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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Nearad repeats as National Player of Year

Kirkwood Community College center fielder Taylor Nearad has been named the Schutt Sports/NFCA National Junior College Player of the Year for the second straight season.

The award goes to the top player at any level of junior college softball, including NJCAA I, II, III, Cal JC and NWAC.

Nearad, who is from Solon, led the nation in hits (112), doubles (35) and runs scored (106). She hit .516 and finished fourth in the nation in homers (19) and sixth in RBIs (80).

Nearad shattered a long list of school records during her two years at Kirkwood. She hit .561 for her career with 257 base-hits, 66 doubles, 19 triples, 49 home runs, 209 RBIs and 220 runs.

Kirkwood led the nation with 55 victories this season and reached the Junior College World Series.



4 Eagles named softball All-Americans

Maddie Hansen, Taylor Nearad, Lexi Kinnaird and Lexi Ferrari from Kirkwood have been named softball All-Americans for 2017.

Hansen and Nearad were named first team All-Americans, while Kinnaird and Ferrari earned second-team honors.

Hansen, a catcher from Cedar Rapids Jefferson, hit .534 with 19 home runs and 92 RBIs to rank in the top-4 in the country in all three categories. She will continue her career at North Dakota State.

Nearad, who has been named the National Player of the Year for the second straight season, hit .516 with 19 homers and 80 RBIs. She led the nation in runs (106), hits (112) and doubles (35).

Kinnaird, a right-handed pitcher, led the nation with 30 victories, 285 strikeouts and 12 shutouts. She will continue her career at Wisconsin-Green Bay.



KCC's Howell drafted by Royals

Kirkwood shortstop Korry Howell was selected in the 19th round of the Major League draft by the Kansas City Royals.

Howell, a freshman from Chicago, hit .394 for the Eagles this season with six homers, 33 RBIs and 43 stolen bases.

In addition to his hitting and base-running, Howell excelled on defense and impressed scouts with his range, agility and strong arm.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 June 2017 04:41

KCC stars Goods, Harris find new homes

Simone Goods and Deleyah Harris, the All-Americans who helped Kirkwood  win the national title this season, have found new homes for their college basketball careers.

Goods, a 6-foot-2 center, has signed to play at Illinois State and compete at the NCAA Division I level in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Harris, a versatile wing player, has signed with West Texas A&M, an NCAA Division II school that plays in the Lone Star Conference.

Goods averaged 16.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks this season and was named the NJCAA Division II National Player of the Year. She shot 67.9 percent from the field, which led the nation.

Harris averaged 14.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2 steals per game as a do-it-all performer for Coach Kim Muhl's club.



Kirkwood golfers finish 8th at nationals

MESA, Ariz. - The Kirkwood men's golf team finished in a tie for  eighth place at the NJCAA Division II national tournament Friday at  the Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.

Mesa Community Community College took advantage of playing in its home  town and captured the title with a 72-hole total of 1,155 shots.

Kirkwood finished 52 shots behind the winner at 1,207 shots.

Colin Troxler of Mississippi Gulf Coast won the individual title at  2-under-par 282.

Louis Flynn of Kirkwood tied for 24th at 14-over 298. Jordan Even tied  for 39th at 19-over 303. JD Goodfellow tied for 45th at 21-over 305.  Niall Powell tied for 56th at 26-over 310. Charles Hartwig tied for  68th at 29-over 313.


1. Mesa 1155, 2. Mississippi Gulf Coast 1160, 3. Murray State 1167, 4.  Tyler 1184, 5. South Mountain 1189, 6. Meridian 1196, 7. Illinois  Central 1205, 8. (tie) Kirkwood 1207, Southeast 1207, 10. Parkland 1219. 11. Copiah-Lincoln 1220, 12. Mott 1232, 13. Oakland 1250, 14. Black  Hawk 1255, 15. Iowa Central 1258, 16. Grand Rapids 1274, 17. Walters  State 1276, 18. Abraham-Baldwin 1282, 19. DMACC 1284, 20. Waubonsee  1315, 21. Allegeny 1409.


Kirkwood golfers fall to 9th at nationals

MESA, Ariz. - The Kirkwood men's golf team dropped a spot into ninth place at the NJCAA Division II national tournament at the Longbow Golf  Club in Arizona Thursday.

Mississippi Gulf Coast leads the tournament with a 54-hole score of 864. Kirkwood trails the leaders by 40 shots at 904 entering the final round Friday.

Jordan Even posted the top score for Kirkwood Thursday with a  2-over-par 73 and is tied for 26th in the individual standings.


1. Mississippi Gulf Coast 864, 2. Mesa 866, 3. Murray State 871, 4.  Tyler 878, 5. Illinois Central 892, 6. South Mountain 896, 7.  Southeast 900, 8. Meridian 901, 9. Kirkwood 904, 10. Parkland 910. 11. Copiah-Lincoln 917, 12. Mott 929, 13. Oakland, 14. (tie) Grand Rapids 947, Iowa Central 947, 16. Black Hawk 948, 17. Walters State  954, 18. (tie) Abraham Baldwin 957, DMACC 957, 20. Waubonsee 980, 21.  Allegeny 1040.

