OSKALOOSA— This week, the Herald catches up with Anna Jones and Drew Sams.
Anna Jones attends Coe College in Cedar Rapids Iowa. She plays softball for the Kohawks and finished her first year back in May. She graduated from Oskaloosa in 2018.
When asked why she chose Coe College she said, she visited a couple of schools like Iowa Western in Council Bluffs.
“I just wasn’t really liking them," she said. "And then when I visited Coe, it was just kind of a feeling like, 'oh I love it here, I have to go here' and the coach is awesome and I love the team and school. Also, the campus is small enough where I can get to places in five minutes by walking but it isn’t too small either. I just love the campus size."
In high school, Jones played softball all four years, ran track for one year, and played basketball for one year.
Jones decided to play softball in college because she couldn’t imagine her life without it.
“I mean sometimes I say 'I hate this and don’t really want to be here' but in the long run," she said, "I don’t really know what I would have done all year if I wouldn’t have played softball."
Jones gave a little update on how the first year went for her at Coe.
“My first year went really well. I played in the majority of the games and I was playing right field," she said. "I had a great year and met a lot of new friends. I was a little scared going in but that only lasted about a week.”
As a team, they had a great year. Their record was 33-11.
“We got second in the conference losing to central in the conference tournament but got a draw for regionals. We had two girls that were All Americans,” she said. “We started out really strong, we didn’t end as strong as we started but especially from a freshman point of view, we had a lot of accomplishments."
She said the difference between playing college softball and high school softball is the intensity level.
“In high school, you didn’t have to win the conference to get into regional play, but in college every single game is important and you have to win the conference to get into regional play or just get a wild card," she said. "The intensity is a lot higher and the pressure is a lot higher. You have to be more mentally strong in college then you had to be in high school.”
In high school, Jones played right field for two years and then center for two years. In college, she is playing right field.
Her favorite memory from high school was when she was a sophomore and it involves Aubrey Miller.
“There was a bee in the dugout when we were playing DCG and I was trying to swat it and I hit it, and I hit it right at Aubrey Miller and it stung her right before the game started. I was trying not to laugh because I knew that it hurt and I hit her with a bee, but I just couldn’t control myself, it was just so funny.”
Her favorite memory from college so far is when she was to Myrtle Beach during spring break with the team.
“On the last day we just all hung out and had fun and after playing 13 games straight, it was just really nice," she said. "It was also really our first outing and first time playing together as a new team so just that whole trip at Myrtle Beach was just so much fun.”
Jones is majoring in kinesiology which is the study of the mechanics of body movement and within that, she is going to go into the physical education route, with career paths like teaching PE or health or coaching.
Her plans for the future are to return to Coe College and finish her academic and athletic career there.
“I really like it a lot and I am hoping to maybe live in Cedar Rapids or somewhere around there and work at a school because Cedar Rapids is getting a new school here pretty soon so that will be a really good opportunity for me to work there.”
Drew Sams has two years under his belt at Graceland University. Sam wrestles for the Yellowjackets and graduated from Oskaloosa in 2017.
When asked why he chose Graceland University he said, “I choose Graceland because of the atmosphere there. The team felt more like a family.”
In high school, Sams wrestled and played football all four years, and played baseball and golf for a few years.
He decided to wrestle in college because it was the sport he excelled at the most.
“I've been doing it my whole life and it's been the sport I've been best at,” he said.
In high school, Sams placed seventh at the Iowa State Tournament in his junior year, qualified for the Iowa State Tournament all four years and collected 145 career wins.
This past year Sams wrestled at 165. The year before that he wrestled at 157 and then his senior year of high school he wrestled at 145.
The first couple of years for Sams and Graceland have gone really well.
“I have been varsity both years. I am a two-time national qualifier in my first two years and my record is around 60-20.”
The difference between playing a college sport and high school sport, to Sams, is time.
“In college, you have to dedicate a lot more time for your sport," he said. "You have to get workouts in, the workouts start as soon as you get on campus and go until you get off campus, so it's just more dedication.”
His favorite memory in high school wrestling for the Indians was when he placed at state his junior year.
His favorite memory from college so far is, getting to qualify for Nationals at Willam Penn here in town.
Sams is majoring in Allied Health. His future plans are to finish his four years of wrestling at Graceland University and then get his Masters at Graceland. Once he gets his Masters Degree he then plans to get his doctorat of chiropractic.