Saturday, January 19, 2019
SCHEDULING NOTE: Kirkwood's ICCAC basketball doubleheader scheduled for Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. has been pushed back to 3 and 5 p.m....
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Shin splints: Fact or fiction?

High school track practices just started, and you notice a moderate aching on the inside of your shin, a couple of inches above your ankle.

This ache started after training, lasted a couple of hours and then seemed to go away. The ache reappeared after the next practice. Yesterday, training intensity increased, and the ache lasted until bedtime and you noticed it hurt while walking to class the next morning.

Unfortunately, after today’s practice, you could hardly walk and went to see the school trainer for some ice. The trainer examined your shin and told you that you had a case of “shin splints.”

You were advised  to ice your shin and take some ibuprofen at home. The trainer encouraged you to return tomorrow before track practice to be re-evaluated.

You iced your shin, limped home and took some ibuprofen. The next morning you felt a lot better, so you decided not to go back to the trainer. Unfortunately, you couldn’t finish training two days later and went back to see the athletic trainer.

What are “shin splints”?

In 1913, Dr. Charles P. Hutchins, a physician and former Big Ten football coach, first described pain along the medial shin as “spike soreness.” He defined spike soreness as a problem track runners develop when training with spikes that leads to a condition he called “lameness of the shin.”


Matt Stocker wins 1600 at Dickinson Relays

CEDAR FALLS -- Cedar Rapids Prairie senior Matt Stocker won the 1600-meter run in 4:24.62 Monday at the Dickinson Relays in the UNI-Dome.

Kyle Stocker, Matt's twin brother, finished second in the 1600 in 4:25.61. Josh Evans of Linn-Mar was third in 4:34.72.

Justin Burns of Prairie placed second in the 800 in 2:01.84 in a field of 68 runners. Coty Thompson of Mason City won the race in 2:01.72, just  12-hundredths of a second ahead of Burns.

Brandon Ophoff of Linn-Mar took second in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.36 seconds. Tyler Donels of Southeast Polk won the event in 8.23.

Mitch Pritts of Prairie placed third in the 3200 in 10:05.78.

Prairie finished fifth in the 4x800 relay in 8:29.66 with Kyle Stocker, Justin Burns, Matt Stocker and Jordan Burns.





Metro baseball: It's getting close

Take a deep breath. Can you smell it? Baseballs are beginning to bloom.

Probably no one in the Metro area is more excited about high school baseball than I am, excepting, maybe, the coaches and the players themselves. Just like Major League fans in the offseason, I believe there is interest in your favorite high school team right now, along with interest in the opponents, even though the games will not begin until May.

The summer of 2010 was the first summer I wasn’t coaching a baseball team or individual players at one level or another since the summer of 1973. I coached at Kennedy, Amana, WACO of Olds, West Branch, Riceville and Prairie. It’s been a wonderful journey that I have shared with hundreds of great kids and parents.

As a product of the legendary Ray and Roy Allard Little League experience and Hall of Fame Coach George Thompson, I was taught by the very best to “respect your competition, to love the game and the kids who play it, and to encourage others to love it, too.”

It is to that end that I present these team capsules of the Metro baseball teams for the 2011 season. The team capsules can be found on each of the seven baseball pages for each Metro school on the Metro Sports Report website.

I provide a team summary of each Metro varsity program.  I have compiled statistics from Quick Stats regarding returning players, interviewed many of the head coaches and added my own perspective to each team’s evaluation.

Jarrod Uthoff

Uthoff picked for NeXt All-American Classic

Cedar Rapids Jefferson senior Jarrod Uthoff has been selected to play in the NeXt All-American Classic on Sunday, April 3, at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Uthoff is one of 24 players from across the nation to be selected, along with players from Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, California, Virginia, Indiana, Maryland, Alabama, Minnesota and Kentucky. There also is a player from Germany.

Uthoff, 6-foot-8, has been named Mr. Basketball and the Gatorade Player of the Year in Iowa this season. He led the state in scoring at 26.2 points and led Jefferson to the Class 4A state tournament.

Uthoff has signed with the University of Wisconsin. Two of his future Wisconsin teammates also have been chosen for the game with Frank Kaminsky, a 6-10 center from Lisle, Ill., and George Marshall, a 6-foot guard from Chicago.

The NeXt All-American Classic will be televised on the CBS College Sports Network at 2 p.m.


Defenders give home-schoolers a chance

Noah Dargy is a starting forward and a senior leader on a team that went 18-3 this year and is headed to a national tournament. The fact that he and his team – the Defenders – are under the radar for most Metro basketball fans is of little concern to him.

“It doesn’t particularly matter to me if we’re in the paper,” says Dargy, a home-school student who describes himself lightheartedly as “5-foot-10-and-a-quarter – a little undersized for a power forward. That’s why I need the quarter inch.”

Dargy says he plays to have fun, be with his friends and reflect the religious values that underlie his team’s founding organization, Fellowship for Athletes Inc. (FFAI).

“Our emphasis is that everything we do is to honor God, whether it’s in practice or a game,” he explains. “If you knock a guy down, you pick him up, and everything you do is 100 percent. It adds another level of motivation to be a Christian.”

FFAI began 10 years ago as a series of basketball camps for boys and girls, says founder and head coach Ray Vasser.

“We were coming from a Christian perspective, instilling principles that kids can apply within the athletic realm but outside that realm as well. Six years ago we decided to create a varsity sports program for girls and boys, with home-school kids from Cedar Rapids and Marion as our main target.”

Called the Defenders, the resulting program includes a basketball team for girls in grades 6 through 12,  a “junior high” team that includes boys in grades 4 through 8, and a high school boys team. FFAI also developed a volleyball team called the Comets that subsequently became an independent organization.

Vasser explains that the name Defenders is a reference to a Bible verse, I Peter 3:15, that urges Christ’s followers to be ready “to give a defense for the hope that is in you.”

“We don’t Bible-beat,” he says, “but we try to teach biblical principles to live by. One of our key foundations is that the character of an athlete means developing self-discipline, creating good habits and good decision-making and always being truthful.”


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