Thursday, December 08, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

No. 8 Eagles reach regional finals

The Kirkwood Eagles are the undefeated conference champions this year and the No. 1 seed for the regional volleyball tournament, but now they'll be hitting the road in pursuit of a spot in the national meet.

In some sports in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference, the No. 1 seed gets to host all of its events in regional competition. Volleyball is a different animal and Kirkwood Coach Jill Williams is not sure why.

"I can't explain it to you, because I don't understand it myself," she remarked Wednesday night.

Kirkwood swept Southeastern, 25-14, 25-19, 25-8, at Johnson Hall in a match that pitted the No. 1 seed against the No. 8 seed from the ICCAC.

But instead of playing for the regional title at home, the eighth-ranked Eagles (31-8) will face 16th-ranked DMACC (23-12) in what figures to be a nearly empty gym at Southwestern Community College in Creston this Saturday at noon.

Those are the conference and regional rules, so the Eagles will be making a three-hour trip to Creston to play for the regional title while DMACC will have a much shorter trip from its home in Boone.

The regional champion will claim a berth in the NJCAA Division II national tournament in Charlestown, W.Va., on Nov. 17-19 and that's the only thing that matters now.


Forsyth could be finished as L-M coach

There are growing signs that these could be the final days for Bob Forsyth as the head football coach at Linn-Mar High School.

Three sources have told the Metro Sports Report that Forsyth will be vacating the position following a year of turmoil in the football program.

Forsyth has not responded to an e-mail from the Metro Sports Report regarding his status with the Lions. Neither has Dr. Quintin Shepherd, the Linn-Mar superintendent of schools.

Forsyth has compiled a 51-39 record in nine seasons at Linn-Mar, including a 3-6 mark this year, with five trips to the playoffs.

Five Linn-Mar families filed formal complaints about the football program with the school district following the 2015 season, charging that assistant coach Matt Casebolt bullied and harassed their sons and called people "show queers" if they participated in football and show choir. Two families claimed Casebolt physically abused their sons in weight-room incidents.

The families blamed Forsyth for enabling Casebolt's behavior with their sons. They also blamed Linn-Mar athletic director Scott Mahmens (now retired) and Linn-Mar Principal Jeff Gustason for not taking effective action to correct the alleged problems.

The Linn-Mar school district conducted an in-house investigation last winter and concluded there was not "sufficient evidence" to substantiate the charges. Mahmens and Gustason helped run the investigation, even though they were two of the accused.

At least 15 other families stepped forward with their own complaints, similar in nature to the original complaints from the five families who contacted the school district.


Young Saints roll to state volleyball

Austin Filer does not show a lot of emotion during Xavier volleyball matches, but the first-year head coach had to battle back some tears after the young Saints earned a spot in the Class 4A state tournament Monday night with another impressive performance.

Filer sat alone on the Xavier bench while his players celebrated on the floor at Ron Thillen Gymnasium, his face a little flushed and some moisture around the eyes.

The sixth-ranked Saints swept eighth-ranked Clinton, 25-11, 25-12, 25-22, to claim the fifth trip to the state tournament in school history and the first since 2012.

"It's been a great season," Filer said after collecting his thoughts. "It's great to know that it's not over, but it's always fun to hit goals. I'm really, really proud of my group tonight."

Xavier (31-9) will face Marion (34-9) in the quarterfinals of the state tournament next Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids. The semifinals are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10 at noon and the finals are Friday, Nov. 11 at 12:15 p.m.

Filer inherited a club that finished with a 15-22 record last season and completely turned things around despite having only two seniors on the varsity.

"It's a great feeling to have, just knowing that our team put everything out there and gave everything we have," said Charlotte Richards, the kills leader for the Saints as a junior. "Knowing that we're going to state now is a great feeling that I'll never forget."


Jones, Goedken join MSR softball league

Haley Jones from Coe College and Morgan Goedken from Wartburg are the latest collegiate athletes to join the new Iowa Women's Softball League that will begin play in 2017.

Fifteen players have now joined the program, representing NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA colleges.

Jones, a middle infielder, is currently a sophomore at Coe. She is the third Kohawk to join the summer league, joining Maddy Ryan and Mallory McArtor.

Jones was an all-conference and all-state shortstop during her prep career at Waterloo West.


Goedken, a catcher, is a sophomore at Wartburg. She played at Iowa City Regina and was named to the academic all-conference team.

The new Iowa Women's Softball League, which is being formed by the Metro Sports Report, is intended for all college players who are currently playing for schools in Iowa and for all Iowans who are playing at out-of-state schools.

The season will consist of 10 doubleheaders on Sunday afternoons next summer, beginning on Sunday, May 28 and running through Sunday, July 30. All of the games will be played at Kirkwood Community College and Coe College in Cedar Rapids, beginning at 2 p.m. each day.


Wilson shines as Saints belt Assumption

The Xavier Saints are always looking to improve, but if they get much better than this it's going to get downright scary.

The second-ranked Saints exploded for touchdowns on their first six possessions in the first half Friday night and clobbered Davenport Assumption, 52-20, in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs at Saints Field.

Xavier (10-0) will host Waverly-Shell Rock (7-3) in the quarterfinals next Friday. The Saints whipped the Go-Hawks, 42-0, in the seventh game of the regular season three weeks ago.

Xavier tailback Maliki Wilson galloped for 230 yards and scored four touchdowns on runs of 4, 69, 7 and 62 yards, giving the mercurial senior 1,665 yards for the campaign. And pinpoint passer Bryce Schulte was on the money again for 172 yards and two TD strikes to Nolan Butkowski in the easy victory.

Schulte broke another of his older brother's passing records with 4,061 career yards, snapping Reggie Schulte's old mark of 4,002.

The Saints led, 42-6, midway through the second quarter and it was time for the congregation to pass in the song books, because this service was over.

"It was just all clicking tonight," Wilson said after the romp on a balmy night, "and hopefully it continues on like that."

Xavier led 45-6 at halftime and it quickly became 52-6 in the first minute of the second half when Wilson broke loose for his 62-yard touchdown.


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