Saturday, August 24, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Marion Indians stuff Benton, 28-14

On a stifling hot Friday night at Thomas Park field, the Marion defense absolutely stifled the Benton Bobcats in a 28-14 victory.

Except for a couple of missed opportunities early and a rash of banged up players, the Indians might have put the game away sooner as they steamrolled to a 28-0 lead midway through the third quarter.

Benton Community could muster merely 10 yards rushing and no pass completions until late in the game when Marion Coach Tony Perkins cleared the bench.

In the end, the Bobcats gained just 50 yards on the ground and had a single pass play of 32 yards with two minutes to go. They had three first downs for the night.

"Our defense kept them off balance all night and really ran to the ball," said Perkins after his team went to 2-0 for the year.

On offense, the Indians racked up 240 yards rushing but it took 11 different ballcarriers to do it. "Our offensive line was outstanding," the coach said.


Cedar Valley Christian falls at Dunkerton

DUNKERTON - Cedar Valley Christian quarterback Jeremy Strutz scored on a one-yard sneak and Nick Henderson swept the right side for a two-point conversion to make the score 8-8 with 4:15 left in the first quarter Friday night.

Then the roof caved in.

Dunkerton scored 51 unanswered points, took a 59-8 lead into the halftime break and defeated the Huskies, 66-28, in an eight-man football game in Dunkerton.



Bell brothers take on sports - and life's - challenges

With a sturdy 6-foot-4 frame, Kennedy senior Cody Bell towers over his older brother Chris, looking every bit the multi-sport athlete who has made his mark in both baseball and golf. But it’s Chris, he’ll tell you, who is the strong one.

“Chris has taught me a lot,” Cody says. “He’s really helped me with the mental aspect of my life, as well as the physical. I feel if he stays that strong, there’s no way I shouldn’t be happy with the way my life is going.”

Four years Cody’s senior, Chris was diagnosed at age three-and-a-half with a degenerative disease called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), which causes bone to form in muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues, gradually restricting movement.

It’s a disease so rare – affecting only 1 in 10 million people – that it was first misdiagnosed as cancer before University of Iowa physicians were able to identify the cause of the lump that had formed on Chris’ shoulder. Shortly after the devastating diagnosis, Cody was born.

The boys’ parents, Jim and Nancy Bell, began learning about FOP and threw themselves into efforts to raise funds for research into the disease. Creating an event called Angel Wings Golf and BBQ, they raised an astounding $180,000 through five tournaments.

“We had a lot of help from family and friends,” recalls Nancy. “We would fill 36 foursomes and have a waitlist.” After that, she says, “we retired the event to focus on raising the boys.”

Both boys loved sports from an early age, playing in summer leagues, on school teams and – as Chris’ disease made it more difficult and dangerous for him to compete – in the sanctuary of the Bells’ backyard. Because trauma spurs the disabling bone growth that defines FOP, his physical contact had to be limited.


Prairie golfers 2nd at Airport National

Matt Edl and Drew Digman shot 1-over-par 33s Thursday to help Cedar Rapids Prairie finish second in a Mississippi Valley Conference quadrangular meet at Airport National.

Jason Beer shot a 33 for the Xavier Saints as the high school golfers assaulted the course.

Jared Deines of Cedar Falls and Dominic Muzzin of Iowa City West shared medalist honors at 1-under 31.

Cedar Falls won the meet with 130 shots, followed by Prairie (135), Iowa City West (139) and Xavier (140).


Megan Scott's spirit lives at new Linn-Mar Stadium

In the months before she died in May, Linn-Mar sophomore Megan Scott followed the progress of the new football stadium from her bedroom on the school's website camera.

"She loved school from the time she was in kindergarten," says her mother Stacy. "And she was so proud to go to Linn-Mar.

"Megan wanted to go to the first soccer game in the stadium last spring, but she was too sick. And she'd hoped to see the first football game there.

"She was so excited. The stadium was part of her future."

When the Lions christen their new stadium in their football home opener Friday against Kennedy, Megan will be there, at least in spirit.

As a memorial to their 16-year-old daughter who died of a rare form of brain cancer, Stacy and her husband Robert donated an 1,100-pound  concrete Lion and a plaque with Megan's picture on it.

It rests in the northeast corner of the stadium, under the flag poles. The inscription reads, in part, "Fight like a lion ... make your dreams come true."

Her own dreams were dashed far too soon. But, Megan's mother says, "She'll always be a part of a place she loved."


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