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

Metro Sports Report

Grief set aside at MVC/MAC Challenge

On a night marked by sadness, girls from six high school volleyball teams tried to set aside their collective grief for three hours Thursday night on the courts in both gyms at Prairie High School.

Before play started in the MVC/MAC Challenge round-robin matches, players from all the teams gathered solemnly, arm-in-arm in memory of one of their own, Iowa City West star and captain Caroline Found, killed in a moped accident two weeks ago.

The tragedy was compounded when the girl’s mother, Ellyn, died two days ago from pancreatic cancer.

“We grieve for the family,” said Prairie Athletic Director Rocky Bennett in calling for a moment of silent tribute.

Afterward, he noted, “It’s rough for all these teams, because a lot of the girls knew (Caroline).”


Prairie starts new era against Warriors

The Cedar Rapids Prairie football team has a vibrant new coach, a gorgeous new field and a new lease on life.

Cedar Rapids Washington could be walking into a trap.

The Prairie Hawks host the Warriors at refurbished John Wall Field Friday night in the first game for new coach Mike Morrissey, who was hired to breathe new life into the Hawks.

The initial results will be known by around 10 o'clock Friday night.

"They're going to come out sky-high, well prepared, excited to be there," predicted Washington Coach Tony Lombardi, who is taking a weakened team into battle.


Cougars, Saints clash in season opener

Kennedy football coach Tim Lewis says the Xavier Saints are his team's biggest rival, bar none.

"I think so, just because of the location and 42nd Street," he said this week.

But from his end of 42nd Street, Xavier Coach Duane Schulte sees it differently.

"I think everyone else has made this into a bigger rivalry than it really is, to be honest with you," he contended.

Lewis and Schulte can debate the issue Friday night when their teams clash in the Mississippi Valley Conference opener at Kingston Stadium in southwest Cedar Rapids.


Former Metro preps in pro baseball

RYAN SWEENEY (Xavier, Oakland Athletics) -- Came in as a pinch hitter and was 0-for-1, then moved to center field Thursday in the Athletics' 22-9 loss to the Yankees.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .282 (62-220), HR -- 1, RBI -- 21, 2B -- 11, 3B -- 1, R -- 27, SB -- 1.

MATT HOLLAND (Marion, GCL Phillies) -- Started at designated hitter Thursday and was 1-for-4 with an RBI in the Phillies' 5-3 win over the GCL Pirates.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .235 (24-102), HR -- 3, RBI -- 14, 2B -- 7, 3B -- 0, R -- 18, SB -- 1.

SCOTT SCHEBLER (Prairie, Ogden (Dodgers)) -- Started in right field Thursday and was 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in Ogden's 12-0 win over Missoula.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .282 (69-245), HR -- 9, RBI -- 47, 2B -- 15, 3B -- 6, R -- 37, SB -- 1.

KELLEN SWEENEY (Jefferson, Bluefield (Blue Jays)) -- On the disabled list with a cracked bone in his left wrist and has not played since June 30.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .114 (4-35), HR -- 0, RBI -- 1, 2B -- 1, 3B -- 0, R -- 4, SB -- 0.

NATE WOODS (Xavier, Jupiter (Marlins)) -- The Hammerheads were not scheduled to play Thursday. They played a doubleheader Wednesday in advance of Hurricane Irene. Year-to-date: Batting avg. .263 (10-38), HR -- 1, RBI -- 4, 2B -- 2, 3B -- 0, R -- 2, SB -- 0.


Jeff's rugged road begins with No. 8 Lions

Seven football teams in the Mississippi Valley Conference received votes in the Associated Press poll this week.

The Jefferson J-Hawks are scheduled to play six of them this year, all but Iowa City High.

Some teams can't catch a break.

Jefferson begins its rigorous campaign Thursday night by hosting No. 8 Linn-Mar in the 2011 opener at Kingston Stadium in southwest Cedar Rapids.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

The J-Hawks lost all nine of their games last season and have dropped 13 straight. They haven't won a game since beating Dubuque Senior, 20-13, on Sept. 25, 2009.

It's been 23 months since Jefferson last won a high school football game.

"To be honest with you, you guys from the media are the ones who brought it to my attention that it's been 13 in a row," Coach Jim Womochil said Wednesday.

"Obviously there's anxiety around here to be successful," he said. "And to say that you're not aware of it and it doesn't grow on your kids and your staff, I'd be lying."

Womochil remains confident and up-beat. He has a huge offensive line, an experienced quarterback and 19 players who have started games during their careers. "I think experience is in our favor," he said.


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