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Saturday, April 29, 2017
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Linn-Mar High School - Marion, Iowa

Xavier girls tame No. 11 Lions

If you need any help with the girls basketball rankings, just ask Xavier Coach Tom Lilly for some advice.

Lilly and the Saints have faced a string of premier Class 5A teams in the first few weeks of the season and now have an impressive victory to show for their efforts.

Xavier knocked off Linn-Mar, 42-37, Friday night in the Linn-Mar gym in a battle of Mississippi Valley Conference teams that does not count in the league standings.

The Saints put up a good fight against No. 3 Cedar Falls, No. 5 Iowa City West and No. 6 Johnston in narrow defeats before breaking through against No. 11 Linn-Mar with a strong defensive performance.

"We've been kind of poking the bear a little bit the last few games against really fine competition," said Lilly. "We finally had an opportunity where we could continue to play aggressively and it paid off."

Freshman point guard Kaitlynn Daniels hit three driving layups through traffic in the last three minutes to help the Saints square their record at 3-3. Daniels hit shots that made it 34-31, 36-31 and 40-34 to keep the Lions (4-2) at bay.

Xavier is a Class 4A outfit that competes against 5A clubs on a regular basis in the MVC. It's made them strong in the past and it could be happening again this season.

Lilly is trying to mold a new team around a handful of veterans and some inexperienced players.

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 08:01

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L-M's Kerr commits to Kirkwood baseball

Linn-Mar senior Kirby Kerr has committed to play baseball at Kirkwood Community College.

Kerr made the news known Monday on his Twitter account declaring: "I am excited to announce that I am going to continue my academic and baseball career next year at Kirkwood Community College."

An honorable mention all-MVC selection last summer, the outfielder/pitcher, batted .344 with five doubles, three triples and 20 runs batted in. In the outfield, he commited just one error in 48 chances. On the mound, he led the Lions with a 5-0 record and a 2.24 earned run average, 22 strikeouts and nine walks in 25 innings.

Kerr was also a two-year starter for the Lion football team and is a member of the basketball team.

 

 

Forsyth steps aside as LM football coach

Linn-Mar superintendent Quintin Shepherd said in June that it was "safe to assume" there would be personnel changes in the aftermath of serious accusations that had been lodged by parents against the high school football program.

Now the biggest change has occurred.

Head coach Bob Forsyth officially stepped aside as Linn-Mar's head coach after nine seasons Friday in the wake of a tumultuous year in the program, stating he made the decision to retire.

"The decision to step away from coaching is one that I alone have made," he declared in a story posted on the Linn-Mar football website.

Dr. Shepherd will not comment on personnel matters, so there is no clear evidence that Forsyth was forced to resign, but Forsyth had never previously indicated he planned to quit coaching at 55.

Linn-Mar assistant football coach Matt Casebolt, who was viewed as the main "culprit" by unhappy families in their complaints, was not allowed to coach the team this past season even though he had a contract that will pay him more than $5,200 for work he did not perform.

Five Linn-Mar families filed formal complaints to the school district about Casebolt, Forsyth, former athletic director Scott Mahmens and Linn-Mar principal Jeff Gustason, alleging Casebolt engaged in verbal and physical abuse of their sons and that Forsyth, Mahmens and Gustason were the "enablers" who let it continue.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 November 2016 09:30

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Forsyth could be finished as L-M coach

There are growing signs that these could be the final days for Bob Forsyth as the head football coach at Linn-Mar High School.

Three sources have told the Metro Sports Report that Forsyth will be vacating the position following a year of turmoil in the football program.

Forsyth has not responded to an e-mail from the Metro Sports Report regarding his status with the Lions. Neither has Dr. Quintin Shepherd, the Linn-Mar superintendent of schools.

Forsyth has compiled a 51-39 record in nine seasons at Linn-Mar, including a 3-6 mark this year, with five trips to the playoffs.

Five Linn-Mar families filed formal complaints about the football program with the school district following the 2015 season, charging that assistant coach Matt Casebolt bullied and harassed their sons and called people "show queers" if they participated in football and show choir. Two families claimed Casebolt physically abused their sons in weight-room incidents.

The families blamed Forsyth for enabling Casebolt's behavior with their sons. They also blamed Linn-Mar athletic director Scott Mahmens (now retired) and Linn-Mar Principal Jeff Gustason for not taking effective action to correct the alleged problems.

The Linn-Mar school district conducted an in-house investigation last winter and concluded there was not "sufficient evidence" to substantiate the charges. Mahmens and Gustason helped run the investigation, even though they were two of the accused.

At least 15 other families stepped forward with their own complaints, similar in nature to the original complaints from the five families who contacted the school district.

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Lions nip Saints in MVC thriller

Kangaroos don't jump as much as the Xavier Saints and Linn-Mar Lions did Tuesday night in a spectacular volleyball match at Xavier High School that left both clubs exhausted.

The Lions jumped last and prevailed in a five-set thriller, 25-23, 25-22, 19-25, 33-35, 15-11, in a battle of premier Mississippi Valley Conference teams.

The fourth set alone was worth the price of admission as the Saints stormed back from an 18-11 deficit, staved off five match points and prevailed 35-33 on a kill by Lexi Noonan.

"Both teams were battling so hard for every point," Linn-Mar Coach Teresa Bair remarked. "That's the kind of volleyball that you want to see."

Linn-Mar is ranked No. 7 in Class 5A with a 20-5 record, while Xavier is ranked No. 5 in Class 4A with a 23-4 mark. The Saints handed the Lions two of their five losses at the Cedar Rapids Washington tournament - once in pool play and again in the finals - but the Lions got the upper hand this time with a lineup packed with college-bound players.

"I'm proud of our group. We battled," said Xavier Coach Austin Filer. "Linn-Mar is a fantastic team and I think that's one of the toughest teams in the state.

"We've talked all year: We are not scared of losses," he said. "We embrace what comes from that. We're getting better and I cannot wait to see this team in a couple of weeks."

Linn-Mar had three future college volleyball players on the floor with 6-foot-2 junior Carly Spies (Northern Iowa), 5-foot-8 senior Ellie Anderson (Denver) and 5-foot-5 senior Emilee McGowan (North Dakota State).

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