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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Linn-Mar High School - Marion, Iowa

BoEE clears Linn-Mar of all complaints

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has cleared Linn-Mar football coaches and administrators of all complaints that were filed by some Linn-Mar families this winter.

Dr. Quintin Shepherd, the superintendent of Linn-Mar schools, confirmed early Wednesday morning that the BoEE investigation has ended with no charges being filed.

"Yes, the BoEE has dismissed all complaints against all employees of Linn-Mar," Dr. Shepherd replied in response to an e-mail from the Metro Sports Report.

Linn-Mar head football coach Bob Forsyth and assistant coach Matt Casebolt had been accused by Linn-Mar families of abusive behavior toward their children. Scott Mahmens, who retired as the Linn-Mar athletic director in June, and Dr. Jeff Gustason, the Linn-Mar principal, also were accused by the families of not taking effective action in response to their complaints.

The Linn-Mar school district investigated the complaints this winter and dismissed all the complaints due to insufficient evidence. The families then filed their complaints with the BoEE, which investigated the matter and decided not to file charges.

BoEE officials do not comment on cases, according to a board spokesman who also said that no documents related to the investigation will be released to the public.



Forsyth, Casebolt still coaching L-M football

Bob Forsyth and Matt Casebolt are still teachers and football coaches at Linn-Mar High School, according to information provided by Linn-Mar officials to the Metro Sports Report on Monday.

Forsyth is listed as the head football coach and as an instructor in the Linn-Mar fitness department. Casebolt is listed as an assistant varsity football coach and as an instructor in the fitness department.

Forsyth and Casebolt are currently being investigated by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners as a result of complaints filed by Linn-Mar parents. The investigation is still under way. The BoEE has the authority to suspend or revoke teaching and coaching licenses if "practitioners" are found guilty of ethics violations.

High school football practice begins Aug. 8. Linn-Mar is scheduled to open the season Aug. 26 at Iowa City High.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 August 2016 21:37



Saints mired in 8-game losing streak

The Xavier softball team did some very good things during its doubleheader against Linn-Mar Tuesday night, but the bottom line unfortunately was the same story for the struggling Saints.

Linn-Mar swept the Mississippi Valley Conference games, 2-1 and 10-5, leaving Xavier with an eight-game losing streak and an unsightly overall record of 7-19.

Maria Steffen pitched a strong game for the Saints in the opener and deserved a better fate, but the Xavier right-fielder lost a fly ball in the sun to give Morgan Braughton a gift triple in the fourth inning and the Lions promptly scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to snap a 1-1 tie.

The Saints put runners at first and third with one out in the top of the seventh, but Braughton struck out the next two batters to finish a complete game and the victory.

Christina Lincoln and Braughton had two hits for Linn-Mar in the opener.

Cassie Himmelsbach and Olivia Richards socked solo home runs for Xavier in the second game and the score was tied, 5-5, heading into the bottom of the fourth, but the Lions scored two runs in the fourth and added three more runs in the sixth to put the game away.



Hines helps Saints get 1st MVC victory

New Xavier baseball coach Bob Cataldo had never seen Jacob Hines pitch before this season, but he remembered Hines from middle school and decided to put him on the varsity this year as a sophomore.

Smart move.

Hines tossed a complete game Friday night as the Saints trimmed Linn-Mar, 4-2, in the second game of their doubleheader at the Linn-Mar field for their first Mississippi Valley Conference win of the season.

Hines allowed only three hits and kept the ball around the plate all night.

"I used to coach Regis eighth grade basketball and Jacob was one of the kids I coached in eighth grade," Cataldo said. "I knew what kind of competitor he is."

The Saints had dropped 11 straight conference games this season, including a 6-3 loss to Linn-Mar in the first game Friday, but they've showed a lot of improvement the last three weeks and finally got their reward.



Shepherd: 'Safe to assume' personnel changes

The superintendent of the Linn-Mar school district said Thursday there could be personnel changes at Linn-Mar High School as a result of the ongoing state investigation into the school's football program.

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BoEE) is currently investigating charges that Linn-Mar families have filed against assistant football coach Matt Casebolt, head coach Bob Forsyth, retiring athletic director Scott Mahmens and principal Jeff Gustason.

"I think it would be safe to assume that we could expect some personnel changes moving forward next year," Dr. Quintin Shepherd, the Linn-Mar superintendent, told the Metro Sports Report Thursday morning.

Shepherd declined to specify what the personnel changes might be, citing due process and privacy rights of employees, but said the school district is making contingency plans to replace personnel if and when the time comes.

"We are in the process of doing what we need to do as a district to try and forestall any detrimental impact on the program in the middle of the season," he remarked. "We're always trying to put ourselves in position in the district where we don't react to something that an outside entity might do to us, but that we're responding to it in a way that's pro-active.

"If we can position our program now, whatever the BoEE does hopefully won't impact our program or our kids, and that's what we're trying to do now."

Shepherd said he does not know when the BoEE will finish its investigation or what action the state board will take. "I have no sense at all of when it will be completed," he said.



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