Saturday, January 18, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Harper return a good one for Prairie

Prairie junior Demetrius Harper, playing his first game after breaking his collarbone Sept. 2, returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown with less than two minutes left in a tie game and lifted the Hawks past Dubuque Hempstead, 35-28, Friday night in a Mississippi Valley Conference football game at John Wall Field.

“We just got him (Harper) back this week from a collarbone injury, he has been itching all week to get out there,” Prairie Coach Mike Morrissey said. “He took advantage of what his 10 teammates on the field did. They really set him up well.”

Prairie (2-4, 2-6) posted its second win in as many weeks and all but ended Hempstead's playoff hopes. The Hawks still entertain an outside chance of making the playoffs, but need to beat No. 3 Iowa City High in their finale next Friday at Iowa City.


Saints have a Ball against J-Hawks, 37-10

Xavier lost its Valentine but still had a Ball Friday night at Kingston Stadium.

Senior Nick Ball replaced fellow senior Carter Valentine in the Xavier backfield midway through the second quarter and ran for 129 yards to help Xavier to a 37-10 win over Jefferson in a Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division football game.

Junior Reggie Schulte threw two touchdown passes and ran for another for the Saints (4-2 Valley, 5-3 overall). Xavier clinched a Class 4A playoff berth with the win.

"I don't keep track of the points I just try to win every game," Xavier Coach Duane Schulte said. "But this gets us a winning season and that's important."

The Saints close out the regular season at home against No. 3 Linn-Mar next Friday.

Jefferson (0-5, 0-8) lost its 21st straight game in its final regular-season home game.


Marion tumbles at Union, 45-14

LA PORTE CITY - The up-and-down Marion Indians saw their Class 3A playoff dreams go up in smoke Friday night by falling on the road to District 5 qualifier Union, 45-14.

"It's the same thing it's been all year," said Marion Coach Tony Perkins. "We find ways to beat ourselves.

"We do silly things like miss blocks or miss tackles. We fumble the ball at a bad time or have an interception. Or we have a costly penalty. We seem to always do things to hurt ourselves."

With one game left against district leader Maquoketa, the Indians are now out of the postseason picture at 4-4 overall and 2-4 in district play. The Union Knights, meanwhile, improved to 6-2 and 4-2.


Jerry Tann will be sorely missed

It's been a good week, but a sad week with the passing of one of Cedar Rapids' best sports fans and officials in Jerry Tann.

Jerry's son Kevin, and Kevin's son David, I'm sure are going to carry on the legacy of a gentleman who, for yours truly, was always a delight to be with or to cover games that he worked.

His love of athletics was shown through a smile and a greeting that always made you feel better when you were in his presence. He will be missed and Metro athletics is poorer today with the loss.

ON THE BRIGHTER side, I had a nice visit before the Cedar Rapids Washington game last week with Mark Atwater, the quarterback of highly regarded Linn-Mar. I'm not a great fan of calling athletes "student-athletes," but in this case, based on a conversation with Mark, it is appropriate to call him that.

Atwater is a well-rounded individual with leadership skills. That's what I found out about him during our meeting in the Linn-Mar locker room at the new football stadium. That locker room, incidentally, is big enough for Coach Bob Forsyth to hold a squad session, either before, during or after the games.



Oglesby could play point guard for Hawkeyes

IOWA CITY - Josh Oglesby eats breakfast now and has gained 18 pounds since classes began at the University of Iowa, so that's a big change.

Here's another: Oglesby could become a point guard with the Hawkeyes after starring as a shooting guard at Cedar Rapids Washington.

Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said he's thinking about giving Oglesby a shot at the position this season.

"A little bit, yeah. I feel like he can play point," McCaffery said Thursday afternoon during media day activities at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"I don't want to take him too far away from his strength, which is obviously shooting the ball and playing from the wing position," he said. "But I would play him there. I'm very comfortable with him there."

Oglesby didn't have to handle the ball a great deal in high school because Washington had Wes Washpun, one of the top point guards in the state. McCaffery made a late pitch for Washpun last season, but Washpun chose Tennessee instead.

Ironically, Oglesby could be the former Warrior who supports Bryce Cartwright at point guard this season. Devyn Marble served as Iowa's No. 2 point guard for much of last season behind Cartwright, but McCaffery apparently has other plans.



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