CEDAR RAPIDS - For the second time in six days, the Cedar Rapids Rampage faced off against the Kansas City Comets.
This one did not need overtime.
Goalkeeper Brett Petricek and the Cedar Rapids defense held the Comets scoreless for the e ... »
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Legendary Dyersville Beckman baseball coach Tom Jenk Jr. died Sunday, losing his battle with brain cancer.
Jenk, who was 64, didn’t lose much in a career that included five state championships. He won 1,088 games in 42 years at the school, which ranks fourth all-time.
Sending thoughts and prayers to the Jenk family and the entire Blazer nation! We lost one of the best, rest in peace Coach Jenk! You’ll forever hold a special place in our hearts #TeamJenk pic.twitter.com/hA253mKDqx— Blazer Nation (@BC_STUD_SECT) October 29, 2017
Jenk was diagnosed with Stage 4 glioblastoma last winter after experiencing stroke-like symptoms. Surgery removed only part of his brain tumor.
Longtime assistant coach Fred Martin coached Beckman in the 2017 season, with Jenk able to make only a few practices and games. One of those was the Class 2A title game in late July, as he rode in a medical recreational vehicle called the “Caring Coach” from Dyersville to Des Moines.
He and wife, Pam, watched from a luxury suite at Principal Park as the Blazers beat Carroll Kuemper, 9-6. Jenk pumped his right arm and pounded the table in front of him with his right hand as Beckman cinched the final out on a liner to shortstop.
Beckman players and coaches pointed to him from the field, with him responding with a thumb’s up sign. It was incredibly emotional moment for everyone.
“I wish I was out there. That’s what’s going through my mind right now,” he said.
“It’s great. It’s tough, and it’s great. Two things in one,” Martin said after the game. “We’ve been together for many, many, many years. It’s just hard to see him not at third base. He’s been there for 40-plus years.”
Reaction to Jenk’s death was swift and numerous on social media.
Cascade baseball coach Roamn Hummel:
Monticello baseball coach Josh Soper:
Iowa City Liberty Activities Director Mike Morrison, whose West Delaware teams competed many times against Jenk and Beckman over the years probably said it best.
Very blessed to have called Coach Jenk a dear friend. One of the greatest competitors and friends you could find. He is a LEGEND! https://t.co/gy4PqB2T7I— Mike Morrison (@LibertyHS_AD) October 29, 2017
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