Friday, August 01, 2014
BREAKING NEWS - Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer and Ricky Nolasco scheduled to make rehabilitation starts Tuesday night in Cedar Rapids when Kernels host Wisconsin ..... FRIDAY SCOREBOARD - MWL - Kernels at Beloit
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kennedy High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Kernels climb into tie for 1st place

It has been a long road back to the top for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, but when they topped Burlington, 3-2, in 11-inning walk-off fashion on Wednesday night, they pulled into a tie atop the Midwest League’s Western Division standings.

The Kernels rode their way to the top on the shoulders of second baseman Ryan Walker.

Walker had three hits in six at-bats and all three Cedar Rapids RBIs, including the game-winner in the 11th inning when he drove in Max Murphy and sent 2,424 fans home happy from Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Walker has ridden the bench much of the past two weeks, seeing action in just one of the team’s six games on their recent road trip, but he’s making the most of his opportunities.

“We had two guys behind me who I knew could do the same thing,” Walker said. “Luckily he threw me one and I got good contact on it.”

Walker may have played down his role, but his manager was impressed.

“He’s been on the bench a little bit, didn’t say a word,” Jake Mauer said. “When he gets a chance to play, he made the most of it.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 22:33



Cougars foiled by SE Polk at state

DES MOINES - It was the type of game Kennedy baseball teams have won dozens of times over the years under Bret Hoyer.

Tense, low-scoring, dramatic.

This time, the Southeast Polk Rams managed a slight edge and tripped the third-ranked Cougars, 1-0, in the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament at Principal Park in Des Moines.

Southeast Polk (30-13) will face Dubuque Hempstead (37-5) in the semifinals Friday. Johnston (23-16) will play Iowa City West (33-9) in the other semifinal.

Kennedy, which finished ahead of Hempstead and Iowa City West as the Mississippi Valley Conference champs, fell short and finished 31-7.



Daniels enjoys special year with Cougars

Kennedy junior Zach Daniels has been playing baseball for as long as he can remember. Fielding grounders, swinging a bat, throwing a ball.

He was just a toddler when it all began.

"My dad started doing stuff with me when I was 2 years old," he said Monday night after practice. "Like in the back yard, he'd hit me some balls and I'd hit off the tee.

"I started at a really young age," he said with a grin.

It's paid off for Daniels, who has enjoyed a special year with the third-ranked Cougars on their path to the Class 4A state tournament.



Daniels honored in MVC baseball

Cedar Rapids Kennedy junior Zach Daniels has been named the Athlete of the Year in the Mississippi Division on the Mississippi Valley Conference all-star baseball teams.

Daniels is hitting .471 for the state-bound Cougars with 32 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 23 attempts. He also has an 8-1 record on the mound with a 1.02 ERA.

Daniels, a second baseman when he's not pitching, was joined on the Mississippi Division first team by pitcher Sammy Lizarraga and shortstop Derek Jacobus of Kennedy.

Spencer Van Scoyoc of Jefferson made the Mississippi Division first team in the outfield.

Pitcher Ryan Flaherty, first baseman Adam Pick, infielder Colin O'Connell and outfielder Bryce Grimm of Xavier were named first team in the Valley Division.

Third baseman Johnny Dobbs and Matt Troendle of Washington also made the top unit in the Mississippi Division. They were joined by outfielder Manny Jeffery from Linn-Mar.

Kennedy Coach Bret Hoyer and his assistants were named the Mississippi Division Staff of the Year.



Athlete of the Year - Zach Daniels, Kennedy

Staff of the Year - Bret Hoyer, Kennedy


P - Sammy Lizarraga (Kennedy), Nick Gallagher (IC West)

C - Devin Raffensperger (IC West)

1B - David Fitzgerald (Hempstead)

IF - Zack Daniels (Kennedy), Derek Jacobus (Kennedy), Mitch Crimmins (Hempstead)

OF - Spencer Van Scoyoc (Jefferson), Kevin DeLaney (IC West), Alex Gross  (IC West)

U - Austin Clemens (Dubuque Senior), Chris Tomkins (Hempstead)


P - Tyus Adkins (IC West), Blake Hargens (Kennedy)

C - David Janes (Dubuque Senior)

1B - Declan Doyle (IC West)

IF - Grant Ewing (IC West), Sam Noel (Dubuque Senior), John Magnuson   (Waterloo East)

OF - Jase Grant (Dubuque Senior), Brock Hatzky (IC West), Tucker Mai   (Dubuque Senior)

U - Marcus Colbert (Jefferson), Dan Millius (Hempstead), Nile Ringen (IC High)


