Monday, August 31, 2015
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Kernels enjoy 23-3 romp over Peoria

Every minor leaguer's goal entering the season is to develop his game to the point where he earns a promotion to the next level in the system.

Sometimes, that call comes when a player has dominated play within his current league. Other times, circumstances align to create an opportunity for a player to move up the organizational ladder, at least temporarily.

Such circumstances allowed Cedar Rapids Kernels third baseman T.J. White to get a promotion to Fort Myers July 10, despite carrying just a .230 batting average at the time. But as the Miracle began to rack up injuries among their early-season regulars at the corner infield positions, White and catcher/first baseman Brett Doe both got the call to move up. By Aug. 4, White was back in a Kernels uniform for Manager Jake Mauer.

"Yeah, Jake pretty much let us know,” White recalled. “He said it could be four to five days, it could be two weeks or it could be the whole season. So we were looking to just go play and have fun with it.”

White is still having fun and has turned his season around. Through the weekend, he was carrying a .317 batting average since his return to the Kernels and had reached base in 20 straight games.


Kennedy swimmers sweep City High

The Cedar Rapids Kennedy girls swimming team opened the 2015 season in grand style Tuesday night by sweeping all 11 events in a 144-41 victory over Iowa City High at the Kennedy pool.

Jessica Williams was a four-time winner for the Cougars in the 200-yard medley relay, 100 fly, 100 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay.

Kirsten Siebenga, Kassidy Lovig and Darby Manternach were triple-champs for Kennedy. MacKinzee Macho and Maddie Bagby won two events.


Kirkwood spikes Grand View JV

Halle Lueck collected 37 assists and Erin Wenzel had 22 kills Tuesday night as the Kirkwood volleyball team topped the Grand View junior varsity, 3-1, at Johnson Hall.

Morgan Grimm had 16 digs and Madsy Richards had 10 digs for the Eagles. Natalie Demmel contributed 11 kills.

Kirkwood raised its record to 3-2.


Lions have chip on their shoulder

The standard equipment for the Linn-Mar football team this year includes a helmet, shoulder pads and a chip on their shoulder.

The Lions finished with a 9-2 record last season and reached the second round of the Class 4A playoffs, but almost all of the starters graduated and there are few recognizable "names" on the squad this year.

The expectations for this year's club might be fairly modest, at least among some fans and the general public, but the "no-name" Lions are determined to make a name for themselves.

"They've got a little chip on their shoulder," Coach Bob Forsyth said Wednesday before practice. "I hope they're hungry to make a name for themselves. This is their football team now.

"There was a lot of talk about what a great senior class we had last year, which we did," he said. "But that grates on you a little bit. They want to prove themselves.

"That's how we're coaching them and they're really responding well. They're pretty smart kids. So we're going to try and figure out what we can do to win."


Bliss brings 4 state titles to Prairie

Mark Bliss won 62 straight football games and four straight Class 3A state titles at Conway Springs High School in Kansas from 2001 to 2005, but he reluctantly walked away from that job for a very simple reason.

It had to do with basic family economics.

"It was hard, believe me. I could have stayed there the rest of my life," the new Cedar Rapids Prairie coach said Tuesday after practice. "But quite frankly, I have four daughters and I was only getting paid $38,000 a year."

Bliss heard about a better-paying job at a new high school in Naples, Fla., and went for it.

"It was double my salary and free insurance," he said. "So when you're almost borderline food-stamps, you basically have to do the right thing and better your family. So when that job came open in Florida I took advantage of it."

Bliss, 51, grew up in Oklahoma and has coached in Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Florida, Missouri and now Iowa. He came to Prairie from a high school in Ozark, Mo., where he made three straight trips to the playoffs.


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Metro Schedule

Sunday, Aug. 30 Friday, Sept. 4
MWL: Kernels 7, Peoria 3 MWL: Kernels at Wisconsin, 6:35 p.m.
WGLF: Mount Mercy Invitational at Hunters Ridge HSFB: Jefferson at Prairie, 7:15 p.m.
WSOC: Crimson Wave Invitational: Mount Mercy 2, St. Mary-of-the-Woods 1 HSFB: Kennedy at Washington, 7:15 p.m.
MSOC: Calumet St. Joseph (Ind.) Tournament: Mount Mercy 2, Marian 1 HSFB: Linn-Mar at Pleasant Valley, 7:15 p.m.
HSFB: Davenport Assumption at Xavier, 7:15 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 31 HSFB: Marion at Washington (Iowa), 7:30 p.m.
MWL: Kernels at Peoria, 7 p.m. HSFB: Cedar Valley Christian at Clarksville, 7 p.m.

