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VOLLEYBALL REVIEW: Harris-Lake Park volleyball earns a win in 2023

Harris-Lake Park’s volleyball team earned just one victory this past season, but — after suffering back-to-back winless season in 2022 and 2021 — there might not be a more monumental victory in the program’s history. The Wolves finished the year with a 1-24 overall record.



No. 15 Spirit Lake girls drop hoops opener to Roland-Story

Spirit Lake’s girls basketball team dropped its season-opening contest with Roland-Story on Saturday, Nov. 18. The Norseman topped the 15th-ranked (3A) Indians 64-52 in Story City.

The Indians led 13-10 after one and outscored the Norseman 15-13 in the third quarter and 16-14 in the fourth. Roland-Story got hot in the second quarter, outscoring the Indians 26-8 to take a 36-21 lead into the half.

Spirit Lake Park girls wrestling competes at Emmetsburg

Spirit Lake Park’s girls wrestling team took part in the Lady E-Hawk Invite held Saturday, Nov. 18 at Emmetsburg. The Indians placed eighth as a team and had two individual champions and one runner-up on the day.

Okoboji/HMS wrestlers compete at Lady E-Hawk Invite

Okoboji/HMS’ girls wrestling team competed at the 2023 Lady E-Hawk Invite held Saturday, Nov. 18 in Emmetsburg. The Pioneers placed fifth as a team. They had had one champion and one runner-up on the day.

“Everybody competed well and we had a great team showing,” Okoboji/HMS coach Todd Gonnerman said.

Jozlyn Cookinham won the Pioneers’ only individual championship. She went 3-0 to win the 190-pound title.

Working to understand and stabilize the Blanding’s turtle in Iowa

Changes in the fish’s world

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about fishing and outdoor things recently. When I don’t go fishing, much of the time I’m reading about fishing. Following are a couple of fishing things that I’ve been reading about.

Iowa DNR to host virtual public meeting on Chronic Wasting Disease

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has scheduled a virtual public meeting to update the public on statewide Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance and management efforts.

Phosphorus’ role in poor water quality

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for all life, but too much of it can have a devastating impact on water quality. When phosphorus levels in a water body are too high, it can lead to a process called eutrophication. Eutrophication is the overgrowth of blue green algae and other aquatic plants, which can deplete oxygen levels in the water and make it uninhabitable for fish and other aquatic life.

END OF THE ROAD: No. 5 Spirit Lake falls to No. 1 CL/GLR in state football semifinal

Spirit Lake’s dream season came to an end with a loss to top-ranked and returning state champion Central Lyon/George-Little Rock in the Class 2A football semifinals played Saturday, Nov. 11 in Cedar Falls. The Lions defeated the Indians 28-14 at the UNI-Dome.

After the loss, Spirit Lake coach Josh Bolluyt — who led the team back to the semifinals for the first time since 2015 — said his message to the team was one of joy and appreciation.

Chasing trout on Lake Taneycomo

Although we anglers enjoy fishing our home waters, there is always the lure of fishing trip destinations. From my northwest Iowa home base, it might be a day trip to Clear Lake in northcentral Iowa or Lake Rathbun in southern Iowa. Then, of course, there are the larger trip destinations across the Midwest.

Changes in fishing

I was going through some of my tackle boxes recently. In 50-plus years of fishing, a guy accumulates a lot of lures. I sort through this accumulation of tackle in early winter every year for two reasons. First of all, to take an inventory of what lures need to be added for next season.

Excellent attendance at IGLFC’s DNR Night

The Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Club (IGLFC) held its annual DNR Night this past Thursday evening, and what a success it was! With nearly 200 people in attendance, the evening was filled with updates, good food (55 jumbo pizzas consumed), raffle results and winners (over $4,000 made on the large raffle project) and updates from DNR personnel on the past year.

Fall fishing for Iowa’s prize trout

Fishing Iowa’s trout streams is a unique way to enjoy the cool fall weather and marvel at the amazing colors of Iowa’s prize trout. Male brown and brook trout display their brightest, most vibrant spawning colors this time of year.

DOME SWEET DOME: No. 5 Spirit Lake earns wild 20-19 win over No. 3 West Lyon to secure trip to UNI-Dome

Pick your favorite sports cliche.

A roller coaster of emotions. Giving 110 percent. The thrill of victory.

Spirit Lake’s longtime football coach Josh Bolluyt put it best, saying he can’t remember participating in a more wild and crazy game than the one his fifth-ranked Indians played Friday, Nov. 3 in a 20-19 win over third-ranked West Lyon in the Class 2A quarterfinals.


Spirit Lake senior Fran Travis recently signed her letter of intent to play volleyball and compete in track and field at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa. Travis led the Spirit Lake volleyball team in kills (324), kill attempts (606), kill efficiency (.381) and total blocks (119) this past season. Her 119 blocks were the second most in Class 3A on the year. She was was named First Team All-Lakes Conference in 2023 and Second Team All-Lakes Conference in 2022.


Spirit Lake senior Morgan Fine recently signed her letter of intent to play softball at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa. Fine is a three-time all-conference performer for the Indians. She earned First Team All-Lakes Conference honors as a freshman and earned Second Team All-Lakes Conference honors following her sophomore and junior seasons. In four seasons as a pitcher, Fine has amassed a 33-19 record with 292 strikeouts in 349.1 innings.

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