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Saturday, August 18, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor
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Linn-Mar High School - Marion, Iowa

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.

Read more...

 

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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Wilson sparkles as Saints tame Lions

You can stop Maliki Wilson for one quarter, you can stop him for two quarters and you might even stop him for three quarters, but nobody can stop Maliki Wilson and his horde of blockers for an entire game.

Linn-Mar tried Friday night and failed.

Wilson put on a dazzling display of running in the fourth quarter with touchdown runs of 71, 97 and 66 yards during a span of 4 minutes, 18 seconds as the Xavier Saints ran by the Lions, 45-17, at Linn-Mar Stadium.

Wilson tied one school record (the 97 yarder) and broke another with 26 points in the ballgame.

Wilson had rushed for only 34 yards heading into the final period and the Saints appeared to be in trouble with Linn-Mar ahead 17-14, but Wilson galloped for 233 yards in that memorable last quarter to shatter the Lions and deflate the large crowd.

Xavier scored 31 straight points in the final 8 minutes, 55 seconds of the game to win convincingly.

"My old high school coach Tom Kopatich used to say, sometimes a bomb goes off and you get on a roll," Xavier boss Duane Schulte remarked. "That's kind of what happened tonight."

Wilson caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Schulte in the first quarter Friday, but he did not accomplish a great deal again until he broke loose for those three long runs in the fourth period.

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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.

Read more...

 

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?

Read more...

   
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