Metro Only

Jefferson - Lucas Larson, Spencer Hunt

Kennedy - Ben Sass, Matt Stevens


Metro Only

Jefferson - Drew Johnson, Michael Neuberger

Kennedy - David Pauls, Nathan Althoff


Athlete of the Year - J.T. Sole, Cedar Falls

Staff of the Year - Jack Sole, Cedar Falls


P - Michael Kuntz (Cedar Falls), Ryan Flaherty (Xavier)

C - J.T. Sole (Cedar Falls)

1B - Adam Pick (Xavier)

IF - Hunter Schiefelbein (Cedar Falls), Colin O'Connell (Xavier), Johnny Dobbs (Washington)

OF - Jared Deines (Cedar Falls), Manny Jeffery (Linn-Mar), Bryce Grimm (Xavier)

U - Matt Hoffmann (Wahlert), Matt Troendle (Washington)


P - Brady Corson (Cedar Falls), Nolan Even (Xavier)

C - Nolan Arp (Xavier)

1B - Austin Miller (Cedar Falls)

IF - Luke Mozena (Cedar Falls), Jake Oglesby (Wahlert), Ryan Wyant (Linn-Mar)

OF - Caleb Reimer (Linn-Mar), Landen Akers (Washington), Jalen Rima (Prairie)

U - Nolan Timp (Wahlert), Trey Beckman (Prairie)


Metro Only

Prairie - Ben Milks, Cal Clark

Washington - Trey Leonard, Chris Harrington

Xavier - Logan Clarahan, Jake Robinson

Linn-Mar - Jackson Jacobs, Ben Larson


Metro Only

Prairie - Nick Benson, Jacob Sprengeler

Washington - Alec Nichols, Eric Loeffelholz

Xavier - Logan Clarahan, Adam Pick

Linn-Mar - Thomas Niemeyer, Nic Redmond


Lizarraga wins Metro Spotlight Award

Cedar Rapids Kennedy junior Sammy Lizarraga is the winner of the Metro Spotlight Award for high school boys this week, the Metro Sports Report announced Sunday.

Lizarraga has helped the third-ranked Kennedy baseball team (31-6) reach the Class 4A state tournament as a pitcher, catcher and hitter. He has a perfect 7-0 record on the mound with a 1.45 ERA, including a team-high 53 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched. He is hitting .299 with two home runs and a team-best 34 RBIs in 36 games.

In addition to his pitching and hitting, Lizarraga is recognized as one of the top defensive catchers in the Mississippi Valley Conference with a good glove and strong arm.

Lizarraga has been named first team All-District by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association.

Kennedy will face Southeast Polk in the opening round of the state tournament Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Principal Park in Des Moines.


J-Hawks finish 7th at state softball

FORT DODGE - It took three games and 19 innings, but the Jefferson J-Hawks finally scored some runs at the Class 5A state softball tournament.

Jefferson tallied twice in the top of the seventh inning Wednesday and blanked 10th-ranked Waukee, 2-0, on a three-hit shutout by Alyssa Olson to finish seventh at the state meet.

The sixth-ranked J-Hawks lost to No.7 Pleasant Valley, 12-0 in six innings, earlier Wednesday in a consolation game.

Jefferson (35-8) and Waukee (25-19) were tied, 0-0, entering the seventh inning. Maddie Hansen drew a walk, Kennedy Dighton reached on an infield error and Erin Kuba singled to load the bases.

Tori Brandon drove in Jefferson's first run with a single. Kuba was credited with stealing home for Jefferson's second run.

Olson struck out six batters and did not walk anyone.

Jefferson lost to No.3 Southeast Polk, 2-0, in the opening round Tuesday, then the J-Hawks had trouble against Pleasant Valley in the consolation round Wednesday morning.


Pleasant Valley (31-9) scored five runs in the fourth inning and tacked on five more runs in the sixth and won the game by the mercy rule.

Jefferson got only three hits in the game against Taylor Hester, who tossed a complete game for Pleasant Valley. Savannah Fowler had two hits for the J-Hawks.

Haley Duwa went 3-for-3 and drove in six runs for the Spartans. Kayla Schmell was 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Sydney Dwyer also was 3-for-4. Pleasant Valley collected 18 hits against Jefferson pitcher Alissa Good.

Pleasant Valley  002 505 - 12 18 10
Jefferson        000 000 - 0 3 0

W - Hester (2-1). L - Good (15-2).

Jefferson        000 000 2 - 2 3 0
Waukee           000 000 0 - 0 3 2

W - Olson (18-6). L - Menz (15-14).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 22:57

No.3 Kennedy escapes Pleasant Valley

Kennedy junior Mitchell Gaffey was feeling a little down on himself after getting picked off second base in the fifth inning of a tie ballgame Friday night, but he was a happy fellow after he scored the winning run in extra innings.

