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Tuesday, August 30, 2016
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Linn-Mar High School - Marion, Iowa

Linn-Mar football players want Casebolt back

Four seniors on the Linn-Mar football team told school board members Monday night that they miss assistant coach Matt Casebolt and hope he returns to the team this season.

They did not get any answers from board members or from Linn-Mar superintendent Quintin Shepherd.

Casebolt, a long-time assistant coach for the Lions, has not attended any practices since preseason drills began last Monday.

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has dismissed all of the complaints filed against Casebolt by some Linn-Mar families, but the Linn-Mar school district apparently has suspended Casebolt following the second of its own investigations into the charges.

Reese Phillips, Baylor Pree, Neme Siaway and Daylen Canty spoke at the school board meeting at district headquarters.

"It's been a lonely summer with all of our coaches not being there," said Phillips, the first to speak.

"Not having him this year has been hard," said Pree, mentioning Casebolt by name. "I trust everything he says. Casebolt was in charge of everything. I think he should come back this year."

"He taught me a lot from the first day I met him," said Siaway. "Without him this summer it's been really difficult. We have a good coaching staff, but we need Coach Casebolt to come back. We really miss him."

"Losing him for our senior season is like losing a father," said Canty, the fourth and final player to speak.

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Linn-Mar has 'no comment' on Casebolt's status

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has dismissed all of the ethics complaints against Linn-Mar assistant football coach Matt Casebolt, presumably clearing him of any penalty from the state board.

But here's a question that nobody seems willing to answer at Linn-Mar: Why hasn't Casebolt been working with the Lions in practice this week?

High school football practice began Monday and several sources have told the Metro Sports Report that Casebolt has not attended a single workout all week. Not Monday, not Tuesday, not Wednesday, not Thursday.

Bob Forsyth, Linn-Mar's head coach, apparently learned last Friday that all complaints against all Linn-Mar personnel had been dismissed. KCRG officially broke the news Tuesday night, and Linn-Mar superintendent Quintin Shepherd confirmed the television report early Wednesday morning in an e-mail to the Metro Sports Report.

If Linn-Mar wanted Casebolt to keep a low profile until the BoEE finished its investigation, there's now been ample opportunity for Casebolt to resume his duties as a long-time member of the coaching staff.

So where is he?

Has Casebolt taken a medical leave? Is he taking care of a family situation? Is he on vacation? Has he been suspended?

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BoEE clears Linn-Mar of all complaints

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has cleared Linn-Mar football coaches and administrators of all complaints that were filed by some Linn-Mar families this winter.

Dr. Quintin Shepherd, the superintendent of Linn-Mar schools, confirmed early Wednesday morning that the BoEE investigation has ended with no charges being filed.

"Yes, the BoEE has dismissed all complaints against all employees of Linn-Mar," Dr. Shepherd replied in response to an e-mail from the Metro Sports Report.

Linn-Mar head football coach Bob Forsyth and assistant coach Matt Casebolt had been accused by Linn-Mar families of abusive behavior toward their children. Scott Mahmens, who retired as the Linn-Mar athletic director in June, and Dr. Jeff Gustason, the Linn-Mar principal, also were accused by the families of not taking effective action in response to their complaints.

The Linn-Mar school district investigated the complaints this winter and dismissed all the complaints due to insufficient evidence. The families then filed their complaints with the BoEE, which investigated the matter and decided not to file charges.

BoEE officials do not comment on cases, according to a board spokesman who also said that no documents related to the investigation will be released to the public.

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Forsyth, Casebolt still coaching L-M football

Bob Forsyth and Matt Casebolt are still teachers and football coaches at Linn-Mar High School, according to information provided by Linn-Mar officials to the Metro Sports Report on Monday.

Forsyth is listed as the head football coach and as an instructor in the Linn-Mar fitness department. Casebolt is listed as an assistant varsity football coach and as an instructor in the fitness department.

Forsyth and Casebolt are currently being investigated by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners as a result of complaints filed by Linn-Mar parents. The investigation is still under way. The BoEE has the authority to suspend or revoke teaching and coaching licenses if "practitioners" are found guilty of ethics violations.

High school football practice begins Aug. 8. Linn-Mar is scheduled to open the season Aug. 26 at Iowa City High.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 August 2016 21:37

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Saints mired in 8-game losing streak

The Xavier softball team did some very good things during its doubleheader against Linn-Mar Tuesday night, but the bottom line unfortunately was the same story for the struggling Saints.

Linn-Mar swept the Mississippi Valley Conference games, 2-1 and 10-5, leaving Xavier with an eight-game losing streak and an unsightly overall record of 7-19.

Maria Steffen pitched a strong game for the Saints in the opener and deserved a better fate, but the Xavier right-fielder lost a fly ball in the sun to give Morgan Braughton a gift triple in the fourth inning and the Lions promptly scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to snap a 1-1 tie.

The Saints put runners at first and third with one out in the top of the seventh, but Braughton struck out the next two batters to finish a complete game and the victory.

Christina Lincoln and Braughton had two hits for Linn-Mar in the opener.

Cassie Himmelsbach and Olivia Richards socked solo home runs for Xavier in the second game and the score was tied, 5-5, heading into the bottom of the fourth, but the Lions scored two runs in the fourth and added three more runs in the sixth to put the game away.

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