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Three Names Added to Central ‘Hall of Honor’

Posted: Thursday, August 14th, 2014 at 5:50 am

Some big names have been selected as the 2014 inductees into the Central College Athletics Hall of Honor this fall. Linebacker Rick Sanger from the Class of ’96, four-time league men’s tennis champion Jeff Schneekloth from ’86, and three-time NCAA Division III volleyball champion coach Megan Clayberg all were selected to “The Hall” as part of Central’s homecoming festivities October 3 – 5. The banquet and induction ceremony are both open to the public. You may attend the banquet on October 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Harry & Bernice Vermeer Banquet Hall inside the Graham Conference Center, and the induction ceremony is on October 4 at 10:30 a.m. in the Schipper Fitness Center Lobby. It’s free to attend the ceremony, however the banquet is $20, and pre-registration is required by calling 641-628-5226.

2014 Sabers’ Baseball Team ‘Could Beat Anybody’

Posted: Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 6:00 am

Stepping aside from the fall sports realm for a moment, as everyone should know by now, the Twin Cedars’ baseball team in 2014 was a special group of young men. They conquered adversity and they conquered everyone that stepped in their way, including some Class 3A and 4A competition. One big question I had for Coach Matt Miller and his Sabers was if this team could take down the state champions in Class 2A, 3A and 4A from this year.

“I think in a two or three game series, we can beat any of those teams, because we play great defense,” Miller confidently stated. “They got to get a lot of hits to score on us. This is a very confident group, and I know they’re not going to go out and say, ‘Yes, we can beat those teams,’ but yes, we can beat those teams. We talked to several other coaches who certainly agreed with us as well in our abilities. No doubt they’d be close games, no doubt those games could go either way, but this group is a special group and they played a lot of tough competition and certainly they wouldn’t be intimidated by anyone.”

On tonight’s Marion County PM Sports Page on KNIA and KRLS, it is an All-Saber Show. You can hear a full interview with coaches Matt Miller, Steve Mott, and Matt Johnson along with a majority of the athletes that comprised the Class 1A state champion Sabers. Tonight’s show will start at 6:30 p.m. and can be streamed live online at KNIAKRLS.com.

New Knoxville Cross Country Coach Likes What He Sees So Far

Posted: Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 5:59 am

Around 20 runners are out for Knoxville Cross Country this fall.New coach Michael Splavec tells KNIA/KRLS Sports numbers are down a bit for the girls, while around 15 boys are running this season. He says with just a couple of official practice days in, he is already seeing who is starting to run up front. Splavec says Lucy Olsen and Carrie Chambers are the two girls that have looked good so far, and for the boys Kade McNeil and Daniel Mallory have been pushing the pack. The Panthers get their season underway with a home meet August 25th.

Returning Lady Dutch Volleyball Players Worked Hard in Offseason

Posted: Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 5:58 am

Knowing they were going to be a young team in 2014 after losing six seniors from a squad that made it all the way to the regional final last year, the Pella High volleyball team put in some serious off-season work over the summer and even during the spring. Coach Catie Brand tells KNIA/KRLS Sports that her team has spent a lot of time working on just about everything, including their attack. Brand adds that the setters have also gotten some work in, and her team should be better this season at blocking due to the increased height they will have at the net. She also says that some of the girls have a goal of just being a better teammate; something Brand mentions is a great goal for the entire team to have.

Nikkel Happy with How Early Practices Have Went

Posted: Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 5:56 am

Two days of practices for fall sports in the books, and Pella Christian volleyball head coach, Cindy Nikkel, is pleased with the progress she is seeing from her team so far. Nikkel says that the girls are all healthy, something that plagued the team early on last year when they got off to a 2 – 11 start. The Eagles’ coach says that though it was their first day of practice on Monday, they still got a lot done. After the 2 – 11 start to the 2013 season, the Eagles got hot and rattled off eight straight wins and won 16 of their next 19 matches. They’ll begin play in 2014 on Monday, August 25 at home versus Marshalltown.

Sophomore Taylor to be Big Part of Dutch Men’s Basketball Success in 2014-15

Posted: Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 5:50 am

Yes, the Central men’s basketball team went from worst-to-first in the Iowa Conference last season. Yes, the Dutch lost several key senior members of that squad that went all the way to the NCAA Division III National Tournament in March. No, says Coach Craig Douma, this will not be a team that takes a year off to “rebuild.” Nile Eckermann is back, as is freshman sensation, Colby Taylor. Douma says that in preparations for last season, Taylor’s progression surprised even the coaching staff. Douma adds that recruiting went extremely well in the offseason, and that the Dutch will have a lot of talent for the next several years.

