2017 Iowa High School Football Championship Breakdown

4A Dowling Catholic (11-1) vs Iowa City West (12-0) Friday @ 7:00pm

Dowling Catholic (11-1) – Going for 5th Straight Championship (Defeated Iowa City West in Title Game 23-10) in 2016

RB: Jayson Murray (2016 Championship) Stats: 3 Rush, 13yds, 1 TD; 2 Rec, 11yds

Defeated: Urbandale (45-3), Johnston (13-10), Ankeny Centennial (44-7)

Key Players Through Playoffs:
QB: Blake Clark – 444yds, 5TD, 0INT; 25 Rush, 69yds, 3TD
RB: Jayson Murray – 60 Rush, 346yds, 4TD
WR: Sam Ingoli – 8 Rec, 144yds, 1TD
Defense: 3 Fumble Recoveries & 2 INT

Iowa City West (12-0) – Looking to Win State Championship Going Undefeated

QB: Evan Flitz (2016 Championship) Stats: 22-29, 186yds, 0TD, 0INT; 11 Rush, -4yds
WR: Traevis Buchanan 4 Rec, 46yds

Defeated: Cedar Rapids Washington (49-7), Cedar Falls (27-9), Bettendorf (23-0)

Key Players Through Playoffs:
QB: Evan Flitz – 471yds, 4TD, 1INT; 22 Rush, 91yds, 1TD
RB: Trumell Roberts – 46 Rush, 421yds, 4TD
WR: Traevis Buchanan – 6 Rec, 107yds
Defense: 5 Fumble Recoveries & 3 INT

3A Pella (11-1) vs Cedar Rapids Xavier (12-0) Thursday @ 7:00pm

Pella (11-1) – Defeated Webster City for State Championship (28-18) in 2016.
Going for 4th Straight Championship. Defeated: Webster City (27-7), Dallas Center Grimes (35-18), Harlan(41-39)

Key Players Through Playoffs:

QB: Ryan Gustafson – 419yds, 6TD, 3INT
RB: Avery Van Zee – 36 Rush, 197yds, 2TD; 9 Rec, 257yds, 3TD
RB: Reece Schnell – 39 Rush, 207yds, 4TD

Defense: 4 Fumble Recoveries & 3 INT (1TD)

Cedar Rapids Xavier (12-0) – Looking to Win State Championship Going Undefeated

Lost to Pella in Semifinals (34-30) in 2016. Defeated: Oskaloosa (43-10), Davenport Assumption (44-21), Solon (35-7)

Key Players Through Playoffs:

QB: Quinn Schulte – 199yds, 1TD; 47 Rush, 366yds, 8TD
RB: Braden Stovie – 59 Rush, 389yds, 4TD
Defense: 2 Fumble Recoveries & 6 INT (1TD)

2A Waukon (11-1) vs Williamsburg (10-2) Friday @ 2:00pm

Waukon (11-1) – Finished last season 6-3 & did not make playoffs. Defeated: Clear Lake (46-16), New Hampton (34-13), Boyden-Hull /Rock Valley (36-19)

Key Players Through Playoffs:

QB: Abe Schwartz – 410yds, 2TD, 1INT; 35 Rush, 122yds, 1TD
RB: Mitchell Snitker – 76 Rush, 576yds, 11TD
Defense: 3 Fumble Recoveries & 5 INT

Williamsburg (10-2) – Lost to Mt Vernon in Quarterfinals (42-32) in 2016. Defeated: PCM Monroe (18-17), Mt Vernon (24-14) avenged loss from 2016, Union, La Porte City (28-14)

Key Players Through Playoffs:

QB: Gage Blythe – 280yds, 3TD, 1INT; 29 Rush, -4yds, 2TD
RB: Gage Hazen-Fabor – 80 Rush, 440yds, 4TD
Defense: 5 Fumble Recoveries & 6 INT

1A Van Meter (12-0) vs Iowa City Regina (10-2)

Van Meter (12-0) – Looking to go undefeated & Win State Championship

Lost in Semifinals to Western Christian Hull (35-16) in 2016. Defeated: Belmond-Klemme (24-6), Denver (27-6), West Lyon, Inwood (35-21)

Key Players Through Playoffs:

QB: Blake Fryar – 424yds, 5TD, 1INT; 27 Rush, 120yds
RB: Carson Rhodes – 88 Rush, 528yds, 5TD
WR: Anthony Lowman – 11 Rec, 269yds, 4TD
Defense: 1 Fumble Recover (1 TD) & 2 INT

Iowa City Regina (10-2) – Looking to Win 7 out of 8 Championship Games. Lost to Championship Game to Western Christian Hull (47-34) in 2016

Defeated: South Winneshiek, Calmar (27-21), Wilton (35-0), Pella Christian (37-35)

Key Players Through Playoffs:

QB: Michael Conlon – 482yds. 5TD, 6INT; 27 Rush, 175yds, 3TD
RB: Isaac Vollstedt – 62 Rush, 308yds, 4TD
WR: Jacob Phillips – 19 Rec, 276yds, 3TD
Defense: 4 Fumble Recoveries & 4 INT

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The Twins Are the Surprise of Baseball – How?

