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Iowa History Daily: August 3 - Norway's Final Season

Iowa History Daily: On August 3, 1991, the Norway High School baseball team captured the 1A Iowa High School State Baseball Championship. The legendary program won twenty state titles, and the come-from-behind 1991 victory represented the final season for the historic program.

Leading into the season, local officials announced Norway High School would close and consolidate with nearby Benton Community High School in Van Horne. Legendary Head Baseball Coach Jim Van Scoyoc led the program starting in 1972. Filling the shoes of former coaches Pinky Primrose and Bernie Hutchinson, Van Scoyoc led the program to twelve state titles.

When officials finalized the consolidation, Van Scoyoc resigned and took a job in the Detroit Tigers organizations after Benton failed to offer him a teaching contract. Newly hired assistant Kent Stock stepped in to lead the program for a challenging final season. With a Des Moines Register reporter on hand for the duration of the season, and a number of other difficult circumstances made Norway’s final state title run unlikely.

However, on August 3, 1991, Stock found himself managing the team in the state title game against South Clay Gillett Grove. As the game progressed things slowly started to look grim. Down by a run in the final inning with two outs and nobody on, Kyle Schmidt quickly found himself in an 0-2 count. However, Norway managed to tie the game before winning in extra innings to cap off a final season to remember.

The 2007 film starring Sean Astin as Kent Stock “The Final Season,” as well as the Norway Baseball Museum help to carry on the memory of the incredible team going out as champions. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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