Friday, October 31, 2014
THURSDAY'S SCOREBOARD - REGIONAL VOLLEYBALL - Marion 3, Davenport Assumption 0 .... Xavier 3, Fairfield 0 .... Jefferson 3, Marshalltown 2 .... Prairie 3, Davenport West 0 .... Kennedy 3, Linn-Mar 2 .... COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL - Culver-Stockton 3, Mount Mercy 0
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kennedy High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

No. 9 Cougars rally to oust Lions, 3-2

The Kennedy Cougars lost the first two games against Linn-Mar Thursday night and trailed 22-18 in the third set when Coach Michelle Goodall called a timeout with her team on the verge of being eliminated from the Class 5A regional volleyball tournament.

She must have said the magic words.

The ninth-ranked Cougars rallied for a dramatic 23-25, 26-28, 25-23, 25-23, 15-12 victory in the regional semifinals at Linn-Mar.

Kennedy (28-9) will face third-ranked Dowling in the regional finals at Newton Tuesday night, with the winner claiming a spot in the state tournament at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Goodall challenged her players during that timeout with the Cougars just three points away from extinction.

"I told them in that timeout, 'Who believes we're going to win the next three points?,'" she said. "Three or four of them said, 'Yeah, we're gonna.'"

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 October 2014 22:06



Linn-Mar divers take top 3 spots

Linn-Mar's Mikaela Lengwin scored 457.50 points to win the district diving championship Thursday night at the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center.

Teammates Alyssa Deuso (438.10) and Georgia Sanderson (408.80) finished second and third. The next three spots were claimed by Kennedy, headed up by Carolyn Simon at 376.55 points. Washington's Amara Taylor was seventh. All seven divers have qualified for the state meet.

The diving points will be added to the team totals at the swimming portion of the district meet that begins at noon Saturday at Linn-Mar.

Here are the results of Metro-area divers.

1 Mikaela Lengwin (LM), 457.50; 2 Alyssa Deuso (LM) 438.10; 3. Georgia Sanderson, (LM) 408.80; 4. Carolyn Simon (K) 376.55; 5. Jayden Lovell (K) 362.90; 6. Courtney Fisher (K) 358.55; 7. Amara Taylor (W) 345.05.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 October 2014 22:14

Schulz delivers as Cougars top Muskies

MUSCATINE - Mark Schulz was so distraught after missing a game-winning field goal against Jefferson earlier this year that he parked his car alongside the Kennedy practice field after the game, shined his headlights on the goal posts and worked on his kicking until 2 o'clock in the morning.

Practice made perfect.

Schulz split the uprights with a 27-yard field goal as time expired Wednesday night as Kennedy stunned Muscatine, 20-17, in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs at Muscatine.

Tailback Tyler Dralle had an immense game for the Cougars with 45 carries for 229 yards, sending Kennedy (3-7) into the second round at second-ranked Bettendorf (10-0) Monday night.

Schulz did not want to sleep after he misfired on a 33-yarder against Jefferson at Kingston Stadium and the J-Hawks prevailed, 27-24, in overtime.



Lions are 'most improved' team in 4A

Linn-Mar football coach Bob Forsyth said in August that he was "cautiously optimistic" about the 2014 season and hopeful for a good year.

He may have underplayed his hand a bit.

Quite simply, Linn-Mar is the most improved team in Class 4A this year with a good chance of making a deep run in the playoffs.

The Lions finished with a 2-7 record in 2013 and improved to an 8-1 mark for the regular season this year. That's a gain of six victories and that plus-6 mark is the best among all 46 Class 4A teams in Iowa.

Lewis Central is next on the "most improved" list at plus-4, going from four victories in 2013 to eight wins in 2014.

Two Metro teams tied for third place in the "most improved" category at plus-3. The Washington Warriors jumped from 6-3 to 9-0 and the Jefferson J-Hawks climbed from 1-8 to 4-5.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 19:35



No. 9 Cougars dream about state volleyball

Michelle Goodall steered Kennedy High School to the semifinals of the state volleyball tournament in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 during a remarkable four-year run, but the Cougars have not reached the state meet the last two seasons.

Goodall is anxious to get back to the 2014 tournament, which will be held at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids Nov. 11-14.

"It's weird when your season ends early," Goodall said Monday night. "The kids have a little dream going on. We're hopeful of getting down there. I'm guessing every kid in the state has the same dream."

The ninth-ranked Cougars began the postseason trail Monday with a 25-19, 25-7, 25-9 victory over Cedar Rapids Washington in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals at the Kennedy gym.

Kennedy (27-11) will play at Linn-Mar (27-11) Thursday night in the regional semifinals. The regional finals will be held Tuesday, Nov. 4 at Newton with third-ranked Dowling looming in the other half of the bracket.



Cougars deserve cheers, not jeers

It would be easy to make fun of the Kennedy Cougars for making the Class 4A football playoffs with a 2-7 record, but that would be a big mistake.

