Thursday, June 29, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Kennedy and Solon in baseball dream game

Cedar Rapids Kennedy won the Class 4A state baseball title last summer, but some people wondered if Solon (the 2A champs) actually had the best team in Iowa.

It's too late for a conclusive answer, but it's not too late for a dream matchup between the two state champions.

Kennedy will play Solon in a special game on Saturday night, July 9 at Kennedy. Both teams undoubtedly will be ranked No.1 in their classes heading into the 2011 campaign, although Solon has now grown into a Class 3A club.

Kennedy Coach Bret Hoyer and Solon Coach Keith McSweeney both love the idea of challenging their players and treating fans to a special game.

"We thought there would be a lot of interest in that game," said Hoyer. "I would like to think it would draw a pretty good crowd. I know Solon will bring a lot of people."

Hoyer and McSweeney looked into the possibility of staging the contest at Veterans Memorial Stadium, the minor league ballpark in Cedar Rapids, but they were unable to find a suitable date.


Prairie, Linn-Mar in Class 3A mat rankings

The Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association has released its final dual meet poll for Class 3A and two Metro teams are in the top 11.

Prairie (26-4) is ranked No. 8 and Linn-Mar (27-6) is No. 11.

Iowa City West (33-2) is ranked No. 1, followed by Waverly-Shell Rock (25-4) and Bettendorf (15-5).

Participants for the substate dual meet tournaments will be decided at Saturday's district meets. Prairie and Linn-Mar are the top two ranked teams in the district at Epworth. Kennedy and Xavier also are at Epworth.

The other three Metro teams -- Jefferson, Washington and Marion -- are at Waverly.

Besides determining teams for the dual meet tournament series, the districts also will determine individuals for next week's traditional state meet.

There are no Metro teams ranked in the traditional state tournament top 10.  Iowa City West, Waverly-Shell Rock and Bettendorf are again the top three ranked teams.

There are 16 Metro wrestlers ranked in the top 10 in their respective weights.  The highest ranked are Prairie's Zach Witte, who is No. 3 at 145, and Linn-Mar 215-pounder A.J. Garcia, No. 3 at 215. Prairie and Linn-Mar also have the most ranked wrestlers in the Metro. Linn-Mar has five, Prairie four.


Linn-Mar No. 2 in final girls ranking

Defending state champion Linn-Mar is ranked second in the final Class 4A poll released Wednesday by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

Linn-Mar (19-1) closes out its regular season Thursday night at home against No. 6 Cedar Rapids Washington (16-3). The Warriors moved up one spot in the rankings.

Xavier (13-7), which snapped a four-game losing streak Tuesday in a 48-24 win over Dubuque Hempstead, is No. 15. All four losses during the skid were to ranked teams.

The Mississippi Valley Conference continued its dominance in the poll. Iowa City West (18-1) is ranked third and Waterloo West (18-2) fourth. The Wahawks handed Linn-Mar its only loss.  Iowa City High (15-5) is No. 12.

Des Moines East (20-0) is ranked No. 1 in 4A. The other top ranked teams are Ballard (19-1), OA-BCIG (19-0) and Martensdale-St. Marys (19-2) are ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, 2A and 1A, respectively.


Stokes dominates; Lions clinch title share

Linn-Mar pounded Dubuque Senior, 62-29, Tuesday night to earn its 14th conference win, securing at least a tie for first place in the MVC Mississippi Division with one game remaining in the league schedule.

Waterloo West and Cedar Rapids Washington both trailed the second-ranked Lions by one game to start the evening. Linn-Mar (19-1 overall) will win the title outright with a victory over visiting Washington on Thursday.

In another dominating performance, Linn-Mar super senior Kiah Stokes led all scorers with 33 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked four shots. She needs 22 more blocks to match the state career blocks record of 497 set by Jessica Nikkel of Lynnville-Sully (1995-99).

The Lions played a decidedly flat first half marked by turnovers and cold shooting. Meanwhile, the Rams responded to Coach Robert Kimble’s repeated calls for “patience,” managing multiple touches per possession and squeezing out a 7-6 lead to end the first quarter.

The Lions began warming up in the second period and pulled to a 25-16 lead at the half.


Halls of Fame honor the past

Last Friday night I had the great honor to emcee the annual Washington High School Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies between games of the Warriors home doubleheader with Kennedy. Former Athletic Director Duane Kramer started the Hall of Fame back in 1988 and it has been in great hands since with Denny Goettel and now Paul James keeping the tradition going.

My point today is not to brag on the Warrior Hall of Fame, even though it is a great one, but to thank all the schools that have places to honor great athletes and contributors to their success over the years.


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