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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kennedy High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cougars bop Lions for 11th in row

On her 18th birthday Tuesday night, Lela Sellers’ wish came true.

Fellow Kennedy seniors Linden Runels and Sydney Hayden made sure of it.

"All I wanted for my birthday was a ‘W,’ and we got it,” Sellers said after her 17-point performance helped lead the Class 5A fourth-ranked Cougars to a 60-47 win over ninth-ranked Linn-Mar.

The silky-smooth 6-foot Division I signee may have been high scorer, but a strong supporting cast made the difference in a 19-8 fourth quarter that sealed Kennedy’s 11th straight victory.

None were more helpful than the unheralded Runels and sharpshooter Hayden. With the game on the line, the two came through.

After a sometimes-sloppy three quarters, the Cougars had inched ahead of the Lions (6-2) just 41-39. But Hayden, the state’s leading 3-point shooter who was held to only two points in the first half, hit her first long-range shot of the night to open the final period.

When Kennedy super sophomore Hailey Dolphin hit a short jumper soon after, the Cougars were off to the races on a 11-0 three-minute run.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 January 2016 05:49



Washington swimmers dunk Kennedy

The Washington boys swimming team won eight events and beat Kennedy, 101-69, Tuesday in a Mississippi Valley Conference meet at Washington.

Cameron Kelley won the 200 freestyle (1:52.04) and the 500 freestyle (5:06.28) for the Warriors. Nick Saulnier won the 200 individual medley (2:02.97) and 100 freestyle (48.78).

Kaleb Donels took the 100 backstroke (57.84) and Washington won the 200 medley (1:41.60), 200 freestyle (1:31.57) and 400 freestyle (3:36.45) relays.

Cade Schoenauer captured the 50-yard freestyle (23.25 seconds) and 100 butterfly (56.65) for the Cougars. Stefan Kitsos won the 100 breaststroke (1:01.25).



Balanced Lions dunk Cougars by 20

If you thought the Linn-Mar Lions were a one-man band, take another look and guess again.

The Lions played like a finely tuned orchestra Tuesday night in a 76-56 victory over the Kennedy Cougars in a Mississippi Valley Conference boys basketball game at Linn-Mar.

Linn-Mar star Jordan Bohannon does not have to score 40 points for the Lions to mow down a Metro opponent like he did against Prairie two weeks ago, not when his teammates are hitting all the right notes like they did against Kennedy.

Bohannon had a sub-par shooting night and scored only 17 points -- six points under his average -- but it hardly mattered with a balanced attack that kept Kennedy off-balance much of the night.

Riley Murphy had a hot hand and tossed in 17 points for Linn-Mar, Jared Printy notched 16 points, Jordan Brandt had 12 points and Beau Klostermann nearly made it five guys in double figures with nine points.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 January 2016 23:26



Donner sizzles as J-Hawks nip Cougars

Chaise Donner rolled a big 493 series Monday to help the Jefferson J-Hawks trim Kennedy, 2943-2919, in a Mississippi Valley Conference meet at the Cedar Rapids Bowling Center.

Donner began the meet with a 236 game and followed with a 257 for his impressive score.

Jefferson topped Kennedy, 232-183, in the final baker game to capture the tight meet.

James Jambois rolled a 426 series for Kennedy and Aeron Stockwell had a 421. Riley Walton provided a 420 series for Jefferson.

JEFFERSON: Riley Walton 195+225=420, Logan Miller 168+183=351, Chaise Donner 236+257=493, Hunter Sturtz 145+218=363, Tanner Bennett 174+203=377, John Gardner 137+161=298.

KENNEDY: Nick Green 222+161=383, Aeron Stockwell 204+217=421, James Jambois 210+216=426, Max Hiatt 168+206=374, Dakota Dippel 203+165=368, Bert Goodwin 175+224=399.

Jefferson: 2004 + 939 = 2943. 
Kennedy: 2003 +916 = 2919.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 January 2016 21:47

J-Hawks top Cougars in girls bowling

Megan Kitzmiller rolled a 358 series Monday to help Jefferson trim Kennedy, 2369-2296, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls bowling meet at the Cedar Rapids Bowling Center.

Jamie Milota of Kennedy turned in the best game with a 214 and bowled a 357 series to finish just one pin behind Kitzmiller.

JEFFERSON: Megan Kitzmiller 166+192=358, Madison Rasmussen 146+188=334, Hailey Kimble 169+160=329, Allie Schirmer 146+144=290, Lauren Sheets 120+128=248, Maddie Kisling 99+148=247.

