The Ottumwa Courier


November 20, 2013

Nathan Yeager breaks record with smarts, work ethic

ELDON — Anyway you spin it, it was a rough season for the Cardinal High football team.

The Comets finished the season with a record of 1-8 — one lonely 27-20 victory at Danville sandwiched in between a deluge of often lopsided losses.

But not all victories are measured by the numbers on a scoreboard, some or more subtle, more easy to miss. And, although effort doesn’t always translate into glossy statistics, no matter what the score, Cardinal always played hard.

And, perhaps no Comet embodied this never-give-up spirit more than junior inside linebacker Nathan Yeager.

“One thing that coaches told us was how hard our team played and I think our kids take that from Nathan,” Cardinal football coach Adam Hadenfeldt said. “He’s full speed at every rep.”

Whether Cardinals was winning by a razor-thin margin or losing by a landslide, Yeager’s style of play never wavered: He always played hard, really hard.

Yeager’s give a 100 percent 100 percent of the time mindset combined with a high football IQ allowed the Comets’ inside linebacker to break the school record in tackles this season with 135. Yeager broke the record in the team’s last game of the season, a lopsided 47-0 loss to West Branch.

“They watch film to decide our tackles, so I didn’t know until they watched film [if he’d broken the record],” Yeager said. “I thought about it, I wasn’t sure if I did or not, I knew I was close.”

The Comets’ inside linebacker said when he reached 100 tackles he started to realize that he had a real shot of breaking the record.

“It’s pretty important to me that I broke it,” Yeager said. “When I broke it I was pretty excited. It was a goal I made when I realized how close I was.”

Text Only
  • 0419 OTT Sports Hogue and McKay photo Big day for Hogue, McKay By KEVIN PINK IHCC Information Department Former IHCC teammates take part in ISU's big day at State Capitol Big day for Hogue, McKay

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports Ashley Salgado photo Former OHS star Salgado signs with Converse College OTTUMWA -- Former Ottumwa star athlete Ashley Salgado has signed her National Letter of Intent to play women's basketball at Converse College, a NCAA Division II institution in Spartansburg, SC. Salgado played two seasons at Marshalltown Community Co

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports IHCC baseball photo Falcons remain in first after sweep at Muscatine MUSCATINE — Friday provided the first-place Indian Hills baseball team with two very different games at Muscatine. Fortunately for the Falcons, the results were the same. IHCC remained tied atop the region with Iowa Western after sweeping the first t

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports IHCC golf photo Warrior golfers boast big lead at Illinois invite SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — After one round, the Indian Hills men's golf team boasts a 15-stroke lead in the Blue Boy Invitational Friday with a score of 296 strokes. Jakob Garstecki spearheaded the Warriors' success by firing the top score of the day at 72

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports softball color photo Warriors suffer sophomore day sweep to Southeastern OTTUMWA — Jim Overturf has been coaching junior college softball for over two decades. In that time, Overturf has seen over two decades worth of days dedicated to celebrating a departing class of sophomore players. In his experience, Overturf has see

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albia boys have record-setting night at Waukee WAUKEE — Alex Schultz turned in a pair of outstanding performances at what ended up being a record-setting night for the Albia boys track and field team at the Waukee Invitational. Competing as the lone Class 2A school against some elite competition,

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Sports Ottuwa Conference photo Ottumwa AD talks about possible conference change OTTUMWA — Tom Kopatich has plenty of experience with the Southeast Conference. Kopatich, the athletic director for Ottumwa High School, coached the Ottumwa football team when the Bulldogs belonged to the conference. So what does he think about a pos

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • On Tap Saturday Boys Soccer Ottumwa at Waterloo West Invitational, 9 a.m. Oskaloosa at Winterset Tournament, 10 a.m. College Golf Indian Hills at Buena Vista Spring Invitational (Storm Lake) College Baseball Indian Hills at Muscatine (DH), Noon College Softball Indi

    April 18, 2014

  • Ottumwa boys track ties for seventh in Urbandale URBANDALE — The Ottumwa boys track and field team tied for seventh place with Des Moines North at the Chuck Silvey Invitational at Urbandale Thursday with 11 points. The Bulldog boys 4x400 team of Roger Cruz, Matt Moreland, Jalen Strunk and Osha Wyl

    April 18, 2014

  • Clarification Clarification: The Ottumwa boys tennis team competes at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Dan Staggs Courts against Ankeny.

    April 18, 2014

NCAA Tournament Scoreboard
Sports photo reprints