Workers unveil the name of the new football stadium at the Saling Athletic Complex, Epperly Field. Photo by Jason Selby
Former Wayne gridiron coach Paul Epperly stood on the infield track and watched workers pull down the cover over the south scoreboard, revealing the name of the Falcons’ new football venue: Epperly Field, at the Saling Athletic Complex. His wife, Pat, and captains of the current football team, Blayde Baker, Ridge Downard, Carson and Clayton Kiefer stood with him on Aug. 29, before the Falcons overcame the soggy sod and the Eagles of Ankeny Christian Academy, 50-13.
The weather called for a conservative offense, and the Kiefer brothers saw most of the carries on a rainy night. The Falcons finished with 217 yards on 28 carries. Sep 2, 2014, 11:08
Wayne Falcons head football coach Bart Elliott demonstrates what it takes to win for Stetson Baker, 20, and Ben Saunders. Photo by Jason Selby
The Wayne Falcons football team began practice on Aug. 11 with big expectations—and a new field—where fans can watch those hopes play out in style. The start is humble, however, as the young men run 40-yard wind sprints on the outfield grass of the little league baseball diamond south of Shivvers Manufacturing. Perhaps this will help to keep the players’ heads out of the clouds and in the trenches, where all of the work is done, and where no game should be considered a given.
Assistant Coach Mike Mattly drills his kids for the new season, patiently explaining the difference between filling the A gap and the B gap on defense. Then more wind sprints. A humble beginning. Aug 15, 2014, 10:48
Breanna Fortune gets a high five from her mom, head coach Heather Fortune, after hitting a 2-run homer to deep centerfield. Photo by Jason Selby
Last Monday in Chariton, Wayne won their regional final against Mount Ayr, 14-2 in 3 innings, to advance to the state tournament for the 3rd time since 2010.
“The girls came in very focused, with only one thing on their mind, and that was to win big,” head coach Heather Fortune said. “When we lost the coin flip and drew visitors, our thought was to make sure we scored first. We hit the ball well, and following a couple errors in the first inning we settled down and played ball.”
The Lady Falcons romped thanks to a dominant offensive performance, a welcome return with the state tournament awaiting them. Wayne hit 3 homeruns and just missed a couple more. Jul 18, 2014, 10:55
Kenton Lain slaps one of his two hits against the Cards. Photo by Jenny Nickell
On Tues., July 15, in the first round of the playoffs, Wayne trailed at Central Decatur after 3 innings, 7-2. After Trent Moore stepped in for senior pitcher C.D. Kunzie, the Falcons almost rallied to victory, coming up a run short in the final inning, 7-6.
Kunzie was hurt by some untimely errors, giving up 3 earned runs in 4 innings of work while walking none and striking out 3 Cardinals. Moore bounced back from control issues in his previous outing to allow no hits and no runs in 3 innings, striking out 3. The right-hander finished the season with an impressive 1.21 ERA. Jul 18, 2014, 08:23
Gabriella Buban watches the softball sail high for a ball. Photo by Jason Selby
After struggling at the plate against Moravia, the Lady Falcons walked 15 times in Friday’s 8-0 win against Moravia to advance to the regional final in Chariton. Breanna Fortune drew 4 of those walks, and struck out 15 batters while only allowing 1 hit and 1 walk during a complete game shutout.
“I was glad to see the girls come back strong offensively after Wednesday night’s game,” head coach Heather Fortune said. “They came in to practice and pre-game very focused and ready to play ball.” Jul 13, 2014, 16:56