KENNEDY: Jamie Milota 143+214=357, Jill Zaiser 154+164=318, Alyssa Wiedemeier 128+147=275, Abbie Haller 119+126=245, Sam Eltze 107+125=232, Sydney Helms 100+112=212.

Jefferson: 1559 + 810 = 2369.
Kennedy: 1427 + 869 = 2296.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 January 2016 21:47

Sellers helps Cougars win 10th in row

The Kennedy Cougars have found a remedy for teams that like to double-team Lela Sellers near the basket and make it hard for her to get her hands on the basketball.

The solution? Move the lanky 5-foot-11 senior to point guard and let her create her own offense.

It worked Saturday night.

Sellers poured in 26 points as the Cougars handed North Scott its first loss of the season, 56-52, in a battle of highly ranked teams at the Kennedy gym to begin the new year.

Kennedy, ranked No. 4 in Class 5A, won its 10th straight game and raised its record to 10-1. North Scott, ranked No. 9 in Class 4A, fell to 8-1 after beginning the season with eight straight victories.

Sellers has the ability to play any position on the floor. Coach Tony Vis likes to station her near the basket to use her long arms and jumping ability, but not when the opponent sags its defense to slow her down.


Last Updated on Saturday, 02 January 2016 20:19



Herkelman's death was top story for 2015

The saddest story of 2015 was also the top story of 2015 for the Metro Sports Report website.

Bill "Herk" Herkelman, the beloved assistant baseball coach and former math teacher at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School, died unexpectedly on Friday, July 24, just a day after the Cougars won the Class 4A substate title and earned a trip to the state tournament.

Kennedy captured the substate title on Thursday night and the next morning, Herk was gone.

The story about his unexpected death drew 8,309 hits to the MSR website, making it our most-read story in 2015, but that's not the only reason we've selected his passing as our No. 1 story. Herk touched an untold number of lives during his career as a beloved and respected teacher at Kennedy from 1967 through his retirement as a teacher in 2012, and he helped shape the lives of countless baseball players during his 36 years as a head coach and assistant coach for the Cougars.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 January 2016 17:49



Hayden wins Metro Spotlight Award

Sydney Hayden of Cedar Rapids Kennedy is the winner of the Metro Spotlight Award for high school girls this week, the Metro Sports Report announced Sunday.

Hayden, a 5-foot-5 senior, has been a major factor for the Kennedy basketball team this season with her outside shooting, ballhandling and defense. She is averaging 13.9 points and leads Class 5A with 38 3-pointers in 10 games.

The Cougars are ranked No. 4 in the state with a 9-1 record.



No. 4 Cougars, No. 9 Lions on collision course

If you like girls basketball, you might want to circle Tuesday, Jan. 5 on your calendar as a "must see" game for the New Year.

The Kennedy Cougars will host the Linn-Mar Lions that night at 7:30 in a showdown for early bragging rights in the Metro area. Kennedy is ranked No. 4 in Class 5A with a 9-1 record, while Linn-Mar is ranked No. 9 in Class 5A with a 6-1 mark.

The Cougars feature a strong 1-2 punch with Lela Sellers and sharpshooter Sydney Hayden, while the Lions counter with a strong 1-2 punch of their own with Amanda Ollinger and Kamryn Finley.

All four of those athletes will play Division I sports in college. Sellers has signed with Liberty University for basketball, Hayden is headed to the University of Northern Iowa for soccer, Ollinger has signed with Iowa for basketball and Finley, just a sophomore, already has basketball offers from Northern Iowa and Drake.

Ollinger leads the Metro in scoring and ranks third in rebounding, while Sellers leads the Metro in rebounding and ranks second in scoring.



No. 4 Cougars roll to 9-1 record

Tony Vis does not need anything else for Christmas.

The Kennedy girls basketball coach already has a team that is ranked No. 4 in the state and boasts a sparkling 9-1 record with a nine-game winning streak.

The Cougars sailed into the holiday break Monday with a 77-34 victory over Fairfield as Sydney Hayden popped in 18 points, Hailey Dolphin netted 15 points and Lela Sellers added 13.

Vis likes what he's seen during the first half of the season.

"I really like the chemistry," he said. "You can see when we walked out, smiles on their faces. They like each other, and they work hard for each other. And it's a fun group to coach."

Sellers is averaging 18.6 points, Hayden follows at 13.9 and Dolphin has raised her mark to 10.2 points, giving Kennedy three players in double figures. Carly Langhurst, Linden Runels, Olivia Hellweg and Ashley Hamilton have combined to average another 16.6 per game.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 December 2015 22:29



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