18 for 2018: Counting down Plymouth County’s top athletes, teams and sports stories of the year

Thursday, January 10, 2019

2018 provided plenty for us to cover in the realm of sports here in Plymouth County. As the year comes to its conclusion, we will count down our list of the top 18 individuals, teams and stories that made this year another memorable one. Two stories to make the list include Remsen teams:

#10 — RSM baseball goes to state for third straight year

Above, members of the Remsen St. Mary’s baseball team accept their state qualifying banner after beating Gehlen Catholic in the substate final for their third consecutive trip to state, matching only the 1983-85 state champion teams for longest streak in school history.
(Sentinel Photo By Allen Hamil)

Remsen St. Mary’s has a long history of success on the baseball diamond. This year’s team accomplished something not done since the Hawks won three consecutive titles from 1983-85 as they earned a state tournament appearance for the third straight year. Overall, it was the school’s 11th summer state tourney bid.

The team clinched the feat against rival Gehlen Catholic as the Jays surprised almost everyone late in the season as they turned around from a 1-9 start to meet the Hawks in the substate final.

RSM relied on freshman Blaine Harpenau as their ace and senior Derrick Schorg as a strong No. 2 on the mound with senior David Grady filling in on the mound as a third starter or top reliever out of the bullpen. The batting order relied on the aforementioned Schorg and Harpenau as well as a senior group of Carter Kuchel, Brett Galles, Mitchell Schiltz and Brody Ricke to lead the team to a 27-4 final record.

The Hawks met North Linn at state for the second year in a row and this time the Lynx finished on top in the state quarterfinals.

The team’s three straight years of making state led to finishes in all three of the different rounds at Principal Park, beginning with a state title in 2016, semifinal appearance in 2017 and quarterfinal appearance this summer.

#6 — RSM boys basketball completes back-to-back perfect regular seasons, trips to state

Above, the Remsen St. Mary’s boys basketball team poses with their fourth place trophy. The Hawks completed back-to-back perfect regular seasons and trips to the state tournament. The team took fourth place in both years after losing to Grand View Christian in the semifinals in both 2017 and 2018.
(Photo Contributed)

After being known as mostly just a baseball power for years, the Remsen St. Mary’s boys basketball team has shown they are also a team to be reckoned with. The Hawks completed their second straight perfect regular season en route to the team’s second state tournament in a row which are also the only two in school history. The senior dominated team needed an overtime win over South O’Brien to stay perfect, but won all their games by at least six points with just three games even being within single digits. RSM advanced to state with their lowest-scoring game of the season, a 39-23 win over IKM-Manning, but bumped up their production in a 73-57 win over Lynnville-Sully in their first game at state. The balanced team had their five starters average between 8.7 and 13.4 points per game which included four seniors, Nicholas Ruden, Brody Ricke, Derrick Schorg and Carter Kuchel.

For the second year in a row, Grand View Christian beat the Hawks in the semifinals. The Thunder used a late 11-0 run to take the win on their way to back-to-back state titles. The Hawks took fourth place for the second straight year after falling to Don Bosco in the third place game.

Spencer Schorg is the team’s top returning player for a team which saw its regular season winning streak snapped at 42 games by South O’Brien in the second game of the 2018-19 season. The Hawks are out to a 5-3 start as they look to make their third straight trip to state in 2019.

18 FOR 2018

COUNTDOWN (Whole List):

#18 - Le Mars wins Lakes titles

#17 - Hinton, AW navigate to football playoffs

#16 - Hinton girls golf makes state

#15 - Trio of Bulldogs place 8th at state

#14 - KP-WC girls track has solid season

#13 - Le Mars announces conference change

#12 - Lorenzen Field begins revamp

#11 - AW girls golf takes fourth at state

#10 - RSM baseball at state three years running

#9 - Extra-inning walk-off sends A-W softball to 14th state trip in 16 years

#8 - Gehlen volleyball advances to state semifinals

#7 - Le Mars girls basketball advances to state for first time since 2002

#6 - RSM boys basketball earns repeat state trip

#5 - Roder takes third at state cross country

#4 - WC-KP girls cross country earns third place for back-to-back years

#3 - Le Mars bowling keeps on rolling

#2 - Henrich wins back-to-back state titles

#1 - Phelps concludes prestigious high school career