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Familiarity in Schedule a Benefit for Trojans’ Football

Posted: Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 5:52 am

When the new district assignments for high school football came out earlier this year, there were teams that were ecstatic after seeing who they would be playing the next two seasons. There were others that were “comme ci comme ca,” while some schools took a big gulp and looked at what could be a big mountain to climb. For the Pleasantville Trojans in 2014, they won’t have to face the gauntlet of Montezuma, Pekin, BGM and Lynnville-Sully this year, and instead will take on more familiar faces, which Coach Gabe Bakker says will be a big plus for his team. The Trojans will try to tackle Colfax-Mingo in Week One next Friday night.

Defensive Depths Offers Positional Challenges for McMartin, Dutch

Posted: Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 5:50 am

Central football rode a strong defensive presence and depth at various offensive positions to a 6 – 4 record in 2013. This year, the Dutch have had to replace the seniors on both sides of the ball, and with that, coach Jeff McMartin has found that on the defense, he has even more depth at a few position. McMartin says at the safety position, he has more capable players than he can actually play, which creates some interesting scenarios. There are just 15 days separating Dutch fans and the first Central football game of the season on September 6 over in Illinois against Benedictine.

Eagles’ Volleyball Tall Once Again

Posted: Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 6:00 am

You could look up in your dictionary the phrase, “Pella Christian Eagle,” and that dictionary would say, “See: Tall.” Height will once again be a big factor for the Eagles’ volleyball team for 2014, says Coach Cindy Nikkel. Experience is another big key for the Eagles this season, as they returned all but two starters to their team and bring back a lot of players who are hungry for a deep playoff run. Pella Christian starts the season this Monday at home versus Marshalltown.

New Knoxville Football Coach Brings A New Panther Way

Posted: Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 5:59 am

When a new coach arrives on the scene, there is likely a new way of doing things.That will defiantly be the theme for Knoxville Football in 2014. The Panthers bring in a new coach in Eric Kellar and a completely new offense, the Wing-T. Kellar tells KNIA/KRLS Sports the guys are getting the base offense down and thinks it will be easier to run. The Wing-T utilizes a lot of misdirection and motion by the running backs. Kellar says he has a large crop of running backs to choose from and is excited about their prospects. Knoxville opens up the 2014 season next Friday at Newton, before that the Panthers will scrimmage Pella Christian this Friday at Ken Locke Stadium at 7:00pm.

Defense a Strength for Lady Dutch Volleyball

Posted: Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 5:58 am

The spotlight will shine on the younger members of the Pella High volleyball team in about a week when their 2014 season gets going against Ballard. Offensively, the team will have a lot of weapons and will try to be a little more aggressive serving this year. Coach Catie Brand says that her team should be well-versed on defense, too. Blocking should be another strength for the Lady Dutch based on their height at the net, says Brand. The JV/Varsity doubleheader against the Bombers is next Thursday starting at 5:30 p.m.

Trojans’ Returners Hungry for Postseason

Posted: Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 5:52 am

In the two seasons that Coach Gabe Bakker has led his Pleasantville football team onto the field, they have seemingly improved with each passing week. They won three games in 2012, four in 2013, and this season, the returning Trojans are wanting to play football past Week Nine. Coach Bakker says he and the coaching staff have noticed a heightened focus during camps and practices over the past three weeks. Colfax-Mingo will come to Pleasantville for the Trojans’ week one contest a week from tomorrow to begin the 2014 football season.

Schirm Didn’t Have Much ‘Work’ to Do Signing On to Dutch Baseball Job

Posted: Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 5:50 am

Taking over for Adam Stevens after he left for greener pastures, new Central head baseball coach, Matt Schirm didn’t take over immediately when Stevens departed after the spring 2014 season. Schirm signed on in July, in the middle of the high school baseball season, but did not have much time to do a lot of recruiting. No matter, Schirm says, as Stevens did a majority of the dirty work for him for the off-season. The Dutch finished second in the league tournament last season, and Schirm says he’s hoping to develop a deeper pitching staff to push them even further in 2015.

First Knoxville Cross Country Meet Will Be Used As A Time Trial

Posted: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 6:00 am

The Knoxville Cross Country Squad’s first meet under new coach Michael Splavec will be Monday as the Panthers host a five-team invitational at Pine Knolls Golf Course.Splavec says he will use that meet as a time trial to see who the top runners on his team are. Splavec adds he will use a couple of other time trials during practice to get an idea of each runner’s times before Monday’s meet. The Panthers will host Norwalk, Fairfield, Dallas Center-Grimes, and Wayne.

Pella Cross Country Runners Have a Tough Act to Follow this Season

Posted: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 5:59 am

The Class of 2014 accomplished much as far as cross country was concerned at Pella High School. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams made it to Fort Dodge and the Class 3A state meet, where both squads finished fourth overall as a team. Tess Roorda, as a freshman, placed first individually to highlight the day for the Dutch. Head coach, Doug Cutler says that though it will be difficult to replace the seniors from last year, both of his teams have the returners and the depth to stay competitive this fall. The Cedar Rapids Prairie meet, which kicks off Pella’s cross country season, is just over a week away on August 30.

Two Runners Will Help Push Eagle Cross Country

Posted: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 5:57 am

With a majority of the runners back from a year ago, and even some fresh faces mixed in, the Pella Christian cross country team for 2014 looks to be more competitive in Class 2A this season. There are quite a bit of new names on the roster for Coach Jocelyn Meinders, but she says she has a few runners that will help push the entire team to be better during practice and at meets. Meinders adds that practices have been great so far, and they have mostly been focusing on strength and conditioning for the first week. Pella Christian’s first meet is on September 6 at Central College.

