Archive for May, 2008

Soccer, soccer everywhere

May 30, 2008

They’re playing boys’ state semifinals at Des Moines. They’re playing girls’ regional semifinals, well, everywhere.

Today, Iowa is a soccer state.

It’s.¬†halftime of of the first game of a Clark Field double-header. Iowa City West and Cedar Rapids Jefferson are scoreless, with neither team putting together many scoring opportunities.

They moved the West-Jefferson game here from Lower Kingston, presumably because the latter is swampy. Clark Field, on the Coe College campus, has Field Turf.

Why doesn’t Kingston Stadium? OK, other than the price (Kennedy AD Aaron Stecker said it would cost $930,000).

“We’re looking at it,” he said.


What’s next at the Union?

May 30, 2008

So Troy Dannen is leaving the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. Good for Troy. He’s getting the job he always wanted, athletics director at UNI.

One person said this will expediate a IGHSAU-IHSAA merger. Ain’t gonna happen.

So who is next in line to become the Union’s third executive director (it used to be called an executive secretary) in 50-some years?

Karon Brown is the highest remaining official and some say a woman ought to run an organization that is geared toward females. She’s been there a long time.

Mike Dick hasn’t been there as long, but has administrative roots and has a wealth of knowledge about officials.

One high-profile Eastern Iowa coach supports Bud Legg, information director for the IHSAA. Legg is a youngish 64 and has served as a coach and AD. He deserves an interview.

On the other hand, it could be someone an external candidate from right field. Regardless, with a starting salary of six figures, it’s a position that won’t be short on qualified hopefuls.

An interesting (and stunning) bit of MVC trivia

May 27, 2008

Waterloo East 2, Iowa City High 1.

That’s the count of Mississippi Valley Conference divisional championships won by each school through the 2007-08 school year.

Nobody is confusing East (a perennial cellar-dweller in just about every sport not called boys’ basketball) with mighty City High. But the count is correct.

East won Valley Division titles in wrestling and volleyball. City’s lone Mississippi Division title came in boys’ basketball. Not even the Little Hawks’ state-championship girls’ basketball team won a divisional title.

In City High’s defense, the Mississippi Division is the stronger division in most sports. Iowa City West and Cedar Falls are strong across the board.

While we’re on the subject, how much stock is taken in MVC all-sports standings? Lots? None? Probably more at Iowa City West and Cedar Rapids Kennedy, which lead the standings in both boys’ and girls’ sports.


A REAL rebuilding project

May 27, 2008

You know who the high-school powerhouses are in Iowa.

There’s Harlan. There’s West Des Moines Valley. There’s Ankeny.

And there’s Aplington-Parkersburg. No small school in Iowa has a prouder athletics program.

You’ve certainly heard the cliche: They don’t rebuild. They just reload.

Well, the folks at Aplington-Parkersburg are rebuilding. They’re rebuilding their school. They’re rebuilding their homes. They’re rebuilding their lives.

It’s a rebuilding project with no quick fix. There’s no blueprint for something like this. No roadmap.

Where do you start? The facilities are damaged or destroyed. Some of the athletes are homeless. Communication will range from difficult to impossible. It’s difficult to think about sports when you’re thinking about survival.

They say they’ll play the summer sports at A-P. The baseball team will play its home games in Aplington. The softball team will play on a Little League diamond. Should they be playing this summer at all? Who’s to say? Who’s to judge?

Here’s a 2003 quote from Cedar Rapids Xavier girls’ basketball coach Tom Lilly, whose player Maggie O’Connell, was displaced by a fire: “How do you comfort someone who has lost everything, who will be reaching for something that’s not there anymore? It’s like rebuilding a mountain, one teaspoon at a time.”

It applies here.

Parkersburg will rebuild. And the A-P Falcons will soar again.