A 9 game losing streak to start the season. 103 losses overall, the most losses in team history. 2016 was as ugly as Twins fans have ever seen. It cost general manager Terry Ryan his job. With a win yesterday in Baltimore, the Twins moved to 25-18 on the year and remained at the top of the American League Central. A season ago, the Twins didn’t win their 25th game until June 28th to move to 25-51. Without making wholesale changes, this has the look of a real Major League Baseball team. How have they got here? 2 big reasons:

Image result for 2016 minnesota twins collision

Improved Defense

Last year the Twins made the disastrous decision to try and play Miguel Sano, their promising young third basemen, in right field. Sano was a disaster out there. No surprise. Robbie Grossman was brought in after being waived from Cleveland and proved to not measure up as a fielder as he does as a batsman. Trevor Plouffe and Danny Santana added to the defensive issues. Many questions remained coming into the year on the defense for the Twins, especially on the left side of the infield with Sano at 3rd and Jorge Polanco at shortstop. Polanco has been much better than expected and Sano hasn’t been quite as bad as many thought. But the biggest step forward for been in the outfield. With uber-prospect Byron Buxton patrolling center field and plus defenders Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario in Right and Left field respectively, this defense has been able to track down balls that were doubles a season ago.

Pitch Framing

Jason Castro was targeted early in free agency from the new front office of the Twins with Derek Falvey and Tadd Levine. They signed him to a 3 year deal for $24.5 million. Many scratched their head about  the signing of a guy that looked like he would hit .220 with 10-12 home runs. Castro’s real impact comes in his handling of the pitching staff and most importantly, pitch framing. Castro has excelled for years at “stealing” strikes. Why does that matter? Let’s look at the difference between a hitter in a 1-2 count as opposed to a 2-1 count. Batters hit .167 in a 1-2 count, .327 in a 2-1 count according to a 2014 Grantland article from Joe Lemire.

So the question now becomes, can the Twins keep up at this pace and be a contender come September? The young players still have room for growth, Jose Berrios is showing immense promise, Byron Buxton is starting to come around with the bat to go along with his outstanding defense and the bullpen has been incredibly solid on the back end. The good news is this isn’t just a team where everybody is hot over a certain stretch. It has been a team effort. We’ve seen plenty of hot starts fade out in baseball. Many believe that this team will be similar. Something tells me they’ll be hanging around longer than many in baseball think.

 

Trent Condon provides updates and commentary for the Marty and Miller TV program. You can watch “Marty & Miller” Weekdays from 3:00-6:00 on Mediacom 22 and stream at martyandmiller.com or by downloading the “Marty & Miller” app. Trent also hosts “Jimmy B & TC” weekdays from 12:00-3:00 on 1700 KBGG.

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Iowa State Basketball – Updated Roster Check

With 4 open scholarships coming into the spring signing period, it was expected to be a wild ride to see what the roster would look like for Iowa State basketball. Some crazy twists and turns have left the Iowa State with more open scholarships still to give and many people scratching their heads.

Michael Jacobson, formerly of Nebraska, is the latest to make his commitment to Iowa State. He joins Marial Shayok from Virginia as sit out transfers for next year. 5th year grad transfers Jeff Beverly from Texas San Antonio and Hans Brase of Princeton will be eligible to play right away next season.

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All told, pretty standard. But during this time ISU has lost out on 2 scholarship players that will look for new opportunities. That’s where some of the craziness comes in. First, Ray Kosongo asked for his release after sitting out last season as a transfer from Tennessee. Then, news Friday came out that one of 3 incoming freshmen, Darius McNeill has asked out of his letter of intent, just weeks before he was set to arrive on campus. With the news and with Iowa State expected to let McNeill out of his letter of intent, Iowa State still has 2 scholarships available to give for next year. The prevailing notion is that they are looking to add another guard, preferably a scoring guard. Perhaps they will find a 5th year grad transfer or a JUCO player to fit that bill.

