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HomeAbout UsWhat to ExpectUpcoming TripsContact UsPast TripsNewsletterTales of the Ancient Sportsman

Besides planning trips, Burdell also writes this weekly column which tells about sports happenings now and 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago, sometimes a trip down memory lane that some of you may relate to, what the Ancient Sportsman (Burdell) and Ancient-ess (Charlotte) have been up to and about trips they have been on. Each week is a new adventure.
Tales of the 
Ancient Sportsman
     It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Well, kind of. It is minus snow and that is just fine. I used to love the snow and the ice fishing, but my whole attitude has changed. My body just doesn’t respond to the cold and snow anymore. But I do love the sights and sounds of Christmas.
    Saturday night was the Oskaloosa lighted Christmas parade, so the Ancient-ess and I bundled up and headed downtown. We went early to try and find a prime parking spot and we did. The drive up bank at MidWestOne Bank was closed, so I drove through the drive up line and parked facing the street. The parade came right by and we had the perfect seat. It was much warmer than sitting outside and for two old folks, that was just perfect.  The parade was just beautiful and the lighted buildings around the square added so much to the atmosphere. The building lighting has been extended all the way to the library. That old building looks pretty neat with all of its lights.
    Sunday was a busy day with church at our home church in Oskaloosa and services at our little country church down in Monroe County. After our traditional lunch at Taso’s it was off to Ottumwa for Bea’s Christmas play with the Ottumwa Children’s Theatre. They did “A Bah Humbug Christmas” and a very fine job is was.
    I got home in time to see the Chiefs knock off the Patriots, which I loved. I still feel the Chiefs are a couple of pieces away from winning a Super Bowl. Their offensive line has been beat up all year, so hopefully they can get healthy and I still have some concerns about their defense. But we will have to wait and see how it all plays out. 
     I forgot last week to tell you about our trip for DeSoto Bend on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. This was the first tour that we did for Mahaska State Bank 20 years ago and we felt it would be neat to repeat the tour. The last time there were over 150,000 Snow Geese on the property and it was a beautiful sight. We were not so fortunate this time as there were no Snow Geese on the water, but there were a number of Canadians. The ranger told us that the geese were in the area, but not on the water. When we left we found a large number of them feeding in a corn field. The tour was still successful as we made a stop in Walnut Antique City and had a beautiful buffet lunch at Emma Jean’s Restaurant. On the way home we made a stop at Arnie Jirsa’s metal art works. Arnie makes some incredible wildlife pieces out of steel and other metals. His work is stunningly beautiful and was enjoyed by our group. His wife, Donna, shared her quilting work with our ladies and it turned out to be a super stop.
    My sports coverage took me to a couple of the smaller schools in Iowa last week. On Tuesday I was at Twin Cedars to watch the Sabers play Wayne Community. The TC girls played hard, but a pair of extended scoring droughts spelled their doom in a 50-31 loss. Also the TC girls are quite small and Wayne had a pair of big girls on the back line that the Sabers could not handle.
The boy’s game was more of the same as Wayne held a size advantage. But the Sabers stayed with them pretty much. It was cold shooting that did TC in as they lost 40-31.
    Friday night I made the trip down the Melcher for the Melcher-Dallas game with Ankeny Christian Academy. I had an ultimate reason to want to cover that game as Malachi Johnson, the son of Ryan and Pug Johnson is a sophomore point guard for the Eagles and I wanted to see him play. The Melcher-Dallas team felt that they would be able to contend in that league this year and a close game was expected.  The game was tied at 5-5 after three minutes of play and then the Eagles caught fire and went through the Saints like a prairie wildfire. A 27-5 run to finish the first quarter had AC leading 32-10 going into the second stanza and by halftime it was 50-16. A minute into the third period, the 35 point mercy rule was in effect and the final score was 79-29.  Malachi led his team with 18 points and he missed on one shot the entire game. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from behind the arc and he played an excellent point guard game. His passing was superb as he repeatedly set his teammates up for easy shots.
    The biggest game of the season happened Friday night at Pella High when the visiting Pella Christian Eagles pulled out an 84-83 win in two overtimes. I’m thinking that a few pacemakers may have had to be checked after that one. 
    It is time to see what happened in our yesterdays.
    75 years ago: Dec. 12, 1944 – Girl’s basketball will make its debut on the Pella High School court Wednesday night as the Ottumwa Naval Air Base Waves will meet the girls from West Des Moines Valley. The unbeaten Pella Boys team will tangle with Valley in the night cap. Dec. 14 – Pella swamps Valley 60-19. Chuck Vander Ploeg led Pella with 26 points while Pete Van Gorp and Carl Gaase each scored eight points. Dec. 16 – Sigourney nips Washington 29-28. Chuck McCuen led the Savages 11 points and Phil Evans added eight. Dec. 16 – Lacey takes two from Fremont. The Lacey girls grabbed the top spot in the Chiquaqua Valley league with a 54-45 win. Letha DeWitt led the way for lacey while LeOra Steele was tops for Fremont. The Lacey boys won 34-18 with Bob Fox standing out.
     50 years ago: Dec. 12, 1969 – The Tri-County mat team beat Monroe 43-11. Getting pins for the Trojans were; Dave Briggs, Lynn white, Ed Bos, Dick Lucas, Gary Mercer and Jim Seiren. Dec. 13- The Monte boys climbed back into the SICL race by knocking off league power, Belle Plaine, 64-55. Ken Hopkins led the Braves with 26 points while Gene Beathke and Craig McClure added 13 and 12 points respectively. Dec. 13- Eddyville and Lynnville-Sully split games. The Eddyville girls used a strong defensive effort by Mary Harter, Connie Maloy and Joan Leander to top the Hawkettes 48-36. The Hawks rolled to an 81-51 win in the boys game with Al Higginbotham collecting 20 points and 16 rebounds and Stu Van Gorp notching 18 points and 14 rebounds. Jerry Rempe led the Rockets with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Dec. 15- Best effort of the season gives Osky a 67-37 win over Davis County. Mark Armstrong led the Indians with 17 points while Jim Davis and Steve Morrison each scored 14 points. Dec. 17 Four overtime free throws by al Higginbothom and 22 point overall gave Lynnville-Sully a 67-66 win over Pella Christian. Gary VanderHart led PC with 25 points. The PC girls took a 61-46 win with Marlys VanderLinden scoring 27 points and Judy Fopma adding 14. Cindy Gosselink led LS with 19.
    25 years ago: Dec. 14, 1994 – North Mahaska girls shot down Twin Cedars 44-27 with Emily Pool scoring 17 points. 19 points by Mike DeBoef, 17 by Brian Anderson and 16 by John Van Utrecht led the Warhawks to a 62-42 win. Mitch Hugen paced TC with 15 points. Dec. 17- Pella Christian sweeps Carlisle. The girls used a strong fourth quarter to pull out a 51-34 win. Mindi Andringa led with 16 points and Wendy Pothoven added 14. The PC boys romped to a 76-48 win with Tim Roose scoring 22 points and Zech Schiebout adding 16 points and 11 rebounds. Dec. 17- The Eddyville girls squeezed past Colfax-Mingo 49-47 in overtime. Balanced scoring was key for the Rockets and Holly Van Engelenhoven, Jenny Sterling and Stacy Rogers each had eight points.
    Have a great week and be sure to support you favorite team.