New Era For Panther Teams

Posted: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 6:00 am

When students and athletes start back for the school year at Knoxville on Monday, the kids will enter a new era in the athletic department.There is a new athletic director, Ryan Rump. Also, there are no less than six new varsity coaches, three of which will greet Panther teams this fall. Eric Kellar is the new football coach, while Chantell Downing is the new volleyball coach, and Michael Splavec will coach the cross country squads. Add to that, Knoxville teams for the first time in 18 years play in the South Central Conference. Knoxville left the Little Hawkeye Conference after last season where Knoxville was one of the smallest schools. Knoxville becomes the largest school in the South Central Conference.

Brand Excited to Grow Lady Dutch Volleyball

Posted: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 5:59 am

Back for her third season, Pella High head volleyball coach, Catie Brand, is ready for the 2014 fall season to get going. The team has attended camps, played in summer leagues and officially started practice yesterday for this coming campaign. Coach Brand says she’s excited to grow the volleyball program even more, and adds that her returners and the incoming freshmen have a drive to at least duplicate last year’s success. The Lady Dutch went 21 – 16 last year and made it all the way to the Class 4A regional final, where they fell to Indianola. Pella begins the season on August 28 at home against Ballard.

Eagles’ Volleyball Looks Strong Early

Posted: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 5:57 am

The camps are done, the months and months of waiting are over, and just yesterday, practices started officially for the 2014 fall seasons. Pella Christian’s volleyball team appears to be in line for a strong season in and out of the Little Hawkeye Conference. They lost just two seniors, and have a truckload of juniors-turned-seniors that are brimming with talent. Coach Cindy Nikkel says the guidance her 12th graders have shown so far is incredible. Nikkel adds that she is extremely happy that her team came out of camps completely healthy and that “nobody was on crutches.” The Eagles begin the season on August 25 at home against Marshalltown.

Mustangs’ Volleyball Made Big Strides in Offseason Work

Posted: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 5:52 am

Following a 2013 season that saw them come away with just five wins, the PCM volleyball team has their minds set on a big improvement in that category for 2014. The Mustangs were at the Central team camp not too long ago, and head coach, Mollie Keitges says her girls are already so much further ahead at this point than they were a year ago. Keitges adds that she has a great group of returners who are excited about volleyball, and have many of the same goals for the team that last year’s club had. PCM will begin the season with the Dallas Center – Grimes tournament on August 26.

Leadership Qualities Trickle Down Through Central Volleyball Program

Posted: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 5:49 am

In the middle of implementing changes to their plan of attack, the Central volleyball team has not had to deal with a lack of leadership even with seniors leaving the program. Much like a popular economic theory, Coach Kent Clayberg says the leadership has trickled down from the seniors all the way down to their freshmen, who he says have already shown they are ready to “take charge” at any given moment. The Dutch will try to achieve their first winning season since 2011 this fall, and will head to Virginia in just over two weeks to begin their season on August 30.

Future is ‘Cautiously Bright’ for Harrill and Eagles

Posted: Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 6:00 am

Only losing two seniors from a team that made it all the way to the Class 2A regional final who also almost pulled off a monumental upset of the number-one ranked team in the state, you could say the Pella Christian softball club is primed for another deep run next year. Not too fast, says head coach, Karen Harrill. The Eagles’ skipper says she’s very, very excited for 2015, but her girls need to continue to want to get better and will need to be more consistent next year. Harrill stresses that the coaches can only do so much, and that it’s up to the girls to get on the diamond and translate what they learned in practice into success.

Schatz Leads 49 Laps To Win 8th Knoxville Nationals Title

Posted: Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 5:59 am

Donny Schatz led 49 of the 50 laps to win his eighth Knoxville Nationals in nine years Saturday night. Schatz dominated the first half of the race leading by as much as a straightaway before the fuel stop at the halfway point. After the stop Schatz continued to lead but Brian Brown made things interesting when he passed Schatz lap 44 but Schatz told KNIA/KRLS he just gathered his emotions and retook the lead a lap later. Brown for the third straight year finished second to Schatz. Brown told KNIA/KRLS Sports he thought he had Schatz but then he came back even stronger. Brown says one day he will get Schatz. Kerry Madsen completed the podium and became the highest finishing Australia native in Knoxville Nationals history.

