Thursday, July 24, 2014
WEDNESDAY SCOREBOARD - MWL - Kernels 7, Bowling Green 2 ..... 4A SUBSTATE BASEBALL - Kennedy 5, Davenport West 1 ..... 3A SUBSTATE BASEBALL - Davenport Assumption 10, Marion 0 ..... STATE SOFTBALL: CLASS 5A CONSOLATION: Pleasant Valley 12, Jefferson 0 ..... 5A SEVENTH PLACE: Jefferson 2, Waukee 0
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kennedy High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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



Cougars top No.1 Hempstead for MVC title

Kennedy Coach Bret Hoyer faced a tricky proposition Monday night.

He wanted to give the Cougars a good shot at winning the Mississippi Valley Conference title without jeopardizing their chances in the Class 4A substate baseball tournament that starts Friday.

It worked out perfectly.

The third-ranked Cougars edged top-ranked Dubuque Hempstead, 4-2, in the first game of their MVC doubleheader to clinch the conference title and Hoyer was able to juggle his two best pitchers to keep them fresh for the postseason tournament.

The game had a dramatic ending when Kennedy relief pitcher Zach Daniels snagged a vicious line drive with the bases loaded and fired to third base for a double play.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 22:25



Cougars top Warriors in soggy affair

Their season suddenly ended by a downpour, Washington softball coach Erin Jones could not see sending her girls home without anything to show for it.

So before the lights were turned off at Franklin Field Saturday night, she had the whole team spread out on the diamond, pouring quick-dry materials in the infield puddles and raking it smooth and dry.

If nothing else, the clean-up convinced her that the Class 5A regional semifinal game with Kennedy should not have been called after five complete innings with the Cougars awarded a 2-0 victory.

“As you can see,” Jones said, “the field has drained and is playable. The umpires shouldn’t have called it so soon.”



Hoyer nets No. 650 as Cougars sweep

There were no brass bands, no parades, no big celebration.

Even if Kennedy baseball coach Bret Hoyer had known about his latest milestones, he'd want to keep it as quiet as possible anyway.

There have been thousands of high school baseball coaches in Iowa over the years and Hoyer is now solidly in the top-25 of all time.

The third-ranked Cougars swept Waterloo West, 10-0 and 4-0, Friday night to give Hoyer his 650th victory in 25 years as a head coach.

He's tied for 23rd all-time with Dick Core and Terry Heald with those 650 victories as he continues to roll along.

"It's very cool," Hoyer said when informed of his place on the all-time list. "I've had some pretty talented players and coaches to work with."



Larson's bat sends J-Hawks past Kennedy

Jefferson’s Lucas Larson and Kennedy’s Zach Daniels played for years on the same youth league baseball team from the time they were little kids.

But until Tuesday night, the J-Hawk junior had never batted against the Cougars' ace pitcher.

And he wasn’t very nice to his childhood pal.

Larson’s doubles in the first and fifth innings served as a warm-up for his dramatic last at bat:

Score tied 5-5 with two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the seventh inning. With one strike against him, Larson is looking for another fast ball, but instead Daniels dishes up a change-up.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 12:21



Lizarraga shines as Cougars dump J-Hawks

Sammy Lizarraga could have a big decision to make when it comes time for him to play college baseball in two years.

He's been an outstanding catcher since he was a little kid, but now he's developed into one of the top pitchers in the state as well.

Lizarraga tossed a two-hitter Monday and collected five RBIs as No. 3 Kennedy thumped Jefferson, 11-1, in five innings at Bill Herkelman Field.

A scout from Northern Illinois University clocked Lizarraga's fastball at 87 mph early in the game, a significant jump from his best heater last year as a sophomore. He struck out three straight batters in the fifth inning to end the game.

Lizarraga, a lanky 6-foot-4 right-hander, isn't sure what he'll do in college.


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