Sports briefs

Newton Kansan

Bethel seeks

HOF nominees

Bethel College is seeking nominees for the 2020 Bethel College Athletics Hall of Fame.

According to the release from the college, “Criteria for nominations include those having made a significant impact for Bethel Athletics as a student-athlete, a coach, an administrator, an entire team during a season of play, or supportive alumni or community members.”

Bethel began the Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999. The 2019 class included Angela Brodhagen (women's tennis), Katrina Brodhagen (women's tennis), Mel Goering (football, men's track and field, meritorious service) and Brandon Kaufman (football).

Nomination forms can be found at or at

“When filling out nominations, please include any awards, statistical achievements, milestones, pieces of history, or anything applicable as to why the nominee deserves this recognition. All criteria for nominations are listed on the form.”

They can be mailed or e-mailed. All needed contact information should be included in the nomination forms.

They should be returned to Bethel AD Tony Hoops ( or assistant AD/sports information director Josh Booth ( by June 5.

Poi named

Ashe winner

WINFIELD — Franco Poi of Southwestern College was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award winner at the NAIA level for the 2020 season.

According to the release, “This prestigious award, which dates back to 1982, is presented to men's and women's student-athletes who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements in ways that embody the legacy of tennis icon and humanitarian Arthur Ashe Jr.”

Poi also was named the Ashe Award winner for the Central Region, which made him eligible for the national award.

A senior from Cordoba, Argentina, Poi helped lead Southwestern to 14-3 record last season, 9-0 in conference play. Southwestern finished the season ranked 20th in the NAIA poll, the highest finish ever for the team.

The team was 8-2 this season, ending the season just before the start of conference play because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Poi is a two-time KCAC Player of the Year and has been ranked nationally in each of the four years he’s played at Southwestern.

He held an internship with USTA Texas and volunteered with children’s clinics. He has been an ITA Scholar-Athlete each year.

He also was named SC’s Most Outstanding Student-Athlete for 2020.

"No one deserves this prestigious honor more than Franco," SC coach Jason Speegle said. "He is the epitome of hard work, class, excellence, and leadership. He has presented himself and our program positively in every way over the past four years. I am proud and honor to have had the opportunity to coach him."

Teammate Ryan Fung was named the ITA Central Region Rookie of the Year. Sheldon Hawthorne was named the ITA Central Region Most Improved Senior.

Kansas Wesleyan received the ITA Central Region Community Service Award.

Junior nationals


FARGO, N.D. — The 2020 U.S. Marine Corps Junior and 16U National Championships, scheduled for July 17 to 24 at the Fargodome, have been canceled by USA Wrestling.

A number of Newton High School and other area wrestlers have competed in the tournament in recent years.

This year would have been the 50th Junior National Tournament.

According to a release from USA Wrestling, “With input from its state leadership as well as its COVID-19 Special Committees, USA Wrestling believes that this is the responsible thing to do in order to maintain the long term viability of the sport. As has been the case since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the health and safety of USA Wrestling members and the entire wrestling community remains the No. 1 priority for the organization.

“Based upon information currently available, it was not feasible or prudent to host a major national championship in July, where participants will come from all different areas in the nation, many of which have vastly different local situations concerning COVID-19. High-performance experts indicate that it takes up to eight weeks to prepare for high-level competition, a factor which also went into the decision.”

According to the release, USA Wrestling postponed or canceled 21 national or regional events this year because of the COVID-19 outbreak. That included the Kansas USA Wrestling Kids Folkstyle Wrestling Championships scheduled for mid-March in Topeka.