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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Linn-Mar High School - Marion, Iowa

L-M board supports administration

The Linn-Mar Board of Education fully supports Linn-Mar administrators in the way they've handled complaints from unhappy Linn-Mar football families and does not plan to take any action in the matter.

"We fully support the administration's investigation," Tim Isenberg, the board president, told the Metro Sports Report Friday morning. "Do we trust the administration? Yes. Did they do the right job? Yes."

The Linn-Mar families, who call themselves the Concerned Parent Group, have filed serious allegations against assistant football coach Matt Casebolt in terms of verbal, mental, emotional and physical abuse. They have accused Casebolt of taunting, harassment and bullying and also have accused him of physically harming a player by shoving a 45-pound weight into his face.

The parents also have complained about head football coach Bob Forsyth, athletic director Scott Mahmens and princial Jeff Gustason, complaining they have allowed the abuse to occur and continue.

Linn-Mar administrators conducted an in-house investigation and dismissed all complaints due to "insufficient evidence," according to letters Gustason sent to the parents.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 February 2016 12:42



Linn-Mar, Xavier will meet in football

Linn-Mar High School has changed its mind and has agreed to play non-district football games against the Xavier Saints in 2016 and 2017.

Two years ago, Linn-Mar athletic director Scott Mahmens said his school was not interested in playing any games against a Class 3A school. The Lions compete at the Class 4A level and he said at the time they wanted to play other 4A schools in non-district games in 2014 and 2015.

Linn-Mar changed its mind and put Xavier on its preferred list of non-district games for the next two-year cycle of games in 2016 and 2017, but Mahmens declined comment when contacted by the Metro Sports Report Friday morning after the Iowa High School Athletic Association released the schedules for all teams.

Xavier athletic director Mike Winker has wanted to play games against any of the 4A Metro schools - Linn-Mar, Kennedy, Washington, Jefferson and Prairie - but they all turned him down during the 2014-15 cycle.

Mahmens told the Metro Sports Report several weeks ago that he put Xavier on his preferred list of opponents. The IHSAA has the final authority on putting the schedules together and they arranged for Xavier to play at Linn-Mar on Friday, Sept. 2. The Lions will visit the Saints in 2017 in the return engagement.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 February 2016 11:40



Milota, Blood honored on MVC bowling

Kennedy junior Jamie Milota has been named the Athlete of the Year on the Valley Division all-star girls bowling team, the Mississippi Valley Conference announced Thursday.

Rylee Blood, a senior at Prairie and the Class 3A state champion, shared the honor with senior Ashley Care of Waterloo East in the Mississippi Division.

Prairie’s Don Willfong was named Coach of the Year in the Mississippi Division. Linn-Mar’s Jeremy Moser was named Coach of the Year in the Valley Division.

Blood and freshman Prairie teammate Ashley Sundstrom were unanimous first-team picks in the Mississippi Division. Prairie senior Sabrina Keiper and Washington senior Shania Christensen also made the first team.



Brandt taking Lions back to state

Jaime Printy Brandt is heading back to the girls state basketball tournament with the Linn-Mar Lions next week, only this time she's going as their young head coach instead of their star player.

It feels just as sweet.

The sixth-ranked Lions defeated Dowling Catholic, 61-49, in the Class 5A regional finals Tuesday night behind a pair of sensational performances by Megan Murphy and Kamryn Finley.

Brandt played in three state tournaments with Linn-Mar in 2006, 2008 and 2009. She made her first trip as a 15-year-old freshman and now she'll make this trip as a 25-year-old head coach.

Linn-Mar (19-4) will face Indianola (22-1) in the opening round of the state tournament at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 08:29



Parents complain to L-M school board

The Linn-Mar parents who are unhappy with the school's football program took their complaints to the Linn-Mar school board Monday evening during an emotional session at the LRC Boardroom in Marion.

The parents have accused Linn-Mar football coaches with physical, verbal, mental and emotional abuse by taunting, harassing and injuring their sons during formal school activities. Most of the complaints have been filed against assistant coach Matt Casebolt and head coach Bob Forsyth.

The parents originally filed their complaints with the Linn-Mar school district, but all of their complaints have been dismissed by the district due to "insufficient evidence" following an in-house investigation.

The families are in the process of filing a formal complaint with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. And although they have previously complained to school board president Tim Isenberg about the alleged abuses, they wanted to speak before the full school board and air their complaints publicly Monday.

The board meeting drew a large crowd, with dozens of people - including a contingent of Linn-Mar football players - standing in the back of the room in support of the football coaches and program. Many of those players made public comments during the meeting, but the most dramatic moments came when several of the unhappy parents used their allotted three minutes to address the board.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 February 2016 20:13



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