Friday, October 21, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Schulte welcomes new role with Saints

Bryce Schulte established himself as Xavier's top quarterback two years ago when he was only a sophomore, but now he's excited about playing an even bigger role with the Saints this season as a senior.

Schulte has been getting a good look in preseason drills as a "rover" on defense, working as a hybrid strong safety and linebacker in certain situations.

"We're going to put him where we need him, and that includes defense," Xavier Coach Duane Schulte said Friday night after the Saints had a scrimmage with Western Dubuque.

The Saints host Iowa City Regina in the season opener Friday night at 7 in a battle of Catholic school powers.

Bryce Schulte, the head coach's son, welcomes the opportunity to play defense in his final year at Xavier.

"The past two years I've practiced defense before the first week of the season," he said. "Last year I played on one drive versus Assumption and then I got pulled. And I went in a couple times over the year when guys got hurt."

His playing time on defense figures to jump significantly this year.


Xavier's district ends soph/varsity twinbills

Xavier High School football fans who like seeing the sophomore and varsity teams play on the same night will be out of luck this season.

The Saints will have only one soph/varsity doubleheader this year due to a vote by the schools in Xavier's Class 3A football district. Only five of the eight schools in District 3 have sophomore teams this season due to a lack of players, so the district has switched to playing freshman games as the preliminary contest before varsity games on football Friday nights.

Charles City, Vinton-Shellsburg and South Tama in Class 3A District 3 do not have sophomore football teams, according to their school websites. Xavier, Benton Community, Decorah, Independence and Waverly-Shell Rock do have sophomore teams in Class 3A District 3, but the Xavier sophs will play those four opponents on Monday nights this season.

Xavier will play a traditional soph/varsity doubleheader when it visits Linn-Mar on Friday, Sept. 2 for a non-district game, but that will be the only soph/varsity twinbill this season for the Saints.

Xavier will play frosh/varsity doubleheaders against all seven of its district opponents.

The Xavier varsity football team will open the season this Friday night with a home date against Iowa City Regina at 7 p.m., but that will be the only game at Saints Field this Friday. Xavier will host the Regina sophomore team on Monday, Aug. 29 instead.


Linn-Mar football players want Casebolt back

Four seniors on the Linn-Mar football team told school board members Monday night that they miss assistant coach Matt Casebolt and hope he returns to the team this season.

They did not get any answers from board members or from Linn-Mar superintendent Quintin Shepherd.

Casebolt, a long-time assistant coach for the Lions, has not attended any practices since preseason drills began last Monday.

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has dismissed all of the complaints filed against Casebolt by some Linn-Mar families, but the Linn-Mar school district apparently has suspended Casebolt following the second of its own investigations into the charges.

Reese Phillips, Baylor Pree, Neme Siaway and Daylen Canty spoke at the school board meeting at district headquarters.

"It's been a lonely summer with all of our coaches not being there," said Phillips, the first to speak.

"Not having him this year has been hard," said Pree, mentioning Casebolt by name. "I trust everything he says. Casebolt was in charge of everything. I think he should come back this year."

"He taught me a lot from the first day I met him," said Siaway. "Without him this summer it's been really difficult. We have a good coaching staff, but we need Coach Casebolt to come back. We really miss him."

"Losing him for our senior season is like losing a father," said Canty, the fourth and final player to speak.


Red Top claims IABA state title

NORWAY - When it comes to a battle of attrition, it's hard to beat Red Top with a state title on the line.

Actually, it's darn near impossible.

Red Top fought back through the loser's bracket this weekend and whipped Walford in back-to-back games to claim the fourth IABA state baseball title in program history.

Red Top also stormed back through the loser's bracket last year to claim the 2015 crown with a recipe of success that includes depth, versatility, strong pitching and experienced players.

Red Top whipped Walford, 12-3, in the first championship game Sunday at the famed Norway diamond to hand Walford its first loss of the tournament, then Red Top topped the Hogs again 7-1 for the title.

"We just fight," said Red Top Manager Adam Sadler. "We're confident, but we know that Walford is a good team and Norway is a good team and there are a lot of good teams in this tournament."

None of them were better than Red Top, which also won the Iowa Valley League title this season by a wide margin.

"We're prepared, but we're loose," said Sadler. "We've been in these situations before. We have a lot of veterans, so I think that's the key for us."


Linn-Mar has 'no comment' on Casebolt's status

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has dismissed all of the ethics complaints against Linn-Mar assistant football coach Matt Casebolt, presumably clearing him of any penalty from the state board.

But here's a question that nobody seems willing to answer at Linn-Mar: Why hasn't Casebolt been working with the Lions in practice this week?

High school football practice began Monday and several sources have told the Metro Sports Report that Casebolt has not attended a single workout all week. Not Monday, not Tuesday, not Wednesday, not Thursday.

Bob Forsyth, Linn-Mar's head coach, apparently learned last Friday that all complaints against all Linn-Mar personnel had been dismissed. KCRG officially broke the news Tuesday night, and Linn-Mar superintendent Quintin Shepherd confirmed the television report early Wednesday morning in an e-mail to the Metro Sports Report.

If Linn-Mar wanted Casebolt to keep a low profile until the BoEE finished its investigation, there's now been ample opportunity for Casebolt to resume his duties as a long-time member of the coaching staff.

So where is he?

Has Casebolt taken a medical leave? Is he taking care of a family situation? Is he on vacation? Has he been suspended?


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