Sunday, August 25, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Quick courtship puts Henry in charge at Wash

Brent Henry went home Monday night as one of the assistant coaches for the Cedar Rapids Washington baseball team.

When he returned the next day, he was the new head coach.

Henry, 31, has succeded Byron Schlotterback as Washington's interim head coach, but he'll have the job all season and perhaps beyond.

Schlotterback has taken a leave of absence from Cedar Rapids Community Schools for unexplained reasons after three years as Washington's head coach. He also has been the director of vocal music at Jefferson High School.

Washington reacted quickly and promoted Henry, a Cornell College grad who has been an assistant coach at the collegiate and high school levels for five years apiece. Washington High School principal Ralph Plagman, activities director Paul James, assistant principal Mike Johnson and assistant principal Rick Williams met earlier this week and decided Henry was the right man for the job.

"Paul James and Dr. Plagman approached me on Tuesday and asked me," Henry said after practice Thursday. "They said Byron is taking a personal leave of absence, we've got an opening for an interim coach, is that something you'd be interested in?

"They asked and I said, 'Absolutely.' It was instantaneous. I didn't have to think about that one bit."


Xavier tops Kennedy in OT thriller

It took 94 minutes for somebody to score Friday night when Xavier and Kennedy met in a boys soccer match at Kennedy.

That "somebody" was Josh Steffensmier, and he gave Xavier a 1-0 victory in double-overtime.

Neither team scored during 80 minutes of regulation, and neither team scored during 10 minutes of the first overtime. Finally, the Saints got it done with six minutes left in the second OT.

Michael Tessmer got the winning play started, Zach Smith tapped the ball to Steffensmier and Steffensmier delivered.

Nathan Even made seven saves for the Saints, who are top-ranked in Class 2A at 10-1-1 overall and 9-1 in the Mississippi Valley Conference. Kennedy, ranked No. 6 in Class 3A, dropped to 8-4, 5-3.

Xavier 1, Kennedy 0 (2OT)

Goals -- CRX: Josh Steffensmeier. Assists -- CRX: Michael Tessmer.


Hockey, baseball and the bond of time

Last weekend Susie and I attended the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders hockey playoff games with Green Bay. The thought came to mind that the Metro Sports Report is geared toward high school athletes, and the RoughRiders have contributed to that with hockey players who attend Cedar Rapids high schools during the season.

Two of them were noteworthy in goaltender Brady Hjelle, who is the top goalie in the United States Hockey League and will be a freshman this fall at Ohio State, and Sam Warning, who will be a freshman and report to Minnesota next month.

It brought to mind the fact that it is, at times, a small world. Sam's grandfather attended the games last weekend and his name happens to be Don Bruss. He saw his grandson make the winning goal in a 2-1 playoff victory over Green Bay.

Bruss also thrilled yours truly with a phone call and a visit during the hockey game, because Don Bruss played center field for the Cedar Rapids Indians of 1951. At that time, he was a towhead who could really go get them in center field.


Plagman: Schlotterback requested leave

Byron Schlotterback will not coach the Cedar Rapids Washington baseball team this season, but his situation has nothing to do with his performance as the Washington coach.

Dr. Ralph Plagman, the principal at Washington High School, made that point Thursday morning.

"I can't say much," Dr. Plagman remarked. "What I'm officially supposed to say is he has requested a leave of absence for personal reasons and he does not wish to be contacted. That's the official line I've been given.

"We're assuming that's for the season," he said. "I've been told it's for the season."

Schlotterback, who was set to begin his fourth season as Washington's head coach, teaches at Jefferson High School where he has been the director of vocal music.

"Byron Schlotterback is on a personal leave from the school district for an undetermined length of time for personal matters," Marcia Hughes, the community relations supervisor for Cedar Rapids Community Schools, said in an e-mail.


Cougars tame Lions in a shootout

It was an exciting, fast paced boys soccer game when Kennedy met Linn-Mar on Thursday night, and both teams got their fair share of opportunities.

Neither team could separate themselves after 100 minutes of play, however. Kennedy sneaked away with a 2-1 victory on a shootout at Linn-Mar Stadium.

Both teams hit their first three shots in the shootout, but the Lions final two shots were off target and Linn-Mar keeper Justin Green could only keep one out of the net as Kennedy got the win.

“It was a tough game,” said Kennedy sophomore Sho Takaoka. “The Lions played very hard.”

With both teams stuck in a bit of a losing streak after dropping a pair to Iowa City West and Iowa City High, each team was intent on getting back on track on Thursday.

The sixth-ranked Cougars (8-3, 5-2 Mississippi Valley Conference) seemed to put most of the pressure on early, putting Green to the test, but he stepped up big for the No. 15 Lions (4-7, 2-7), making several nice saves including a one-on-one save against the Cougars' leading scorer, Garet Christianson.

“He made some good saves to keep them in the game,” said Kennedy co-head coach Mike Robertson. “He did a really good job.”



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