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Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor
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Metro Sports Report

Beyond The Final Season

Jim Van Scoyoc coached the legendary Norway High School baseball team to 12 state titles from 1972 to 1990 and was a key player in the bitter, unsuccessful battle to prevent the school from closing after the 1991 academic year – a story chronicled in the 2007 movie The Final Season.

But in the town that baseball made famous, he keeps a low profile. “I’m just Jim,” he says. “I’m not a people person at all. I enjoy just being in my garden or alone with my wife.”

Still, his love of the game and the kids runs deep and, 20 years later, he’s back on the field, coaching a Norway Pony League team that includes three of his grandsons. “It’s a humbling experience,” says the always-intense coach. “I’m enjoying it, but it’s been a difficult transition back to the youth level, which is where I started a long time ago with Peewee teams.”

He’s coaching fifth through eighth graders, he explains, “because nobody signed up to coach Pony League or Little League, and it seemed kind of strange to me that a town with Norway’s baseball history had no one to coach.”

Van Scoyoc’s mild frustration hints at a broader dismay with the state of the sport he played and coached for more than 50 years.

“It’s not very good,” he says of the future of Iowa high school baseball. “You might consider me an old-timer now and we always tell you how great it used to be.”

Read more...
 

Woods promoted to New York-Penn League

It took Nate Woods only 20 games to earn his first promotion in the minor leagues.

Woods, 22, has been promoted to the Jamestown (N.Y.) Jammers in the New York-Penn League after spending his first month in pro baseball in the Rookie Gulf Coast League in Florida.

The New York-Penn League is a Short Season Class A League with 14 teams in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont and Connecticut.

Woods hit .347 with two homers, 10 doubles, one triple and 14 RBIs for the Florida Marlins' team in the Gulf Coast League. He was informed Sunday night that he'd been promoted and headed to New York on Monday.

Woods starred at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids (Class of 2007) and enjoyed a productive career at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., where he set school slugging records and helped the Bruins reach the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time in school history this year.

Read more...
 

Protect your rotator cuff

The rotator cuff is the most important part of functional anatomy for high school athletes throwing a softball or baseball.

The prevailing theory for softball pitchers is that the windmill pitching motion puts less stress on the shoulder than the overhead throwing motion of baseball pitchers.

Yet recent research tells us that shoulder injuries are not only the most common injury to a high school baseball or softball player, but that these injuries may be on the rise in both baseball and softball. What gives?

The rotator cuff is a functional set of four small muscles (see diagrams). These muscles surround the shoulder joint. They function as a finely tuned mechanism to control position of the ball (humeral head bone) on the socket (glenoid portion of the shoulder blade) during throwing.

The myth in sports, especially softball and baseball, is that the rotator cuff needs to be “strong.” Research has clearly debunked that myth.

In actuality, it’s the timing/coordination of the four muscles, along with their ability to resist fatigue, that are the keys to their function.

Any reader can see on the diagrams that the rotator cuff muscles are small and thin, thus they are unable to provide power to the throwing motion.

Read more...
   

Former Metro preps in pro baseball

RYAN SWEENEY (Xavier, Oakland Athletics) -- Came in as a defensive replacement in left field Sunday and was 0-for-1 in the Athletics' 9-1 win over the Angels.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .286 (44-154), HR -- 0, RBI -- 10, 2B -- 6, 3B -- 1, R -- 17, SB -- 1.

MATT HOLLAND (Marion, GCL Phillies) -- The Phillies were not scheduled to play Sunday.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .283 (13-46), HR -- 2, RBI -- 7, 2B -- 4, 3B -- 0, R -- 14, SB -- 1.

SCOTT SCHEBLER (Prairie, Ogden (Dodgers)) -- Started as designated hitter Sunday and was 0-for-4 in Ogden's 5-1 win at Billings.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .339 (41-121), HR -- 5, RBI -- 29, 2B -- 9, 3B -- 4, R -- 19, SB -- 1.

KELLEN SWEENEY (Jefferson, Bluefield (Blue Jays)) -- Did not play Sunday in Bluefield's 9-1 win over Kingsport. He has been sidelined since June 30 with a hand injury.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .114 (4-35), HR -- 0, RBI -- 1, 2B -- 1, 3B -- 0, R -- 4, SB -- 0.

NATE WOODS (Xavier, GCL Marlins) -- Started at designated hitter Sunday and was 1-for-4 with an RBI and double in the Marlins' 6-2 win over the GCL Cardinals.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .347 (25-72), HR -- 2, RBI -- 14, 2B -- 10, 3B -- 1, R -- 16, SB -- 0.

 

Zach Johnson update

Former Cedar Rapids Regis prep Zach Johnson played in the British Open this weekend and finished tied for 16th.

Zach ranks 35th on the PGA Tour money list with $1,632,972.

He ranks 30th on the FedEx Cup points list with 855.

Zach has played in 17 events and made 15 cuts.

He has three top 10 finishes and nine in the Top 25.

His Official World Golf Ranking is 33.

 

   

Page 1409 of 1536

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