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Leading off: Bills ink Spencer Brown to four-year deal
LEADING OFF

Leading off: Bills ink Spencer Brown to four-year deal

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Football

  • The Buffalo Bills have their entire eight-member draft class under contract after signing offensive tackle Spencer Brown to a four-year contract on Tuesday.

Brown was selected in the third round, 93rd overall, out of Northern Iowa, where he started 32 games. The signing coincided with Bills’ rookies reporting for the start of practice a little over a week before the team opens training camp.

At 6-foot-8 and 311 pounds, Brown is competing for a primary backup spot on a line that returns all five starters. He was one of three offensive linemen drafted by Buffalo, with the group rounded out by fifth-round pick Tommy Doyle and seventh-rounder Jack Anderson.

Softball

  • Retired Don Bosco of Gilbertville softball coach Jane Becker has been named the 2021 recipient of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Golden Plaque of Distinction.

Becker will be honored Thursday at Rogers’ Sports Complex in Fort Dodge prior to the start of the Class 1A state championship game.

The Golden Plaque of Distinction Award honors an Iowa coach who has demonstrated a successful career while making notable contributions toward school, community and the coaching profession.

Becker was head coach at Don Bosco from 1986 until her retirement form coaching in 2018. In that span, she led her team to the state tournament nine times and finished her career with a 962-415 coaching mark. Her 962 victories is the most among all female softball coaches in Iowa.

Becker never had a losing season in 32 seasons.

Wrestling

  • Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser, the 2019 NWCA National Coach of the Year, has agreed to a contract extension through 2026.

“We are thrilled to know Coach Dresser will be leading our wrestling program for another five years,” Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said. “Coach Dresser has restored the excitement in our wrestling program with his tenacity and relentless energy. He has surrounded himself with outstanding assistant coaches who share his vision for the future of our wrestling program. I look forward to continuing to help them achieve their goals.”

Iowa State, which went 9-3 (4-1 Big 12) in dual action this season, had two Big 12 champions in David Carr and Gannon Gremmel and qualified eight wrestlers for the 2021 NCAA Championships. It’s the third season in a row that the Cyclones have qualified eight or more wrestlers for the national tournament – the program’s best streak since 2008-10.

Dresser’s efforts have seen Iowa State climb on the national stage, highlighted most recently by a national championship for Carr at 157 pounds in 2021 – Iowa State’s first individual champion since 2015 when Waterloo native Kyven Gadson beat Kyle Snyder to win at 197.

Athletics

  • The University of Northern Iowa athletic department and the UNI Alumni Association have announced dates for the canceled spring caravan events,

This year’s caravan will make three stops, first in West Des Moines at the Hall on August 11, then in Cedar Falls at the Bien Venu Events Center on August 12, and culminating in Swisher at Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery on August 17.

The Panther Caravan provides the opportunity for UNI fans to socialize with and hear from UNI coaches, President Mark Nook, UNI Director of Athletics David Harris and other special guests.

To register for the events go to panthercaravan.uni.edu/

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