KIRKWOOD: 26. Jordan Even 74-77-73=224, 40. Louis Flynn 72-76-79=227,  50. JD Goodfellow 80-75-75=230, 55. Niall Powell 80-73-78=231, 72. Charles Hartwig 74-84-77=235.




KCC's Wentzien will play ball for UNI

CEDAR FALLS - When Miles Wentzien transferred to Kirkwood Community College last season, he hoped playing for the Eagles would lead to a spot at an NCAA Division I school.

It happened Wednesday.

Wentzien has accepted a scholarship to play for Coach Ben Jacobson at  the University of Northern Iowa after starring for Kirkwood during the 2016-17 campaign.

Wentzien, a versatile 6-foot-3 swingman from Fort Madison, averaged  14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the Eagles and was named a junior college All-American.

Wentzien is the third straight Kirkwood guard to earn All-America honors and sign with UNI, joining Hunter Rhodes and Jordan Ashton.  Wentzien was also on the Dean's List for both of his semesters at Kirkwood.

Wentzien began his college career at Missouri Western before switching to Kirkwood.


Kirkwood golfers still 8th at nationals

MESA, Ariz. - The Kirkwood men's golf team remained in eighth place  after 36 holes of the NJCAA Division II national tournament Wednesday  at the Longbow Golf Club in Arizona.

The Eagles have a two-day of 601 and trail Mississippi Gulf Coast by  31 shots with 36 holes left to play.

Niall Powell led Kirkwood with a 2-over-par 73 Wednesday.


1. Mississippi Gulf Coast 570, 2. Murray State College 578, 3. Mesa  Community College 579, 4. Tyler Junior College 586, 5. South Mountain  Community College 587, 6. Illinois Central 595, 7. Meridian 600, 8.  Kirkwood 601, 9. Southeast 602, 10. Parkland 605, 11. Oakland 613, 12. Mott 617, 13. Copiah-Lincoln 619, 14. Walters  State 624, 15. Black Hawk 625, 16. Iowa Central 627, 17. Abraham  Baldwin 634, 18. Grand Rapids 635, 19. DMACC 642, 20. Waubonsee 657,  21. Allegeny 690.

KIRKWOOD: 25. Louis Flynn 72-76=148, 40. Jordan Even 74-77=151, 52.  Niall Powell 80-73=153, 65. JD Goodfellow 80-75=155, 84. Charles Hartwig 74-84=158.


KCC golfers struggle at national tourney

MESA, Ariz. - The Kirkwood men's golf team struggled in the first  round of the NJCAA Division II national tournament in Arizona Tuesday.

The Eagles shot a four-man score of 300 and are tied for eighth place,  23 shots behind Mississippi Gulf Coast.

"Not the start we wanted, but the kids played hard," KCC Coach Darin  Pint reported. "Just didn't have it today. Have three more days to improve our position."

Louis Flynn led the Eagles with a 1-over-par 72 and is tied for 14th  place after 18 holes. Niall Powell, an Honorable Mention All-American, struggled with a 9-over 80.

Jackson Wedgeworth fired a 5-under 66 to help Mississippi Gulf Coast  take the lead after Day 1. The 72-hole tournament continues through Friday.


1. Mississippi Gulf Coast 277, 2. Tyler Junior College 285, 3. (tie)  Mesa Community College 287, Murray State College 287, 5. South Mountain 293, 6. Illinois Central 296, 7. Meridian 297, 8. (tie)  Kirkwood 300, Parkland 300, 10. Copiah-Lincoln 301, 11. Mott 302, 12. Oakland 306, 13. (tie) Grand Rapids 308, Abraham-Baldwin 308, 15. Iowa  Central 309, 16. (tie) Southeast 313, Black Hawk 313, 18. Walters  State 317, 19. DMACC 328, 20. Waubonsee 339.

KIRKWOOD: Louis Flynn 72, Charles Hartwig 74, Jordan Even 74, Niall Powell 80, JD Goodfellow 80.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 06:28

No .2 Kirkwood stunned twice at nationals

CLINTON, Miss. - The Kirkwood softball team suffered two stunning defeats at the national tournament Thursday and is now facing a long, sad bus ride home from Mississippi.

Coach Joe Yegge's second-ranked Eagles lost to 11th-ranked Cowley County, 4-3, in the winners bracket semifinals Thursday and immediately had to play  again in the losers bracket.

Perhaps still shaken, the Eagles promptly lost to Illinois Central, 6-0, and were eliminated from the tournament with two losses in three games.

Kirkwood ripped Illinois Central, 9-0, n five innings in March, but the rematch went to Illinois Central in a stunner.

Kirkwood finished the season with a 55-6 record. Cowley County advanced to the winners bracket semifinals at 45-15, and Illinois Central stayed alive in the losers bracket at 27-23.



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