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Rebels reign in 2016

January 13, 2017
Northern-Sun Print
It’s been a year. Not a great one, not a poor one, but just ... a year. We lost sports greats such as Muhammad Ali and Arnold Palmer, while a great portion of the country - heck, maybe even parts of the world - rejoiced in the Chicago Cubs finally winning the World Series title that’s escaped them for 108 years. And while the Times-republican didn’t necessarily cover those events extensively as the Chicago Tribune or Los Angeles Times did, there was a lot that went on around the Marshalltown area. Times-Republican Staff

1. Gladbrook-Reinbeck boys’ sports If you’re paying any attention to the Class A/Class 1A levels of boys’ sports in the state, you’ll recognize the immense accomplishments the Gladbrook-Reinbeck athletes have had throughout the past couple years, maybe more so in the 2016 calendar year. The fall season was capped off with the second-straight Class A football championship, and the Rebels became the first team in the state to make it to three consecutive Class A state title games. The No. 2 Rebels ran through a slew of ranked teams before knocking off No. 1 St. Ansgar in the semifinals and No. 3 Bishop Garrigan for the state championship. The title follows a successful summer season that saw the soccer team take third at the state tournament, losing to No. 5 Kuemper Catholic in the semifinal round. The Rebels took down No. 2 Iowa City Regina for the second time in 2016 to finish third at the state tournament. Running back earlier in 2016, the Rebels took fourth at the boys’ state basketball tournament behind consecutive electric performances from now-senior Joe Smoldt. The Upper Iowa-commit led the Rebels through the season with a nearly unblemished record (24-4) before losing their final two games of the season at Wells Fargo Arena. But what’s maybe more impressive than any of the state titles or postseason runs is the way the Rebels are winning. In the most simple of ways, these small-town Iowa kids are defying the limits set in front of them, be that size, money, access to club sports or seasonal camps. In a time of depopulation of rural American towns, the Rebels are using raw talent, coachability and high sports IQ to beat the best teams around the state.



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