RATED AND REMAINING: Just three of the Top 10 rated teams survived the “Parade to Principal Park.” In this year’s fray are top-rated Newman Catholic (32-5), second-rated Don Bosco (34-4) and third-rated West Sioux (25-2).
FIRST-TIME QUALIFIERS: The field features two first-time qualifiers. Nodaway Valley scored an 9-6 upset of ninth-ranked Martensdale-St. Marys in the substate. Edgewood-Coleburg (21-12) sidelined eighth-ranked Jesup and fifth-ranked Alburnett in district and substate finals to join the boys of summer for the first time. The Vikings have a link to tourney history, however. The Colesburg Trojans won the 1952 state championship. Colesburg was also a runner-up to Davenport in the 1944 spring state tournament.
RETURNING FROM 2016: Returning from last year’s championship field are Newman and West Sioux. Van Buren and Pleasantville also made the 1A field a year ago and return this year in Class 2A.
STATE ROOKIE COACHES: Making their state tournament debut are Aaron Hamann of Edgewood-Colesburg, Seth Milledge of Highland, Dan Jameson of Nodaway Valley, and Josh Abel of Tri-Center.
CONSECUTIVE TOURNEY CHAIN: Defending champion Newman is in the Elite Eight for the ninth straight year, a string that is unmatched in the history of the tournament. The Knights are also appearing for a record 20th time. They have taken home three titles and two runner-up trophies in their previous eight trips to swell their total to five championships (1998, 2002, 2009, 2013, 2015) and four runner-up finishes.
PAST TITLE HOLDERS: In addition to Newman, three other teams in the tourney have championships to their credit — Remsen St. Mary’s (1983, 1984, 1985); Don Bosco (1978); and Tri-Center (1987). St. Mary’s also has three fall state titles.
WIN STREAKS: Win streaks are common in the field. St. Mary’s leads the 1A field, bringing in a 19-game win streak. The Hawks have won 24 of their last 25 games. West Sioux has a 14-game streak and has won 17 of its last 18. Highland enters the tournament on a 14-game victory skein. Newman has won 11 straight and 20 of its last 21. Don Bosco has won seven in succession and 18 of its last 19.
PLAYING UP: A win-loss record can be deceiving. All five of Newman’s losses are to teams up in class. The Knights dropped three games to Class 3A teams and a pair to Class 4A clubs. Twenty-three of their games were against teams up in class. The last loss the Knights experienced at the hands of Class 1A team was the title game in 2014, when they lost to Twin Cedars. Of Don Bosco’s four losses, three have come to 4A teams and one to a 2A club.
LONG WAIT: Highland and Tri-Center banished long state tournament droughts. The Huskies last appeared in 1984, their only previous appearance, while the Trojans return for the first time since back-to-back appearances in 1986 (2nd) and 1987 (champions), both in Class 2A.
THE TOURNAMENT: This is the 71st season for the state summer baseball, which has been in four classes since 1981. It is also the 89th state tournament series for the sport that started in the spring of 1928. This is the 12th year for the four-class tournament at Principal Park. In the previous 11 years at Principal Park 342,063 fans have supported their teams. Attendance since 1997 is at 489,510 going into this year’s games.
LEADING WIN COACHES IN TOURNEY: Newman coach Tony Adams leads the Class 1A field of coaches in career wins with a 609-101 career mark. Adams’ sterling win percentage of .858 trails only the legendary Vince Meyer of Bancroft St. John’s (1,105-178, 86.1-win percentage) with coaches of 500 or more wins. St. Mary’s co-coach Jim Wesselmann is at 575-242. His co-coach Dean Harpeneau has a career slate of 200-169. Tri-Center’s Josh Abel now stands with a career mark of 200-112. Don Bosco mentor Blaine Rhoads comes into the tourney with a 149-24 career record for a .861 win percentage.
ENROLLMENTS: To determine the classification of each school, the IHSAA uses the official state certified BEDS enrollment figures for grades 9 thru 11 for the 2014-15 school year. The smallest Class 2A qualifier is St. Mary’s with 53 while the largest qualifier is Tri-Center at 155.
Team and individual stat leaders are at QuikStats Iowa
Fans and coaches can go to the Baseball QuikStats page and find the tab that says “2016 State Baseball.” Click on that and select the class you want, then select “Load List” and team stats for the state qualifiers will be displayed. To view individual stats, click on individual season stats, select the class you want to view in the “2016 State” tab, then hit load list and all individual stats for the eight tournament teams or individuals will be displayed. You can sort that list by clicking on the stat category of hitting — hits, avg, rbis, etc, pitching or fielding.
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