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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kennedy High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Xavier is host site for Metro tourney

Xavier is one of two host sites for the 48th annual Bob Vrbicek Metro Tournament, which kicks off the high school baseball season for the  Saints, the other six schools in the Cedar Rapids Metro and Mount Vernon.

Xavier Coach Bob Cataldo's team, which finished last season at  12-23-1, will host Marion at 7 p.m. on Monday, following the 5 p.m.  contest between Jefferson and Washington at Ken Charipar Field.

Prairie is the other host site. Coach Todd Rima's Hawks, the defending Class 4A state champions, face a tough opener against traditional power Kennedy at 7 p.m. following a 4:30 p.m. contest between Mount Vernon and Linn-Mar.

Semifinal and consolation round games are set for Tuesday. The championship and third-place games will be Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium with the fifth and seventh-place games to be played at Xavier.



No. 2 Eagles sweep to national tourney

GLENDIVE, Mont. - The long bus ride to Montana was worth it.

The second-ranked Kirkwood Eagles swept Dawson Community College, 10-1 and 4-0, to claim the district softball title Thursday and earn another trip to the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

Coach Joe Yegge is taking the Eagles to the national tournament for the fifth time in 10 years as head coach. The event will be held in  Clinton, Miss., from May 17-20.

Taylor Nearad belted a three-run homer and DoniRae Mayhew had a grand slam for Kirkwood in the 10-1 victory, which ended after five innings due to the mercy rule. Mayhew's homer was the 100th for Kirkwood this season.

Maddie Hansen hit a solo home run in the second game and Morgan Frost had a two-run single.



Cougars trim Xavier girls in 2 OT

The Kennedy Cougars topped the Xavier Saints, 3-2, in double-overtime Tuesday in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls soccer match at Heco  Field.

Kennedy took a 2-0 lead in the first half, but Xavier tied the game on a pair of goals by Elena Minor in the second half. Addy Hoffman and  Caitlynn Daniels had assists for the Saints.

Kennedy scored the game-winner deep into the second overtime.

Xavier, which is ranked No. 7 in Class 2A, fell to 7-4 for the season. Kennedy, which is ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, lifted its mark to 8-3.

Melody Snow made nine saves for Xavier.


Xavier boys soccer topped by Cougars

Joachim Kikuni scored two goals in the second half Tuesday night as  the Kennedy boys soccer team blanked Xavier, 2-0, in a Mississippi Valley Conference match at Kennedy.

Xavier, which is ranked No. 4 in Class 2A, fell to 7-4 for the campaign.

Kennedy, which is ranked No. 13 in Class 3A, raised its record to 7-3.


Xavier boys net win over Kennedy

Alex Hinrichs, Charlie Esker, Curt Lengemann, Calvin Ford and Wes Johnson won their singles matches Saturday as the Xavier Saints topped Kennedy, 6-3, in a Mississippi Valley Conference tennis meet at Xavier.

The Saints lost to Washington, 8-1, in their other meet Saturday.


1. Rami Hemaidan (K) def. Jon Lansing, 6-1, 6-0
2. Alex Hinrichs (X) def. Sam Mead, 6-1, 6-3
3. Charlie Esker (X) def. Grant Finneman, 6-2, 6-2
4. Curt Lengemann (X) def. Connor Crippes, 6-1, 6-2
5. Calvin Ford (X) def. Brant Barnhart, 6-4, 7-6
6. Wes Johnson(X) def. Ethan Marple, 6-4, 6-3


1. Hemaidan/Mead (K) def. Lansing/Esker, 6-4, 7-5
2. Hinrichs/Ryan Jasper (X) def. Finneman/Crippes, 6-0, 6-1
3. Marple/Adam Gill (K) def. Lengemann/Johnson, 7-6, 4-6, 10-7


1. Ty Sherman (W) def. Jon Lansing, 6-2, 6-3
2. Rami Scheetz (W) def. Alex Hinrichs, 6-2, 6-2
3. Parker Muller (W) def. Charlie Esker, 6-0, 6-1
4. Will Rizer (W) def. Blake Magill, 6-2, 6-0
5. Ethan Wickham (W) def. Calvin Ford, 6-0, 6-0
6. Bennett Blumenthal (W) def. Curt Lengemann, 6-0, 6-0


1. Sherman/Scheetz (W) def. Lansing/Esker, 6-2, 6-3
2. Wickham/Rizer (W) def. Hinrichs/Ryan Jasper, 6-3, 6-1
3. Magill/Wes Johnson (X) def. Blumenthal/Ian Lundry, 6-7, 7-5, 10-7


Xavier girls clipped in tennis meets

Maddie Abu-Nameh and Sarah Abu-Nameh won both of their singles matches  for the Xavier girls tennis team Saturday in Mississippi Valley Conference meets against Kennedy and Washington.

Maddie Abu-Nameh won her matches at No. 4 singles, 10-4 and 10-7.  Sarah Abu-Nameh claimed her contests at No. 5 singles, 10-1 and 11-9.

Xavier dropped both of the meets. The Saints were trimmed by Kennedy,  5-4, and lost to Washington, 7-2.


