Bangasser will conclude his prep career with a fourth trip to the state meet this week in Newton. The Grundy Center senior earned conference and sectional medalist honors before carding a runner-up 75 as the Spartans secured a district title with the lowest 1A team score of any state qualifier. Bangasser’s nine-hole average of 39.3 leads his 51-5 team. He’s placed in the top 15 in three previous state trips. “Jake’s enthusiasm for the game and ability to motivate teammates lifts the energy of our entire team,” GC coach Dennis Dirks noted. “He has a spirit about him that is contagious. ... His persistent, positive attitude is what allows him to turn obstacles into opportunities on the golf course.” Bangasser plans to attend Iowa Western and compete on the golf team.
Surma’s consistency from the midfield position has helped Columbus rise to a No. 4 ranking in Class 1A. She is perfect on penalty kick attempts during her team’s three game-deciding shootouts and most recently tacked on a goal for a win over No. 13 Beckman that turned into the game-winner. Surma is a defensive-minded midfielder, often competing for 50-50 balls and sometimes assigned to mark the opposition’s top player. “Emily is a devoted, passionate and committed player,” Columbus coach Julie Girsch noted. “Her willingness to take risks and ask questions has really created opportunities for success this season.” Surma also competes in softball during the spring and maintains a 4.02 GPA.
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Keeran has booked her second trip to the Class 2A state tennis tournament in as many seasons. The Valley Division Athlete of the Year sports a 19-2 record while playing the No. 1 singles position. She has 13 head-to-head wins over 11 state qualifiers in this year’s 2A and 1A fields. “Krisha has been a team leader throughout her first two seasons,” Cedar Falls coach Mike Knox noted. “She works hard and devotes herself to excellence and reaching her potential on and off the court. As a freshman, she was quiet and reserved, Krisha led by example. This year her personality has really blossomed and we have seen her emerge as a vocal leader.” Keeran is also an honor roll student and member of the Cedar Falls orchestra.
Clinton has become a valuable leader for Class 1A’s No. 6-ranked Denver. The outside defender is part of a Cyclone defensive unit that has shut out its last four opponents, including a 1-0 win Saturday against 2A’s No. 7 Union. “Kambrie is the type of player that we can rely and count on to shut down other team’s offensive threats,” Denver coach Jackie Gielau said. “She’s very calm and collected when she plays, especially with her ball decision making and her passing. She has an amazing first touch that allows her to bring the ball out of the air and make a decision on where to go. She’s very poised in that back line for us.” Clinton is also a three-year basketball letterwinner.
A consistent leader atop the Sailors’ tennis lineup, Buchanan recently secured a return trip to the state tournament with a district singles title over Union sophomore Rhett Peters. Buchanan has dropped just one singles match this season and also secured a No. 1 doubles title in last week’s NICL meet alongside Cole Weber. “Daniel has found success through his dedication to the game of tennis,’ Columbus coach James Larsen noted. “He’s continually working to improve through lessons and adapting his game to any new opponent. Daniel is definitely a student of the game.” Buchanan has also participated in basketball.