Monday, February 24, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Marion nabs 4th Wamac title in 5 years

It's not a dynasty.

Marion High School baseball coach Steve Fish made that clear Wednesday night. In fact, he won't use the word.

"I just think we have some kids that buy into it," he said.

The Indians buy into winning division titles in the historic Wamac Conference. They did it again this season, which makes four times in the last five years.

Marion has captured West Division flags in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, but Fish insisted it's not a dynasty.

A mini-dynasty, perhaps.

"It's something we try to do every year," said Kasey Semler, Marion's all-state second baseman who has started since his freshman year in 2008. "It's not that important, but at the same time it's kind of nice to shoot for something."

The Indians tied Waterloo Columbus for the West Division title this year with an 11-3 record in the division. They clinched the pennant last week, which is a good thing considering the way their doubleheader with Western Dubuque turned out Wednesday night.

The Bobcats swept Marion, 9-3 and 8-7, in a Wamac Conference doubleheader at the Marion field, but the results had nothing to do with the division races.


The stories of 2010-11 - No. 5

As we come to the end of the 2010-11 high school sports year here in the Metro area, it seems like a good time to look back at the top sports stories, at least to this broadcaster.

This list is not right or wrong, and it certainly is open to interpretation. But looking back, I really believe these were the most interesting and intriguing stories of the past year.

I hope you enjoy.

No. 5 (tie) Xavier Soccer and Prairie's re-emergence

I know what you're thinking. Starting right off the bat with a tie, take a stand a pick one. Well, I can't. Both of these stories were big enough to be on the list of top stories for the year.

The Xavier boys and girls both won state championships.

What's new?

The Xavier girls capture their sixth straight championship, this year in Class 2A as the IGHSAU expanded soccer to three classes. Xavier has won 18 straight games in Muscatine. The names keep changing, but the result remains the same.

The boys won their second consecutive and fifth title overall in Des Moines. If you put that together that's eleven championship banners flying in the rafters of Thillen Gymnasium.


J-Hawks struggle with the sticks in loss

The hitting contests are out. The Jefferson baseball team will be taking some serious batting practice Thursday night in preparation for Friday's substate first round game against Kennedy.

Jefferson was held to three hits Wednesday night and was beaten by Davenport North, 5-4, in the J-Hawks' regular season finale at Jefferson.

Davenport North (21-16) scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to go ahead 5-3. Kyle Williams' two-out RBI single on a no-ball, two-strike pitch gave the Wildcats a 4-3 lead. The second run came across on the J-Hawks' third error of the game.

Jefferson (14-23) tallied once in the bottom of the seventh on doubles by Jake Schmidt and Tanner Unkel and had runners at first and second with two outs. But Bailey Hollingsworth, who had the J-Hawks' only other hit, took a called third strike to end the game.

Jefferson assistant coach Gordy Nordgren, filling in for a third-straight game as acting coach for Mike Kuba, said the J-Hawks were victims of "bad batting practice."  Rather than the usual batting practice, Nordgren had some fun with his team and held three contests - bunting, hit-and-run and home run hitting.

"Those are always fun, but we're not doing that again Thursday night," Nordgren said.


Alumni football game was 'a blast'

(Guy Martino is an intern this summer for the Metro Sports Report. A former Kennedy standout quarterback, Martino played in Saturday's alumni football game at Kingston Stadium. This is his first-person account of the game and events leading up to it.)

The locker rooms at Kingston Stadium have a distinctive smell. Scents of sweat, paired with heavily used football equipment, linger in the dimly lit changing spaces.

After graduating from Kennedy High School in 2008, I was happy that I was never going to have to smell those locker rooms again. I was going to move on to bigger things and nicer smelling locker rooms.

A few years have gone by since then, and new opportunities and experiences have come and gone, but something that hasn’t changed is my love for the game of football.

Earlier this year I was informed that there was going to be an alumni football game in Cedar Rapids, and naturally I became excited.

For the past 26 years, Alumni Football USA has been hosting full contact alumni football games across the country. This organization has achieved great success, as 20,000 fans have attended some of these alumni games, and nearly $200,000 has been raised for participating schools.

In 2011, for the first time in the organization’s history, they came through Iowa, and planned a rivalry game between Kennedy alumni and Jefferson alumni for Saturday, July 9.


Davidson's hit lifts J-Hawks past East

The third time wasn't the charm for Waterloo East.

Kaitlyn Davidson's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning broke a 4-4 tie and sent seventh-ranked Jefferson past Waterloo East, 7-4, Monday night in a Class 4A regional semifinal tournament game at Jefferson.

Jefferson advances to Thursday's regional final against the winner of the Marshalltown-West Des Moines Dowling. That game was postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday night. The game Thursday is scheduled to be played at Marshalltown.

Jefferson (32-7) was playing East (19-21) for the third time in the past five days. Jefferson won a pair at East Thursday night. Monday's game also was the second time both teams got to try to figure out the others ace pitcher. Jefferson junior Hannah Petersen and East's Alyson Netty hooked up in pitchers duel in last Thursday's opener, won by the J-Hawks 2-1 in 10 innings. That game took nine innings for either team to score.

It appeared Monday that both teams had figured out each other's pitcher. Jefferson had eight hits, East seven.

“We knew what Netty would throw and they knew what Pete (Petersen) would throw,” Jefferson Coach Larry Niemeyer said. “It was kind of a standoff.”



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