Lagroon is tops at Salina’s Topless Challenge

first_imgBy Larry Lowrey Jr.SALINA, Kan. (July 4) – By his standards, Corey Lagroon was struggling coming into Friday night’s Topless Challenge at Salina Speedway.Lagroon has finished consistently near the front almost every single night. But the former IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified track champion is out to win and victory lane had avoided him all season long.Until Friday evening, that is.Lagroon took the lead away from Danny Morrison Jr. on the fifth lap and led to the finish, earning $1,000 and a spot of the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. Morrison and Josh Blumer led the topless field to the green flag. Morrison got the jump at the start but Lagroon made all the right moves as he got by Morrison. As he completed the pass, it was evident this was going to be Lagroon’s night. He checked out once in the lead while the crowded tussle for second continued behind him.Morrison held on for second while Mike Petersilie finished third. Point leader Joe Cleveland and Jesse Richter rounded out the top five.Tyler Frye raced from 12th starting to win the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod main.Leader Nate Ginest fended off all challenges until Frye made his move on the white flag lap. Fireworks on The Fourth followed the fourth annual Topless Challenge. Feature ResultsModifieds – 1. Corey Lagroon; 2. Danny Morrison Jr.; 3. Mike Petersilie; 4. Joe Cleveland; 5. Jesse Richter; 6. Clay Sellard; 7. Scott Brown; 8. Corey Burch; 9. Brian Knoell; 10. Josh Blumer; 11. Shannon Johnson; 12. Jason Caldwell; 13. Cliff Shepard; 14. Larry Sutton; 15. Heath Myers; 16. Kenny Sweet; 17. Justin Jurgens; 18. Craig Colgin. Northern SportMods – 1. Tyler Frye; 2. Clay Money; 3. Greg Metz; 4. Nate Ginest; 5. Daniel Gottschalk; 6. Marlin Farr; 7. Kurtis Pihl; 8. Mark Franklin; 9. Josh Appel; 10. Chad Markley; 11. Taylor Metz; 12. Jeremy Sigler; 13. Kamren Gruber; 14. Tyler Post; 15. Don Morris; 16. Jeff Olson; 17. Fred Traskowsky; 18. Hunter Cantrall; 19. Brenden Damon; 20. Austin Carter.last_img read more

Women’s World Cup 2019: Julie Ertz has become the USWNT’s most indispensable player

