Archive for June, 2009

J-Hawks win blowout; Saints take nailbiter

June 30, 2009

CEDAR RAPIDS — A blowout. An extra-inning thriller.

A double-header split.

Class 4A third-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson exploded for 15 hits in a 13-3 laugher in the opener, then Susanne Scieszinski handcuffed the J-Hawks as No. 14 Cedar Rapids Xavier claimed the nightcap, 2-1, in eight innings in a Mississippi Valley Conference softball double-header last night at Bob Erusha Field.

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Snygg tops all-time HR chart

June 30, 2009

In the words of Milo Hamilton, there’s a new home run queen in Iowa. And her name is Sammy Snygg.

The senior from North Polk hit her 48th career homer in the Comets’ 4-0 win over Bondurant-Farrar. She surpasses Erica Martinez of Fort Madison.

A softball Murderer’s Row in Oxford

June 29, 2009

Jim White isn’t a big fan of QuikStats Iowa.

He isn’t wild about the public seeing his team’s statistics on the Internet. And he certainly isn’t crazy about his players viewing them.

“I’m a team-first guy,” said White, head softball coach at Clear Creek Amana. “I’m just kind of concerned about kids being too concerned about their batting averages.”

Here, in a nutshell, is what viewers will find: The Clippers can hit. A lot.

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Yearbook’s in … early!

June 29, 2009

The Iowa High School Athletic Association’s football yearbook arrived in the mail today.

Last year, I think it came in September.

Countdown to the first football Friday: 60 days.

A-P assistant denies Register report

June 26, 2009

Aplington-Parkersburg volunteer assistant football coach Milt Ulfers denied Friday afternoon the Des Moines Register report that the school has named co-coaches for its football team.

“No announcement has been made,” Ulfers said. “It’s just a rumor at this point.”

Football coach Ed Thomas was shot and killed Wednesday while supervising athletes in the school weight room.

Ulfers said, “I’m doing OK, I guess. Ed and I went back a long way.”

AOY nomination list: June 26

June 26, 2009

Our list for Gazette Athlete of the Year nominees is growing gradually. We’re still missing some good ones. Please send athlete resumes to jeff.linder@gazcomm.com.

Nominations close July 4.

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J-Hawks sweep rebuilding Linn-Mar

June 25, 2009
Cedar Rapids Jefferson's Morgan Allee slides safely past Linn-Mar's Lindsey Harms on Thursday at the Jefferson Softball Complex. The J-Hawks swept the Lions, 4-0 and 11-1. (Photo by Cliff Jette)

Cedar Rapids Jefferson's Morgan Allee slides safely past Linn-Mar's Lindsey Harms on Thursday at the Jefferson Softball Complex. The J-Hawks swept the Lions, 4-0 and 11-1. (Photo by Cliff Jette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A spectator made the observation early and accurately:

“This doesn’t seem like Jeff/Linn-Mar.”

Class 4A third-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson struck for 22 hits and dominated rebuilding Linn-Mar, 4-0 and 11-1, in a Mississippi Valley Conference softball double-header Thursday night at the Jefferson Softball Complex.

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Those that died before their time

June 25, 2009

Bill Quinby remembers his shock and sadness when he heard about the death of Nile Kinnick.

“We didn’t have TV then. I remember (former Gazette sports editor) Tait Cummins wrote a very warm summary after his death,” said Quinby, 77, a former NFL official who returned to Cedar Rapids after his retirement.

“It was pretty sad then. And this is very, very sad now.”

Quinby was refering to Wednesday’s death of Ed Thomas, the Aplington-Parkersburg football coach that was shot to death at the school’s weight room.

Mark Becker of Parkersburg was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Kinnick was the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Iowa, who died as a Naval officer in 1943 when he was forced to ditch his plane that had developed an oil leak off the coast of Venezuela.

Cummins wrote: “Kinnick proved one thing, that college athletics could be beautiful. Everything that can be said that is good about college athletics he was. He didn’t represent it…he was it.”

Kinnick was the most famous Iowan involved in athletics to die before their time. Thomas was the most recent. Here’s a partial list of those who passed prematurely:

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Threats of violence to coaches are rare, but …

June 24, 2009

High school sports are full of excitement and emotion.

An excess of either can lead to very bad things, said Jim Bellamy, retired football coach at Mount Vernon High School.

“Let’s just say that things like this can happen. People get excited and emotional. You hope it (subsides and) goes away.”

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“Sad, shocking, senseless”

June 24, 2009
Residence react to the shooting of Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas on Wednesday. (Photo by Jim Slosiarek)

Residence react to the shooting of Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas on Wednesday. (Photo by Jim Slosiarek)

Last May, Ed Thomas lost his home.

Wednesday, he lost his life.

But Thomas’ legacy won’t be that of a victim, according to Tom Stone.

“He had ‘WINNER’ written all over him,” said Stone, veteran football coach at Pekin High School. “He touched so many lives. He brought out the best in so many people. He had a real knack in getting along with kids.”

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