Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Washpun would fit well with the Hawkeyes

We're back after missing a couple of editions of the Metro Sports Report, and through the magic hands of Jim Ecker (my typist) I did miss it. A hospital stay gives you time to reflect and time to thank the caregivers and doctors for their excellent care, and caring.

And a reflection I had was on a winter's night in January of a high school basketball game that featured new Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery scouting Wes Washpun at a Cedar Rapids Washington home game. Coach McCaffery came into the gym, sat by himself and watched the talents of Washpun.

Wes didn't have a particularly good night and I thought to myself, Coach McCaffery probably canceled him off the recruiting list. Now here we are in April and thank goodness, Wes has become a hot prospect for the Hawks, mainly because of Cully Payne's opt-out and the need to scurry for a guard to back up Bryce Cartwright. Instead of looking across the country, Coach McCaffery probably has his man 25 miles away.

What would Iowa get in the talented Washpun? Number one would be a great leaper. Number two would be plenty of court speed. Number three a good defender. What would Wes have to improve upon? Mid-range shooting, free throws and the ability on the drive to finish it.

I've found Wes to be a smiling, good-attitude guy who would fit in with the Iowa teammates extremely well. So here's a wish: If he wants it, and wants to compete in the Big Ten, here's an opportunity that never looked like it would come about.

PART II: Since this is the final weekend of the regular hockey season, I reminded the incoming pros - the Cedar Rapids Kernels - that the hockey RoughRiders are on the verge of winning the regular season title and the Anderson Cup, and it would behoove the Kernels to follow suit.

So congratulations to these high schoolers who have acquitted themselves in the USHL so well.


Washpun meets with McCaffery, waits to sign

Fran McCaffery made a strong pitch to Wes Washpun Thursday night, but Washpun left Carver-Hawkeye Arena without giving the University of Iowa basketball coach an answer on whether he plans to join the Hawkeyes next season or not.

Washpun said he'll probably decide by Monday or Tuesday what he plans to do, and a large part depends on whether new Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin offers a scholarship or not.

Washpun is a 6-foot-1 point guard from Cedar Rapids Washington who averaged 18 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.4 steals and 2.1 blocked shots this sesaon.

He said he expects to hear from Martin in the next day or two. Martin offered him a scholarship to Missouri State, but is still evaluating his new team at Tennessee.

Paul Lusk, a former Hawkeye and the new coach at Missouri State, has offered a scholarship, and Washpun said "Missouri State is still very much in the picture." The spring signing period begins Wednesday.

Washpun said he and his parents spent more than an hour in McCaffery's office at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"It went pretty good," he said. "We talked about how I would fit into the system, and how he would develop me as a player, what my role would be, and a little about what he plans to do (at Iowa) and the new facility they're building. And he talked to my parents about my living situation and what it would be."

Iowa is building a new practice facility adjacent to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"He said, of course, all my playing time would have to be earned," Washpun remarked, "but he'd like to use me and Bryce (Cartwright) together and also apart, to split up time like that."

Cartwright was Iowa's starting point guard this season and will be a senior during the 2011-12 campaign.


No. 1 Saints best No. 3 Bulldogs

BETTENDORF -- Meagan Konchar scored two goals and Kayla Armstrong added another to lead Class 2A No. 1 ranked Xavier past Class 3A No. 3 Bettendorf, 3-2, Friday in a nonconference girls soccer game.

Xavier improved to 2-0. Bettendorf was playing its first game.

Konchar scored both of her goals during the first 12 minutes of the match and Xavier led, 2-0, at halftime.

Bettendorf halved Xavier's lead early in the second half when Halli Meyer scored on a penalty kick.

Armstrong's goal boosted the Saints' lead to 3-1.

The Bulldogs pulled within 3-2 with just under 14 minutes to play when Abby Zimmerman booted home a rebound off a corner kick.


Xavier 3, Bettendorf 2

Goals -- CRX: Meagan Konchar 2, Kayla Armstrong; BETT: Halli Meyer, Abby Zimmerman. Assists -- CRX: Armstrong, Lauren Konchar, Berutti; BETT: Katie Moore.


Xavier ruins opening of new Linn-Mar stadium

The constant rain couldn't dampen the opening of the new Linn-Mar High School stadium.

Although the boys soccer game didn't go as the Lions wanted, the first game at the new facility was one for the ages as Xavier (No.1 in Class 2A) and Linn-Mar (No.11 in Class 3A) battled to the wire.

Xavier pulled out a 1-1 (3-1) victory on penalty kicks in a tense and highly competitive contest. Logan Buschette, Chad Gilmer and Michael Tessmer made the decisive penalty kicks for the Saints.

"We played a little spoiler here tonight," said Xavier Coach Amir Hadzic. "We knew that they would be pumped up coming to their new field, so those first 10 to 15 minutes were crucial."


National honor for Breitbach as Warner's favorite teacher

Dick Breitbach’s wife Kitty says you can throw out the name of a former student, and the long-time high school coach and teacher will tell you what year the kid graduated. He doesn’t forget them.

They don’t forget him either. This year his most well-known graduate, former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, singled him out for special recognition when he named him as his favorite teacher. Warner was one of four celebrities asked by the non-profit organization TeachersCount to choose his most influential teacher for a program called “Behind Every
Famous Person is a Fabulous Teacher.”


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