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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kennedy High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Sellers lifts No. 1 Cougars by J-Hawks

Somebody forgot to tell the girls from Cedar Rapids Jefferson they were supposed to tremble at the sight of the top-ranked Kennedy Cougars on Friday night.

"There was no doubt that we would give them everything we had," Jefferson coach Jason Edwards said.

The Cougars had Lela Sellers, however, and that made all the difference in the world.

Sellers poured in 29 points and snared 14 rebounds as Kennedy slipped away from the J-Hawks in the final 75 seconds, 61-49, in an entertaining Mississippi Valley Conference game at Kennedy.

Jefferson rallied from a 17-point deficit and pulled within four points at 51-47 on a bucket by Erin Kuba with 1:39 remaining, but the Cougars kept their cool and drilled 10 straight free throws to avoid the upset.

Kennedy climbed into the No. 1 spot in the Class 5A rankings Thursday afternoon, but Jefferson did everything it could to try to knock the Cougars off their lofty perch.

"I thought we were a little uneven tonight," Kennedy coach Tony Vis said, "but at the same time I give more credit to Jefferson, because they wouldn't give up, they wouldn't go away and they really attacked us inside and had some success."

Last Updated on Friday, 15 January 2016 23:23



Kennedy grapples pin Waterloo West

The Kennedy wrestling team clobbered Waterloo West, 59-18, in a Mississippi Valley Conference meet Tuesday at Kennedy.

Logen Rodriguez had a 31-second pin at 152 pounds and Dylan Ironside had a 43-second pin for the Cougars at 138. Ben Sarasin collected a technical fall at 160.

145 – Kale Crawford (K) major dec. Jaydon Bartz 10-2.
152 – Logen Rodriguez (K) pinned Jovontay Burris :31.
160 – Ben Sarasin (K) tech. fall over John Ramirez 16-0 1:58.
170 – Cody Rodebush (WW) pinned Todd Gusta 1:47.
182 – Dylan Meyer (WW) pinned Cameron Jones :47.
195 – Sam Pape (K) dec. Sam Gerst 6-5.
220 – Dalles Jacobus (K) major dec. Daniel Calzadillas 9-1.
285 – Matt Murphy (K) dec. Danny Alcott 3-1.
106 – Cam Shaver (K) major dec. Yashad Dufauchard 16-6.
113 – Teme Larson (WW) pinned Gabe Long 1:51.
120 – Luke Foster (K) won by forfeit.
126 – Nolan Hromidko (K) won by forfeit.
132 – Austin McLeod (K) dec. Cameren Happel 18-14.
138 – Dylan Ironside (K) pinned Jacob McKnight :43.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 January 2016 22:49

Kennedy girls climb to No. 1 in poll

The Cedar Rapids Kennedy girls basketball team has followed its 13-game winning streak all the way to the top of the Class 5A rankings this week.

The Cougars climbed from No. 2 to No. 1 in the latest poll released Thursday by the IGHSAU. The Johnston Dragons, who were ranked No. 1 last week, fell all the way to No. 5 with an 8-3 record.

Kennedy (13-1) has won 13 straight games since losing its season opener at Waukee. Indianola is second in the Class 5A rankings, followed by Ankeny Centennial, Waukee and Johnston.

Kennedy hosts Jefferson at 6 p.m. Friday in the first game of a girl/boy doubleheader with the J-Hawks.

The Linn-Mar Lions (8-3) dropped one spot to No. 12 in Class 5A this week.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 January 2016 18:03



Sellers shines like an All-American

Lela Sellers remembers as a little girl her mom saying that someday she might be on the McDonald’s All-American high school basketball team.

“I thought then, ‘Oh, that’s only for really good players,’” she said Tuesday night after it was announced to Kennedy fans that she has indeed been nominated for the prestigious national honor.

The smooth and unselfish 6-foot senior turned in an All-American performance on her home court with 30 seemingly effortless points to lead the Class 5A second-ranked Cougars to a 68-49 romp over the young but gritty Prairie Hawks.

“My real dream has always been to play in the WNBA (pro league),” said Sellers, who turned down major Big 10 and SEC schools to play next year at smaller but perennial Division I NCAA tournament qualifier Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

In addition to tying her career-best on 12-of-17 shooting with her future college coach in the crowd, she also led her team with 11 rebounds and four assists.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 January 2016 23:49



Balanced Cougars knock off Prairie

Two boys basketball teams in desperate search of a victory clashed Tuesday night at Cedar Rapids Prairie.

The Kennedy Cougars found what they were looking for, but the Prairie Hawks are still searching.

