Saturday, October 22, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Xavier honoring 2006 state football champs

Xavier High School will welcome members of its 2006 Class 4A state championship football team Friday night during the district football game against Charles City at Saints Field.

A reception will be held in the Xavier commons/cafeteria beginning at 6 p.m. Friday. Memorabilia from the 2006 season will be on display in the commons through halftime of the varsity game.

Members of the 2006 team will be introduced at the conclusion of halftime festivities during the varsity game.

With a varsity roster size of 49 players, the Saints captured the crown of the largest class in the state with a perfect 13-0 record.

The 2006 season was filled with many memorable moments, including arguably one of the most thrilling plays in Iowa high school football playoff history in the state semifinal game against perennial power Bettendorf.

Xavier's Josh Lorenson forced a fumble in the waning minutes of a tied game, and the fumble was recovered by Xavier's David Drahozal and returned 95 yards for a Saints touchdown. The play would come to be known in the Xavier community as the "Immaculate Recovery," propelling the Saints to a 21-14 victory over the Bulldogs.


Barish, Miller anchor Xavier D-Line

It's always nice when the opposing coach has something good to say about your players before a big game.

That's what happened this past Friday night when Benton Community football coach Kal Goodchild told Xavier Coach Duane Schulte that he was really impressed with defensive tackles Zach Barish and Lucas Miller from watching them on tape.

"He mentioned how impressive he was with these two guys," Schulte related, "and hopefully rightfully so."

Barish, who stands 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, and Miller, who measures 5-11 and 225, are both seniors and two-year starters for the Saints. They give Xavier a physical presence in the middle of the defensive line, a key ingredient for any successful team.

"They're an integral part of what we do," said Schulte, whose Saints are ranked No. 1 in Class 3A heading into Friday night's home game with Charles City. "They're hard-nosed, bulldog-type kids that have a lot of grit to them. They try to get after it and play good, solid old-fashioned football."

Interior defensive linemen usually go unnoticed by fans, but rival coaches spend a lot of time analyzing an opponent and Goodchild obviously liked what he saw on tape. He probably was just as impressed with them in Xavier's 47-14 victory over the Bobcats in Van Horne.

The players like to be noticed, but don't let it go to their heads.

"I appreciate all the comments we got from him," said Barish. "It gives us a little bit of confidence."


Richards family excels in volleyball

When it comes to premier volleyball in Cedar Rapids these days, it's hard to top the Richards family and the three talented sisters who are playing at Kirkwood and Xavier.

Madsy Richards, a sophomore at Kirkwood, leads the fourth-ranked Eagles in kills and was named the national junior college player of the week for Sept. 5 through Sept. 11.

Charlotte Richards, a junior at Xavier, leads the sixth-ranked Saints in kills and is one of the top players in the state. And Olivia Richards, a sophomore at Xavier, has helped the Saints win all 15 of their matches this season.

"It's really cool," Madsy Richards said Wednesday night after Kirkwood swept Ellsworth, 25-14, 25-18, 25-18, for its 13th straight victory. "This year both teams are doing really well.

"Xavier is having a phenomenal year and they have a new coach (Austin Filer). I think they're really enjoying that and all the new stuff he brings to the program.

"And at Kirkwood we're doing really well. Our chemistry is really good and we're just taking care of business."


Hayden & Kirk trump the Cyclone 7

IOWA CITY - I was sitting in the fancy press box at Kinnick Stadium Saturday night, watching the Iowa Hawkeyes dismantle Iowa State 42-3, and got to wondering why the Hawkeyes have been a national power for much of the last four decades and why the Cyclones have not been able to sustain any great success during all that time.

Why have two state-supported schools that play in Power 5 conferences have such vastly different track records in football?

The obvious answers, of course, are Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz, Iowa's two highly successful head coaches over the past 38 years who have won 60.7 percent of their games and taken the Hawkeyes to 27 bowl games, but are there additional reasons besides the obvious?

Fry went 143-89-6 in 20 years from 1979 to 1998, led the Hawks to 14 bowl games and used the force of his unique personality to lift Iowa football from the doldrums to great heights in a short period of time.

Ferentz, one of Fry's former assistants, assumed the mantle in 1999 and has led Iowa to a 129-87 mark and 13 bowl trips. Combined, they have a won-loss record of 272-176-6. And that's pretty darn good.

Iowa State, on the other hand, has gone through seven head coaches since 1979 and none of them can boast a winning record. In fact, none of them came even close.

Donnie Duncan went 18-24-2 from 1979 to 82, Jim Criner was 16-24-2 from 1983 to 1986, Jim Walden was 28-57-3 from 1987 through 1994, Dan McCarney was 56-85 from 1995 to 2006, Gene Chizik was 5-19 from 2007 to 2008, Paul Rhoads finished 32-55 from 2009 to 2015, and Matt Campbell is off to an 0-2 start in 2016.


No. 1 Saints roll by Benton, 47-14

VAN HORNE - Schulte pulled Schulte from the game in the third quarter and put Schulte in at quarterback instead.

Confused? Don't be. It was just Xavier rolling to an easy victory Friday night with Coach Duane Schulte and his sons - Bryce and Quinn - helping the Saints stay perfect at 3-0.

The top-ranked Saints dumped Benton Community, 47-14, in the Class 3A district opener in Van Horne with the defense and special teams making it easy for the offense.

Xavier had three touchdown drives - if you can call them drives - of 3 yards, 4 yards and 3 yards. Another drive went 25 yards, with all those easy scores courtesy of two long punt returns and two fumble recoveries.

Maliki Wilson, who led the state in rushing when the night began, broke loose for a 49-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but he carried the ball only five times for 59 yards.

The Saints led 41-0 midway through the third quarter, which allowed Coach Schulte to rest starting quarterback Bryce Schulte and give sophomore Quinn Schulte his first snaps behind center.

Schulte was able to clear his bench in the second half for the only time this season.


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