wesleyan University.
29 — Rylie Driskell of Creston signed a National Letter of Intent to play golf at the University of Northern Iowa.
7 — Southwestern women (12-10) beat Iowa Lakes 77-56 in a Region XI-A semifinal game in the program’s first postseason victory on their home court. Brielle Baker of Creston, who would be named first team all-region, scored 11 points in her final home game.
9 — James Kelley scored 26 points in Southwestern’s 91-67 regional semifinal victory over Ellsworth, improving the Spartans’ record to 13-11.
12 — Iowa Lakes men defeated Southwestern 85-73 in a regional final; while Kirkwood beat Southwestern 77-52 in a women’s regional final game.
15 — DMACC swept Southwestern softball in a doubleheader during the return to Creston by DMACC freshman Sara Keeler, former all-state player at Creston.
15 — Southwestern’s Roland Hure set a school record with a long jump of 6.88 meters, beating the record held by Ronald Henderson.
19 — The Creston quartet of Austin Evans, Dylan Calvin, Ty Morrison and Brandon Briley won the Steve McDermott 4x800 relay at the Panther Relays, named after the former Creston superintendent who was a distance running fan.
20 — Creston announced the coaching hires of Teresa Arkfeld as head volleyball coach and Maggie Arnold as head cross country coach.
23 — Creston’s Kelsey Fields medaled twice at the Drake Relays, taking second in the shot put at 41-5 and fourth in the discus at 175-2. Also, the Nodaway Valley quartet of Jena Yonker, Annika Nelson, Maddie Fry and Maddax DeVault set a school record of 51.5 in placing 19th among 48 qualifiers in the 4x100 relay. DeVault placed 21st in the 100-meter hurdles in 16.39 and anchored the 11th-place shuttle hurdle relay that also included Fry, Natalie Yonker and Nelson. Fry was also 16th in the long jump at 16-0.
26 — The Creston tennis girls won the Knoxville Invitational as senior Maddie Frey won the singles division.
3 — Spencer Brown of Lenox and the University of Northern Iowa was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Brown played in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 30. He is now a starting offensive tackle for the Bills.
6 — Orient-Macksburg graduate Blake Sevier was a starting offensive lineman for Northwestern College in a 44-41 NAIA semifinal playoff victory over GPAC rival Morningside. The win advanced Northwestern to the national championship game and marked the final career game for Morningside defensive end Seth Maitlen of Creston. Sevier’s father, Pat Sevier, died on May 3 after suffering a heart attack on April 24 while attending Northwestern’s quarterfinal victory at Grand View University in Des Moines.
7 — Colby Burg of Creston shot 38-39 — 77 as medalist at the Charger Invitational hosted by Chariton at The Preserve at Honey Creek.
7 — Creston’s Kelsey Fields won the shot put at 42-11.5 and discus at 136-8 at the Lady Panther Invitational.
10 — The Creston boys took first p;lace and the girls were third at the Panther Invitational Soccer Tournament. The boys beat Clarke 3-0 with three goals by Aiden Anderson to win the event for the first time in four years. The girls defeated Greene County 4-0 in the third place match.
11 — Creston girls won the Hawkeye Ten Conference girls golf tournament with a score of 370 and senior Rylie Driskell was individual medalist in shooting 41-39 — 80. Others on the team were Amiya Watkins, Mikaela Downing, Maria Groumoutis, Jacy Kralik and Kate Foglesong. Colby Burg led the fifth-place Panthers in the boys tournament by taking fourth place at 38-39 — 77. Maddie Frey of Creston won the No. 1 singles title in Hawkeye Ten tennis as the team took third place.
13 — Kaden Briggs, Creston’s 6-4 center, signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Graceland University.
19 — Kelsey Fields was selected as Creston’s Outstanding Female Athlete and Brance Baker was named Outstanding Male Athlete.
21 — Maddie Frey in singles and the doubles team of Morgan Driskell and Sam Dunphy qualified for the girls state tennis tournament at regional play in Red Oak.
21 — Creston’s Kelsey Fields placed fifth in the discus at the Coed State Track Meet with a throw of 133-3. Adalyn Reynolds of Mount Ayr was third in the 400 hurdles in 1:00.24. The Mount Ayr team of Trae Ehlen, Bryce Shaha, Adler Shay and Ryce Reynolds placed third in the 4x800 relay in a time of 8:08.85. Reynolds was also third in the 400-meter low hurdles in 50.47.
24 — Lenox sophomore Cadence Douglas won the 1A high jump at the Coed State Track Meet with a jump of 5-2. Creston’s Kelsey Fields was third in the shot put at 42-9. Nodaway Valley’s Maddax DeVault was fifth in the 100-meter hurdles in 16.31. The Nodaway Valley team of Abby Engals, Madison Fry, Annika Nelson and Maddax DeVault took second in the 4x200 relay in 1:46.66. Mount Ayr’s Ady Reynolds was third in the 200 meters in 26.52.
25 — Rylie Driskell was medalist with a 74 and Maria Groumoutis was sixth with a 93 as the Creston girls qualified for the 3A Girls State Golf Tournament by winning the regional meet with a score of 371. ADM was second at 381.
27 — ADM defeated Creston 2-0 in a boys soccer substate final in Adel.
28 — Colby Burg of Creston signed a National Letter of Intent to play golf at Grand View University.
3 — The Creston girls placed 10th in the Class 3A Girls State Golf Tournament with a score of 413-411 — 824 and senior Rylie Driskell was 10th individually with a 36-hole score of 171. Driskell was 13th and ninth in two previous state appearances. (There was no tournament in 2020.) Others on the Panther team at state were Maria Groumoutis, Jacy Kralik, Mikaela Downing and Kate Foglesong.
3 — Sara Keeler of Creston was part of the DMACC softball team that competed in the NJCAA national tournament in Oxford, Alabama. The Bears were 2-2 at the tournament.
4 — Maddie Frey of Creston medaled at the Class 1A Girls State Tennis Tournament in Waterloo by placing eighth with a 2-3 record. Sam Dunphy and Morgan Driskell represented Creston in doubles competition and did not place.
14 — Creston coach Mike McCabe was honored for 400 career wins during the annual John Stephens Softball Classic. The Panthers went 1-2 in the event.
29 — Senior night was observed for Creston baseball and softball. The softball team swept Lewis Central 11-1 and 10-0 and seniors honored were Peyton Rice and Braelyn Baker. Senior baseball players recognized were Cole Strider, Keagan Smith, Gain Shawler Britain Miller, Daniel Merritt, Ethan Freeman and Evan Bruce. Lewis Central swept the baseball doubleheader, 15-6 and 11-1.