Friday, October 23, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Metro pair win MVC Athlete baseball honors

Kennedy senior Austin Christensen and Prairie senior DJ Utley were named baseball Athletes of the Year in their respective divisions of the Mississippi Valley Conference.

Christensen won the honor in the Mississippi Division, Utley in the Valley Division.

Kennedy, which won the Mississippi Division by a game over Dubuque Wahlert, had three players named to the division first team. Joining Christensen are senior second baseman Terrell Sykes and junior third baseman Devon Jacobus. Washington had two players on the first team, senior outfielder Jordy Brown and sophomore first baseman AJ Puk.

Linn-Mar did not have any players on the first team, but had three on the second team: sophomore pitcher Nate Greve, senior shortstop Ben Larison and junior outfielder Michael Redmond. Kennedy also had three players on the second team: senior pitcher Griffin Michael, junior first baseman Cody Bell and senior outfielder David Yancey.

Prairie had four players on the Valley Division first team. Joining Utley are senior pitcher Anthony Gagliardi, senior catcher Dustin Carlson and junior infielder Brayton Carlson.

Xavier and Jefferson had two players apiece on the first team. Xavier's players are senior pitcher Ean McNeal and junior utility man Mack Mattke, a slugging first baseman and pitcher. Jefferson's players are senior second baseman Tanner Unkel and senior outfielder Michael Rooney.

Xavier had three players on the second team: senior pitcher Dane Mehring, senior catcher Colby Brecht and sophomore third baseman Corbin Woods. Prairie had two second teamers: senior outfielder Chaz Boots and sophomore utility man Brennan Hammer.

Coaches of the Year were Bret Hoyer and the Kennedy staff in the Mississippi Division and Charlie Stumpff and the Iowa City West staff in the Valley Division.


Sources: Hubbard was kicked off UI basketball team

Anthony Hubbard was dismissed from the University of Iowa basketball team last week because he violated a "zero tolerance policy" that was established for him when he was allowed to join the Big Ten program under unusual circumstances.

Four sources have told the Metro Sports Report that Hubbard did not fulfill all of the guidelines set by UI administrators and Coach Fran McCaffery when he joined the team, leading to his abrupt departure that was announced last Thursday.

One of the sources said Tuesday that Hubbard was involved in an incident "two weeks ago" that led to his dismissal from the squad, but declined to reveal the incident.

Another source said Hubbard did not break any laws, but said Hubbard violated the "zero tolerance policy" and was told he would not be allowed to stay on the team.

One of the sources said Hubbard was not involved with drugs or illegal substances, but the source also declined to reveal what happened.

Another source said the infraction might have resulted in a minor penalty - or perhaps no penalty at all - if it had been committed by any other member of the UI men's basketball team, but that Hubbard was given no margin for error when given his scholarship this past April.

None of the sources wanted to be identified for purposes of this story.

Hubbard, who grew up in Virginia, said in a press release last Thursday that he was leaving the program because he wanted to attend another school "perhaps closer to home."

Hubbard, 26, spent nearly four years in prison for his involvement in an armed robbery in 2003. He played basketball at a junior college in Maryland last season and was given a scholarship to join the Hawkeyes for the 2011-12 campaign.


Gladson's struggles continue at GCRO

Marc Gladson played golf at Linn-Mar High School and Wake Forest for fun, but he's a professional golfer now and it's his job. And not an easy one, either.

Gladson has been a pro for about 14 months and has earned "maybe $1,200" on various mini-tours and a few events in Iowa, barely enough to buy new golf balls.

Gladson's struggles continued Friday when he shot a 4-over-par 76 in the opening round of the Greater Cedar Rapids Open at Hunters Ridge, putting him in jeopardy of missing the 36-hole cut for Sunday's final round.

Gladson, 24, said he isn't worried about the money at this point. His parents, Julie Gladson and Elmcrest Country Club pro Larry Gladson, are helping him financially, and his friend Zach Johnson has encouraged him to stay patient and keep working hard.

"If you measure yourself with how much money you make, then you're not going to keep your chin up very much," Gladson said after Friday's round on a hot, muggy day in Marion.


Shrine Bowl is a great show

If you want football, we’re going to give you football.

This Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames will be the 39th edition of the North-South Shrine All-Star game, to once again benefit the Shrine’s great program in running children’s hospitals across the country.

I’ve checked this week with Jerry Hoffman, who is the manager of the Shrine Bowl, about the workouts of the two teams in the heat of an Iowa summer. He reported that they have not had any problems with players because of the heat, and that the workouts have been in the main without pads and without helmets. Some of the practices have been held in the Cyclones’ indoor facility, and that too has worked well.

But on Saturday evening at Jack Trice, it will be helmets, pads and action in the first football game of the upcoming season. The Metro area will be well represented on the North team with Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Chase Kleopfer, Marion’s Dusty Albaugh, Linn-Mar’s Jer Garman and Kennedy’s Ross Ellsworth.

Albaugh made the trip from Ames to Van Horne to play for the Marion Indians in the Class 3A substate baseball finals Wednesday night, then after the game returned to his football duties.  And incidentally, he’s becoming familiar with the Iowa State campus since he’ll be going there this fall.


Shrine Bowl will be Albaugh's last grid game

Dusty Albaugh has been practicing for Saturday's 39th Annual Shrine Bowl with guys who will play college football this fall for teams all over the midwest, but this probably will be the last time he plays in an organized game.

Albaugh thought about college football and had several offers from junior colleges and Iowa Conference schools, but he's decided to enroll at Iowa State University as a regular student and not pursue an athletic career in college.

Unless he changes his mind or something dramatic happens, the Marion High School senior will play for the North squad Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames and then hang up the pads for good.

"My decision came down to my education. That was the most important thing," said Albaugh, who plans to major in biology. "I'm an athletic guy and I love sports, but you get to that next level and it's all about the education and where it's going to get you the farthest in life."

Albaugh is a versatile 6-foot, 175-pound athlete who has starred in football, basketball, baseball and track at Marion. He helped the Indians reach the Class 3A state baseball tournament Wednesday night with a clutch hit in a 6-5 victory over Williamsburg, so his prep baseball career will end next week at the state tournament in Des Moines.

His football career will end Saturday night in Ames. He played offense and defense at Marion, but he'll be strictly a defensive back for the North squad Saturday.


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