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Sunday, January 19, 2020
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Metro Sports Report

Committee should ban open enrollment

As populations shift and neighborhoods change, so does the landscape of high school district boundaries.

In a short time, the lines for the Jefferson, Kennedy and Washington districts may well change.

At a meeting last week at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency, the Enrollment Study Stakeholder Committee comprised of teachers, parents, administrators and community members convened to discuss the matter.

The committee, formed by the Cedar Rapids School District, was given these marching orders for the three local high schools: "Make recommendations regarding boundaries with attention to longevity and balance enrollment consistent with the projected future of the District."

Enrollment in the high schools is at a historically low level, but the dip has affected some more than others. Tumbling enrollments naturally affect athletic teams and their success. Larger schools often win many of the championships.

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Cougars hoping for faster start in 2011

The Cedar Rapids Kennedy football team wrote its own version of "The Agony and the Ecstasy" last year.

The Cougars dropped their first three games of the season and began the year with a 1-4 mark.

That was the agony.

They rallied, won six straight games and reached the quarterfinals of the Class 4A playoffs.

That was the ecstasy.

"That's probably not the plan this year," said Josh Jahlas, who led Kennedy in tackles last season. "We want to start off strong."

Starting the season with a 1-and-4 record is usually a recipe for disappointment.

"It worked out last year, but we hope not to do that again," said tailback Trevor Heitland, who rushed for 929 yards in 2010. "Hopefully we start strong and end strong and play strong throughout the whole season."

There were three main reasons for Kennedy's slow start last year.

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Freese nixes Sox offer, off to LSU-Eunice

Dakota Freese plans to leave Cedar Rapids at 6 a.m. Sunday and drive to Louisiana with his mother, fully intending to enroll at LSU-Eunice and start college this month.

Freese said Saturday night he has rejected a final offer from the Chicago White Sox to sign a pro baseball contract. The signing deadline is Monday,
but Freese said the negotiations have ended.

"It's over," he said. "There's no chance."

Freese, 19, said the two sides were far apart in terms of money. "Oh, yeah. Big time," he said.

He declined to reveal what the White Sox offered or what he wanted as a signing bonus.

The White Sox picked Freese, a 6-foot-4 pitcher from Cedar Rapids Washington, in the 34th round of the draft this June.

"He had a decision to make," Rick Freese, his grandfather, said Saturday night. "There was an offer. It just wasn't in the cards for us. It wasn't enough."

The signing deadline is Monday, Aug. 15.

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Stokes is Register's Female Athlete of Year

Kiah Stokes has been named the Female Athlete of the Year by the Des Moines Register, the newspaper announced Friday night.

Stokes enjoyed a record-setting career at Linn-Mar High School and led the Lions to the Class 4A state basketball title as a junior in 2010. She also was all-state in volleyball.

Stokes, a 6-foot-4 center, will be a freshman at the University of Connecticut this season. The Huskies have won seven NCAA basketball titles.

Stokes played in four state tournaments and was selected for the McDonald's All-American game this year. She was named the Iowa Player of the Year by Gatorade as a junior and senior.

"Basketball's always been in my life," Stokes told the Register. "I want to play until I'm too old to play anymore, until I can't remember the game anymore."

Her father is former University of Iowa basketball star Greg Stokes. Her mother is Julie Saddler.

Stokes is also a top student and graduated from Linn-Mar with a 4.02 grade point average.

 

Christensen, Utley top IHSBCA all-state teams

Austin Christensen of Cedar Rapids Kennedy and D.J. Utley of Cedar Rapids Prairie have been named to the 2011 All-State "Super Team" by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association, it was announced Friday night.

Christensen hit .543 this season with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs. He was named to the "Super Team" as an outfielder.

Utley batted .441 with 14 homers and 50 RBIs. He made the "Super Team" as a first baseman.

Terrell Sykes and Devon Jacobus from Kennedy made the Class 4A All-State First Team. Sykes, a second baseman, hit .421 with two home runs and 32 RBIs. Jacobus, a third baseman, hit .377 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs.

Brayton Carlson and Anthony Gagliardi of Prairie were named to the Class 4A All-State Second Team. Carlson, a second baseman, hit .429 with eight homers and 36 RBIs. Gagliardi, an outfielder and pitcher, made the all-state team as a utility player. He hit .365 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs and was 6-4 on the mound with a 2.08 earned run average.

Jordy Brown, an outfielder for Cedar Rapids Washington, also made Second Team All-State in Class 4A. He hit .466 with one homer and 15 RBIs.

Marion High School second baseman Kasey Semler made First Team All-State in Class 3A. He hit .396 with four homers and 28 RBIs.

Austin Benson of Kennedy was named First Team Academic All-State.

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