With one major exception.
This one was for a berth in the Class 4A state baseball tournament.
Kennedy used nine hits and seven Cedar Falls errors to bury the Tigers, 9-1, in a Class 4A substate final at the Cougar diamond.
It was the 600th career win for Hoyer, his 536th in 20 years at Kennedy. He also had 64 wins in three seasons as coach at Iowa City Regina.
"No," Hoyer said, when asked if Wednesday's victory had any more significance than any other he has had. "But any team that takes you to the state tournament, you're really happy for those kids, that they get to experience that.
"That's the biggest thing to me. I'm really happy for them."
The Kennedy players were surprised that their coach had reached such a significant milestone without their knowing about it.
"That's a pretty big deal. That's pretty cool," senior Cody Bell said. "This is something special."
"I didn't even know that," senior Jimmy Lizarraga said. "I'm going to have to congratulate him. He's a great coach. It's a great accomplishment."
Hoyer won't turn 47 until August, leaving him many more seasons to pad his total.
"It's crazy," senior Logan Ambrosy said. "He has a great philosophy on baseball and I know he'll continue his success."
Kennedy is making its third straight state tournament appearance and will be pursuing its second state title in three seasons next week. The Cougars (32-6) face Linn-Mar (29-11) in the first round next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Principal Park in Des Moines. The Lions beat Muscatine, 2-1, in eight innings to advance to the state tourney. Kennedy is seeded No. 2, Linn-Mar No. 7.
"We'll play whoever shows up," Hoyer said, before the Cougars' opponent was announced. "We'll go and give it a great effort because we've done that all year long."
Kennedy, top-seeded in the substate, survived a scare in its first round game last Friday night, a 2-0 win over sixth-seeded Waterloo East. Third-seeded Cedar Falls, meanwhile, had beaten Mason City, 4-1, and Xavier, 4-3, to reach the finals.
"I think we came out stronger this game," Lizarraga said. "We just didn't hit the ball (against East) as well as we did tonight. They (Cedar Falls) made some errors for us and we executed and (Alex) Hayden threw good.
"We had a lot more energy tonight. We were into the game a lot more. I think we were pumped up because we really want to get back to Des Moines."
Hayden allowed only two hits and one run over five innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.
"We know we are a better hitting team than what we came out (against East)," said Hayden, who ran his record to 10-2. "Our coach preaches pitching and defense, and that's what we've done two consecutive games, so we know if we do that we know we can give ourselves a good chance to win."
Kennedy scored single runs in the first and third innings in taking a 2-1 lead, then broke the game open in a five-run fifth. The Cougars had three hits in the frame and Cedar Falls committed three errors.
"That was a relief to our defense and our pitchers," said senior Josh Jahlas, who was headed back to Ames after the game to play in Saturday's Shrine Bowl football game. "When you get a decent lead it takes a lot of pressure off."
The speedy Jahlas and sophomore Derek Jacobus, a sprinter on the Kennedy track team, had three hits apiece for the Cougars.
"Cedar Falls was real good to us. We were able to get some pressure on them, get the ball on the ground and some of our guys that can run a little bit were on the bases at opportune times," Hoyer said.
Adam Lloyd and Nick Appleget each pitched an inning for Kennedy and both gave up a hit. The Cougars turned a nifty double play when Hayden, at second base, made a backhand flip to Jacobus at second, who fired to first to end the game with the bases loaded.
"We knew Cedar Falls was going to come ready to play, so we figured we needed to bring our A game," Bell said. "I was a little shaky in the field, but besides that, we were pretty good.
"We were jumping on a lot of fastballs. We were able to create some havoc."
Josh Jahlas, cf, 5 1 3 2, Cody Bell, 3b-1b, 4 2 1 0, Trenton Seubert, pr, 0 0 0 0, Logan Ambrosy, 1b-rf, 3 0 1 0, Devon Jacobus, 2b-3b, 2 0 0 0, Jared Staton, pr, 0 1 0 0, Alex Hayden, p-2b, 2 0 0 1, Jimmy Lizarraga, c, 3 0 1 0, Miles Moa, cr, 0 0 0 0, Ryan Sass, cr, 0 1 0 0, Adam Lloyd, rf-p, 1 1 0 1, Ryan Unash, ph, 1 0 0 0, Nick Appleget, p, 0 0 0 0, Derek Jacobus, ss, 4 2 3 0, Andrew Johnson, lf, 3 1 0 0. Totals 28 9 9 4.
CEDAR FALLS (1)
Jared Deines, 1b, 4 0 1 0, J.T. Sole, c, 3 0 0 0, Michael Kuntz, cr, 0 0 0 0, Shawn Hagarty, ss, 2 0 1 1, Jared Farley, 3b, 3 0 0 0, Clinton Fletcher, lf, 2 0 0 0, Dylan Paup, cf, 3 0 0 0, Jeffrey Daniels, rf, 3 0 0 0, Lucas Mozena, dh, 2 0 0 0, Christopher Balthazor, p, 0 0 0 0, Nick Hagedorn, p, 0 0 0 0, Colby Creger, 2b, 2 1 1 0. Totals 24 1 3 1.
Kennedy 101 150 1 -- 9 9 2
Cedar Falls 001 000 0 -- 1 3 7
Hayden, Lloyd (6), Appleget (7) and Lizarraga. Balthazor, Hagedorn (5) and Sole. W - Hayden (10-2). L - Balthazor (5-2). 2B - Creger (7). SB - Dr.Jacobus 2 (17).
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