MASON CITY — Two NIACC basketball players were named to All-American teams on Monday:
== Mandy Willems became the fourth NIACC women’s basketball player in school history to earn first-team all-American honors. The freshman, who was the Region XI player of the year, was a first-team NJCAA Division II all-American selection on Monday. Other NIACC women’s basketball players to earn first-team all-American honors were Katherine Hadley (1994), Chelsey Jacox (2014) and Sierra Ford-Washington (2015). Willems is the first Lady Trojan to earn all-American honors since Savannah Lentz was a third-team selection in 2016. Willems, who helped lead the Lady Trojans to the NJCAA Region XI tournament title, averaged 24.1 points per game. She set a school record for career 3-point goals with 186. She also collected 200 rebounds, 96 assists and 77 steals. Willems recently announced that she will be transferring to the University of Missouri at Kansas City to play basketball starting next year.
== For the first time since 2014, the NIACC men’s basketball team has an all-American. Freshman guard Deundra Roberson earned second-team NJCAA Division II all-American honors on Monday. Roberson is the first Trojan to receive all-American honors since David Humphries was a third-team selection in 2014. Humphries also was a first-team all-American selection in 2013. Roberson, who was a first-team all-NJCAA Region XI selection, averaged 16.6 points per game in his freshman campaign to help lead the Trojans to a share of the ICCAC regular season title and a berth in the NJCAA Region XI title game for the first time since 1995. Roberson, who is the 12th all-American in NIACC men’s basketball history, also led the Trojans with 65 3-point goals and 64 steals.
MINNEAPOLIS — Former Loras men’s basketball coach Brad Soderberg now can add the title of national champion to his resume. Soderberg is an assistant coach to Tony Bennett at Virginia, as the Cavaliers beat Texas Tech 85-77 in overtime in last night’s national title game in Minneapolis. Soderberg says he had the scouting report for the national championship game
Soderberg says he feels good about contributing to a national championship
Soderberg says he had a bunch of family members at last night’s national title game
Soderberg was head coach at Loras in Dubuque from 1988 through 1993 He also had head coaching stints at South Dakota State, St. Louis University, and Lindenwood. Soderberg played for Tony Bennett’s father at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and later coached under Dick Bennett at Wisconsin, where he eventually was the interim head coach.
MINNEAPOLIS — Former NIACC baseball player Malique Ziegler is now part of the Minnesota Twins organization. The San Francisco Giants sent Ziegler to the Twins as part of a trade for first baseman Tyler Austin. The 22-year-old Ziegler is a former 22nd-round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft who has hit .245 with nine homers and 38 steals in parts of four seasons in the lower levels of the Minor Leagues. He spent most of last season with Class A Augusta and opened the 2019 campaign with Class A Advanced San Jose. The 27-year-old Austin played in two games for the Twins after making the team out of spring training. Austin, acquired by the Twins from the New York Yankees last year for pitcher Lance Lynn, played in a career-high 69 games last season and had several other career bests: 10 home runs and 17 RBIs with 10 doubles. But the Twins claimed first baseman C.J. Cron off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays during the offseason, lessening Austin’s value.
AMES – The NIACC men’s golf team placed third at the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference regional preview tournament at the Veenker Memorial Golf Course Monday afternoon.
The Trojans, who were led by freshman Austin Eckenrod’s 79, shot a 330. Jackson Hamlin and Zach Martin both shot 83, Ben Boerjan shot an 85 and Matthew Heinemann shot an 89.
Kirkwood was the regional preview team champion with a 295. DMACC was second with a 298 and Northeast CC was third with a 315.
The Region XI tournament is set for May 4-5 back at the Veenker Memorial Golf Course. The top three teams at the regional tournament qualify for the NJCAA Division II national tournament May 21-24 in Plymouth, Ind.
NIACC shot rounds of 321-318 – 639 at the season-opening Kirkwood Eagle Spring Classic (March 24-25) and 312-321 – 633 at the Wartburg College Invitational (April 5-6).
NIACC returns to action April 14-15 at the Iowa Central Invitational at the Fort Dodge Country Club.
CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake girls soccer team picked up an 11-1 win at home last night over Hampton-Dumont-CAL. Junior Sara Faber scored three goals as the Lions improve to 2-0 on the season. The two teams are scheduled for a rematch in Latimer on Thursday. The Lions boys soccer team suffered a 7-0 defeat at Ames last night. The Clear Lake boys are also scheduled to play at Hampton-Dumont-CAL on Thursday.
IOWA CITY — Iowa lost four starters off the defensive line from last season but that unit still has some experienced players who will step in. One of them is junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa, who led the Big Ten in sacks last season with 10 and a half.
Epenesa says four players return up front with significant playing time and the key this spring is building depth.
Junior defensive end Chauncey Golston says the depth on last year’s defensive line is paying off.
Golston says new defensive line coach Kelvin Bell is building depth by having the players work at different positions.
Iowa concludes spring drills on April 26th. There will be no spring game this year.