TABOR, Iowa — At 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, one might guess Dallas Franks is a thrower.
AJ Scarborough, not so much.
In fact, the Fremont-Mills senior looked out of place in the discus at the Drake Relays.
“We took a picture of the finalists, and he was the smallest one out there,” Franks joked.
The 6-1, 180-pound Scarborough just laughed.
“It's weird. I'm not that small of a dude,” he responded. “I look like I'm a midget out there. Come on, those guys are huge.”
A little good-natured ribbing isn't uncommon between the F-M teammates, a pair of all-staters who helped the Knights win their first football championship in the fall.
But when it comes to throwing, the duo is all business. They rank among Class 1-A's leaders.
“We practice even when we're hanging out on a weekend,” Franks said. “We push ourselves a lot even when we don't have to. We're just trying to make ourselves better.”
Scarborough is the 1-A leader in the discus heading into Thursday's state-qualifying meet in Corning. Franks ranks sixth in the discus and seventh in the shot put. Both went to Drake in the discus last month, with Scarborough earning F-M's first medal there by placing sixth.
The finish made him confident that he and Franks could compete at the state level.
“After seeing some of the kids we're going to throw against at Drake, we have a really good shot at going 1-2 in the state in discus,” Scarborough said. “You train, and you start to expect the best. You have to expect it to be great at it, I think.”
At last week's Corner Conference meet, they were. Franks won the shot put and finished second behind Scarborough in the discus. They helped F-M score 68 points in the field events.
Coach Mike Wood, whose Knights won the conference meet for the fifth straight year, said he's never seen two guys in the same event push each other the way his seniors do.
“It's a brotherhood for them,” he said. “It would be so easy to be jealous of each other and get into the ‘I'm going to outdo you,' which they do but they do it in a brotherly fashion.
“If somebody throws better than the other one night, he helps the other guy. They do a great job of analyzing each other. It's like they're coaching each other. It's fantastic.”
They're also actively rooting for one another. When asked at Drake about earning a medal, Scarborough first said he wished that Franks would've qualified for the finals with him.
“Because of throwing, I think we've become even better friends,” he said. “You're out here constantly working on it, and you build a relationship through that for sure. It's helped a lot.”
Although he expects to be in a tough field Thursday in Corning, Franks said his goal is to make it to state along with Scarborough. The winners at the qualifying meets in 1-A advance automatically. The next 12 best throws at those meets will also advance as wild cards.
Franks said a return trip to Des Moines would be a great way to end a senior year for the F-M throwers that started back in the fall with an unbeaten football season.
“It would be huge to cap off the end of our careers on the biggest stage you can get in high school track,” he said “It would be really nice.”