Friday, January 24, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Cougars blow past Marshalltown in substate

The Kennedy boys soccer team is moving on to the Class 3A substate finals on Saturday after topping Marshalltown, 2-0, on Wednesday at Kingston Stadium.

The semifinal game was played in heavy winds of between 20 and 25 mph.

“We played going against a heavy, heavy wind,” Kennedy co-coach Steven Robertson said. “Obviously, that is really tough to play well in, especially a team like us that likes to possess the ball and knock it around. The nice thing is we were able to do that, keep possession and keep them from attacking us when they had the wind at their back.”

The Cougars managed to stay on the attack through much of the first half despite going into the stiff winds.

Their possession paid off in the 18th minute when sophomore Cam Milks ran onto an errant header by a Marshalltown defender at the top of the box and buried it into the net.


Wash boys escape Senior in substate soccer

The fifth-ranked Washington boys soccer team was in for a little bit harder fight than they realized on Wednesday in their windy Class 3A substate semifinal game at Kingston Stadium.

Just 12 days after beating Dubuque Senior 7-0 on the same field, the Warriors (15-3) found themselves in a tussle with the Rams (4-15). Washington sneaked in a goal in the closing minutes of the game for a 1-0 victory.

“I think the kid may have come in a little too relaxed,” said Coach J.P. Graham. “Things change when you get up a goal or two on somebody, then the whole atmosphere of the game goes. But when the team feels like they have a chance they continue to play well and play harder.”

The Dubuque Senior team seemed to be making sure that Washington couldn’t open up that lead again, playing a defensive style othat included nine and at times 10 players in the box defending.

Although Washington dominated the play and had nearly all of the dangerous opportunities in the game, Senior was able to keep them out of goal for almost all of regulation.



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.



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