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Monday, May 27, 2019
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Metro Sports Report

Wash girls making 1st state soccer trip

By the end of the night, Washington girls soccer coach Sean McCoy was drenched and smiling from ear to ear.

After all, the eighth-ranked Warriors (16-3) are headed to the state tournament for the first time.

Washington beat No. 10 Linn-Mar in a hard fought 1-0 Class 3A regional final at Kingston Stadium on Monday.

“We have been working all year for this. People didn’t think we could make it. It was a rebuilding year for us so we are just excited that we get to go,” said Washington senior Ashley Piper.

“At the beginning of the year, we thought it was going to be a rebuilding year,” McCoy said. “But these kids decided that we would work, we would buy into some things that maybe we wouldn’t have in the past and the results have been phenomenal."

 

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Kennedy girls headed back to state

The fourth-ranked Kennedy girls soccer team is going back to the state tournament after rolling over Jefferson, 6-0, in a Class 3A regional final at Kingston Stadium on Monday.

The victory improves the Cougars to 15-3 and puts them into the state tournament for the sixth season in a row. They play West Des Moines Valley (14-4) Thursday at 8 p.m. at Muscatine.

“We are really fortunate to have a lot of talent in the area for whatever reason,” Kennedy Coach Homer Screws said. “Just being there before, it helps you with the nerves. You know what to expect once you get there and how things work, but it is just another game. You can’t put to much into it.”

The Cougars came out hot against Jefferson (8-11), dominating possession and creating scoring chances early against the J-Hawks defense.

It took senior Katie Helmlinger until the 16th minute to break the scoreless tie when she got the ball at the top of the box and fired it into the side netting.

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Healthy Appleget helps Kennedy trim Prairie

Kennedy junior Nick Appleget wears a brace on his left knee and there's a certain amount of pain when he pitches, but he figures he can live with all that.

Appleget's had three knee operations in three years - two major, one minor - and he's just happy to be able to pitch for the top-ranked Cougars again.

Appleget tossed one scoreless inning in relief Monday night to help Kennedy top Prairie, 7-3, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at Prairie.

"It feels good," he said. "Sitting on the bench is not my favorite thing."

Appleget allowed a leadoff single in the fifth inning, but retired the next three batters with a strikeout, fly ball and another strikeout.

 

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Linn-Mar is a prep superpower

Not many people will be quick to anoint Linn-Mar as the next superpower in high school sports. But judging by the school’s performance in 2010-2011, you have to wonder if that may not be true.

Linn-Mar, once one of the smaller schools in the Metro area, has grown by leaps and bounds in enrollment over the years and success in athletics has improved correspondingly. It now is behind only Kennedy in Metro area high school enrollment, and trails only Kennedy, Iowa City West and Waterloo West in Mississippi Valley Conference student population. Enrollment doesn’t necessarily translate to more extra-curricular success, but in large part it helps. The more students, the more athletes, the more depth, the more competition, the more good things happen.

Going into this week’s soccer regional tournaments, Linn-Mar has a chance to be represented at the state level in every girls sport. All eight other Linn-Mar girls teams either qualified or had individuals qualify at the state level. The Lions play Washington, a slightly higher-ranked team, Monday in a regional match with the chance to advance to state.

 

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Hoefle leads early, but misses Open by 4 shots

Linn-Mar coach and teacher Bill Hoefle missed qualifying for the U.S. Open by four strokes Monday after leading the pack over the first 18 holes.

Hoefle's first round score of 66 tied him for the lead with amateur Jace Long of Dixon, Mo., at  the sectional qualifying sat the St. Charles Country Club in suburban Chicago. Both shot 74 in the second round, tying them with three others at 140.

Professional Bennett Blakeman of Burr Ridge, Ill., shot a 68-67 to take top honors in the meet. He and two amateurs who shot 136 qualified out of field of 27 for the U.S. Open, June 16-19, at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

“I played very well all day,” Hoefle said Monday night. “Really, I hit the ball the same in both rounds.

“But the putts I was making in the first round didn’t fall in the second round. And I had some good breaks in the first round that I didn’t get in the second.

“It adds up to a different score, but I was in the hunt. A 69 in the second round, and I’d be in the U.S. Open.”

Hoefle, 40, is the sophomore boys basketball coach and assistant boys golf coach at Linn-Mar who just finished his sixth year as a business teacher at the school.  He played golf professionally for six years after graduation from Oklahoma State University in 1994.

This was the fifth time in his career that he has made it past a local qualifying round. Two years ago, he missed making the U.S. Open by two shots after scoring a double bogey on the final hole.

Hoefle said he had no similar regrets after his finish on Monday, with perfect conditions in the morning to hot and windy by the afternoon.

“Having the lead after 18 holes was a great experience," he said. "And I had a great time. It was a lot of fun. I had a chance but didn’t quite make it.”

   

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