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Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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Jefferson High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Young J-Hawks play for 'Mom & Dad'

The Jefferson volleyball players call their coaches Mom and Dad. Which seems to fit just fine.

Married first-year co-coaches Amy and Will Norton, both 32, are like new parents raising a young family.

There are only two seniors on the 15-girl roster. Three freshmen are starters and all six ninth graders play prominent roles in the rotation.

The team leaders in kills, assists and digs are all in their first or second year on the varsity.

Yet even with a decidedly baby-faced lineup, the J-Hawks have more than held their own this year against arguably some of the best teams in the state.

An 11-13 record hardly reflects their overall consistent play.

“We’ve only lost to one unranked team,” says Will Norton. “The others have all been ranked in the top 15 in their class.”

Moreover, notes Amy, “We’ve pushed a lot of really good teams. Our record may not show it, but I think we’ve proven that we can play with anybody.”

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J-Hawks top Warriors in volleyball

The Jefferson J-Hawks used a balanced attack to sweep Washington, 25-15, 25-23, 25-21, in a Mississippi Valley Conference volleyball match at Jefferson Tuesday night.

Maddie Slagle led Jefferson with 16 kills and 11 digs. Kaylee Donner contributed 19 digs and five ace serves.

Maddy Baxter collected 38 assists and 12 digs for the J-Hawks. Raya George had seven kills. Autumn Anderson and Kristen Naber had six kills for Jefferson.

 

McChesney leads Jefferson swimmers

IOWA CITY - Mika McChesney was a triple-winner for the Jefferson girls swimming team Tuesday night in a 110-75 setback to Iowa City High in a Mississippi Valley Conference meet at Mercer Park Aquatic Center in Iowa City.

McChesney captured the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. She also swam on the triumphant 400 freestyle relay.

Josie Thompson won the 100 fly for the J-Hawks and swam on the 400 freestyle relay with McChesney, Megan Kitzmiller and Taylor Langel.

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Neighbors leads Wash to district title

Connor Neighbors will be one of the youngest golfers at the state tournament this weekend at Elmcrest Country Club, but that's perfectly OK with him.

The freshman from Cedar Rapids Washington is accustomed to being one of the youngest kids on the course.

"I probably started when I was 3," the soft-spoken ninth grader said Tuesday, "and I probably took it seriously when I was about 8. I started playing in tournaments at that age.

"It took me awhile to get going," he said, "but I enjoy it a lot now."

Neighbors fired a 2-over-par 73 and led Washington to the district title Tuesday at the Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. The next step for Neighbors and the Warriors will be the state tournament on their "home" course at Elmcrest on Friday and Saturday.

Five of the six golfers on the Washington team -- including Neighbors -- are members of Elmcrest and know all the nooks and crannies.

"That's my home course. I play there a lot," Neighbors said. "It's a good course.

"I'm sure the greens are going to be very fast. They will be really tough. It's not super-long, so that will be good for me because I'm not a huge hitter."

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J-Hawks finish 1-4 at WSR tourney

WAVERLY - The Cedar Rapids Jefferson volleyball team finished with a 1-4 record at the Waverly-Shell Rock Invitational in Waverly Saturday.

The J-Hawks topped Union in pool play for their only victory. They lost to Denver, Mount Vernon, Nevada and Mount Vernon again.

Maddy Baxter led Jefferson with 77 assists in the tournament. Maddie Slagle finished with 45 kills. Kaylee Donner had 38 digs and Kristen Naber contributed six blocks.

Grundy Center defeated Waverly-Shell Rock, 25-17, 25-15, for the title.

   

J-Hawks foiled by Tigers in OT

Jefferson gained twice as many yards on the ground as Cedar Falls Friday night at Kingston Stadium. But when it counted in overtime, the J-Hawks stumbled while the Tigers rumbled just enough to pull out a come-from-behind 34-31 win.

With the first crack to score in the extra period, after being stuffed on two running plays and completing a pass behind the line of scrimmage, Jefferson had to settle for a field goal to go ahead 31-28.

Cedar Falls came back with two 5-yard runs right up the gut to end the game.

“We knew what they were going to do,” said J-Hawk coach Brian Webb, himself a product of Cedar Falls’ proud prep football program. “Power right and power left. But we just could not stop them.

"It’s unfortunate, because I thought we were the better team. This was a game we knew we could win.”

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Wash golfers win on super-tiebreaker

WATERLOO - Alex Slattery shared medalist honors with a 36 Thursday to help the Washington Warriors win a Mississippi Valley Conference quadrangular meet at the Irv Warren course in Waterloo, but the victory went much deeper than that.

Washington and Cedar Falls tied for first place with team scores of 148 for their top four golfers, which is the normal system for determining a high school meet. They went to the first tiebreaker, but the fifth-place golfer for both teams both shot 39s. Then they looked at the sixth-place finisher for both squads and declared Washington the winner on the basis of a 40 by Logan Bracey, compared to a 41 for Cedar Falls.

Frank Lindwall and Joe Slattery fired 37s for the Warriors. Connor Neighbors had a 38.

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Koenigsfeld leads J-Hawks at X-C meet

WEST BRANCH - Meredith Koenigsfeld placed sixth to lead the Jefferson J-Hawks at the Bud Williams Invitational cross country meet Thursday in West Branch.

The Jefferson girls finished fourth out of six teams. The Jefferson boys placed third out of six teams. Barrett Wise led the J-Hawk boys in 19th place.

Julia Noah of Urbandale won the girls race in 18:03.9. Michael Westphal of Urbandale took the boys title in 16:13.8.

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Havertape, Harris help Wash sink Jeff

Lauren Havertape and Alyssa Harris were triple-winners Tuesday night as the Washington Warriors dunked Jefferson, 125-61, in a Mississippi Valley Conference swim meet at Washington.

Havertape won the 200 IM and swam on two triumphant relays. Harris took the 500 free and swam on two winning relays.

Emily Nelson, Delaney Thoma and Jenny Hughes were double-winners for the Warriors.

Jefferson got victories from Mika McChesney (50 free), Josie Thompson (100 fly) and Taylor Langel (100 free).

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Cougars clinch title without Goodall

Cedar Rapids Kennedy volleyball coach Michelle Goodall was halfway around the world Tuesday at a special event in the Philippines, but that did not stop her talented and well-coached team from having a successful night back home.

The fifth-ranked Cougars topped Jefferson, 25-16, 25-12, 25-21, at the Kennedy gym to clinch at least a tie for just the second Mississippi Valley Conference title in school history.

Kennedy can win an outright Valley Division crown with a victory at Dubuque Senior Tuesday night with Goodball back in the USA.

Kennedy has been a state volleyball power for many years under Goodall, but conference titles have been hard to come by in a tough league. The Cougars are 5-0 in the Valley Division and want to finish 6-0 with an unblemished flag.

"That would be amazing," senior Macy Anderson said. "That's huge for our program."

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