Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kennedy High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Saints cannot serve up win against Cougars

The serve appears to be the simplest shot in volleyball, but the ball can get a little heavy and the nerves can get a little tight in a big match against a quality opponent.

That seemed to be part of the problem for the Xavier Saints Tuesday night when they lost to Kennedy, 23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-19, in a battle of Mississippi Valley Conference heavyweights at Xavier.

The Saints gave away too many points at critical parts in the match with service errors when they either hit the ball out-of-bounds or slammed the ball into the net. All the Cougars had to do was stand there and see another point posted on their side of the scoreboard.

And at the same time, the Saints had a few problems when they tried to return Kennedy's tough serves.

"I think our service pressure and our serve receive were probably not at the level it needs to be," said Xavier Coach Austin Filer. "We put a lot of emphasis into our defense, and I thought our defense was better and I thought we did a lot of nice things there.

"But the ability to serve receive is probably the highest skill and the most important skill, and we didn't do as good a job tonight as Kennedy did.

"It always kind of stinks when it's crunch time and you're scoring and all of a sudden you hit one out-of-bounds or into the net and it's tough," said Filer. "It's part of playing sports."

The Saints, who are ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, fell to 26-7 for the campaign. The Saints began the year with 18 straight wins, but they have posted a modest 8-7 record in their last 15 matches against stiff competition.



Saints swept by Kennedy juggernaut

The Xavier Saints enjoyed some good moments on Senior Night Thursday, but they were no match for the softball juggernaut that resides at the other end of 42nd Street NE in Cedar Rapids.

The third-ranked Kennedy Cougars began swinging the moment they arrived at Bob Erusha Field and never stopped until they swept the Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill, 11-3 and 18-7, with 40 hits in the doubleheader.

Kennedy raised its records to 31-3 overall and 22-2 in the conference as it battles Iowa City West for an MVC title. Xavier fell to 13-24 overall and 9-15 in the league with the season dwindling to just a few more games.

The Cougars feature lusty hitting and aggressive baserunning that puts pressure on all opponent all night. Sydney Kinney led the onslaught with seven hits in the doubleheader, including a 5-for-5 performance in the nightcap, but it was hard to find a Cougar who did not have a good night at the plate.

Tianna Drahn, Ashley Hamilton, Peyton Baskerville and Camryn Jeffords all had five hits for Kennedy, while Megan Weber and Jenna Schwartzhoff had four hits apiece. Hamilton socked a home run and drove in five runs in the nightcap and Jeffords had four RBIs in that second game.

The Saints swung the bats themselves, but not to the same degree as the Cougars. They collected 10 hits against Schwartzhoff (12-3) in the first game and they had nine hits against Ashley Winterowd (12-0) in the second contest.



Cougars sweep error-prone Saints

Jacob Henry began Wednesday's doubleheader against Xavier with a 6.46 earned run average for the Kennedy Cougars, but the senior right-hander was in top form against the Saints.

Henry spun a five-hit shutout as Kennedy blanked the Saints, 6-0, in the second game of their Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill at Ken Charipar Field.

Kennedy took the first game, 15-11, when the mistake-prone Saints committed eight errors and walked 11 batters.

The sweep left the struggling Saints at 3-19 overall and 1-15 in the conference. Kennedy raised its marks to 15-8 overall and 9-7 in the league.

Henry, a senior right-hander, struck out four batters and lowered his ERA to 4.20, knocking more than two runs off his average. He kept the ball around the plate all night and walked only two batters, both in the third inning.

Kennedy jumped to a 10-1 lead in the top of the third inning in the opener, but the Saints sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the third and scored eight runs to pull within 10-9.

The Cougars scored three times in the fifth inning for a 13-9 lead, but Xavier responded with two markers in the bottom of the fifth to pull within 13-11. Kennedy put the game away with two more runs in the seventh for the 15-11 victory in the three-hour marathon.



Prairie claims 1st Metro baseball title

When Todd Rima became the new baseball coach at Cedar Rapids Prairie last year, he gave all of his players a picture of Principal Park in Des Moines and told them to set their sights on winning a state title there.

"We asked them to hang it up in their room and make sure it was something they wanted to work towards," Rima said Wednesday night. "I think they looked at me at first like, 'Is this guy crazy?' But I think they bought in. I think they have a confidence about them now that leads to success."

That confidence was on full display Wednesday as the Hawks claimed their first Metro title in school history with a 5-0 whitewash of fifth-ranked Kennedy at the Jefferson field.

The Hawks enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2015, winning 31 games and capturing the first Mississippi Valley Conference in school annals. Now they've followed last year's success with their first trophy in the 47th Bob Vrbicek Metro tournament.

"We felt with the kids that we had and how they wanted to work and how they wanted to be successful that we could have a lot of success," said Rima. "It's all because they've bought in to playing hard. They've done a tremendous job."

Junior Darren Kilpatrick tossed a four-hit shutout in his first varsity appearance as Prairie whipped its second ranked club in three days. The Hawks trimmed No. 3 Jefferson in the opening round, clobbered Washington in the semifinals and tamed Kennedy in the championship round, allowing just two runs in three games.