Here is the roster as it looks today without McNeill:

Seniors: Donovan Jackson (G), Hans Brase (F), Jeff Beverly (F)

Juniors: Nick Weiler-Babb (G/F)

Sophomores: Soloman Young (C), Jakolby Long (G)

Freshmen: Cameron Lard (F), Lindell Wigginton (G), Terrance Lewis (F),

Sit out transfer: Marial Shayok (Senior in 2018-19), Michael Jacobson (Junior in 2018-19)

Open Scholarships: (2)

 

Trent Condon provides updates and commentary for the Marty and Miller TV program. You can watch “Marty & Miller” Weekdays from 3:00-6:00 on Mediacom 22 and stream at martyandmiller.com or by downloading the “Marty & Miller” app. Trent also hosts “Jimmy B & TC” weekdays from 12:00-3:00 on 1700 KBGG.

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2017 CIML Baseball Preview – Iowa Division

By: Trent Condon

Last year the CIML’s run of 5 straight state championships was ended as Cedar Rapids Prairie brought home the hardware. As always, it looks to be another outstanding year across the league. Today we look at the Iowa Division with predictions on where each team will finish.

 #1 Johnston (29-10 Last season, Lost to Waukee 4-3 in State Tournament) 

Image result for Johnston Dragons

Injuries derailed pitcher Jack Dreyer a year ago, limiting him to just 3 starts. With a healthy Dreyer, a Iowa baseball commit, the Dragons are one of the favorites to bring home to the 2017 4A title. Sophomore Peyton Williams has already committed to the Hawkeyes as well and put up monster numbers last year as a freshman, hitting .365 with 26 RBI. Also back for the Dragons are Derek Hackman (.344, 1 HR, 26 RBI), Drew Beazley (.296, 26 RBI, 7 SB) and Andrew Nord (.307, 1 HR, 20 RBI, 10 SB). The pitching staff will be deep with Dreyer, Andrew Zimmerman, a South Dakota State commit, Drew Beazley and Nathan Buckallew. Head Coach Michael Barta has another state title contender on his hands.

Image result for jack dreyer johnston Dragon lefty Jack Dreyer

#2 Dowling Catholic (30-11 Last season, lost to Ottumwa in Substate 3-2) 

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Head Coach Mark Roering might have his best team in his tenure at Dowling Catholic. The Maroons welcome back 6 starters including Ben Probst, who recently changed his college commitment from Nebraska to Iowa. Probst struck out 45 batters last year in 44 innings and opponents his .192 against him. The offense will be lead by SS Sam Olson (.331, 17 RBI), RF Peyton Krugler (.342, 1 HR, 31 RBI), C Lyle Fini (.322, 2 HR, 17 RBI), LF Rob McCargar (.292, 2 HR, 21 RBI) and Cole Coffin (.369, 9 RBI, 6 SB). Plenty of arms will be available to Roering along with Probst including Colin Lacey (4-0, 2.54, 44K) Mitch Goff,  Luke Yacinich and Cody Veach. Another title contender from the Iowa division.

Image result for ben probst iowa Ben Probst

#3 Mason City (25-17 Last season, lost to Cedar Falls 4-2 in Substate)

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A year ago the Mohawks didn’t have a senior on the roster. Plenty of talent returns this season for Troy Rood. Seniors Mac Skogen (.367, 20 RBI, 19 SB), Hunter Dingman (.380, 2 HR, 28 RBI) Carson Parker (.331, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 21 SB), Weston Schultz (.301, 1 HR 27 RBI, 9 SB) and Trey Wiegmann (.291, 1 HR, 33 RBI). Zach Hendrickson (5-4, 3.02, 50 K/27BB) and Kyle Lang (6-2, 1.81, 30 K/14BB) expect to anchor a deep staff. Expect the Mohawks to be a tough out this season and have a chance to make a run to the state tournament.

Dingman, Merrill Hunter Dingman from the Globe Gazette

#4 Urbandale (29-11 Last season, lost to Des Moines Roosevelt 11-3 in State Tournament)

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One of the top programs year in and year out is the J-Hawks. Jeremy Heinen has done a good job replacing legendary head coach Denny Barton and brings back two-way player Brock Skoog, Nate Stolze, Michael Van Riessen and Carter Troncin. The pitching is expected to be solid once again this season, the question is if the bats will be able to generate enough offense to compete with Johnston and Dowling at the top of the division.

Image result for Brock Skoog baseball From Des Moines Register

#5 Marshalltown (21-20 Last season, lost to Cedar Falls 2-1 in Substate) 

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A young group made some strides last season and have a chance to make a run this year. Juniors Kody Ricken (.354, 4 HR, 25 RBI) and Nate Vance (.325, 15 RBI, 21 SB) along with sophomore Dru Dobbins (.337, 1 HR, 23 RBI) will lead the offense. Vance is also the top returning pitcher for the Bobcats (6-2, 2.12, 37 K/17 BB). The division will be much tougher for Marshalltown this season, but they’ll have talent to compete.

