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  • Iowa Shotokan Karate Club’s Competition Team brought home numerous medals from the 2018 AAU Junior Olympics. Competing in several different divisions, the kids won eight Gold medals, eight Silver and six Bronze in the competions for Kata (forms) and Kumite (sparring).

Those winning medals were Adela Skrgic (Silver in kata, Bronze in kumite), Edna Skrgic (Silver in kata and kumite), Madeline Tice, Emma Husic (Gold in kata and kumite)., Adi Skrgic (Gold in kata, Silver in kumite), Dino Skrgic (Gold in kata and kumite), Nyle Vallem (Silver in kata and kumite), Michael Tice (Gold in kata), Jay Emael (Silver in kumite), Eaden Nguyen (Gold in kumite, bronze in kata), Amar Husic (Bronze in kumite), Ervin Tabakovic (Bronze in kata and kumite), Eric Nguyen (Gold in kata and Bronze in kumite), and Dino Vallen (Silver in kumite)


  • The Northwoods League has announced the rosters for the 2018 Major League Dreams Showcase and will include pitcher Joshua Culliver and outfielder Brendan Hueth of the Waterloo Bucks. The event, which will be hosted by the Madison Mallards at Warner Park on Tuesday, August 7, will consist of a double-header featuring the top players from the NWL. Both Culliver and Hueth will play for the Home Team in the 4:05 p.m. game.

Players for the Showcase were selected by a panel of Major League Baseball Scouts. The players will participate in a day of workouts in front of scouts which will be followed by the double-header.

  • Fans of the Battle Creek Bombers lined up overnight to get a free Bombers tattoo — and free tickets for life to watch the baseball team.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports the tattoos were part of a Bombers Tattoo Day promotion for the southern Michigan team of that plays in the Northwoods League and features top college players. They were inked to mark the team’s 12th year in Battle Creek.

Russ Byers got in line at Cereal City Tattoo and Piercing on Friday evening to have a chance to be the first to get a tattoo on Saturday morning. Pairs of lifelong tickets went to the first 12 fans to participate. The 67-year-old Byers says it’s his first tattoo, but he’s big fan and had “no hesitancy” about it.

Swimming and diving

  • Northern Iowa women’s swimming and diving head coach Nick Lakin has announced the hiring of Michael Hagensick and Bethany Hovland as the new assistant swimming and diving coaches.

Hagensick is a Panther alum, earning a degree in elementary education from UNI in 2012 and a master’s in special education from Morningside College in 2017. Prior to joining the UNI staff, Hagensick served as the assistant senior coach at the Black Hawk Area Swim Team (BLAST) for 10 years. Hagensick was the head coach at Waterloo West High School for the girl’s and boy’s program as well as serving the Cedar Falls girl’s coach.

“We are absolutely thrilled to bring Mike onto the staff here at UNI,” Lakin said. “He has a long history of developing great athletes at the club and high school level and will bring a wealth of knowledge across many disciplines to his position with us. His energy, passion and enthusiasm for learning and swimming will be a huge asset.”

Working with BLAST, Hagensick has helped to design and implement competitive swimming progressions for more than 200 athletes, including those at the collegiate level. Hagensick has earned the honor of being a member of the Iowa Age Group Staff of the Year in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“As a graduate of UNI, I am excited and humbled to join the Panther family,” Hagensick said.

Hagensick is married to Scotti (Schon), a former cross country and track and field athlete for the Panthers. They have 9-month old twin boys, Heath and Oliver.

Returning to the pool for the Panthers, Hovland (2009-13) will serve as the diving coach.

At UNI, Hovland holds the 1-meter and 3-meter school records. She was the 1-meter Missouri Valley Conference Champion in 2011, making her the only diver in school history to win a conference title.

Hovland is the founder and head coach of Cedar Valley Diving Club, where she trains divers ages 8-18 years old. She coached high school diving from 2013-17.

“Any time you can bring back a school record holder on both boards with a history of developing athletes, it is a huge hire,” Lakin said.


  • Northern Iowa women’s head soccer
  • coach Bruce Erickson has announced the hiring of Josh Alford to assist the Panthers starting this upcom
  • ing season.

“I am excited to work with Josh and we welcome him and his family to the Panther soccer program and the UNI community,” said Erickson.

“Josh is someone I was familiar with and he is a grinder, someone who will work diligently to help UNI soccer be successful. He has vast experience in all phases of coaching and will prove to be a great asset to our program.”

Alford joins UNI after coaching at the University of South Carolina Aiken. He has served as an assistant for Illinois Futbol Club in Urbana, Illinois, and the head coach at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois.

Alford is a graduate of Eastern Illinois. He and his wife, Ricki, have a daughter, NicoElla (7) and two sons, Hawke (5) and Caspian (9 months).

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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