Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

French beats snow, signs with Oregon

Christian French got up early Wednesday morning to help his mother and stepfather shovel all the snow in front of their house on the northeast side of Cedar Rapids.

There wasn't any school due to the heavy storm that hit the midwest on Tuesday, but he needed to get to Kennedy and sign his national letter-of-intent with the University of Oregon football program.

That made the shoveling worthwhile.

"We had about two feet with the drifts in front of our house," said French. "And then on the street it was like 7 or 8 inches."

French got in the family's F-150 truck with his mother, Caroline Luter-French, and step-father, Russell Dobbins, for the short drive to Kennedy High School.

"Our street wasn't plowed, so we had to work our way through the snow on our street," he said. "I wouldn't expect a blizzard on signing day, but hey, there's no school and I can't complain."

They were joined at Kennedy by Aaron Stecker, the activities director, so French could sign his letter-of-intent and fax the document to Oregon. Kennedy had planned a ceremony in the main gym for French and other athletes, but the snowstorm delayed those plans for another day.

The Oregon Ducks, however, wanted French's document Wednesday so they could announce their entire recruiting class on the opening day of the signing period.

"We got it all faxed out to Oregon and they said they got it, so it's all good," he said.


Cedar Valley Christian joining IHSAA, IGHSAU

Cedar Valley Christian School plans to join the official governing bodies for high school sports in Iowa, effective with the start of the 2011-12 school year.

The school will join the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) for boys sports and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) for girls sports.

"Paperwork has not been signed, but it's been confirmed verbally and through e-mail," said Stephanie Hodge, the athletic director at Cedar Valley Christian. "We have been accepted."

Cedar Valley Christian is a private school in southeast Cedar Rapids with 75 students in grades 9 through 12. The school is a member of the Northern Illinois Christian Conference, but will be leaving to seek stronger competition and save on travel costs.


Warrior swimmers up to 4th

Cedar Rapids Washington is ranked fourth in the boys swimming power rankings released Tuesday (Feb. 1) by the Iowa High School Swim Coaches Association.

The Warriors were ranked eighth before their surprising run to the Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division title at the conference super meet Jan. 22.

Washington's highest ranked swimmer is junior Morgan Barnes, who has the second-best 200 freestyle time at 1:45.79. Barnes also is sixth in the 500 freestyle. Other top 10 ranked Warriors are Ian Ford (sixth in the 100 backstroke) and Josh Hughes (seventh in the 500 free). Washington's 200 medley relay team has the fourth best time in the state.

Linn-Mar is ranked 27th, Jefferson 29th and Kennedy 32nd.


Linn-Mar boys still No. 1

Linn-Mar continued its stranglehold on the top spot in the Class 4A prep boys basketball.

The unbeaten Lions (15-0) received all 11 first-place votes in the Associated Press poll released Monday.

Kennedy (13-2) moved up one spot to fourth and Jefferson (12-2) remained in sixth.

Cedar Falls (10-2) moved up to No. 2. The Tigers, who were third last week, play at Jefferson Tuesday night at 7:30.

Sioux City Heelan (14-2) is No. 1 in 3A, PCM Monroe (17-0) moved up to No. 1 in 2A and Iowa Mennonite (16-0) is No. 1 in 1A.


National signing day thoughts

As the snow comes down and we look forward to several days of non-stop media talk about how bad things are around Eastern Iowa, we must keep in mind one piece of good news.

At least with a blizzard, nature's weatherman, the groundhog, will not be seeing his shadow! Only four more weeks of winter. Of course, that also counts the inevitable bad weather that occurs during the week of the Girls state basketball tournament!

Now, back to sports.

This time of the year, many people turn their attention toward the topic of national signing day and how their favorite school came out in the annual stampede for the country’s top talent. I also keep track of how the local colleges and universities make out on the first Wednesday of February, but to a lesser extent.

I am more interested in how the Metro area does on signing day -- how many kids sign, both with top Division I programs and with local smaller colleges to keep those athletic juices flowing for two or four more years. Not only are football players signing on the dotted line, but so are assorted other sports. Basketball comes later in April.


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