Photo Credit: Vance Photography

#6 Fort Dodge (20-23 Last season, Lost to Johnston 8-1 in Substate)

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The Dodgers lose a lot from last season with a solid group of seniors. Sophomore Drake Miller (.333, 19 RBI) and junior Damond Lockner (.282, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 7 SB) are back and look to lead Fort Dodge. The pitching staff has plenty of questions as well. This is not the division to play in when you’re in the midst of a rebuild.

 

 

2017 CIML Baseball Preview – Central Division

By: Trent Condon

Last year the CIML’s run of 5 straight state championships was ended as Cedar Rapids Prairie brought home the hardware. As always, it looks to be another outstanding year across the league. Today we look at the Central Division with predictions on where each team will finish.

Jake Gilbert via the Des Moines Register

#1 Ankeny Centennial (22-17 Last season, lost to Ankeny 7-6 in Substate)

A year ago the Jaguars were cruising around at 19-8 and had the look of a team that could make a run to state. The wheels fell off as Centennial lost 9 of 11 down the stretch including getting upset for cross town rival Ankeny in Substate. A big group of juniors saw action last year for the Jags and look to make a move up the standings. 17 seniors and 13 letterwinners are part of this group including catcher Brenden Kuehl (.301, 22 RBI), 1B Jake Gilbert (.301, 4 HR, 20 RBI) SS Jacob Wilson (.278, 5 SB) and outfielders Alex Kopriva (.246, 2 HR, 14 RBI), Dawson DeAngelo (.218, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 9 SB) and Jordan Wilson (.263, 14 RBI, 4 SB). The staff is also experienced with Cam Cowan, Ethan Chips, Reed Pegram, AJ Pierce, Michael Van der Heyden and Gilbert. With the experience and top end pitching, the Jaguars are my pick to take home the division crown.

Valley senior Will Rodruck

#2 West Des Moines Valley (25-11 Last season, lost to Council Bluffs Lewis Central in Substate 8-7)

It looks to be a new look Tigers this year as Valley will look to replace 5 starters and their top 3 pitchers. Head Coach Ryan Cooley also is working on some new philosophies in hitting and pitching. The Tigers will welcome back junior Jevon Mason (.374, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 11 SB) who will patrol center field and is joined by returning senior starters 1B Cole Pederson (.338, 16 RBI), OF Will Rodruck (.348, 3 HR, 21 RBI) and catcher Jacob Morris (.375, 11 RBI). Sam Rogers and Rodruck saw plenty of action on the mound last season and will anchor the staff for 2017.  It looks to be another good year for Valley baseball.

Fisher Henderson via Ginnie Coleman Photography

#3 Waukee (31-12 Last season, lost to Cedar Rapids Prairie 4-3 in State semifinals)

Dave Dirkx’s Warriors put together another great season a year ago, knocking off Johnston in the state tournament before falling to the eventual state champion, Cedar Rapids Prairie in the semis. Waukee welcomes back Fischer Henderson (.313, 1 HR, 27 RBI), AJ Shaw (.327, 17 RBI) & Calvin Smith (.260, 1 HR) and look to have a strong rotation lead by Shaw and lefties Smith and Ross Hingst. If the Warriors can find some offense, this has the look of a team that will be a tough out again in 2017.

Cole Hassman via The Des Moines Register

#4 Southeast Polk (33-9 Last season, lost in Substate Finals to Des Moines Roosevelt 10-1)

After winning back to back state championships in 2014 & 2015, it looked as though Southeast Polk was primed to make another run last year, but were upset at home by Des Moines Roosevelt in the Substate Finals. It will be a new look squad for the Rams in 2017 as they lose 17 seniors that were a big part of the success over the past 3 years. First basemen Cole Hassman returns for his senior season after hitting .338 last year with 3 home runs and 40 RBI. Chase Wheeldon also returns as a starter behind the plate. Aaron Lang had a good year as a sophomore (5-1, 2.66 ERA, 29/12 K/BB) and looks to build as an upperclassman along with another junior, Joe Bagley (4-0, 0.88 ERA, 17/7 K/BB). Look for this squad to look better in July than they will in late May.

