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Column

Game On

Rolling up on the end of January has me working through area high school winter sports postseason scheduling. At least that’s where my mind should be concentrating but I have to be truthful there’s something else filling that space.

Super Bowl Sunday! There’s a sea of Red and Gold Kansas City style washing across Chiefs Kingdom and in Miami, Fla., right now.

Now, I’m not out-of-my-mind crazy with Super Bowl 54 as a lot of the Kansas City Chiefs fans. Don’t mistake that for not being excited and ready to spend my Sunday evening cheering on my NFL team because I am on both counts.

I love the Kansas City Chiefs and all the history — first Super Bowl in 50 years. It’s just like the Kansas City Royals in 2014 and 2015. I want the Chiefs to win on Sunday, beating the San Fransisco 49ers, so bad because they are MY team.

Although this is first time these two teams have faced off in a Super Bowl — the Niners will be in their seventh championship game after a 5-1 run — they are linked. In 1993 and 1994, Hall of Famer Joe Montana came from San Fransisco and was “taking us” to the Super Bowl, according to Chiefs’ fans.

Montana, a great quarterback for the 49ers, guided the Chiefs to the playoffs twice in his two years. Kansas City reached the 1993 AFC championship game, losing to Buffalo, and lost in a wildcard game to Miami in 1994. Montana and Hall of Famer Marcus Allen were on those teams for the Chiefs’ offensive unit.

A win on Sunday will come with a complete game with all three phases of the game playing well — offense, defense and special teams. I like Kansas City’s odds to put that all together against a very, very good San Fransisco team.

The 49ers, a team I have cheered for at times through the years, is good in all three phases of the game. They have a better running game and defense but the Chiefs have come on strong in those areas as the regular season ended and through the postseason.

My prediction is 24-21 Kansas City.

Turning my attention back to local sports, area high school wrestling, bowling and boys’ swimming are working on conference tournament action this weekend.

Prairie City-Monroe competed in the Heart of Iowa Conference wrestling meet last Friday. Newton wrestling is in the Little Hawkeye Conference meet while Lynnville-Sully and Colfax-Mingo wrestlers are in the South Iowa Cedar League meet this Saturday.

The NCMP boys’ swim team competes in the North Central Iowa Swim Conference meet Saturday. Wrestling and swimming postseasons begin on Feb. 8. Newton High’s bowling teams have two duals remaining then the Twin Rivers Conference meet on Feb. 15 with state qualifying meet set for Feb.18.

Area high school basketball teams are on the downhill side of the regular season. The girls’ teams have about two weeks and the boys’ teams have a little more than two weeks before the postseason tournaments begin.

State tournaments stretch from Feb. 15 to March 13. The boys’ swim state is Feb. 15 in Iowa City followed by the state wrestling tournament Feb. 20-22 in Des Moines. Bowling teams go to state competition on Feb. 25 in Waterloo. The girls’ state basketball tournament in March 2-7 followed by the boy’s state basketball tournament March 9-13, both in Des Moines.

Oh, also throw in the fact high school track and field for girls and boys begin practices on Feb. 17. The other spring sports open practices on March 16 and March 23 for girls’ soccer.

Food for thought: I came across this a week ago on social media and thought it was wise words for us all to consider —

“As a parent I just watched my kid sit on the bench for 3 straight games today. What an awesome opportunity to evaluate for me as a parent and my child as a player. It’s my job as a parent to teach my child how to deal with that and to help my child learn how to get off the bench.”

Game on everybody, game on.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets
at jsheets@newtondailynews.com

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