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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.

Saber Gals Will be Young, Experienced for 2014

Posted: Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 5:51 am

There is a lot of youth in the Twin Cedars’ volleyball program for this coming season, and not just on the court and wearing a jersey. Alexis Kauzlarich is the third head coach in as many years for the Sabers, and she will lead a mainly youthful team into the gym for 2014. The Sabers lost six seniors from their team a year ago, but Kauzlarich is confident that some of her underclassmen will step up after the experience they gained in playing at the varsity level last year. The Sabers begin 2014 with a match against Moravia on September 4.

Dutch Women Try to Build on Strong Finish to 2013 Season

Posted: Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 5:49 am

The Central volleyball team in 2013 saw a ray of what could be towards the end of their schedule last year. Coach Kent Clayberg and his staff implemented a new offense designed to help them compete at a higher level and perhaps compete for another national championship at some point. Though there were a lot of bumps in the road for the Dutch, Clayberg says a late season tournament over in Illinois helped give the team some confidence of “what could be.” Central finished the season with a five match winning streak, and won seven of their final nine overall. They’ll head to Virginia in a few weeks to begin the 2014 season.

Meet The Panthers Night This Friday

Posted: Sunday, August 17th, 2014 at 5:59 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.

With 2 Coaches For 3 Teams Knoxville Volleyball Is Learning Good Management Skills

Posted: Saturday, August 16th, 2014 at 6:00 am

The challenge of the Knoxville Volleyball coaching staff this season is simply managing the team.There are just two coaches for the freshmen, JV, and varsity squads. Head Coach Chantell Downing tells KNIA/KRLS along with her varsity responsibilities she will also help coach the JV, and Assistant Coach Jackie Moats will coach the freshmen. Downing says it is a challenge but it is something they will face together. Downing adds it will take a lot of patience and planning, especially on Saturdays when the JV is playing at a different site than the varsity.

Eagles’ Runners have High Spirits this Season

Posted: Saturday, August 16th, 2014 at 5:59 am

An advantage for any team at any level is cooperation and being able to get along with one another in and out of competition. This is especially true for the Pella Christian cross country team for 2014. Head coach, Jocelyn Meinders says her Eagles so far during practice have been keeping their spirits up and have all been very positive. The Central College meet is the first one on Pella Christian’s schedule in early September.

Roorda Focused on Improvement, not Repeat

Posted: Saturday, August 16th, 2014 at 5:57 am

Opening several eyes as just a freshman, Pella High cross country sophomore, Tess Roorda is back and ready to be a catalyst for her Lady Dutch runners this year. Roorda placed first in the state in Class 3A in 2013 and will be one of the athletes to watch when the season draws closer to an end. Head coach, Doug Cutler says the biggest thing Roorda has working for her right now is the fact that she’s not concentrating on winning the whole thing again. The Pella Dutch will race first at Cedar Rapids Prairie on August 30.

PCM Runners ‘Dread’ Appropriately Named Hill

Posted: Saturday, August 16th, 2014 at 5:52 am

There is a legend in our area for local runners, mainly at the high school level, and it’s not a pretty one, either. PCM’s cross country teams are very familiar with it, though they dread running it when they have to. What we’re talking about is “Ralph Hill,” a difficult incline as you head into Monroe heading north. Mustangs’ coach, Eric Karr says the hill earned its nickname from its location and its brutality on runners. PCM will run on the Iowa State cross country course to begin their 2014 season on August 28 against several Heart of Iowa Conference schools.

Hard Work Pays Off for Central Soccer Coaches

Posted: Saturday, August 16th, 2014 at 5:49 am

In the middle of almost “final” preparations for their 2014 season that’s just a few weeks away from getting going, the Central men’s and women’s soccer teams are excited for match number one. For the coaches, they put a lot of hard work getting things ready for the season, which Coach Garry Laidlaw says is a reward in and of itself when the opening kickoff happens. The Dutch men kick their season off in less than two weeks at home against Wisconsin – Oshkosh on August 29 while the women play the next day on the 30th against Minnesota – Morris.

Knoxville Raceway Takes Tonight Off; Season Championships Next Week

Posted: Saturday, August 16th, 2014 at 5:48 am

The Knoxville Raceway will be silent tonight as the half-mile takes the week off after the Knoxville Nationals.Sprint car racing will return next Saturday for season championships when all three classes will be decided. Currently Ian Madsen holds an 88 point lead over Justin Henderson in the 410s, Joe Beaver is leading Jon Agan by 116 in the 360s, while J. Kinder clings to a 41 point lead over Steve Breazeale in the 305 division.

Lady Dutch Set Individual Goals During Off-season Work

Posted: Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 6:00 am

Pella High’s volleyball team is enjoying the non-mugginess of mid-August weather inside of their gym getting ready for the 2014 season to begin here in a few weeks. Summer vacation is dedicated to relaxing, going on trips with the family, mission trips, working, and for our local athletes, getting ready for the fall season. Lady Dutch head coach, Catie Brand says that with the time they have been able to get in the gym together with the girls, they have used it wisely. Pella’s first game of the year is against Ballard on the 28th, and they’ll follow that up with their first tournament of the year that weekend on the 30th at Bondurant-Farrar.

Knoxville Volleyball Looking Forward To Season Opener

Posted: Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 5:59 am

The Knoxville Volleyball Squad will bring back several key positions that will have experience.Two seniors that will get a lot of playing time are Cheyenne Jones and setter Meredith Cunningham. New Coach Chantell Downing tells KNIA/KRLS that along with those two, Ashley Hawkshead is also working on learning a new position this season. Downing adds freshman Cassidy Pearson has shown improvement along with sophomores Maggie Leavitt and Lauren Miller…who have put a lot of work in during the summer. Knoxville gets its season underway August 26th at the Newton Invitational.