Sunday, September 22, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Former Metro preps in pro baseball

RYAN SWEENEY (Xavier, Oakland Athletics) -- Oakland was not scheduled to play Thursday.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .271 (67-247), HR -- 1, RBI -- 23, 2B -- 11, 3B -- 2, R -- 31, SB -- 1.

MATT HOLLAND (Marion, GCL Phillies) -- Season completed.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .236 (26-110), HR -- 4, RBI -- 15, 2B -- 7, 3B -- 0, R -- 19, SB -- 1.

SCOTT SCHEBLER (Prairie, Ogden (Dodgers)) -- Started at designated hitter Thursday and was 1-for-5 with a triple and run scored in Ogden's 9-4 season-ending win at Casper. The Raptors have qualified for the Pioneer League playoffs.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .285 (84-295), HR -- 13, RBI -- 58, 2B -- 17, 3B -- 8, R -- 44, SB -- 1.

KELLEN SWEENEY (Jefferson, Bluefield (Blue Jays)) -- Season completed.
Season stats: Batting avg. -- .114 (4-35), HR -- 0, RBI -- 1, 2B -- 1, 3B -- 0, R -- 4, SB -- 0.

NATE WOODS (Xavier, Jupiter (Marlins)) -- Season completed.
Season stats (Total, 3 teams): Batting avg. .266 (47-177), HR -- 4, RBI -- 22, 2B -- 17, 3B -- 1, R -- 23, SB -- 0.


Valentine (and his blockers) lead Metro

Carter Valentine finished third in the 110 meter high hurdles at the Class 4A state track meet last spring, so he's accustomed to jumping over barriers and running fast.

It's been similar this fall on the football field, where Valentine has been eluding tacklers and running swiftly through holes to gain yards for the Xavier Saints.

Valentine has rushed for 312 yards in two games, averaging 156 per game and 8.0 per carry for the 10th-ranked Saints (2-0). He leads the Metro area in rushing, ranks second in the MVC and is eighth in Class 4A.


Smith beat bigger names for Linn-Mar award

Linn-Mar football coach Bob Forsyth announces the Players of the Week when the Lions get together on Mondays.

Everybody is eligible for the awards, but you might assume it would be tilted in favor of the "skill position" players like quarterbacks, tailbacks and receivers.

That being said, the winner of the first Offensive Player of the Week award at Linn-Mar was ...

Not quarterback Mark Atwater, who passed for three TDs and ran for another in a 35-10 victory over Jefferson on Aug. 29 ... And not receiver Andy Henry, who caught all three of those TD passes.

No, the winner of the Offensive Player of the Week award for the opening game was Dustin Smith, a soft-spoken offensive lineman who had a half-dozen pancakes against the J-Hawks. In football terminology, a pancake happens when a blocker flattens an opponent, like a pancake.

"Our guys take a lot of pride in that," Forsyth said. "He did a great job."


Here's to new and improved facilities

Last Friday night was the night that residents in the Linn-Mar community had been waiting for decades to arrive. They rolled out the red carpet, or in this case the red and black carpet, as the Lions hosted the Kennedy Cougars in the first football game played at the new Linn-Mar Stadium.

The stadium actually opened for business last spring for the track and soccer seasons, but this was the big enchilada that everyone was waiting for. And the $10 million dollar stadium did not disappoint.

The stadium is one of the best venues in the world of high school football, not only in the Metro and the state, but I dare say the Midwest as well. It has a state of the art playing surface, with FieldTurf, as well as a fantastic eight-lane track that is amazing. There are locker room facilities for both teams as well as a team room for the home Lions to watch film and hone their skills.

The stands are also impressive with seating for around 5,000 on the home side as well as room for around 1,000 people on the visitors side. The press box area is also one of the best around with a wide concourse and individual rooms for coaches as well as the media.


Harper, Becker hurt for Prairie gridders

The Cedar Rapids Prairie football team suffered two significant injuries during its 14-0 loss to Xavier last Friday.

Demetrius Harper suffered a fractured collarbone on the opening kickoff and will be sidelined for eight weeks, which means he'll probably miss the rest of the season.

Casey Becker suffered a concussion during the first half and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Harper, a 6-foot, 176-pound junior, was Prairie's top offensive threat as a speedy flankerback, equally dangerous as a runner and receiver. He scored two touchdowns in the season opener against Washington on a 74-yard run and a 32-yard pass. He finished that game with 123 yards rushing and 63 yards receiving.

He also returns kickoffs for the Hawks and was hurt on the very first play at Xavier. "He ended up playiing one or two series, but he has a fractured collarbone and is out eight weeks," Prairie Coach Mike Morrissey reported Wednesday.


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