Tuesday, February 18, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Alumni gridders ready to bang heads

Forget the notion that the first-ever local high school alumni football games Saturday night at Kingston Stadium are going to be like sandlot free-for-alls with a bunch of out-of-shape, has-been ex-jocks.

These guys are dead serious.

Oh, most were in better condition during their prime playing days. And there are a few never-weres.

But pride and bragging rights will be on the line when alums from Linn-Mar and Marion High School square off at 5:30 Saturday, followed at 8 by fellows from Kennedy and Jefferson.

The trash talking has already started.

"I just hope those Jeff guys got their medical waivers signed," said Kameron "Freight Train" Beets, who at 19 is the youngest former Cougar on the Kennedy squad. "'Cause I plan to lay some of 'em out."

One-time Jefferson defensive tackle stalwart Nelson Evans, the second-oldest on his team at age 36, scoffed at such insolence.

"Cute nickname," said the former Truman State star. "I've known Kameron since he was a small boy. I remember being young, dumb and loud, too."


J-Hawks' sweep delivers Valley crown

WATERLOO - The Jefferson J-Hawks softball team needed a sweep Thursday night at Waterloo East to hold off Dubuque Hempstead for the Valley Division title.

They got it.

After a thrilling 2-1, 10-inning win in the opener, the No. 7 J-Hawks (31-7, 22-3) sewed up the Valley title with a 6-1 win in the nightcap behind a strong performance from senior Katie Naber.

“It feels great to win our conference, but I was pitching well and enjoying it since it is possibly the last game I may play in,” said Naber, who likely will not pitch in the regional tournament series. “My main goal was to finish strong.”

Naber finished strong in game two, but the real excitement came in the J-Hawks' victory in the opener. The game was a preview of what could be a regional semifinal matchup on Monday at Jefferson.  Waterloo East (18-20, 13-12) hosts Cedar Rapids Washington (5-31, 3-23) in a first-round game Saturday. The winner of that game plays at Jefferson on Monday.

“They are a good team and we will just have to play J-Hawk softball on Monday,” Jefferson junior pitcher Hannah Petersen said.

Petersen went 10 strong innings for the J-Hawks in the opener, giving up just one run on six hits for the win. Trojans ace junior Alyson Netty went the complete 10 innings, giving up two unearned runs on six hits.

“It was not that tough (to go 10 innings) because early in the season I was pitching two games,” Petersen said. Naber was suspended for the first third of the season and Petersen pitched both ends of doubleheaders during her absence.


Charipar helps Marion sweep West Delaware

Andrew Charipar knew he needed a triple to hit for the cycle Thursday night, but he simply hit the ball too well.

He had to settle for a walk-off home run instead.

Charipar went 4-for-4 and socked two homers as the Marion Indians dumped West Delaware, 14-3, in five innings in the first game of a Wamac Conference doubleheader at Marion.

The Indians won the nightcap, 10-0, in six innings to complete the sweep.

Charipar already had a single, double and home run when he came to the plate in the fifth inning with Marion holding a 12-3 lead and a runner on base. He knew he needed a three-bagger to finish the cycle, which is a rare feat in baseball.

"I actually talked to a teammate about it," he said. "He mentioned something in the dugout about getting a triple."

Charipar crushed the ball to left-center, and for a few seconds it looked like he might get that triple.

"Off the bat, I didn't think it was going out, so I was hustling toward first and then I guess it kept going," he said with a smile. "I was happy either way."

The ball sailed over the fence for a two-run homer, stopping the game by the 10-run rule.


Prospect Meadows gets highly favorable report

The Prospect Meadows Ball Fields project in Linn County has taken a big step forward.

A feasibility study demonstrates strong support for the project, which would include 17 fields on 112 acres near the junction of County Home Road and Highway 13 north of Marion.

Approximately 80 percent of the people who participated in the study were "very impressed" and "very supportive" of the project, according to Richard Bice, the vice president of the non-profit group that wants to build the complex.

Approximately 75 percent of the people in the study think the project would have a "very definite" financial benefit to the community, and 70 percent liked the location of the fields.

"The highlight of the whole thing is that everybody thought it would be good for the community, and everybody also thought it's something that would be appreciated in the generations to come," Bice told the Metro Sports Report Thursday morning. "Those percentages are up there pretty high.

"For these times, it was an extremely favorable result," he said. "We were very pleased with the acceptance in the community. It worked out very, very well."

Bice said 50 business people and community leaders were interviewed for the feasibility study, which cost $20,000 and was financed by the Linn County Board of Supervisors.


Furnish wins PGA Junior Iowa title

Megan Furnish of Cedar Rapids won the 36th PGA Junior Iowa Section Championship Wednesday by firing an even-par 144 during the two-day event at Hunters Ridge Golf Club in Marion.

Furnish beat Beth Wagner of Ankeny by two shots. Kimmy Askelson of Cedar Rapids placed third at 9-over-par 153.

Furnish fired a 2-under-par 70 on Tuesday, then shot a 2-over 74 Wednesday to finish at even par.

Furnish won the girls 16-18 division against 15 other golfers. She will be a senior at Cedar Rapids Jefferson this year.

Furnish qualified for the 36th PGA Junior National Championship that will be held Aug. 2-5 at the Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Jacob Bermel of Cedar Falls won the boys 16-18 division Wednesday at Hunters Ridge.


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