CVB: Marshalltown at Kirkwood, 4 p.m.; Wartburg at Kirkwood, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 1 CVB: Mount Mercy at Waldorf Invitational
MWL: Kernels at Peoria, 7 p.m. CVB: Coe at Northwestern Tournament in Minneapolis
HSVB: Iowa City West at Jefferson, 7 p.m. WSOC: Coe at Knox, 4 p.m.
HSVB: Linn-Mar at Kennedy, 7 p.m. WSOC: Mount Mercy at Purdue-Calumet, 1 p.m.
HSVB: Washington at Iowa City High, 7 p.m. WGLF: Coe at Sail Classic in Cedar Falls, 10 a.m.
HSVB: Prairie at Xavier, 7 p.m.
GSWM: Kennedy at Jefferson, 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5
GSWM: Cedar Falls at Linn-Mar, 6 p.m. MWL: Clinton at Kernels, 6:35 p.m.
B/GCC: Marion at Williamsburg Invitational, 4:45 p.m. CFB: Wheaton at Coe, 1 p.m.
B/GCC: Jefferson at Iowa Mennonite Invitational, 5 p.m. B/GCC: Jefferson, Kennedy, Washington, Xavier at Linn-Mar Invitational, 8 a.m.
M/WCC: Mount Mercy Gallop, Seminole Valley, 6:30 p.m. B/GCC: Prairie at Pleasant Valley Invitational, 8:30 p.m.
MSOC: Lawrence at Coe, 5 p.m. GSWM: Linn-Mar at Muscatine Invitational, 10 a.m.
WSOC: Coe at Clarke, 5 p.m. MSOC: Coe at Illinois College, 7 p.m.
CVB: Augustana at Coe, 7:30 p.m. MSOC: Mount Mercy vs. Dakota Wesleyan at Dubuque, 11 a.m.

WGLF: Coe at Sail Classic in Cedar Falls, 10 a.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 2 WGLF: Mount Mercy at Highland Classic, 11 a.m.
MWL: Kernels at Wisconsin, 6:35 p.m. WTEN: Coe at Buena Vista, 9 a.m.; Coe vs. Midland at Storm Lake, 12:30 p.m.
CVB: Kirkwood at Iowa Lakes, 7 p.m. CVB: Mount Mercy at Waldorf Invitational
CVB: Mount Mercy vs. Simpson at Mount Pleasant, 6 p.m.; Mount Mercy at Iowa Wesleyan, 8 p.m. CVB: Coe at Northwestern Tournament in Minneapolis
MSOC: St. Ambrose at Mount Mercy, 5 p.m. WSOC: Coe vs. Blackburn at Galesburg, Ill., 5:30 p.m.
WTEN: Wisconsin-Whitewater at Coe, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 6
Thursday, Sept. 3 MWL: Clinton at Kernels, 2:05 p.m.
MWL: Kernels at Wisconsin, 6:35 p.m. MSOC: Coe vs. Lakeland at Jacksonville, Ill., 3 p.m.
BGLF: Jefferson, Xavier at MVC meet, Pleasant Valley, 3 p.m. MSOC: Mount Mercy vs. Waldorf at Dubuque, 4 p.m.
BGLF: Kennedy, Washington, Prairie at MVC meet at Airport National, 3:15 WSOC: Coe at Rockford, 1 p.m.
BGLF: Linn-Mar at MVC meet, Gates Park, 3:15 p.m. WTEN: Coe at Cornell, 2 p.m.
HSVB: GMC at Cedar Valley Christian, 6:15 p.m. WGLF: Mount Mercy at Highland Classic, 9  a.m.
HSVB: Vinton-Shellsburg at Marion, 7:30 p.m.
B/GCC: Kennedy at Iowa City Regina Invitational, 4:30 p.m.
GSWM: Dubuque Wahlert at Washington, 6 p.m.
CBSB: Black Hawk at Kirkwood, 2 p.m.

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