Archive for August, 2008

Grumpy Hawk fans: I can’t help you

August 30, 2008

The calls began at 11 a.m., about the same time as kickoff for Iowa-Maine.

I’m alone in the sports department, working on the prep football package for Sunday. I’ve probably taken two dozen calls, all from irate Iowa fans. It seems the Dish Network has Ohio State on the Big Ten Network instead of Iowa.

What can I do to help? Nothing. Sorry.

If my garage door isn’t working, I don’t call a veterinarian. If I want to buy a pair of sneakers, I don’t go to Victoria’s Secret.

If your cable company isn’t coming through, don’t call me. I’m not Larry the Cable Guy.


This one’s over …

August 30, 2008

The final damage: Solon 42, Mount Vernon 8.

The final yardage disparity: Solon 344, Mount Vernon 69.

Solon’s motto: Fast and physical. That’s a good recipe.

James Morris: That’s a good player. Four TDs ( 2 rushing, 1 receiving, 1 on a blocked punt).

The Spartans play Clear Creek Amana next week. Yikes.

Utter and complete domination

August 30, 2008

The secondary scoreboard went off for a while in the second quarter. It may have been a blessing for the home team.

At the half, Solon owns an 11-0 advantage in first downs. The Spartans have accumulated 238 yards (168 on the ground). Mount Vernon has been held to minus-8.

It’s 35-0, and the continuous clock is in play.

What do they call this place?

August 30, 2008

Ran into former Mount Vernon AD Jeff Schwiebert, and figured he’d be as good as anyone to ask:

What’s the name of this field?

“Doesn’t have one,” he said. “(KCRG sports director John Campbell) used to call it the Bellamy Bowl, but that’s not an official name. Just call it Mustang Field.”

Consider it done. Sounds better than “A Big Patch of Grass in the Middle of Town” anyway.

Week 1: Solon at Mount Vernon

August 29, 2008

Here are the streaks that the Solon football team is working with:

13 straight victories. In simple math, that meant a 13-0 season last year, and a state championship.

Five straight wins over archrival Mount Vernon.

The Spartans will try to extend both streaks tonight at Mount Vernon. The sophomore game ended around 6:45 (thanks to Solon enacting the 35-point keep-the-clock-running rule, so we’ll start the varsity game on time.

We’ll have to have 20-20 vision (or good prescription lenses) to see the miniature scoreboard on the east side of the stadium. The regular scoreboard is out, and they’ve brought in a little board from Williamsburg to work tonight.

There’s room in the pressbox, despite the presence of the Mediacom Communications dudes. The weather couldn’t be better.

Life is OK.

You say you want a prediction?

24-7, Spartans.

Volleyball rankings: Out later today

August 29, 2008

The IGHSAU will release its preseason rankings later today. I got a rough draft of them, and though I can’t divulge anything yet, here’s a tease:

Three of last year’s four champions are ranked #1.

The expanded Wamac: Big, but not the biggest

August 27, 2008

The Wamac Conference has grown to 16 members with the addition of Clear Creek Amana, Mount Vernon, Solon and Williamsburg. Still, it’s only the fourth-largest conference, in terms of membership, in Iowa.

The Southeast Iowa Superconference remains the state’s largest, with 20 members.

The new Western Valley Conference, a combination of the Maple Valley and Boyer Valley conferences, is next with 19. That number probably will go down somewhat in the next few years, with the likelihood of mergers and dissolutions.

The Central Iowa Metro League has 18 members, the Wamac 16.

So much for climate control

August 27, 2008

For a handful area girls’ swimming teams, the 2008 season will begin outdoors.

Four teams — Vinton-Shellsburg, Prairie-Williamsburg, Decorah and Charles City — received waivers from the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union to compete in an invitational Saturday at Vinton. Diving will begin at 10:30 a.m.; swimming at 1 p.m.

Watch for K.J. Pilcher’s story on the matter in Thursday’s paper.

Football 2008: Picking the MVC

August 26, 2008

I’m far from an expert on Class 4A football, but I’m going to take a wild stab at this:


*Iowa City High 8-1

*Cedar Rapids Xavier 7-2

*Cedar Rapids Kennedy 5-4

*Dubuque Hempstead 5-4

*Dubuque Wahlert 5-4

*Iowa City West 3-6

Waterloo West 2-7


*Cedar Rapids Washington 9-0

*Cedar Falls 8-1

*Cedar Rapids Prairie 5-4

*Cedar Rapids Jefferson 3-6

Linn-Mar 2-7

Waterloo East 1-8

Dubuque Senior 0-9

*playoff qualifier


Top half

#16 C.R. Jefferson (3-6) at #1 Bettendorf (9-0)

#9 C.R. Prairie (5-4) at #8 Pleasant Valley (6-3)

#12 C.R. Kennedy (5-4) at #5 Davenport Assumption (8-1)

#13 Dubuque Hempstead (5-4) at #4 Cedar Falls (8-1)

Bottom half

#14 Iowa City West (3-6) at #3 Iowa City High (8-1) …. wow, that worked out slick

#11 North Scott (5-4) at #6 C.R. Xavier (7-2)

#10 Dubuque Wahlert (5-4) at #7 Muscatine (7-2)

#15 Davenport North (4-5) at #2 C.R. Washington (9-0)

8-man opener: 3 hours, 25 minutes … 125 points

August 23, 2008

Three hundred ninety-three jumping jacks.

That’s what the Central City cheerleaders would have suffered through Friday night, had they completed their duties.

They sprang for eight after the Wildcats’ first touchdown of the night. Then 14. Then 22. Then 28. Then 36. And that was just the first half.

The final outcome of my first eight-man experience: Central City 70, Northeast Hamilton 55.

The teams combined for 18 touchdowns. Central City’s Sean Brandhorst threw for seven. Mason Nielsen caught five touchdown passes and scored on a 73-yard kick-return TD that put the Wildcats ahead, 28-27. They never trailed again, and broke NEH’s 25-game regular-season winning streak.

In the second half, the Wildcats cheerleaders got lazy, and who can blame them? They started counting their jumping jacks by fives.

It was an experience. A fun game. Central City’s good — with the expanded playoffs, the Wildcats appear to be a safe bet to qualify for the first time in school history.

The game started at 7:01. It ended at 10:26. My deadline was 10:45. I made it by less than a minute.