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    IWCC Football: Nice exclusive from the Des Moines Register

    Three pages, of seven pages total, copied below:

    Iowa Western football has quickly morphed into junior-college powerhouse
    by Mark Emmert

    Iowa Western Community College head coach Scott Strohmeier during practice at the Council Bluffs school. (David Purdy/The Des Moines Register) / David Purdy/ The Register
    COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA. — The top-ranked junior-college football team in America didn’t even have pads or helmets four years ago.There was no glossy brochure to help lure recruits, and no locker room waiting for them once they got to campus.
    You want to talk humble beginnings? This program’s four assistant coaches were forced to work odd jobs while waiting for the time when they could draw salaries from the school.
    Look at Iowa Western Community College now. In the little-known world of two-year football, there is no one bigger.
    “The more we win, the more exposure our program’s getting,” offensive coordinator Mike Strohmeier said of the Reivers, who ran their record to 6-0 with an 81-14 victory Saturday over Arkansas Baptist. “Then, the more exposure they’re getting as players. There’s not going to be double-digit Division I players at a team that is 2-6.”
    Iowa Western president Dan Kinney decided to add a football team in 2008 as a way to get more male students on a campus that was 59 percent female.
    Word soon spread in the juco ranks about this new opportunity at a school that was already known for its athletic success. Mike Strohmeier, then an assistant for his brother Scott at North Iowa Area Community College, was on a recruiting excursion in Omaha and decided to swing through Council Bluffs to get the lay of the land.
    He was blown away by the campus and its athletic facilities and returned to Mason City imploring Scott Strohmeier to apply, which he did.
    “I didn’t know where Council Bluffs was, to be honest with you, because it wasn’t my recruiting area,” Scott said.
    “Every time everybody brought it up, if it was a basketball coach or a baseball coach when I was at NIACC, they said, ‘Look out when they really do it.’ I said, ‘Really?’ They said, ‘Yeah, they’re dominant in every program.’ They were. So I had this unbelievable vision before I even got here. Everyone’s telling me how great this place is.
    “I left (the job interview) thinking, ‘Holy cow, you could really do something special here.’ I don’t care if it is a junior college. I don’t care if you’ve got to build it from the ground up. I think we can win, and win fast.” ...
    The Next Cyclones

    Football players wind up at places like Iowa Western only after their childhood dreams have been pancake-blocked and left writhing on the turf.
    “We realize we are Option B for every single kid we talk to,” Mike Strohmeier concedes. “If they have higher aspirations, they have to sort of buy into our system. If you want to play at that level, you have to do what is asked of you in the classroom and on the football field.“But no one’s going to pick us over Iowa or Iowa State or UNI.”
    Two future Cyclones are perfect examples of this point.
    Rodney Coe was one of the jewels of Iowa’s recruiting class two years ago, when he was a 230-pound running back out of Edwardsville, Ill., who ran a 4.54-second 40-yard dash.
    But in the third quarter of his senior year, he found out he didn’t have the grades to go directly to Iowa City, so he sulked — and ate. It was the Iowa coaching staff that steered him to Iowa Western, but the thought of having to play junior-college football left him depressed, Coe acknowledged.
    “I was like, ‘Why keep trying?’ I guess you could say that’s when I really got down about it,” Coe said. “And then once I got here, I was just eating. I was in one of those didn’t-care stages, and I let myself go, didn’t worry about it too much until halfway through the season.”
    Coe still played running back his first season in Council Bluffs, but saw his weight balloon to 287 pounds.
    It was then that the Reivers decided to try him at defensive end, where he is playing this year. Somewhere along the line, he and the Hawkeyes parted ways. Now, he’s “99.9 percent certain” that he is heading to Ames.
    “I’m disappointed kind of just because I didn’t take care of what I needed to to get to Iowa,” Coe said.
    “I just feel like (Iowa State) is where I should be now.”
    The unusual position switch, from offensive backfield to defensive line, also fulfills a prediction from Coe’s grandfather, Charlie, a longtime coach in the college and pro ranks.“He was always telling me, ‘One day you’re going to put your hand in the dirt; one day you’re going to put your hand in the dirt,’ ” said Coe, who still runs a 4.77 40, the fastest among Iowa Western’s linemen. “I was like, ‘No, no, no.’ And here I am, putting my hand in the dirt.
    “He called me. He was like, ‘So I hear you’re playing defensive end now. What did I tell you?’ I was like, ‘All right, you were right.’ I couldn’t really argue with him there.
    “I enjoy it, though. It gets kind of tiring from having to fight bigger guys. I guess you could say I’m not used to it. But just in the game play of it, I do love being down in the trenches.”
    In contrast, Wimberly is a scatback who stands a scant 5-11 and weighs 180 pounds. He is staying put in the backfield, where his 4.4 speed and ability to catch passes is a huge asset in Iowa Western’s no-huddle offense.
    The Georgia native also was forced into the juco route by poor academics. His high school coach in Snellville recommended the school in faraway Council Bluffs as a landing spot.
    “I had to do a little research,” Wimberly said. “I found it was a good program, had a good season before I came and was a new program on the rise.
    “I wanted to be a part of a program that had a winning attitude and wanted to compete.”
    Wimberly said it took him a couple of weeks to get over the disappointment of not being able to go directly to a Division I school. Then he started playing, and he realized the competition was intense and the talent was abundant.
    He has a 3.6 grade point average now and plans to graduate in December, when he will head to Ames. On a recent Monday, Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads even made the trek west to check in on his future tailback, to make sure his transcript was in order.
    Wimberly appreciated the gesture.

    “I feel like that’s home for me,” Wimberly said. “I feel like it’s an offense that I can go right into. Academically, they’re really good, and that’s something I need.” ...

    Iowa Western Community College running back Aaron Wimberly is heading to Iowa State in December if his grades remain steady. / David Purdy/Register Photos
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    Incidentally, IWCC baseball won the JUCO World Series this year and in 2010, the first Northern division team to do so (I've read, but checking this last summer, if I recall correctly, a team from Long Island won it in the 1960s).

    Last edited by Clone83; 10-09-2012 at 10:37 AM.

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