KCC golfers climb to 3rd at nationals

PLYMOUTH, Ind. - The Kirkwood Eagles moved into third place at the NJCAA Division II national golf tournament Wednesday with a strong outing at the Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind.

Kirkwood matched the best score of any team with a 290, helping the Eagles climb one spot in the 20-team field. The Tyler Apaches lead the tournament at the halfway mark with a 36-hole score of 573, good for a one-shot edge over the South Mountain Cougars.

Kirkwood has a 36-hole score of 585, putting the Eagles 12 shots behind the leader.

Carson Whittington fired a 1-under-par 71 for Kirkwood Wednesday and is tied for second place at 1-under 143. Marco Maldonado of Tyler owns a six-shot lead at 7-under 137.

Charlie Hartwig of Kirkwood is tied for 17th at 147, Eddie Doyle and Louis Flynn are tied for 21st at 149, and Jordan Even is tied for 43rd at 152. Flynn shot an even-par 72 on Wednesday. Even shot 73, Doyle 74 and Hartwig 76.

The tournament continues with the final two rounds Thursday and Friday.

Kirkwood is making its third appearance at the national tournament in four years. The Eagles finished fourth in 2013 and placed sixth in 2015.


7 Metro girls make all-state hoops

If you'd like to assemble an all-star girls basketball team from the Metro area for the 2015-16 campaign, look no further than the all-state squads that were announced Tuesday by the Iowa Newspaper Association.

You could win a lot of games with the seven Metro girls who were honored by the INA.

Amanda Ollinger of Linn-Mar, Lela Sellers of Kennedy and Chloe Rice of Marion were named first-team selections for their outstanding performances this season. Kennedy Dighton of Jefferson, Joniqua Clark of Washington, Kamryn Finley of Linn-Mar and Mia Laube of Marion garnered third-team laurels on the all-state squad.

Makenzie Meyer, who led Mason City to the Class 4A state title, was named Miss Basketball. She scored 1,590 points during her career and has signed with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Ollinger and Finley helped Linn-Mar reach the semifinals of the Class 5A state tournament. Ollinger, a senior who has signed with Iowa, averaged 17.8 points and led Class 5A in rebounding at 10.9 per game. Finley, a sophomore, contributed 12.2 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Lions.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 March 2016 00:03



Bohannon MVC's best in Valley Division

Linn-Mar senior Jordan Bohannon was named the Valley Division Athlete of the Year as a part of the Mississippi Valley Conference's All-Division Selections released Thursday.

Bohannon, who closed his career with a 44-point effort in a 76-74 overtime loss to Cedar Falls in the Class 4A substate final on Tuesday, was one of three unanimous selections to the first team along with Dubuque Wahlert's Cordell Pemsl and Iowa City West's Connor McCaffery.

West Coach Steve Bergman and his staff received the division's Coach of the Year honor.

Class 3A state qualifier Xavier had two players, Mitchell Burger and Max Techau, named to the Mississippi Division first team. Also on the first team were Prairie's Max Smith-Drahos and Washington's Leveechie Williams.

Waterloo East's Isaiah Wade was the division's athlete of the year while Iowa City High's Don Showalter and his staff received Coach of the Year honors.


* Jordan Bohannon, Linn-Mar, *Cordell Pemsl, Dubuque Wahlert, *Connor McCaffery, Iowa City west, Tra'Von Fagan, Cedar Falls, A.J. Green, Cedar Falls, Wali Parks, Iowa City West, Devontae Lane, Iowa City West.

* - Unanimous selection


Dennis McKinney, Jefferson, Drake Brewster, Kennedy, David Wedewer, Dubuque Wahlert, Beau Klostermann, Linn-Mar, Carter Stevens, Dubuque Senior, Riley Till, Dubuque Wahlert, Jared Printy, Linn-Mar.

(Metro Only)

Jefferson: Adam Van Oort, Valentino Green.
Kennedy: Derrick Diggins, Michael Bisenius
Linn-Mar: Jordan Brandt, Riley Murphy

Athlete of the Year: Jordan Bohannon, Linn-Mar
Coach of the Year: Steve Bergman and staff, Iowa City West


Max Smith-Drahos, Prairie, Laveechie Williams, Washington, Mitchell Burger, Xavier, Max Techau, Xavier, Micah Martin, Iowa City High, Isaiah Wade, Waterloo East, Amel Kuljuhovic, Waterloo West.


Jalen Rima, Prairie, Naeem Smith, Iowa City High, Keion Wills, Washington, Hunter Strait, Washington, Matt Mims, Xavier, Connor Duax, Dubuque Hempstead, Gabe Pepin, Waterloo West.

(Metro Only)

Prairie: Cal Clark, Jake Eilers
Washington: Ian Thomas, Dallas Hobbs
Xavier: Ryan Stulken, Jackson Joens

Athlete of the Year: Isaiah Wade, Waterloo East
Coach of the Year: Don Showalter and staff, Iowa City High

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 March 2016 14:42

Gorman, J-Hawks shine at Wartburg track

WAVERLY - Cedar Rapids Washington freshman Reagan Gorman captured the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs at the Wartburg indoor track meet Tuesday in Waverly.

