Friday, January 17, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Huskies show spirit in defeat

MAYNARD -- The outcome was as expected.

The moment was better than anticipated.

Junior Nick Henderson scored Cedar Valley Christian's first touchdown in school history on a 43-yard pass play midway through the fourth quarter Friday night at West Central High School. It was the highlight of the Huskies' first football game, a 62-8 rout at the hands of highly-regarded West Central.

"That's a morale booster all the way around," Cedar Valley Christian Coach Ed Betsworth said of the scoring play. "It shows that if we don't quit -- and that's what I emphasized on the bus on the way up -- that good things will happen. I think we're going to take to heart that we scored against a good team. It's going to make us feel that we can compete."



Roeder busy with Prospect Meadows project

A conversation with Jack Roeder produces this fact: You don’t have to ask him what he’s doing these days after retiring from the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Jack has been very busy behind the scenes on the development of Prospect Meadows, the proposed development out on Highway 13 that would enable the Metro area to have a grouping of baseball and softball fields that would enhance the available area for games by leaps and bounds.

Jack has been working on this since he retired as general manager of the Kernels, working with the Prospect Meadows directors, the Linn County Board of Supervisors and others to develop this park concept. A feasibility study has been completed and it produced a positive report, and most recently the ruling has come down that this is a non-profit venture and will be allowed as a tax deduction. That was one of the big hurdles the project had to overcome.

Next up would be the donating or leasing of the ground by the county to the non-profit group, and then construction could begin if that approval is given by the Linn County Board of Supervisors. So I wish Jack god’s speed in this endeavor, because it will take a great deal of fundraising after all of the approvals to begin construction, hopefully in 2012.


Seed planted for Marion improvements

The first big drop in what is hoped to be a steady stream of funds to upgrade Marion sports facilities came Friday night in the form of a giant $10,000 check from the Marion Athletics Booster Club.

“This is just the seed money to get the project moving,” said Greg Van Gorp, a longtime advocate for the Marion Independent School District and vice-president of its charitable fund-raising foundation. “Now we’re going to be asking other alums and supporters to get behind what will be a pretty costly venture.”

A committee last year came up with plans to make major improvements to both the Indians’ football field at Thomas Park and at the Les Hipple Athletic Complex at the high school.  Preliminary estimates put the cost at $10.5 million, with nearly half of that going to new stands, lights, concession area, rest rooms, an irrigation system and added parking at the 75-year-old football stadium.


Former Metro preps in pro baseball

RYAN SWEENEY (Xavier, Oakland Athletics) -- Started in left field Saturday and was 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored in the Athletics' 5-1 win over the Blue Jays.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .284 (62-218), HR -- 1, RBI -- 21, 2B -- 11, 3B -- 1, R -- 27, SB -- 1.

MATT HOLLAND (Marion, GCL Phillies) -- Did not play Saturday in the Phillies' 4-2 win over the GCL Braves.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .245 (23-94), HR -- 3, RBI -- 13, 2B -- 7, 3B -- 0, R -- 18, SB -- 1.

SCOTT SCHEBLER (Prairie, Ogden (Dodgers)) -- Started at designated hitter Saturday and was 2-for-5 with a run scored in Ogden's 9-4 win at Missoula.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .286 (66-231), HR -- 8, RBI -- 44, 2B -- 15, 3B -- 6, R -- 34, 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)) -- Started at first base Saturday and was 1-for-4 in the Hammerheads' 9-3 loss to Palm Beach.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. .250 (7-28), HR -- 1, RBI -- 3, 2B -- 1, 3B -- 0, R -- 1, SB -- 0.


Puk says leaving Washington football hard

A.J. Puk has received letters from such prestigious college baseball programs as Florida, LSU, Miami, Arizona State and Arkansas, top schools that are always on the prowl for talent.

He performed well at a major showcase in California last week for many of the top juniors-to-be in the nation, and when it ended he spoke with assistant coaches from Missouri and San Diego about his future in baseball.

On top of that, he's accepted an invitation to play four or five events this fall with the Canes North, an elite travel team that's based in Virginia and plays in major events all over the country.

Given all that, it probably comes as no surprise that Puk decided to leave the Cedar Rapids Washington football program and concentrate on his blooming baseball career.



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