Jayden Maifeld

#5 Ankeny (14-24 Last season, lost to Des Moines Roosevelt 2-1 in Substate Semifinals)

The Hawks made their season last year after they upended their Ankeny brethren, Centennial, to kick off Substate play before losing a tough 2-1 decision to state qualifier Roosevelt. The Hawks will face a tough division and welcome back juniors Drew Hill (.242, 17 RBI, 8 SB) and Jayden Maifeld (.275, 8 RBI). Ankeny is going to have to see improvements from the rotation in order to move up the pecking order. Nick Hayden, Matt Wiedmier and Jayden Maifeld will look to get first crack at starting games for head coach Joe Balvanz.

Ethan Hahn

#6 Ames (8-23 Last season, lost to Johnston 10-0 in Substate)

Head Coach Eric Bappe has a rebuild on his hands up in Ames. The Little Cyclones return a solid core of hitters in seniors Eric Steyer (.355, 7 RBI), Ethan Hahn (.358, 10 RBI) & junior Tynan Shahidi (.265, 13 RBI). Pitching looks to be the biggest concern again for the Little Cyclones and the shift in divisions will prove to be difficult this year.

Image result for google play apple storeCatch High School baseball all season long on the “Marty & Miller” sports network. Trent Condon will provide play by play for the Central Iowa Game of the Week. You can listen to the games at martyandmiller.com or by downloading the “Marty & Miller” app through Google Play or the Apple Store.

The Ever Changing Cyclone Basketball Roster

By: Trent Condon

After another successful year, culminating with a Big 12 Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance, Iowa State has a year of retooling to their basketball roster. Departing seniors Monte Morris, Naz Mitrou-Long, Deonte Burton and Matt Thomas leave a roster in a state of flux.

Iowa State came into the spring signing period with 4 open scholarships. They went hard after JUCO All American Shakur Juiston (committed to UNLV), JUCO guard Daryl Edwards (LSU), 5th year grad transfer Elijah Brown (Oregon) and transfer Ed Morrow (Marquette). After missing on these top targets, they zeroed in and received commitments from Marial Shayok, a sit out transfer from Virginia along with 5th year grad transfers Jeff Beverly from Texas San Antonio and Hans Brase of Princeton.

Image result for hans brase Hans Brase

Another scholarship became available yesterday when it was announced that Ray Kasongo, a transfer from Tennessee that sat out last season, would be leaving the program.

As it currently sits, Iowa State still has 2 scholarships available. Head Coach Steve Prohm has shown his willingness to continue to look at the transfer market. The guess here is that they will look for another transfer to come in and be eligible to play next season. Along with the aforementioned transfers, the Cyclones will bring in a freshman class that includes 5* Guard Lindell Wigginton along with small forward Terrance Lewis and guard Darius McNeil.

Lindell Wigginton shoots a game against Tennessee Prep Academy during the Marshall County Hoopfest (Photo: Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports)  (Lindell Wigginton, Photo: Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports)

Here is the roster as of today:

Seniors: Donovan Jackson (G), Hans Brase (F), Jeff Beverly (F)

Juniors: Nick Weiler-Babb (G/F)

Sophomores: Soloman Young (C), Jakolby Long (G)

Freshmen: Cameron Lard (F), Lindell Wigginton (G), Terrance Lewis (F), Darius McNeil (G)

Sit out transfer: Marial Shayok (Senior in 2018-19)

Open Scholarships: (2)

Plenty of pressure will be on the newcomers to produce at a high level early. Lindell Wigginton finished as the leading scorer at Oak Hill Academy and saw his star rise with strong performances late in the season. He’ll share the point guard responsibilities with senior Donovan Jackson and they will play together a lot. 5th year grad transfer from mid-major schools have been a mixed bag for Iowa State.  Darrell Bowie and Merrill Holden didn’t produce at the level many expected last year for ISU. The hope is that Beverly and Brase can provide some scoring pop for the front court. What kind of leap can Nick Weiler-Babb have after shaking the rust off last season? And the greatest unknown; what will Cameron Lard be for Iowa State.

Image result for cameron lard Cameron Lard from the Iowa State Daily

It will be a new look team in 2017-18. Steve Prohm has brought in plenty of talent and the middle of the pack appears to be open in the Big 12 next year after Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and TCU. Can the newcomers come together early enough to get enough wins in the non conference? And what will the expectations be in the fan base after 6 consecutive NCAA Tournament bids? Plenty of questions to ponder this summer.

Trent Condon provides updates and commentary for the Marty and Miller TV program. You can watch “Marty & Miller” Weekdays from 3:00-6:00 on Mediacom 22 and stream at martyandmiller.com or by downloading the “Marty & Miller” app. Trent also hosts “Jimmy B & TC” weekdays from 12:00-3:00 on 1700 KBGG.

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