Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Quick score sends Saints to substate final

Blustering winds and sloppy field conditions at Heco Field last night did not deter the Cedar Rapids Xavier boys soccer team from putting the ball in the net.

Quick scoring paired with a stiff defensive effort propelled the Saints past DeWitt Central 5-0 in a Class 2A substate semifinal last night at Xavier.

Xavier hosts Marion in the substate final Saturday at 12 p.m. Marion beat Mount Vernon, 3-0, Wednesday. The winner of that game advances to the state tournament, June 2-4 at Des Moines. Xavier is the defending state champion.

The Saints got the goals coming early when Logan Buschette connected only 2 minutes into the game. Xavier never looked back, getting goals from Luke Neuhaus, Chris Kapfer, and two from top scorer Chad Gilmer.

When they weren’t scoring, the Saints were busy stopping Dewitt Central’s offense. Allowing only three shots on goal in the first half, Xavier dominated the ball throughout the game.

Xavier Coach Amir Hadzic said there is room for improvement, but was generally pleased with his team’s effort.



Xavier beats Washington in Metro semis

The Washington Warriors made things too easy for the Xavier Saints in the semifinals of the Bob Vrbicek Metro Baseball Tournament Wednesday night.

The Saints parlayed six walks, five hits and four hit batters into an 8-3 victory over the Warriors on a cold, raw evening at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Dane Mehring pitched five shutout innings for Xavier (2-0) before being touched for three runs in the sixth inning.

Mac Mattke went 2-for-4 for the Saints with two doubles and drove in three runs. Corbin Woods went 2-for-4 for Xavier and knocked in a run.


Thoughts on the new 5 class IGHSAU

Last Saturday morning signaled the beginning of a new era for the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU).

Starting the summer of 2012 for softball, the IGHSAU will institute a fifth class for several high school sports -- volleyball, basketball, golf and softball. Three of those sports are the key revenue builders for the IGHSAU ... here's a clue, it's not golf!

Looking at this at first blush, one may take the official line of the IGHSAU; more kids will have the experience of reaching a state tournament and the class structures will be more equitable.

But let's examine this.

I have contended for many years, and I believe it has shown in competitors' attitudes and actions, that it is not as mush of a "big deal" to get to a state tournament as it once was. This trend began with the institution of the AAU, USSSA and club volleyball teams that kids begin to play around the age of seven or eight. Routinely these kids travel around the state, the region and, in cases of elite all-star teams, around the country to attend tournaments and play games.

After you've been to Las Vegas and Phoenix, driving to Des Moines on a school bus doesn't seem quite so glamorous, even though it's easier to get there than it ever has been. Teams that in the past had to win four or five games to get to a state competition now, more often than not, need only win two games to earn a ticket to Des Moines, or wherever the aforementioned competition is held. Communities don't seem to rally around the teams or kids as much as they once did.



Warriors whip Lions in girls state tennis

The third-ranked Washington girls tennis team showed it will be a force to be reckoned with at next week’s 2A state championship by whitewashing Linn-Mar, 5-0, Tuesday afternoon in the first round of the state tournament at the Veterans Memorial Tennis Center.

The Warriors advanced to the final field of four by posting straight set wins in singles matches. The sixth match was stopped with the team victory in hand.  No doubles matches were played.

The state team championship will be contested on Saturday, June 4, in Iowa City. Singles and doubles competition is June 2-3.

In claiming its first team state tournament berth since 1998, Washington (17-3) had little trouble with Linn-Mar (11-5).

The closest and longest match pitted Warrior ninth grade phenom Rina Moore against Lions sophomore Ashley Smith.  After nearly 90 minutes of hard-fought play, Moore prevailed, 6-3, 7-5. The win raised her season mark to 18-2, with one of the losses coming to top-seeded junior teammate Katie Hammond in the regional singles finals.


Warriors earn share of division title

Washington earned its share of the Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division girls soccer championship Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Dubuque Hempstead at Kingston Stadium.

Maddi Hines scored the only goal of the game for the Warriors (13-3, 11-2 MVC).

Washington finished in a first-place tie with Kennedy for the division title. The Warriors close out the regular season Friday at Davenport Central.

Hempstead (7-9, 5-8) finished its regular season. The Mustangs' next game is June 1 against Linn-Mar in the Class 3A regional tournament.


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