First of all, the Kennedy players are not responsible for the new district format this year that made it possible for 2-7 clubs to advance. Administrators did that, not the athletes.

Secondly, the Cougars should be applauded for sticking with it and playing hard after a rough 0-6 start. They had to adjust to a new head coach and new offensive scheme, and they lost a couple of games they could have - maybe should have - won.

Kennedy began the season with a 12-9 setback at Iowa City City when the Trojans threw a 33-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-15 with 1:59 left in the game. Four weeks later, the Cougars missed a 33-yard field on the final play of the fourth quarter and fell to Jefferson, 27-24, in overtime

Two weeks ago, the Cougars scored a touchdown with 71 seconds left against Cedar Falls to pull within 21-20, but they unable to convert a two-point conversion and lost by a single point.



Cougars storm into playoffs at 2-7

The Kennedy Cougars shook off several layers of frustration Friday night and stormed into the Class 4A playoffs with an impressive 48-28 victory over Waterloo West at Kingston Stadium.

The Cougars will enter the postseason tournament Wednesday night with a lowly 2-7 record, but they managed to claim the No. 3 seed from Class 4A District 5 and will play a No. 2 seed from another district in the opening round on the road.

Kennedy suffered a string of near-misses during the regular season against Iowa City West, Jefferson and Cedar Falls that could have given them a winning record, but they shoved all that disappointment aside Friday night and will get a new chance in the playoffs.

"This win meant lots," said Kennedy quarterback Sammy Lizarraga, who had three touchdown passes Friday. "We have qualified 10 straight times for the playoffs with this win. It continues quite a tradition for us."

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:22



Cougars ranked 9th in volleyball poll

The Kennedy Cougars will enter the postseason volleyball playoffs next week as the highest ranked Class 5A team from the Metro area.

Kennedy climbed one spot to No. 9 in the final poll of the season Thursday after reaching the championship round of the Mississippi Valley Conference tournament last Saturday.

The Marion Indians remained third in the Class 4A rankings despite losing two matches in the tough Wamac Conference tournament Tuesday.

The Prairie Hawks dropped out of the Class 5A poll Thursday.


1. Bettendorf (34-0), 2. Ankeny Centennial (36-3), 3. Dowling (35-5), 4. Johnston (34-5), 5. Ankeny (33-6), 6. West Des Moines Valley (35-10), 7. Council Bluffs Lincoln (35-13), 8. Iowa City High (22-9), 9. Kennedy (26-11), 10. Southeast Polk (30-9).


1. Harlan (35-2), 2. West Delaware (41-2), 3. Marion (30-7), 4. Sioux City Heelan (28-11), 5. Clear Creek-Amana (24-9), 6. Charles City (39-4), 7. Indianola (30-9), 8. LeMars (29-9), 9. Waverly-Shell Rock (31-19), 10. Boone (31-6), 11. Dallas Center-Grimes (23-13), 12. Davenport Assumption (18-13), 13. Fort Madison (28-10), 14. Glenwood (16-13), 15. ADM (21-12).


Altemeier, Eck run to state meet

CEDAR FALLS - Sarah Altemeier and Sam Eck of Cedar Rapids Washington placed in the top 10 at the district cross country meet in Cedar Falls Thursday and qualified for the Class 4A state meet in Fort Dodge Nov. 1.

Altemeier finished fifth in the girls 4K race in 15 minutes, 38 seconds. Eck placed 10th in the boys 5K event in 16 minutes, 46 seconds.

The top three teams and top 10 individuals advance to state. Washington, Jefferson and Kennedy did not qualify their boys teams or girls teams for state.

Birdsall Park, Cedar Falls


Team Standings

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 21:46



3 Metro teams seek playoff berths

It will be interesting to see how many high school football teams with 2-and-7 records make the Class 4A playoffs this year.

The Kennedy Cougars will make the 32-team field with a 2-7 mark if they defeat Waterloo West at Kingston Stadium Friday night, but they're not the only ones who could advance with a 2-7 record.

Iowa City High, Clinton and Mason City also could "earn" spots in the Class 4A tournament with 2-7 marks. That would be an improvement for Mason City, which qualified a few years ago with a 1-8 record.

We can thank - or blame - the district format for all this. The only results that count are district games. The non-district games are simply exhibitions, as far as making the playoffs, so it's a lot easier to make the playoffs now.

You can lose all of your non-district games, finish fourth in your district with a wobbly record and march into the playoffs at 2-7 (and sometimes even 1-8).

Under the old conference format, it normally took at least four victories to make the playoffs, although occasionally a team would slip through with a 3-6 mark. The schools voted for this system, so now everyone has to live with it.

Washington, Linn-Mar and Xavier have clinched playoff berths. The top-ranked Warriors are 8-0 and rolling along. The sixth-ranked Lions are 7-1, with the only loss to Washington. The Saints are 5-3, but have struggled on offense in their losses to Dowling (24-2), Western Dubuque (7-6) and Iowa City Regina (21-7) with only one touchdown on offense.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:58


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