Wednesday, August 31, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Xavier High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Saints spike No. 14 J-Hawks, 3-0

The Xavier Saints have a talented volleyball team that appears very capable of reaching the state tournament in downtown Cedar Rapids this November.

That was obvious Tuesday night when the Saints whipped Jefferson, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21, in a Mississippi Valley Conference match at the Jefferson gym.

The Saints, who are ranked No. 12 in Class 4A, have gotten off to an impressive start this season, with two victories over ranked Class 5A opponents. First it was 15th-ranked Iowa City High last week, now it's 14th-ranked Jefferson this week.

Both matches were on the road, and it's a road that could lead to the U.S. Cellular Center for the state meet.

"One of our main goals is definitely to make it to state," junior Charlotte Richards remarked. "And not only make it to state, but try to make it to the championship.

"The team is really coming together this year," she said. "I think we're going to be really strong."

Xavier finished with a 15-22 record last season and showed promise, but it looks like the Saints are ready to make a big jump under new head coach Austin Filer, who previously was an assistant coach at Mount Mercy University.

Filer won seven championships during his professional volleyball career and the Saints say he's added a new ingredient to the team this season.



Xavier golfers shine at Bunker Hill

DUBUQUE - The Xavier High School golfers tore up the course at Bunker Hill Monday and defeated Dubuque Hempstead, 146-162, in a Mississippi Valley Conference dual meet in Dubuque.

Matt Neumeyer fired an even-par 35 to lead the Saints, but he had plenty of support. Brad Karpick shot a 1-over 36, Tyler Breitbach had a 2-over 37, and Sam Martin, Ryan Keating, Nick Recker and Dan Bailey all finished at 3-over 38.


Wilson sets record as Saints top Regals

All that extra eating and weightlifting paid off handsomely for Maliki Wilson and the Xavier Saints Friday night.

Wilson rambled for a school-record 293 yards and scored three long touchdowns as the Saints trimmed Iowa City Regina, 35-26, in a battle of Catholic school powers at Saints Field in the season opener.

Wilson snapped the old school mark of 271 yards rushing set by Brendan Miller against Linn-Mar in 2013 and his total was the sixth-best in Metro history. And many of Wilson's yards came in big chunks with touchdown jaunts of 68, 31 and 62 yards.

The 68-yard touchdown came on his first carry of the night and the 62-yard touchdown came on his very last attempt to secure the victory with just 49.5 seconds left and the Saints clinging to a 28-26 lead.

Wilson thanked all of his blockers for doing the dirty work up front.

"Man, if you watched the first play over and over again, nobody touched me," he said. "It felt good."

Wilson had to leave the game late in the third quarter with painful leg cramps following a 21-yard run, but he shook it off and got back on the field in the fourth quarter to inflict more damage on Regina.

"The trainers helped me on the sideline. And then the Powerade," he said about his quick recovery.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2016 15:07



Wilson packing bigger punch for Saints

Maliki Wilson used his great quickness and agility to rush for 1,273 yards as a 160-pound scatback for the Xavier Saints last season.

Imagine what he might do this year as a 200-pound tailback with more power and even more speed.

"I feel a little faster than last year. I worked hard on that," Wilson said before practice Tuesday.

"I'll be able to hit a lot harder this year. The defense will have a little tougher time trying to handle the weight with it, too."

Wilson was not boasting. He never has, never will. But he's confident heading into the big showdown with Iowa City Regina in the season opener at Saints Field Friday night.

The kickoff is scheduled with 7 p.m. with no preliminary game.

Wilson said he feels a lot stronger this season. And even though he gained about 40 pounds in less than a year, there does not appear to be an ounce of fat on him.

"I totally worked on the weightlifting part," he said. "It should all work out pretty good."



Saints top City High in season opener

IOWA CITY - New season, new coach, nice new victory.

The Xavier High School volleyball team clipped Iowa City High, 25-19, 24-26, 25-20, 25-23, in the season opener Tuesday night to give Austin Filer his first victory as their new head coach.

The Saints are ranked No. 12 in Class 4A and the Little Hawks are ranked No. 15 in Class 5A, and the two ranked clubs staged a tight battle all night.

City High owned a 23-20 lead in the fourth set and needed just two points to tie the match, 2-2, but the Saints reeled off the last five points of the night to claim the victory on the road.

Charlotte Richards collected 20 kills for Xavier. Ellie McDermott finished with 14 digs, eight kills and three aces. Lexi Noonan and Jessie Callahan both had 11 digs and three aces.

Callahan contributed 27 assists. Rachel Sodawasser had 21 assists and three aces.

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