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Metro Sports Report

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.

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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."

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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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BoEE clears Linn-Mar of all complaints

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has cleared Linn-Mar football coaches and administrators of all complaints that were filed by some Linn-Mar families this winter.

Dr. Quintin Shepherd, the superintendent of Linn-Mar schools, confirmed early Wednesday morning that the BoEE investigation has ended with no charges being filed.

"Yes, the BoEE has dismissed all complaints against all employees of Linn-Mar," Dr. Shepherd replied in response to an e-mail from the Metro Sports Report.

Linn-Mar head football coach Bob Forsyth and assistant coach Matt Casebolt had been accused by Linn-Mar families of abusive behavior toward their children. Scott Mahmens, who retired as the Linn-Mar athletic director in June, and Dr. Jeff Gustason, the Linn-Mar principal, also were accused by the families of not taking effective action in response to their complaints.

The Linn-Mar school district investigated the complaints this winter and dismissed all the complaints due to insufficient evidence. The families then filed their complaints with the BoEE, which investigated the matter and decided not to file charges.

BoEE officials do not comment on cases, according to a board spokesman who also said that no documents related to the investigation will be released to the public.

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Hogs, Bandits lead IVL teams at state tourney

WALFORD - The Walford Hogs and Norway Bandits finished the first weekend of the IABA state baseball tournament with perfect records, but Red Top is lurking in the wings.

Walford nipped Red Top, 2-1, in a pitcher's duel on Saturday and advanced to next weekend with a 2-0 record. Norway trimmed the Quad City 76ers, 4-1, on Sunday and advanced with a 3-0 mark.

Red Top, the 76ers, the Quad City Cardinals and Osage all advanced to the final weekend of the double-elimination tournament with 2-1 records. Fairfax, Watkins and Williamsburg from the Iowa Valley League were eliminated.

The tournament will resume Saturday in Norway with four games. Red Top plays Osage at noon, the 76ers face the Cardinals at 2 p.m., Norway will play the Red Top/Osage winner at 4 p.m. and Walford will play the 76ers/Cardinals winner at 6 p.m.

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