Expectations Different for Twin Cedars Football in 2014

Posted: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 5:51 am

There is a kind of championship-vibe still buzzing inside the hallways of Twin Cedars High School. The Class of 2014 pushed through an incredibly athletic and gifted bunch of seniors who just accomplished the first state championship in school history on the baseball diamond earlier this month. All of the freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors that returned this year are all hungry for another taste of a title. Saber football coach, Aaron Allspach says it will be difficult this year with all of the holes he has had to fill from the departed seniors, so the expectations are a little different. Allspach says the goal for his team this year is to make it back to the playoffs in late October. Twin Cedars’ week one opponent is English Valleys, who they’ll play in Bussey on August 29.

Second-Place Finish at Regionals Fueled Dutch Men’s Cross Country

Posted: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 5:49 am

The Central men’s cross country team finished sixth place at last year’s NCAA Division III National Meet. The team that eventually won it all, St. Olaf out of Minnesota, had beaten the Dutch by a slim margin at the previous week’s regional final to qualify for that race on the big stage. Coach Joe Dunham says that the loss was a big motivator for his team. Central returns all but one runner from that 2013 squad, so the expectations and hopes are high for perhaps a higher finish in 2014.

Height Not Lacking this Year for Pella Volleyball

Posted: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 6:00 am

Much like basketball, it pays to have a few extra inches on your team in volleyball. For 2014, the Pella High girls will try to take advantage of their “vertical gifts” at and around the net. Though they are still a young team, Coach Catie Brand says it has been nice to be a little extra competitive with their height so far in practice. Brand adds she has players that are very versatile and can play just about any position they need them to play.

Knoxville Volleyball Looking Forward To New Challenge Of South Central Conference

Posted: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 5:59 am

The first South Central Conference match for the Knoxville Volleyball Squad will be September ninth when the Panthers play their home opener against Centerville.This will be the first South Central Conference event for Knoxville since 1996. Volleyball Coach Chantell Downing tells KNIA/KRLS her girls are looking forward to the challenge of a new conference. The other home matches for Knoxville in the South Central Conference are Eddyville-Blakesburg on October 7th and Clarke on October 14th.

New Eagle Setter Learned Much from Jungling

Posted: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 5:58 am

One hole the Pella Christian volleyball team had to fill this year was in their setter position. The Eagles had the benefit of having Lauren Jungling be their starter in that role for the last three seasons, and Coach Cindy Nikkel had to find someone to slip into that spot for 2014. It was an easy decision, Nikkel says, as new setter, Abby Pleima picked up on a lot of things just being on the court last year with Jungling. Nikkel says that Pleima slides into the setter position quite nicely. Nikkel also notes that Pleima is a very good server, too. Pella Christian’s season begins in less than a week; this Monday at home against Marshalltown.

More Volleyball Experience a Benefit for Mustangs’ Girls

Posted: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 5:52 am

The more you play a game or a sport, the more you get used to the mannerisms, the strategy and all of the aspects that go into performing well. The PCM volleyball team in 2014 has played a lot of offseason matches together in and out of camps, which Coach Mollie Keitges says has done wonders for their confidence and their abilities inside the gym. Keitges adds that the biggest intangible asset of her Mustangs this year will be their athleticism and level of competitiveness, something she says cannot be taught. PCM volleyball begins the year a week from today at Dallas Center – Grimes.

Dutch Baseball Adds Assistant Coach

Posted: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 5:50 am

The Central College baseball team has added an assistant coach to their staff. John Love has been named assistant coach for the Dutch and also the pitching coach. He was the assistant and pitching coach at Hiram College in Ohio the last three seasons, and was the head coach of the Northern Ohio Bucs, a summer baseball travel program. Love will be helping new head coach, Matt Schirm, after Adam Stevens left this past spring. Schirm and Love inherit a team that went 28 – 16 last year and finished second in the Iowa Conference tournament.

Meet The Panthers Night This Friday

Posted: Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 6:00 am

Knoxville Panther fans are invited to meet the Panthers this Friday at the high school and Ken Locke Stadium.Athletic Director Ryan Rump tells KNIA/KRLS the entire community is invited to attend. Fans can meet the volleyball, cross country, and football squads. The volleyball squad will have an intersquad scrimmage at 5:45 at the high school gym. The action then moves to Ken Locke Stadium with the introduction of all of the fall sports, followed by a scrimmage by the football squad with Pella Christian at 7:00. Rump is asking all who attend the volleyball or football scrimmage to bring an eight-pack sports drink of their choice per family.

Youth Looking to Thrive for Pella High Volleyball

Posted: Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 5:59 am

The Pella High volleyball team had to say goodbye to six very talented seniors that helped drive their club to the Class 4A regional final against Indianola. Coach Catie Brand and her assistants knew they would be dealing with a young team in the future, mainly in 2014, and so they decided that during the regular season, they would give these freshmen some quality playing minutes to get them ready for when they would take center stage the next year. Brand also says they still have some areas that brought back some very talented athletes. The Lady Dutch went 21 – 16 last year and tied for the conference title with Newton, who also had to deal with several key losses from their senior class.

Seniors Not the Only Ones Looking to Shine for Eagles’ Volleyball

Posted: Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 5:57 am

Only two seniors departed Pella Christian’s volleyball team after last year, opening the door for a whopping nine seniors to play a big role for the Eagles this season. In addition to those juniors-turned-seniors, Coach Cindy Nikkel says a number of younger gals will be sharing the limelight with the upperclassmen on the court. Andrea Horstman is one that Nikkel points out will have an immediate impact, as well as a few others who have stuck out in scrimmages, camps and practices so far. The Eagles’ 2014 season begins a week from Monday on the 26th at home against Marshalltown.