Thursday, August 28, 2014
WEDNESDAY'S SCOREBOARD - MWL - Kernels 3 Kane County 2 (11) ..... COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL - Kirkwood 3, Ellsworth 0
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Kernels clinch No. 1 seed with dramatic win

Those champagne-style bottles with the long necks had cider in them instead of the real stuff, but the Cedar Rapids Kernels were too happy to care about the contents as they celebrated in their locker room Wednesday night.

All they wanted to do was spray everyone in sight, smear thick icing on their teammates and enjoy the special moment.

The Kernels clipped Kane Country, 3-2, in 11 innings before 2,005 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium to claim a No.1 seed for the Midwest League playoffs that start next Wednesday night at home against Burlington.

Those playoff tickets are now on sale.

The cider in those long-necked bottles tasted very, very sweet. There was no alcohol to be found in the clubhouse.

"We're still a young club, so we don't have everybody that's 21 yet," explained Tanner Vavra, who scored the winning run with a terrific slide. "We have to play it safe."


Thursday night football could hurt Metro

The Cedar Rapids Washington, Kennedy and Jefferson football teams could do well on the field this season and suffer at the gate.

You can blame the new district formula in Class 4A football for that.

The Warriors, Cougars and J-Hawks all share Kingston Stadium in southwest Cedar Rapids as their home field and once the season is over they split the gate receipts evenly.

The bigger the crowd, the better the receipts, and this could be a tough year at the box office for all three clubs.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association arranged the schedules for all the teams this year and one of its guiding principles was to limit travel time on school nights. In other words, they tried to avoid having teams return home at midnight on Thursday night with school the next day.

That led to some of the most attractive Metro vs. Metro games landing on Thursday nights, when crowds figure to be smaller than on Friday nights. It successfully reduces travel on school nights, but also reduces crowds and money.


Kernels can clinch No. 1 seed at home

DAVENPORT - Mitch Garver and the Cedar Rapids Kernels are coming home with a great chance to clinch a No. 1 seed for the Midwest League playoffs before their own fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Kernels tripped Quad Cities, 6-1, Tuesday night before 1,943 folks at Modern Woodmen Park to finish with a 4-2 record on their commuter road trips to Burlington and Davenport the past six days.

Cedar Rapids owns a six-game lead over Wisconsin with six games left in the regular season for the No. 1 seed in the Western Division for the second half of the campaign. That means their magic number is now 1 for getting that No. 1 seed.

The Kernels can secure the No. 1 seed by defeating Kane County at home on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The Kernels also can secure the No.1 seed with a loss by Wisconsin, but they'd rather not back into the honor.

"That would be ideal, if we could beat Kane County a couple of times," said Manager Jake Mauer.

Kane County has been the class of the Midwest League all season and owns a No. 1 seed by winning the first-half title in the Midwest League. The Cougars lead the Kernels by three games in the second-half standings, so the Kernels could pull into a tie for first place by sweeping the three-game series from Kane County this week.



2014 could be 'Year of QB' in Metro

The 2014 high school football season could turn into the "Year of the Quarterback" in the Metro area this fall.

Just about every Metro team has a QB who is capable of racking up big numbers. A few of them have already done it and a few others appear on the verge of establishing themselves as big-time passers.

It could be tough to pick the All-Metro quarterback when the season ends in November, but maybe one of them will distinguish himself above the others.

Reid Snitker at Washington, Ryan Schmidt at Linn-Mar and Trey Beckman at Prairie established themselves last season. Sammy Lizarraga at Kennedy and Bryce Schulte at Xavier appear to have great promise as new starters.

And then there's Jesse Furrow, who moved into the Jefferson district from Indiana this year. He has a rocket arm and could turn out to be the best of the bunch.

Marion is starting over with Hayden Meister and Gage Kray at quarterback, while Cedar Valley Christian hopes to start winning games with Kenan Ulmer at the controls.


Weary Kernels whiff 18 times in loss

DAVENPORT - Five hot days. Five road games. Five bus rides to the Mississippi River and back.

It's been an exhausting stretch for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, but at least the end is in sight with the Midwest League playoffs starting next week.