Gaffey raced home on an infield grounder with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning as the third-ranked Cougars escaped an upset bid by Pleasant Valley, 3-2, in the tense opening round of the Class 4A substate tournament at Kennedy.

The Cougars (30-6) draw a second-round bye and will host Davenport West or Bettendorf in the substate finals Wednesday night.

Kennedy Coach Bret Hoyer used Gaffey, who has good speed, as a courtesy runner Friday night, so his entire job was to do a good job on the base paths. He got caught napping in the fifth inning of a 2-2 game, but came through when it counted. Sammy Lizarraga led off the bottom of

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 22:14



Sommer tops All-Metro softball team

Katie Sommer spent only year on the Linn-Mar High School softball team after moving here from Dubuque, but she made the most of it.

Sommer hit a sizzling .617 for the Lions this season, stole 57 bases, averaged two hits per game and displayed amazing skills at shortstop.

The Metro softball coaches honored Sommer Monday by naming her the Athlete of the Year on the All-Metro Softball Team.

Nikki Price of Xavier and her assistant coaches were named the Staff of the Year.

The Jefferson J-Hawks, who have qualified for the Class 5A state tournament, led the All-Metro team with three first-team selections with Maddie Hansen, Alyssa Olson and Erin Kuba.

Erin Drahozal and Hayley Deutmeyer were honored on the first team from Xavier. Jessi Puk and Bria Lenten made the top honor squad from

Washington. Gabi Carter and Natalie Rumer were named from Prairie. Sommer and Maddy Ryan were selected from Linn-Mar. Haley Vanourney from Marion High School also made the first team.


Maddie Hansen (Jefferson), Alyssa Olson (Jefferson), Erin Kuba  (Jefferson), Erin Drahozal (Xavier), Hayley Deutmeyer (Xavier), Jessi Puk (Washington), Bria Lenten (Washington), Haley Vanourney (Marion), Gabi Carter (Prairie), Natalie Rumer (Prairie), Katie Sommer (Linn-Mar), Maddy Ryan (Linn-Mar).


Hannah Towns (Jefferson), Katelyn Holub (Jefferson), Alissa Good (Jefferson), Kristie Sommer (Linn-Mar), Elison Ollinger (Linn-Mar), Christina Lincoln (Linn-Mar), Allison Schwach (Xavier), Courtney Colston (Xavier), Emily Oler (Washington), Anne Riley (Washington), Halle Lueck (Prairie), Ashley Hamilton (Kennedy).


Jefferson - Tori Brandon, Emily Walton
Kennedy - Tianna Drahn, Paige Timmerman
Marion - Camryn Cannoy, Bayley Fuller
Washington - Payton Bruner, Erica Oler
Xavier - Morgan Breitbach, Jamie Feltes
Linn-Mar - Madison Rentschler, Morgan Braughton
Prairie - Amanda Stecklein, Mallory Jones


No. 3 Cougars split with Spartans

The Kennedy Cougars and Pleasant Valley Spartans played a little game of "I've Got A Secret" during their twinbill at Herkelman Field Tuesday night.

The third-ranked Cougars and Spartans will meet again Friday night at Kennedy in the Class 4A substate tournament and neither coach wanted to give away his secrets in the final games of the regular season.

Kennedy put its varsity lineup on the field in Game 1 and cruised, 6-0,behind a four-hit shutout by Jacob Henry for its 29th win of the year.

Kennedy Coach Bret Hoyer backed off in the nightcap and cleared his bench on Senior Night, and by game's end it looked like somebody had kidnapped the Cougars and put strangers in those green-and-white uniforms.

Pleasant Valley took the second game, 10-2.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 21:41



Kennedy girls fall at No. 3 SE Polk

RUNNELLS - The Kennedy girls softball team enjoyed a remarkable turnaround this season under new coach Dan Gratz, but the Cougars ran into a powerful opponent Tuesday night in the finals of the Class 5A regional tournament.

The Southeast Polk Rams, ranked No. 3 in the state, unleashed a 17-hit attack and defeated the Cougars, 12-0, to claim a spot in the state tournament.

Kennedy finished the season with a 27-14 record, a far cry from its 13-25 mark from 2013.

Hannah Parker pitched a five-hit shutout and belted a home run for Southeast Polk (28-9).

Cassady Knudsen went 4-for-5 for the Rams. Katie Burdick was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Kenzie Hilzer was 3-for-5.

Southeast Polk scored six runs in the first inning and cruised from there.

Southeast Polk    611 010 3 - 12 17 x
Kennedy           000 000 0 - 0 5 x


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