Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Spring no respite from concussion concerns

Last week, the most aggressive measure to address concussions in youth sports was signed into law in the state of Colorado. This year at least 30 states have introduced legislation (nine other states already have laws) governing concussions in youth sports.

Why are these facts important to Iowans? Remember February 28th, 2011? That was the day former ISU-Cyclone linebacker and NFL player Matt Blair, lobbied at the state capitol for legislation in Iowa that would require an athlete to have written medical clearance before returning to competition after leaving a game with a sports-related concussion. Hopefully, we’ll hear more on this Iowa legislation from Des Moines soon and prior to the upcoming football season.

Concussion injury can occur in any sport and the highest rate of concussion injury in high school sports occurs in football. What about spring sports in Iowa? Concussion injury rates in girls and boys soccer are on the rise, comprising from 15-20% of all reported injuries in those sports nationwide. Concussions are also being reported in baseball, softball, and even track and field. The rise in reported concussions over the last decade in youth sports (age 5-18) prompted the Center for Disease Control (CDC) last year to label concussion injuries as an epidemic problem.


Uthoff learns lessons at NeXt Classic

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. - Jarrod Uthoff is just 17 years old and still growing.

That was easy to forget this season when the 6-foot-8 senior from Cedar Rapids Jefferson was named Iowa's Mr. Basketball and the Gatorade Player of the Year.

Uthoff was one of the youngest, skinniest and most unselfish players on the court Sunday afternoon at the NeXt All-American Classic at the Sears Centre Arena in the northwest Chicago suburbs.

He held his own in the all-star game that featured 20 college-bound seniors, but also learned a few things.

"These guys are so much bigger than me, and stronger than me," Uthoff said after scoring 10 points and grabbing three rebounds. "I really need to get a lot stronger, but I've said that before. This really shows it."

Uthoff is tall enough, although he's still growing and could reach 6-10, but he'll need more weight and more strength to succeed at the University of Wisconsin.


Services set for Washington Coach Dave Meyer

The visitation and services for Cedar Rapids Washington boys tennis coach Dave Meyer have been arranged.

Meyer, 49, died unexpectedly Saturday morning at Mercy Medical Center, according to his obituary on the Teahen Funeral Home website.

Visitation has been set for Monday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Teahen Funeral Home, 3100 F Ave. NW in Cedar Rapids. Services will be held on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Concordia Lutheran Church, 4210 Johnson Ave. NW in Cedar Rapids. Burial will be at Linwood Cemetery.

"I do not know the exact cause of death, but colleagues report that he has not been feeling well for several days," Dr. Ralph Plagman, Washington's principal, wrote on his school's website. "I know that your thoughts and prayers will be with the Meyer family."

Meyer was a special education instructor at Washington. He taught at Washington for eight years.

"Dave touched many students," Dr. Plagman wrote. "Dave Meyer was definitely one of the 'good guys' in every respect!"

Meyer is survived by his wife, Marlene; a daughter, Laurel; and a son, Andrew. Laurel is a student at the University of Northern Iowa and Andrew is a senior at Jefferson High School, according to Dr. Plagman.


Washpun, Eastern Iowa All-Star Games are slam dunk

Wes Washpun doesn't have any names for his gravity-defying dunks, he just does them.


Washpun stole the show during the halftime Jamfest Friday night as part of the festivities at the 2011 Eastern Iowa All-Star Games at Linn-Mar High School.

Washpun is only 6-foot-1, but he's a superb athlete who jumps like someone who's 6-foot-6, sort of a mini-Michael Jordan when it comes to leaping ability and body control.

On one of his dunks, the Cedar Rapids Washington senior slammed the ball through the basket and draped his right elbow on the rim, hanging there for effect with his forearm inside the cylinder.

On another jam, Washpun positioned Waterloo West guard Trent Washington in front of the basket and leaped over the 5-foot-11 human prop to slam it home.

The crowd loved it.

"He's a freak of nature with his athletic ability," said Josh Oglesby, his teammate at Washington. "I don't think I've ever seen anyone jump as high as he can."

Washpun performed a variety of dunks during the Jamfest, all different, but he doesn't name them and doesn't count them. "I just go out there and try stuff," he said simply.


Stokes redeems herself at all-star game

INDIANAPOLIS -- Linn-Mar senior Kiah Stokes redeemed herself in a national all-star basketball game Saturday.

Stokes collected seven points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots to help the White team defeat the Red, 83-73, in the 22nd Annual WBCA All-Star Game at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Stokes was not happy with her performance in the McDonald's All-America Game Wednesday night in Chicago, where she scored only one point in 16 minutes. She said at the time she wanted to "redeem" herself in the WBCA game and play better.

Stokes shot 3-for-3 from the field Saturday and tied for second-best on her team with seven rebounds in 24 minutes.

Betnijah Laney of Clayton, Del., led the White team with 21 points. Briyona Canty of Trenton, N.J., was named the White team MVP with 13 points and eight assists.

Elizabeth Williams of Virginia Beach, Va., collected 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks and was named the Red team MVP.


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