IMS's Grimm and Lone Tree's Ronan named to all-state baseball team

Posted 8/12/99

Iowa Mennonite School senio…

By Sports Dept.

Softball all-conference and team honors also announced

Iowa Mennonite School senior Zach Grimm and Lone Tree junior Ryan Ronan led the way …

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IMS's Grimm and Lone Tree's Ronan named to all-state baseball team


Iowa Mennonite School senio…

By Sports Dept.

Softball all-conference and team honors also announced

Iowa Mennonite School senior Zach Grimm and Lone Tree junior Ryan Ronan led the way among Kalona News area athletes on the first-team 1999 Iowa Newspaper Association all-state team, announced early last week.

Grimm, a senior first baseman for the Maroon and Black, was the state’s leading hitter with a batting average of .643 (45 of 70 at the plate in just 21 games). Included in that offensive highlight reel were four doubles, two triples, five home runs, 38 runs scored and 23 RBI’s. His final slugging percentage was .971 (68 total bases in 70 at-bats).

“My average surprised me a little bit in the beginning of the season,” he said. “The first game out, (my hitting) was horrible. After that game, I took a little extra batting practice and straightened things out.”

Grimm “straightened things out” to the tune of school records in batting average and slugging percentage.

Grimm’s speed, evident when he helped take the IMS boys track team to a Class 1A state title this past spring, turned out to be very valuable on the baseball field as well. He finished the season 33 of 35 in steals.

In the wake of his work on the 1A state track champions and his impressive baseball season, Grimm says he is somewhat surprised at the success achieved this season.

“When I sit back and take a look what has happened over the spring and summer, I am a little amazed,” he said.

Grimm will continue his baseball career at Central College in Pella this fall. He may also take a look at the track program as well.

“It all depends on how fall baseball practice goes,” he said. “If it doesn’t work out, I may go into track.”

Grimm will be joining former Highland of Ainsworth-Riverside standout Nick Poch and Mid-Prairie alumnus Billy Hartsock in the Flying Dutchmen program.

“I do have some work to do as far as baseball goes yet,” Grimm said. “My throwing arm could be a lot better.”

As for Ronan, the Lion junior finished with just as impressive offensive statistics. He ended the season with a .547 batting average and 43 RBI’s, leading his team to the school’s first-ever conference championship.

Ronan was honored to be named first-team all-state, and credited it to the Lions’ success this year.

“For the longest time, teams have just beat up on us in baseball, Ronan said Monday. “This was kind of a revenge factor season, and because we did so well, it got us a little more recognition.

Ronan says he’s not sure what to expect for the next baseball season, for himself or for the team.

“We lose six starters, but there is a lot of good, younger players that will help out a lot,” he said. “It will be a kind of a rebuilding year, but we’ll still be pretty good.”

As for expectations for him, he says he will be happy with a good season.

“It’s kind of like Jeff (Spears) this past season in football, where everybody is going to be keying on me,” he said. “Hopefully, that will allow some of the other players to come through and play well for us.”

Ronan said that despite not making the state tournament, it was still a good season.

“It was a fun season,” he said. “We weren’t surprised by how well we played. We knew how good we could be before the season.”

“It was just a matter of executing and proving it to everyone else.”

Ronan, who will be a senior this year, is now looking forward to the football season and hopes they can have similar success to what the baseball team accomplished.

Both Grimm and Ronan were first teamers in Class 1A. In Class 2A, Mid-Prairie seniors Randy Woodruff and Jared Arieux and junior Brian Hervey were honorable mention honorees.

On the honorable mention list in Class 1A, Jeremy LaRoche, a senior, was the lone Highland of Ainsworth-Riverside honoree.

Mid-Prairie team softball awards

Jamie Krantz was selected Most Valuable Player for the 1999 Mid-Prairie softball team at the annual year-end banquet.

The Coaches’ Award winner was Hannah Berg, while Pam Harland was named best offensive player and Kelly Bontrager was named best defensive player. Other players honered were Kelly Adam (Best Hustle) and Jennie Miller (Most Improved).

Last week, Krantz and Bontrager were named to the EIHC first team. Harland, Berg, Miller, and pitcher B.J. Duwa were EIHC second team selections.

IMS team softball awards

Betsy Hartzler was named Most Valuable Player for the 1999 Iowa Mennonite School softball team at the annual end-of-the-year banquet.

Hartzler, a senior pitcher and center fielder, also was named Best Offensive Player and a Coaches Award winner. Other team awards went to Sarah Schneider (Most Improved), Elaine Yoder (Most Inspirational) and MaryBeth Talbot (Best Defensive Player).

SEISC all-conference softball

Highland of Ainsworth-Riverside highlighted the Kalona News area picks on the 1999 South East Iowa Super Conference Northern Division all-loop team.

Jenny Sweeting, a junior catcher for the Huskies, was the lone first team selection from the area. Freshman outfielder Beth Simon was the only second team selection from the area.

IMS had two members on the honorable mention team. Elaine Yoder, a junior, and Katie Hochstedler, a junior, were those honorees.

Highland added juniors Michelle Ossman, Rebecca Stransky and Krista Burich on the honorable mention squad.