The weary Kernels struck out a season-high 18 times Monday night and lost to the Quad Cities River Bandits, 3-2, before 2,673 fans at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport.

"Eighteen strikeouts," said Kernels Manager Jake Mauer with an unhappy whistle. "That's a lot of strikeouts.

"That's 18 of 27 outs they didn't have to do anything. The defense didn't have to work or catch a ball or make a play. That's just not acceptable."

The Kernels had not struck out more than 14 times in a game this season prior to Monday. "We probably surpassed that in the fifth inning," said Mauer. "It felt like it."


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Metro Schedule

Sunday, Aug. 24 Thursday, Aug. 28
MWL: Quad Cities 8, Kernels 6 MWL: Kane County at Kernels, 6:35 p.m.
WSOC: Mount Mercy 5, Roosevelt 4 BGLF: MVC Quad, Jones Park, 3:15 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 25 BGLF: MVC Triangular, Pleasant Valley, 3 p.m.
MWL: Quad Cities 3, Kernels 2 BGLF: MVC Quad, Jones Park, 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug 26 BGLF: MVC Quad, Dubuque Golf & CC, 3:15 p.m.
MWL: Kernels 6, Quad Cities 1 HSVB: Kennedy, Prairie at MVC/MAC Challenge
GSWM: Iowa City West 135, Jefferson 51 WSOC: Mount Mercy at Grace (Omaha), 4 p.m.
GSWM: Kennedy 124, Iowa City High 59 MSOC: Mount Mercy at Grace (Omaha), 6 p.m.
GSWM: Linn-Mar 99, Newton 87 Friday, Aug. 29
GSWM: Cedar Falls 140, Washington 45 MWL: Kane County at Kernels, 6:35 p.m.
MSOC: Mount Mercy 3, St. Francis Ill. 1 FB: Jefferson at Washington, 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 27 FB: Kennedy at Iowa City West, 7:15 p.m.
MWL: Kernels 3 Kane County 2 FB: Linn-Mar at Prairie, 7:15 p.m.
BGLF: Kennedy, Xavier at Johnston Invitational FB: Marion at Mount Vernon, 7:15 p.m.
CVB: Kirkwood 3,  Ellsworth 0 FB: Xavier at Dowling Catholic, 7:15 p.m.
FB: Cedar Valley Christian at Harmony, 7 p.m.
CVB: Iowa Lakes at Kirkwood, 4 p.m.


CVB: Elmhurst Invitational: Coe vs. Spaulding, 4 p.m.; Coe vs. Westminster, 6 p.m.
CVB: Mount Mercy vs. Roosevelt (Chicago), 6 p.m.; Mount Mercy vs. Spring Arbor (Chicago), 8 p.m.
WSOC: Illinois College at Coe, 3 p.m.
MSOC: Illinois College at Coe, 5 p.m.
WGLF: Coe at Sail Classic (Cedar Falls), 10 a.m.
WGLF: Mount Mercy Invitational, Hunters Ridge, 1 p.m.
M/WCC: Coe at Bill Buxton Invitational (Indianola), 6 p.m.
M/WCC: Mount Mercy Invitational (Seminole Valley Park), 6 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 30
MWL: Kernels at Clinton, 6:30 p.m.
B/GCC: Prairie Invitational, 8:30 a.m.
CVB: Elmhurst Invitational: Coe vs. Lake Forest, 1 p.m.; Coe vs. Elmhurst, 3 p.m.
CVB: Mount Mercy vs, Lourdes (Palos Heights, Ill.), 2 p.m.; Mount Mercy vs, Siena Heights (Palos Heights, Ill), 4 p.m.
WGLF: Coe at Sail Classic (Cedar Falls), 10 a.m.

WGLF: Mount Mercy Invitational, Hunters Ridge, 1 p.m.
MSOC: Hannibal-LaGrange at Mount Mercy, 2 p.m.
WSOC: Holy Cross vs. Mount Mercy, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 31
MWL: Kernels at Clinton, 2 p.m.
MSOC: Coe at Cornell, 2 p.m.


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