116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Not every event is a major happening. Not every championship brings riches or rings.
But it doesn’t mean these events and these titles are less important to those involved. Quite the contrary. We all do things, accomplish things that are just as important to us as winning a Masters green jacket or a Super Bowl ring to others.
As we’re firmly entrenched in the dog days of summer — you know, the in-between before high school and college sports kick into high gear again — let’s take a look at some things happening right now in Cedar Rapids.
- The Golden State Warriors may have won the NBA championship, but they have nothing on the Cedar Rapids Sizzlers.
This Granny Basketball team defeated the defending champion Harpers Ferry Fireflies, 43-38, in the league’s national tournament last weekend in Kansas City.
There were a record 20 teams representing six states — Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and, of course, Iowa — in the 6-on-6 tournament for women 50 and over.
The Sizzlers actually avenged a loss to the Fireflies in last year’s title tilt. The Sizzlers also won national titles in 2019 and 2015.
The Fireflies are kind of a dynasty with four national titles — 2021, 2018, 2017 and 2016. These two teams have met in the championship game at three straight tournaments.
“I am so happy, so proud, and so honored to be part of a team of individuals who are so creative, so committed, so flexible, so smart, and so talented, all of which led to our championship,” player Diana Marker said in a release.
The 2023 national tournament is coming to Iowa, July 14-16 at Luther College in Decorah.
- The Pro Football Hall of Fame is a big deal, taking place in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday with men like Dick Vermeil, Cliff Branch and Sam Mills among the honorees.
Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids will honor its past stars on Friday with its annual “Wall of Fame.”
This year’s honorees are Steve Carlson, Rick Hall, Bob Harris, Billy Moyer and Coonrod Wrecker and Crane.
Carlson, from West Salem, Wis., won the Miller 100 a record five times — 1996, ’97, ’01, ’07 and ’08. He also won the late model points championship in 2008.
Hall, who died in a race accident in 1981 at the age of 22, won a Hawkeye Downs track championship on the “quarter midget track,” located next to Sixth Street in the northeast corner of the grounds.
Harris was a driver and chassis builder who has been involved in racing for more than 40 years. The “Harris modified chassis have won over 10,000 feature races ... multiple track championships in IMCA, NASCAR, UMP, USMTS and WISSOTA and have won championships titles in regional, national and super nationals,” according to his HOF bio.
Moyer owns 847 feature wins since he started racing in 1977, including the Spring Fever 50 at Hawkeye Downs in 1981 and back-to back Miller 100s in 1987 and ’88.
Coonrod has supplied the wrecker service at Hawkeye Downs for their weekly races and special races and also sponsored some of the race cars on the Janey Racing Team.
- And, lastly, Cedar Rapids has hosted its share of national championships over the year, from NCAA wrestling to NAIA cross country and pretty much everything in between.
Starting Friday at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse is the USA Boccia National Championships.
There was a clinic Thursday, but team and pairs competition is Friday, followed by individual battles on Saturday and Sunday.
Boccia is a “precision ball sport, similar to bocce ... (it) is contested at local, national and international levels by athletes with severe physical disabilities. It was originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy but now includes athletes with other severe disabilities affecting motor skills.”
It became a Paralympic sport in 1984.
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