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Local Sports

The Pressbox

For all the marbles — Pack it with Red

Trending — Newton teams go for all the marbles in competitions this week.

Starting tonight. Newton has been in the Little Hawkeye Conference for five years. Newton has never won a LHC volleyball title.

The Cardinals take a 5-1 conference mark into tonight’s Senior Night match against Pella’s Little Dutch, which is 6-0 in conference play. Newton is ranked 13th in Class 4A at 25-11, while Pella (20-14) dropped out of the 4A rankings.

Senior Cardinals going after that conference championship are Kacy Cazett, Amber Karsten, Bailey Beaderstadt, Holly Vander Pol, Jennifer Ventling, Michaela Bleeker and Sydney Bergman. These players have told me throughout the season that the team is everything. The one thing they’ve said is key to success for this team has been not allowing mistakes to get them down. “We forget about it and go on.”

Pella comes in tonight with the knowledge it has beaten the Cardinals on their home court earlier this season. The Little Dutch are probably the top blocking team in the conference with Jessica Holterhaus, Makena Bogaard, Katie Vander Molen and Anna Van Roekel leading the way.

So Cardinal fans need to pack NHS gym with RED.

Newton’s football team plays for all the marbles at H.A. Lynn Stadium Friday against Ballard. Both teams come in at 4-4 overall and 2-3 in Class 3A, District 4 play.

The Cardinals have 17 seniors, who will be going after a victory on Senior Night plus a playoff spot for the second year in a row. The team recording the victory in Newton Friday night snags the fourth spot in the district playoffs.

Athletes who excel bring a little “nasty” to the table when they compete. Nasty in a good way. They are just mentally and physically tougher than their opponents. They have the desire and discipline to win.

Newton’s athletes need to bring a little nasty to their game, as do several other teams in the area. Being nasty doesn’t mean cheap shots and dirty play. It’s about that toughness to work through the adversities athletes and teams encounter during a competition and in practices.

Nasty is intensity. It’s playing hard from whistle to whistle, never giving up and playing under control.

Consistency is part of bringing a little nasty to the game. When a team is consistent in maintaining a high level of play, it gives itself the opportunity to succeed.

The intensity and consistency blends together to battle through the low points of a competition. Yes, it is true sometimes the other team is just better.

Basically, it comes down to being ready to play once you put on the uniform.

So bring a little nasty and be ready to play.

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