Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Shepherd: 'Safe to assume' personnel changes

The superintendent of the Linn-Mar school district said Thursday there could be personnel changes at Linn-Mar High School as a result of the ongoing state investigation into the school's football program.

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BoEE) is currently investigating charges that Linn-Mar families have filed against assistant football coach Matt Casebolt, head coach Bob Forsyth, retiring athletic director Scott Mahmens and principal Jeff Gustason.

"I think it would be safe to assume that we could expect some personnel changes moving forward next year," Dr. Quintin Shepherd, the Linn-Mar superintendent, told the Metro Sports Report Thursday morning.

Shepherd declined to specify what the personnel changes might be, citing due process and privacy rights of employees, but said the school district is making contingency plans to replace personnel if and when the time comes.

"We are in the process of doing what we need to do as a district to try and forestall any detrimental impact on the program in the middle of the season," he remarked. "We're always trying to put ourselves in position in the district where we don't react to something that an outside entity might do to us, but that we're responding to it in a way that's pro-active.

"If we can position our program now, whatever the BoEE does hopefully won't impact our program or our kids, and that's what we're trying to do now."

Shepherd said he does not know when the BoEE will finish its investigation or what action the state board will take. "I have no sense at all of when it will be completed," he said.


Yegge's Prairie Hawks sweep Saints

Cedar Rapids Prairie softball coach Joe Yegge saw a lot of familiar faces in the Xavier dugout Wednesday night during their doubleheader at Xavier.

Yegge is also the highly successful coach at Kirkwood Community College, and he sees former players and former assistants at a variety of stops during the high school season.

Xavier head coach Nikki Gahring used to work for Yegge at Kirkwood, Xavier assistant coach Kristen Winter played for Yegge at Kirkwood and is now one of his assistants during the college softball season, and new Xavier assistant coach Maddie Hansen was an All-American catcher for the Eagles this past season when they finished fifth in the country.

"Nikki was my right-hand man for three years, Kristen was basically my right-hand man this year going into the national tournament and Maddie had a great year for us," Yegge said. "It is kind of neat.

"It's pretty cool to see that those guys are out there doing it. It must say we're doing something right and they love it."

Yegge got the upper hand on his friends at Xavier Wednesday as the Hawks swept the Saints, 12-0 in four innings and 5-3 in the Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill.


Nearad named JUCO national player of year

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Taylor Nearad of Kirkwood Community College has been named the inaugural Schutt Sports/NFCA Junior College National Player of the Year for all divisions, the Association announced on Wednesday afternoon.

The award was voted on by members of the NFCA’s Junior College All-American and Coaching Staff committees, which are comprised of NJCAA I, II & III, Cal JC and NWAC.

Near the top of every offensive category in NJCAA Division II this season, Nearad was named a first-team NFCA All-American and led the nation with 145 hits, 129 RBIs, 30 home runs and 114 runs scored.

She hit at a .602 clip, which was third-highest in the country, while her .622 on-base percentage ranked fourth. In addition to her long balls, she stroked 31 doubles and 11 triples, which contributed to the third-highest slugging percentage in NJCAA II (1.195). The speedy outfielder also displayed her talents on the base paths, swiping 34 bags.


Meyers has some good stories to tell

Forty years from now, Sam Meyers will be able to tell his grand-kids about the night he battled the great Spencer VanScoyoc and was able to leave the ballpark with a smile.

Meyers nearly hit a home run against the Cedar Rapids Jefferson star Monday night for the Xavier Saints in the second game of their doubleheader, settling for a long double off the left-field fence at the Jefferson field that missed being a home run by only a few feet.

Later in the game, Meyers struck out VanScoyoc with a high fastball for a rare whiff of one of the top high school players in the country.

VanScoyoc later got revenge against Meyers with a two-run homer that may or may not have landed by now, but Meyers might conveniently forget to tell his grand-kids about that part of the evening.

"Yeah," he said, smiling. "We'll keep that a secret."

Meyers and the Xavier Saints did not get any victories against VanScoyoc and the sixth-ranked J-Hawks, but they continued to show improvement in their 5-2 and 9-5 setbacks in a Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill.

VanScoyoc, a star pitcher and hitter, was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 19th round of the Major League draft last week and has a scholarship to Arizona State in his back pocket if he decides to attend college instead of turning pro.


Fairfax, Norway sweep IVL doubleheaders

Fairfax and Norway swept their Iowa Valley League doubleheaders on Sunday, lifting their records to 4-2 after three weeks of the season.

Fairfax swept Williamsburg, 2-1 in eight innings and 5-0. Norway swept Walford, 6-1 and 4-2.


FAIRFAX - Zach Daniels hit a single and scored the winning run on an RBI single by Cody Bell in the bottom of the eighth inning as Fairfax trimmed Williamsburg, 2-1, in the first game of their doubleheader.

Tyler Koningsmark pitched the first five innings for Fairfax, allowing one run on four hits. David Yancey tossed three scoreless innings in relief for the victory.

Fairfax took a 1-0 lead in the second inning of the opener. Daniels had a base hit, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Jimmy Lizarraga. Williamsburg tied the score, 1-1, in the fifth inning on a single by Garrett Saunders and an RBI double by Nolan Arp.


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