116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Larry Niemeyer Appreciation Night Friday at Hawkeye Downs
Hawkeye Downs Speedway will honor a long-time Cedar Rapids Jefferson softball and girls basketball coach Friday.
According to Hawkeye Downs Race Promoter Mike Becker, this week's points races will be "Larry Niemeyer Appreciation Night" at the track. Niemeyer and members of his family will attend the races, and the country's winningest prep softball coach honored during intermission in front of the grandstands. Pre-race ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. with heat races starting at 7:30.
"We just want Larry and his family know there are some of us in the Cedar Rapids area that realize how valuable he has been," Becker said in an email, "both to the kids and the fans alike."
According to the story by The Gazette's Jeff Linder, Niemeyer was contacted at the end of last week and was told his contract would not be renewed after 52 total softball seasons. The 74-year-old, has tallied a record of 2,089-429 in 52 softball seasons. He won four state championships – the 1970 fall title at Adel, then crowns at Jefferson in 1983, 1997 and 1998.
"He has been such an awesome coach for so long," said Becker, who had two sisters coached by Niemeyer. "I just wanted to give a tribute to the man."
Becker said anyone wearing a Cedar Rapids Jefferson J-Hawks sports jersey or apparel will be admitted free to the races. He also encourages athletes, parents and coaches from other schools who competed against Niemeyer and his teams to attend.
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