West Fork, Newman get nods for TIC East

By Kristi Nixon

Adri Kruse of St. Ansgar passes to the corner in the Saints’ scrimmage last week. The Saint girls were tabbed third in the TIC East while the boys were sixth by North Iowa sports writers and broadcasters. Osage were picked to finish second in both. EJ Photo/Kristi Nixon

FOREST CITY — After eight North Iowa sports writers and radio broadcasters had taken part in the Top of Iowa East and West poll, West Fork and Mason City Newman were the preseason favorites in the East.

It’s likely not what you think.

The Warhawk girls, ranked No. 12 in Class 2A, earned three first-place votes in a poll that had both Osage and St. Ansgar also earning first place votes, but edged the Green Devils for first with 64 overall points. Osage tallied 61 and the Saints were one point back at 60 for third.

West Fork returns all but one starter from last year’s team and 12 total letter winners.

Mason City Newman earned seven of eight first-place votes to earn the preseason favorite boys spot. West Fork earned one first-place vote, however, the voter was unaware West Fork veteran coach Frank Schnoes had retired after 2020-21. The Warhawks, perennially the favorite in the recent past, graduated all but one with consistent varsity playing time.

The Knights tallied 71 points as they earned the only other second-place vote. Osage was second in the poll with 61, followed by West Fork (57).

St. Ansgar was tabbed to finish sixth in the nine-team TIC East after finishing 5-17, 3-12 in the TIC East, good for eighth last year.

In the TIC West, boys state tournament team Lake Mills was the unanimous No. 1. 

Meanwhile, state tournament girls’ team Algona Garrigan received six of seven first-place votes to get the nod ahead of West Hancock, which received the other first-place vote. Garrigan starts the season ranked No. 2 in Class 1A behind Newell-Fonda. The Eagles are ranked ninth in 2A. Class 2A No. 15 North Union was fourth in the media poll behind GHV.

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