Wednesday, September 28, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Xavier High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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).



Karpick wins MVC division golf title

IOWA CITY - Brad Karpick of Xavier fired his third straight round in the 70's on Monday and captured Player of the Year honors in the Mississippi Division golf meet at Finkbine.

Karpick shot rounds of 78, 78 and 79 for a 54-hole total of 235. He edged Drew Brandel of Linn-Mar by one shot.

Linn-Mar won the Mississippi team championship. Xavier was second.

Ryan Keating of Xavier placed ninth with a 54-hole score of 248. Nick Recker of Xavier was 10th at 249 and Tyler Breitbach of Xavier was 11th at 251. Keating, Recker and Breitbach made second team all-conference.


1.  Linn-Mar 956, 2. Xavier 978, 3. Wahlert 1016, 4. Iowa City West 1036, 5. Jefferson 1128, 6. Waterloo West 1135, 7. Waterloo East 1501.


Saints take 2nd at Hempstead tourney

DUBUQUE - The Xavier volleyball team compiled a 5-1 record and finished second at the Dubuque Hempstead tournament on Saturday.

The Saints collected five straight victories against Iowa City West, Iowa City High, A-D-M, Dubuque Senior and Galena before losing to Iowa City High, 2-1, in a rematch in the championship match.

Xavier's victory over Iowa City West came just four days after the Saints lost to West in a Mississippi Valley Conference match at Xavier.

The Saints, who are ranked No. 5 in Class 4A, raised their record to 23-3.



Smooth Saints roll by Decorah

DECORAH - Smooooth.

That's the best way to describe how the Xavier Saints played football Friday night.

Smooooth, with a lot of extra "o's" for the offense.

The top-ranked Saints enjoyed touchdown drives of 72, 71, 87, 80 and 73 yards and collected a big heaping of revenge against the Decorah Vikings, 38-6, in a Class 3A district game in Decorah.

The Vikings upset the Saints in the Class 3A playoffs in Cedar Rapids last year, handing Xavier its only loss of the season.

"We were ready to play," said Xavier tailback Maliki Wilson, who cracked 200 yards for the third time this season. "After last year, we all hit the weight room and we've been looking forward to this for a whole year.

"None of us really like them after last year," he said.

Wilson did not mean the Saints personally disliked the Vikings. Rather, he meant they didn't like what the Vikings did to them a year ago.

"We learned from our mistakes and we just tried to execute," said Wilson, who rushed 26 times for 219 yards and two touchdowns, including a 76-yard burst in the second half. "I think tonight we all wanted to hit somebody. That's football, though."

Bryce Schulte hit 10 of 13 passes for 171 yards in his sharpest game of the year, with Nolan Butkowski hauling in four of those throws for 127 yards.

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 September 2016 06:42



Rodriguez gives Saints rare weapon at fullback

On most high school football teams, the fullback has one primary assignment that overshadows everything else.

He's supposed to block, block and block some more.

Erik Rodriguez is certainly an outstanding blocker for the Xavier Saints, but he's also an accomplished runner and a good receiver for the No. 1 team in Class 3A.

If Xavier's opponents worry too much about tailback Maliki Wilson or quarterback Bryce Schulte, Rodriguez is very capable of making them pay a heavy price.

"Erik is a different weapon back there," Xavier Coach Duane Schulte acknowledged. "He's a nice kid, too.

"He's the perfect blend for what you need in terms of a Xavier football player," the coach said. "He's a super-nice kid in the hallways and in school and everywhere else, but he gets a little nasty in him when he crosses the line and plays football. That's what we want."

Rodriguez, a 6-foot, 200-pound senior, has carried the ball 22 times for 164 yards in four games for a healthy average of 7.5 yards per carry. He's also caught four passes for 36 yards and is an integral part of the offense.

And make no mistake, he likes getting his nose dirty at fullback.


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