Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Cuonzo Martin has big plans for Washpun

New Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin will give Wes Washpun a chance to crack the starting lineup as a freshman and make an immediate impact with the Volunteers next season.

Washpun, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Cedar Rapids Washington, signed with Tennessee on Wednesday.

"I really think he has an opportunity to play," Martin said in a telephone interview with the Metro Sports Report. "It's not a deal where he comes in and we say we're gong to sit you out for one or two years. Wes has every opportunity to come in and play from Day 1."

Washpun will be competing with Trae Golden and Chris Jones at point guard. Golden, 6-1, averaged 3.0 points and 0.7 assists for Tennessee this season as a freshman with one start. Jones, 5-10, from Memphis, signed with former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl last fall.

"Wes will pretty much get what he earns," Martin said.


Wes Washpun follows in dad's footsteps

A talented point guard named Washpun decided to leave home and play college basketball in another part of the country, believing it was the right thing to do.

That was 30 years ago. His name was Troy Washpun, and he left home in Alton, Ill., and embarked on a college basketball career at the University of Wyoming.

Like father, like son.

Wes Washpun, Troy's son, made a similar decision last weekend when he elected to play for the Tennessee Volunteers instead of accepting an offer from Fran McCaffery and the nearby Iowa Hawkeyes.

It worked out well for Troy Washpun, who enjoyed a solid career at Wyoming, and he and his wife, Angie, encouraged their son to weigh all the options and make his own decision.

"We both told him, it's your choice, your decision, whether you go to Iowa, whether you go to Tennessee, both of them are in great conferences," Troy Washpun said Wednesday after Wes signed his letter-of-intent at Cedar Rapids Washington High School.


Prospect Meadows: A great idea and leader

I knew it wouldn't be long until Jack Roeder surfaced after retiring from his job as General Manager of the Cedar Rapids Kernels. I knew, too, that Jack would get into some form of community service with regard to baseball.

And what an opportunity he has picked.

Prospect Meadows is its name, Highway 13 and County Home Road is the proposed site that would include 17 baseball and softball fields and the supporting facilities for youth play and regional tournaments.

This is a non-profit organizaiton that apparently will be built along the lines of the Tuma Soccer Complex, which incidentally is not far away.

Jack will make his pitch to the County Supervisors for $20,000 to fund a feasibility and financing study of the project that has a price tag of around $9 million, a little more than half of what the Roeder-proposed new minor league ballpark cost.


Christiansons clubbing the ball for Kennedy

This is the first time Garet and Gabe Christianson have donned the green and yellow for the Kennedy High School soccer team, but the Christianson brothers are not strangers to the Cedar Rapids soccer community.

The Christiansons have been two of the top club players in Cedar Rapids for years. Garet is a senior forward and has committed to play for Drake next season. Gabe, a junior midfielder, is a four star recruit and is the 50th ranked prospect in the nation, according to

“Gabe is just a midfield presence that other teams have to deal with defensively,” said Kennedy co-head coach Steven Robertson. “Having a guy like that in the middle of the field with his dynamic ability to deliver passes, beat defenders, see runs that other guys maybe don’t see and then still be able to get the ball there is what makes him so devastating to defenses.”

Robertson also is excited about the skills Garet brings to the Cougars this season.


Hamstrung by a hamstring pull?

What is a hamstring pull?

The term “hamstring” comes from an old English term for the crooked part of the leg near the knee.

Old world butchers would commonly hang pigs for slaughter by their hamstrings (I once had a college coach threaten me with that punishment when I dropped a potential interception in the annual Orange and Blue scrimmage at the University of Illinois). In medieval times, knights in battle would target the hamstring area to weaken their enemies and prevent them from running away. Parents and coaches may recall Bill Murray’s character (Karl in Caddy-Shack 1980) giving advice to Chevy Chase’s character (Ty Webb) on how to negatively influence your opponent’s golf game by cutting their hamstrings! It seems difficult for any athlete who has suffered a hamstring injury to hide from the disability that comes with the injury and the common reinjury that often follows.

Hamstring Anatomy: The hamstring muscles are on the back of the thigh, originating from the ischial tuberosity (the part of your pelvis that you sit on) and “string” all the way down to below the back of your knee. Here is a web-link to view the anatomy and types of hamstring strains that can commonly occur:


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