first_imgJulie Ertz is not the biggest star on the United States Women’s National Soccer team. Alex Morgan has her beaten by about 3.25 million Twitter followers. Ertz is not the one who owns the best resume. Carli Lloyd is only three years removed from being named FIFA Best Women’s Player. Ertz is not the most experienced, doesn’t figure to score the most goals and isn’t even playing the same position or going by the same last name as when soccer fans were introduced to her four years ago at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.Julie Ertz is the name Americans will need to know in 2019, however, as the United States endeavors to repeat as World Cup champion. There is no more important player in the USWNT lineup. She is the last line of defense in advance of the U.S. defense, playing what is known in soccer lexicon alternately as a holding midfielder or a “No. 6.” The position Ertz plays now can be more glamorous than playing central defense, where one small mistake that leads to an opposing goal can define an entire performance. She is allowed more freedom to join the attack. She also must be fit enough to move from sideline to sideline, box to box. The game is physically demanding for everyone, but for a midfielder most of all.Asked if she trains differently now than when she was primarily a defender, Ertz didn’t really want to think about the demands.”Yeah,” she said. “I run a lot … more.” WORLD CUP SCHEDULE:How to watch all United States matchesWhen the U.S. won in 2015, Ertz — then known as Julie Johnston, her maiden name, before she married Eagles tight end Zach Ertz — was a revelation in central defense and was named to the 23-player all-star team chosen by the FIFA technical committee. As coach Jill Ellis developed a more aggressive, attack-based 4-3-3 formation, though, she saw Ertz’s move to central midfield as essential to making it work.Because Ellis chose not to bring along NWSL star McCall Zebroni, there also is not a true “destroyer” among the reserves available to fill in for Ertz.”When you look at the ‘6’ position, it is such a critical position. Who can be that player that can cover ground and break up plays, who can win the ball in aerial battles and who also has the ability to connect with a pass? Well, we’ve seen that in JJ,” Ellis told Sporting News. “Seeing her play there frequently with her club is certainly beneficial. We looked at different players in that spot, but ultimately it’s just a really good fit for her.”Ertz, 27, is a native of Mesa, Ariz., who led Santa Clara to the NCAA Tournament in her senior year, 2013. Coming off her World Cup success at age 23, the second-youngest player on the 2015 roster, Ertz looked as though she would be a fixture in the U.S. back line for a decade.In 2017, however, she began playing more frequently as an attacking midfielder with her team, the Chicago Red Stars, in the National Women’s Soccer League. That is also when Ellis began using her more frequently as a No. 6.MORE WORLD CUP:USWNT stars and their athlete significant othersThey are not identical positions, and it’s apparent there are times when Ertz’s desire and ability to join the formidable U.S. attack lead her higher up the field, closer to the goal. She has scored nine international goals since 2017.”I really would like to have her sit a little bit more and kind of be that shield in front of the back four and kind of connect with them on the defensive side of the game and, as the game progresses, move into the attack a little more,” Fox Sports analyst Christie Rampone, a veteran of five World Cups, told SN. “But I think we really need her to break up the opposing attack and be dynamic like she is. That’s what she’s brilliant at.”In her new position, Ertz is joined by two marvelously talented, offensive-oriented players, of which Ellis can choose among three: Lindsey Horan, Samantha Mewis or Rose Lavelle. All three are World Cup rookies, though. The lineup includes plenty of World Cup champions, but only Ertz holds that distinction among the midfielders who are so important to any team’s success.”I would hope I could give them as many helpful tips that I feel like I’ve learned through my experience,” Ertz told SN. “I think right now, it’s really giving them confidence in what they have, because what they bring this team is so special. I think on my end it’s really just giving them that extra confidence push because they’re a huge reason why we play the way we play.”I think what I’ve learned is you can’t look past any game. Adversity hits you all the time in those tournaments: throughout games, in moments through each game. Regardless of what position I play, overall, from the experience I’ve got, it’s really to stay in the moment because sometimes these games are won by such small margins. You really need to stay focused and in the moment of each game, and not look past any round.”MORE: Complete guide to the Women’s World Cuplast_img read more

Clear Lake council approves funding for joint fireworks display with Mason City, Cerro Gordo County

first_imgCLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night approved a $2500 donation of city funds toward a tentative joint fireworks display on July 3rd at the North Iowa Events Center sponsored by the cities of Clear Lake and Mason City and Cerro Gordo County.The Mason City Exchange Club traditionally holds its fireworks celebration on the Mason City High School campus on July 3rd, but due to COVID-19 and the need to socially distance the spectators, the North Iowa Events Center will be the location for the show.City Administrator Scott Flory says he talked with Mason City and county officials as well as the Exchange Club about the idea and they were all for it.  “We’ve had several conversations with them. We still have some work to do on that. We still need to talk logistically with the Department of Public Health and kind of work through some of those issues. Typically the Exchange Club has their show out at high school and this would be at the North Iowa Fairgrounds. We’d have a show on July 3rd. Flashing Thunder would be the fireworks provider shooting them off.”Flory says it would give an opportunity for people to stay socially distanced in their cars and still have an Independence Day fireworks display.  “Likely visitors would stay in their cars and watch the fireworks show from their cars. Probably about a 20-25 minute fireworks show. Certainly nowhere near the scale obviously that Clear Lake puts on, but there are very few in the state if any that would rival that kind of show. Again it gives folks a legal, safe alternative to watch fireworks with their family and children, kids, in again that opportunity.”Mayor Nelson Crabb reiterated why a traditional 4th of July fireworks display in Clear Lake could create a health hazard potentially spreading COVID-19.  “We also have a lot of visitors that come to down, as well as townfolk, that will go down to the beach area, to the sea wall area, to North Lakeview as well as the City Park, all the way back. That’s shoulder to shoulder, back to back, and that’s not really safe under these conditions that we are in right now. So this offers that alternative.”Clear Lake’s contribution is solely city funds and does not include money from the Chamber’s fireworks endowment fund. The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors will consider approving a $2500 contribution at their meeting later this morning, and the Mason City City Council will consider approval of a $5000 contribution at their meeting tonight.last_img read more