1. Shelby Cook (K) def. Nina Marquardt, 10-1
2. Veena Venkatesh (K) def. Emily Jasper, 10-8
3. Sarah Schirm (X) def. Sydney Powers, 10-8
4. Maddie Abu-Nameh (X) def. Cali Trueblood, 10-4
5. Sarah Abu-Nameh (X) def. Reya Sands, 10-1
6. Lily Gust (K) def. Camryn McPherson, 10-8


1. Cook/Venkatesh (K) def. Marquardt/Jasper, 10-3
2. Powers/Trueblood (K) def. Schirm/M.Abu-Nameh, 10-6
3. S.Abu-Nameh/McPherson (X) def. Sands/Gust, 10-4


1. Hannah Sherman (W) def. Nina Marquardt, 10-1
2. Kelly King (W) def. Emily Jasper, 10-0
3. Eliza Sundermann (W) def. Sarah Schirm, 10-8
4. Maddie Abu-Nameh (X) def. Abby Van Metre, 10-7
5. Sarah Abu-Nameh (X) def. Kayti Schuler, 11-9
6. Maya Chawla (W) def. Camryn McPherson, 10-4


1. Sherman/King (W) def. Marquardt/Jasper, 10-3
2. Sundermann/Van Metre (W) def. Schirm/M.Abu-Nameh, 10-4
3. Chawla/Sydney Frake (W) def. S.Abu-Nameh/McPherson, 10-8


Wrong call helps Saints top Cougars

Kennedy Coach Tony Vis and Hailey Dolphin studied the replay of her  final shot against Xavier Tuesday night and came to the same forlorn  conclusion.

Dolphin's 3-pointer in the final second of the game should have  counted and forced overtime against the Saints, but there was  absolutely nothing they could do about it.

Xavier trimmed the young Cougars, 58-55, in their Mississippi Valley  Conference game at Ron Thillen Gymnasium and that's the way it will go  into the record books.

Dolphin's 3-pointer hit the rim, bounced high over the basket and came  down through the net, but the officials ruled the ball hit the strap  that's used to hoist the backboard to the ceiling when the gym is used  for other events.


Once the ball hits the strap it's a dead ball and the shot does not  count, but the replay on Kennedy's iPad clearly showed that the ball  missed the strap by a few inches.

"I just wish they would have let the kids decide it," Vis said calmly.  "I don't think the officials, on purpose, hosed anybody.

"I think they thought they saw what they saw, but obviously they  didn't. They don't have the opportunity to look at it on video like we  do.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 06:31



Defense rules as Cougars trim Saints

For most of the game Tuesday night, it looked like the Xavier Saints  and Kennedy Cougars should have been sent back to their locker rooms  to change into knee socks, short shorts and high-top sneakers.

It looked like basketball from a long time ago, with lots of bumps and  bruises and precious few points.

"That was ugly basketball," said Xavier Coach Ryan Luehrsmann.  "Competitive basketball, but we set basketball back about 40 years  with how ugly that was."

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, and Kennedy was  perfectly happy to return to the other end of 42nd Street after  trimming the Saints, 50-47, at Xavier.

Xavier made only four baskets in the first half and trailed, 18-16, at  intermission. The Saints trailed 31-23 heading into the fourth quarter  and it was nearly time to check the record books for futility.

Fortunately, both teams clicked in the fourth period and it became fun  to watch. Incredibly, the Saints scored 24 points in the fourth  quarter alone after netting only 23 points in the first three periods  combined.

"It was a grind," agreed Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen. "Our defense kept  us in it. We're starting to defend really well.



No. 11 Xavier girls tame Kennedy

Lexi Noonan poured in 24 points Tuesday night as the 11th-ranked Xavier girls basketball team defeated Kennedy, 52-37, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at Kennedy.

Noonan made eight field goals and was a perfect 8-for-8 at the foul line as the surging Saints won their fourth straight game and raised their overall record to 6-3 heading into the holidays.

Kylie Brown pitched in 12 points for Xavier.

Xavier has defeated three Metro opponents in a row with triumphs over Linn-Mar, Jefferson and Kennedy. The Saints have held their nine  opponents to an average of just 39.8 points per game and nobody has scored more than 51 points against them all season.

Hailey Dolphin led Kennedy with 24 points, matching Noonan for game-scoring honors. The struggling Cougars lost for the fifth time in  their last six games and fell to 3-6 for the campaign.

The Saints held a slim 20-18 lead at halftime, but they outscored the Cougars 32-19 in the second half.



No. 2 Kennedy boys top Saints

Matt Berst popped in five 3-pointers and scored 17 points Tuesday night as the Kennedy Cougars downed the Xavier Saints, 62-51, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at the Kennedy gym.

The Cougars, who are ranked No. 2 in Class 4A, raised their perfect record to 4-0. The Saints, who are ranked No. 9 in Class 3A, fell to 2-4 for the campaign.

Xavier point guard Matt Mims, who sprained his ankle last Friday against Jefferson, did not play for the Saints.

Drake Brewster and Jackson Foley contributed 11 points apiece for Kennedy.

Jackson Joens paced Xavier with 13 points. Bryce Schulte pitched in with 10 points. Max Techau, who began his prep career at Kennedy, finished with eight points and nine rebounds for the Saints.


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