Gorman won the 1,500 in 5:02.30 and claimed the 3,000 in 10:56.08.

Manny Olutunde of Jefferson won the 200-meter dash in 23.26 seconds. The Jefferson boys also took the 4x200 relay in 1:35.14.

Hannah Frazee of Prairie finished second in the 3,000 (11:03.93). Cheynee Mitchell of Kennedy placed third in the 55 dash (7.74), Katie Beer of Kennedy tied for third in the long jump (15-10 1/2) and the Cougars placed third in the 4x200 relay (1:53.22).

Jackson Coker of Kennedy placed second in the shot put (51-11) and the Washington Warriors were the runner-up in the boys 4x200 relay (1:35.62) in a tight race with Jefferson.

The Washington Warriors collected third-place showings from Alex Herzog in the 55 dash (6.63), Isaiah Nimmers in the 200 (23.53), Andrew Dostal in the 400 (53.62) and Dallas Hobbs in the shot put (51-5).


Hartzler tops all-Metro wrestling team

Shea Hartzler of Linn-Mar has been named the Wrestler of the Year on the all-Metro team, as selected by the coaches.

Hartzler won the Class 3A state title at 160 pounds this season and was the only state champion from the Metro area.

Dennis Hynek, who led Kennedy to a fourth-place tie in the Class 3A standings at the state meet, was named the Metro Coach of the Year.

106 Pounds

1st Team - Conrad Braswell (Prairie)
2nd Team - Cam Shaver (Kennedy)
Honorable Mention - Jack Eichhorn (Marion)

113 Pounds

1st Team - Marcus England (Prairie), Jeff Vipond (Xavier), Joseph Sibomana (Jefferson)

120 Pounds

1st Team - Brenden Baker (Jefferson)
2nd Team - Keegan Schultschik (Xavier)
Honorable Mention - Jacob Tedrow (Prairie)

126 Pounds

1st Team - Nolan Hromidko (Kennedy)
2nd Team - Will Foreman (Washington)
Honorable Mention - Trenten Wennermark (Prairie)

132 Pounds

1st Team - Sam Uthoff (Prairie)
2nd Team - Dalton Mastin (Jefferson)
Honorable Mention - Austin McLeod (Kennedy)

138 Pounds

1st Team - Clint Lembeck (Xavier)
2nd Team - Alex Streicher (Linn-Mar)
Honorable Mention - Chase St. John (Prairie)

145 Pounds

1st Team - Josh Gerke (Xavier), Johnny Clymer (Linn-Mar)
2nd Team - Caleb Conway (Marion)

152 Pounds

1st Team - Logen Rodriguez (Kennedy), Kyle Briggs (Jefferson)
Honorable Mention - Jacob Wempen (Linn-Mar)

160 Pounds

1st Team - Shea Hartzler (Linn-Mar)
2nd Team - Ben Sarasin (Kennedy)
Honorable Mention - Tavian Rashed (Jefferson)

170 Pounds

1st Team - Garrett Kubovec (Kennedy)
2nd Team - Matt Culver (Jefferson)
Honorable Mention - AJ Geers (Linn-Mar)

182 Pounds

1st Team - Nick Dreckman (Jefferson)
2nd Team - Logan Hagmeier (Linn-Mar)
Honorable Mention - Preston LaGrange (Prairie)

195 Pounds

1st Team - Taylor Mehmen (Prairie)
2nd Team - Sam Pape (Kennedy), Braydon Schultz (Linn-Mar)

220 Pounds

1st Team - Dalles Jacobus (Kennedy)
2nd Team - Tyler Pasker (Prairie)
Honorable Mention - Alex Francois (Xavier)

285 Pounds

1st Team - Alex Heisdorffer (Prairie)
2nd Team - Tommy Pudil (Xavier), Carson Webster (Marion)


Cougars fall short at Cedar Falls

CEDAR FALLS - The fire has been burning inside the Cedar Falls boys basketball camp and with every win, the flames seem to reach higher.

Friday night it took a little while for the sparks to flare up, but once the Tigers got hot, they burned visiting Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 70-53, in Class 4A substate semifinal action.

Kennedy (11-12) started the night strong on a pair of buckets from Drake Brewster and Matt Berst, giving them a 5-2 lead.

Cedar Falls (18-4) quickly caught fire with an 8-0 run, then ran the floor fast and furious over the next 12 minutes to take a 29-18 lead into the locker room at the half.

"I thought overall we came out more ready to play than the first time we met," Cedar Falls coach Ryan Schultz said, referring to his team's 73-66 win over Kennedy in late January. "We both came out and traded a few punches early on, and our guys were able to withstand that and stay calm.

"Sometimes we come out a little too psyched up and it is tough to settle them down at first. Tonight I think the guys came out with the right type of energy."


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