Drake Brewster led a balanced attack with 18 points as the Cougars bounced the Hawks, 69-51, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game.

Kennedy entered the game with five losses in its last six games, while Prairie arrived for tipoff with a four-game losing streak and a bunch of lopsided defeats by 37, 24, 19 and 33 points.

The night ended with both clubs sitting at 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the conference, but the Cougars felt pretty good about themselves and the Hawks went back to the drawing board.

"I think we played a lot better than we have in recent games," said Brewster, a versatile 6-foot-5 junior. "One of our main goals with the struggles we've had was to have some fun.

"We started having some fun and started smiling a little bit and got more confidence about ourselves."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 January 2016 23:23



9 headed for Kennedy Hall of Fame

Nine people will be inducted into the Kennedy High School Hall of Fame this Friday.

The five athletes are:


  • Elise Reid, Class of 2006, soccer.
  • Maria (Zimmerman) Paulsen, Class of 2001, swimming, basketball, softball.
  • Kyle Bassett, Class of 1998, football, basketball, baseball.
  • Teddy Shonka (2015 selection), Class of 2007, football, basketball, soccer, track, baseball.
  • Eric Schultz, Class of 2008, football, basketball, track, baseball.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 January 2016 19:11



Uthoff, Mehmen win titles for Prairie

AMES - Sam Uthoff and Taylor Mehmen of Cedar Rapids Prairie captured individual titles at the Jack Mendenhall Invitational wrestling tournament in Ames Saturday.

Uthoff raised his record to 20-0 by taking top honors at 132 pounds with a 10-2 victory over Grant Stotts of West Des Moines Valley in the finals. Uthoff collected two quick pins in the tournament in 40 and 59 seconds.

Mehmen raised his record to 22-1 by winning the 195-pound class with a 10-5 verdict over Brenden Wheeler of Omaha Skutt Catholic in the finals. Mehmen also had two pins in the tournament and won another match by injury default.

West Des Moines Valley won the tournament with 211 points. Prairie finished second with 174 points and Cedar Rapids Kennedy was third with 149 points.



Schoenauer, Kitsos lead Kennedy swimmers

DUBUQUE - Cade Schoenauer and Stefan Kitsos paced the Cedar Rapids Kennedy boys swimming team at the Mustang Invitational in Dubuque Saturday.

Schoenauer finished second in the 100 fly in 56.39 seconds. Kitsos placed third in the 100 free (50.30) and the 100 breaststroke (1:01.72).

Dubuque Senior topped Bettendorf for the title. Kennedy finished third out of eight teams.


Team Standings

1. Dubuque Senior 487.5, 2. Bettendorf 440, 3. Kennedy 331.5, 4. Hempstead 280, 5. Freeport Pretzels 101, 6. Platteville/Lancaster 74, 7. Davenport North 64, 8. Davenport West 40.



Jambois rolls 502 series for Cougars

DUBUQUE – James Jambois led the all bowlers with a 256 game and a 502 series, but the Kennedy boys bowling team lost to Dubuque Senior, 2,836 to 2,663, Friday at Cherry Lanes.

Josh Oertel rolled a 436 series for the Rams.

KENNEDY: James Jambois 256-246=502, Bert Goodwin 181-146=327, Max Hiatt 171-128=299, Aeron Stockwell 170-124=294, Dakota Dippel 128-138=266, Nick Green 124-129=253.

DUBUQUE SENIOR: Josh Oertel 252-184=436, Brandon Birch 151-217=368, Alex Schmidt 214-152=366, Dylan Berwanger 148-177=325, Tucker Mai 158-159=317, Andrew Kringle 126-167=293.

Kennedy: 1,688-975=2,663.

Dubuque Senior: 1,812-1,024=2,836.


Oliphant leads Cougars in Dubuque

DUBUQUE – Cate Oliphant rolled a 206 game and a 346 series for the Kennedy girls bowling team in a close 2,212 to 2,189 loss to Dubuque Senior on Friday at Cherry Lanes.

Macy Schmidt led the Rams with a 353 series.

KENNEDY: Cate Oliphant 140-206=346, Jamie Milota 170-159=329, Abbie Haller 150-129=289, Alyssa Wiedemeier 144-134=278, Jill Zaiser 126-140=266, Sam Eltze 126-127=253.

DUBUQUE SENIOR: Macy Schmidt 171-182=353, Natalie Leib 180-167=347, Shanice Schmidt 139-158=297, Sydni Kirk 140-140=280, Montana Meyer 123-138=261, Kayla Hanten 132-95=227.

Kennedy: 1,508-681=2,189.

Dubuque Senior 1,538-674=2,212.


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