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The Top 2018 Tri-States Sports Stories


  • University of Dubuque cornerback Michael Joseph was named the winner of the Cliff Harris Award as the top Small College Defensive player in the country. Later in the month, Joseph played in the Reece’s Senior Bowl game in Mobile, Alabama. He was the only Division 3 player to be invited to the showcase game. In April, Joseph was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent, didn’t make the 53 man roster, but is still currently on the Bears practice squad.
  • Darlington Hall of Fame football coach Scott Zywicki has announced he will be stepping down as the Redbirds’ head coach after serving 36 years with the program, the last 13 as head coach. Under Zywicki as head coach, the Redbirds won 8 SWAL conference championships, made the playoffs 10 times, and finished state runner-up four straight seasons from 2013 thru 2016.  He compiled a 108-44 record as a head coach.


  • Wahlert High School captured the school’s first ever state team wrestling championship at the State Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines. Wahlert crowned two state champs with Josh Ramierz at 160 pounds and Boone McDermott at 220 pounds.


  • Cascade High School pulled off a sport rarity winning both Girls and Boys State Basketball Tournament championships in the same season. The Cougar girls used terrific defense in defeating Grundy Center 41-37 for the Class 2-A State Championship finishing with a 25-and-3 record. The next week the Cougar boys went 26-and-1 by defeating Treynor for the state title.
  • U-W Platteville junior and former Hempstead prep Robert Duax was selected to the NABC Division III All-America First Team. The former Dubuque Hempstead prep averaged 15.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game while leading the Pioneers to their best season since their 1998-99 NCAA championship season.


  • The construction of a four-million dollar project for athletic facilities at Clarke University got underway. Things were completed in time for the start of class in the fall.


  • Former Dubuque Fighting Saints and Denver University head coach Jim Montgomery was hired as head coach of the NHL’s Dallas Stars.
  • The University of Dubuque baseball team won the Iowa Conference regular-season and tournament championships for the first time in program history and advanced to the NCAA Division III national tournament. In February, Spartans pitching coach Luke Kalb lost a courageous battle with liver cancer. The former Dubuque Senior standout athlete was 32.
  • The Wahlert High School boys tennis team made some history , the Golden Eagles captured the programs 10th state team tennis championship which sets the record for most state team championships in state history.


  • For the first time in school history a Hempstead High School softball team went to the state tournament. The 10th ranked Mustangs defeated Davenport West 4-0 in the Class 5-A Regional Final game.
  • The Western Dubuque baseball team advanced to the state baseball semi-finals in Class 4-A by defeating North Scott then falling to Urbandale to finish with a 33 and 10 record.



  • The Dubuque County American Legion baseball team went on an incredible run. The Legion team won the Iowa State Tournament championship and Central Plains Regional Championship to advance to the Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina for the first time in history. Dubuque County became the first Iowa team to win a game at the World Series since 1976. It came within one run of the semifinals.



  • Peosta, Iowa, native Steven Ihm enjoyed his biggest season since becoming a professional golfer. Ihm earned a pair of top-10 finishes to qualify for Web-dot-com tour’s playoff round and earn his Tour card for the 2019 season. The highlight of his season came in mid-July, when he finished second, one stroke out of first place, at the Utah Championship.



  • The Wahlert Girls Cross Country team captured the programs 6th state team championship in Fort Dodge. The Hempstead boys team finished one point shy of their first ever state title.


  • The Wahlert High School Volleyball team 3-peated State Tournament championships as the Golden Eagles captured the schools 20th state title.
  • The Western Dubuque High School Football team made a memorable run through the 3-A state playoffs, the Bobcats barely snuck into the playoff but then crushed previously unbeaten Solon, avenged a regular season loss to North School to advance to the UNI-Dome where they handed top seed Sergant Bluff Luton their first loss before losing to Cedar Rapids Xavier in the state title game.



  • Recently retired boys high school basketball coach Dennis Geraghty will be inducted into the Iowa High School Basketball Hall of Fame in March at the state tournament in Des Moines. Geraghty announced his retirement in the spring from coaching Western Dubuque after hitting 500 total wins in 39 seasons as a head coach
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