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“Home Sweet Dome” — a new book by award-winning Iowa sports writers Craig Sesker and Doug Newhoff — chronicles Iowa high school football during the playoff era.

In the heat of August training camp, high school football players across the state of Iowa dream of playing inside the climate-controlled UNI-Dome in November.

A new book by award-winning sports writers Craig Sesker and Doug Newhoff chronicles many of those dreams, as well as a few heartbreaks, since the Iowa High School Athletic Association began its relationship with the University of Northern Iowa’s iconic stadium in Cedar Falls.

“Home Sweet Dome: Iowa High School Football During the Playoff Era” provides a comprehensive look at 34 high school programs who have been synonymous with the UNI-Dome. It also includes chapters on some of the state’s brightest stars — Kurt Warner, Dallas Clark, Bryce Paup, Reggie Roby, Robert Gallery, and former Maquoketa High School and Iowa State University standout quarterback Sage Rosenfels.

The 560-page book includes 44 chapters, more than 100 photos and interviews with nearly 100 players, coaches and others who have made football under the Friday night lights so memorable over the years.

Sesker and Newhoff covered many of the programs and individuals featured in the book, which took more than a year to compile.

Sesker began his sports writing career in 1988 and has worked at the Burlington Hawk Eye, Omaha World-Herald and Waterloo Courier. Newhoff has been associated with the Waterloo Courier since 1976, the first year the UNI-Dome began hosting the high school football playoffs.

“It’s more than a history of Iowa high school football’s best programs and players in the playoff era,” the authors said in a release for the book. “This is a book about heartwarming successes but also heartbreaking failures. It’s about why competitive sports, and football in particular, matter. It’s football through the eyes of those who coached it, played it and lived it.”

“Home Sweet Dome” is available for purchase at www.domeplayoffs.com or by sending a check or money order for $35, which includes shipping, to: Home Sweet Dome, 5407 Glacier Dr., Cedar Falls, Iowa, 50613. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the Ed Thomas Family Foundation.

EAST DUBUQUE BASKETBALL TEAM HONORED FOR ACADEMICS

The East Dubuque High School boys basketball team received recognition as the highest academic achieving team from its Illinois legislative district, according to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.

Illinois includes seven legislative districts, and the IBCA honors the three boys and girls programs with the highest cumulative grade point average in each district. East Dubuque posted the highest GPA in Division 4.

Team members included: seniors Braedyn Budde, Cole Heller, Will Kieffer, Reed Kluesner, Jon Montag, Delcan Schemmel, Payton Theill and Ben Tressel; juniors Sam Bowman, Dawson Feyen, Zach Freiburger, Sam Huntington, Brevin Lee, Connor Miller, Andy Montag, Ben Montag, Eben Sertle, Sam Stewart and Brody Tashner.

IOWA PREP CROSS COUNTRY QUALIFIERS SET

The Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union on Monday announced the 23 sites for the state cross country qualifying meets. Area runners will likely be assigned to Cedar Rapids Kennedy or Pleasant Valley in Class 4A; Decorah or Solon in Class 3A; Anamosa, Dike-New Hartford or Williamsburg in Class 2A; and Cascade or Clayton Ridge in Class 1A.

The Class 3A and 4A state qualifiers will take place Wednesday, Oct. 20, and the Class 2A and 1A qualifiers will run the following day. Fort Dodge will host the Class 3A and 4A state meet on Friday, Oct. 29, and the Class 1A and 2A state meet the following day.

Team assignments and meet information for each site will be released the week of October 11. The IHSAA and IGHSAU do not charge admission for state qualifying meets, but host sites may apply parking fees.

EPWORTH SEMI-PRO TEAM DONATES TO MIRACLE LEAGUE

The Epworth Orioles semi-pro baseball team will present a check for $2,500 to the Miracle League of Dubuque during a special ceremony at 6:30 p.m. tonight. The presentation will take place at the Miracle League of Dubuque Complex, which is located at 2970 Miracle League Dr. at Veteran’s Memorial Park.

The Orioles hosted a 75th anniversary celebration of the Prairie League in July at Centennial Park in Epworth. Proceeds from the event were earmarked for the Miracle League.

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jim.leitner@thmedia.com

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