A main
1. 15, Donny Schatz
2. 21, Brian Brown
3. 29, Kerry Madsen
4. 7, Craig Dollansky
5. 1D, Justin Henderson
6. 51, Paul McMahan
7. 24, Terry McCarl
8. 13, Mark Dobmeier
9. 71m, Joey Saldana
10. 11K, Kraig Kinser
11. 51s, Stevie Smith
12. 4, Cody Darrah
13. Brad Sweet
14. 9, Daryn Pittman
15. 83, David Gravel
16. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
17. 82, Bryan Clauson
18. Clint Garner
19. 59, Tim Kaeding
20. Brooke Tatnell
21. Lee Jacobs
22. 2, Shane Stewart
23. 6R, Ryan Bunton
24. 45, Tim Shaffer
25. 1, Sammy Swindell

Late Season Game Helped Dutch Prepare for Postseason

Posted: Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 5:58 am

Finishing up their regular season with non-conference opponents, Pella High’s baseball team was looking to shore things up for a deep postseason run. Coach Jesse Jablonski recalls a game in the final week before districts with Denison-Schleswig as one that sticks out in his mind. His team pounded the Monarchs, 12 – 2 in six innings, and they did several things well, according to Jablonski. He says Grant Judkins threw a great game on the mound, striking out ten while allowing only five hits. To back up Judkins, the offense pounded out 12 hits, four of them were doubles, and had 11 RBI’s. Jablonski also mentions that their defense took a big turn for the better in terms of cleaning up errors. Overall, the Little Dutch skipper says it was the game his team turned the corner. Pella won eight of their last 11 games of the season, and 14 of their final 20 to finish with a record of 26 – 14.

Miller Unintentionally Looked into Crystal Ball in Preseason Preparations

Posted: Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 5:56 am

Entering the 2014 baseball season, the Twin Cedars baseball team first had to take a look back at 2013 and what went wrong in their drive to a state title. The Sabers were ousted in the semifinals by Newman Catholic in a 3 – 0 loss, and the coaches got together to figure out what they needed to do differently for 2014 to make it all the way. The players also took a look within, and attended camps, clinics and whatever they could to boost their skills on the diamond. It all reached a head in May, when they could start practicing together. After their state championship victory last weekend, Coach Matt Miller shared a story of their very first practice of the season, which includes a bit of non-intended premonition.

“We talked about this in the clubhouse before the game, the first practice of the year, on that first day we could practice, we practiced at six in the morning,” Miller explains. “We had the lights on, and we’ve done that since I’ve been here at Twin Cedars. They kind of enjoy seeing the lights on when they come in. We want to be the first team that practices for the year. I don’t know if we are or not. That’s what we say: we’re the first team that practices. We told the young men that we wanted them to be the last 1A team to leave the field for the year, too. I remember it, and I hadn’t thought about it until last night, early in practice, before we even stretched, we got together, we put all our hands together like we normally do, and I said, ‘1-2-3, Perfect,’ and that’s what we chanted together. Today, I said, how fitting is this, we’ll get to come together one more time and we will be perfect. They did it, and they are perfect, and they deserve it, they earned it, and I’m just so proud of these young men.”

The Sabers went 36 – 0 on the year, and Coach Miller adds that he’s just as proud of the fact that all eight of his seniors that have graduated will all be attending college this fall.

Continuity in Coaching Staff Helps Dutch Wrestlers

Posted: Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 5:49 am

There are several familiar faces due back on the mats for the Central wrestling team this winter, and not just the ones wearing the singlets. Coach Eric Van Kley and the rest of his staff have returned for the 2014-15 season. Van Kley says it should be a benefit for his grapplers to be under the direction of the same staff that they have in years past. The Central wrestling coach also is excited for the added competitiveness they will have at various weight classes that they haven’t had in previous seasons. Van Kley will be taking some of his wrestlers to Galesburg, Illinois for the Knox Invitational to open up their season on November 8, while the rest will head to Ames and the Harold Nichols Open to compete against other wrestlers from Division III and all the way up to Division I.

Schatz Leads 49 Laps To Capture 8th Knoxville Nationals Title

Posted: Sunday, August 10th, 2014 at 6:00 am

Donny Schatz led 49 of the 50 laps to win his eighth Knoxville Nationals in nine years last night.Schatz dominated the first half of the race leading by as much as a straightaway before the fuel stop at the halfway point. After the stop Schatz continued to lead but Brian Brown made things interesting when he passed Schatz lap 44 but Schatz told KNIA/KRLS he just gathered his emotions and retook the lead a lap later. Brown for the third straight year finished runner-up to Schatz while Kerry Madsen completed the podium.

A main
1. 15, Donny Schatz
2. 21, Brian Brown
3. 29, Kerry Madsen
4. 7, Craig Dollansky
5. 1D, Justin Henderson
6. 51, Paul McMahan
7. 24, Terry McCarl
8. 13, Mark Dobmeier
9. 71m, Joey Saldana
10. 11K, Kraig Kinser
11. 51s, Stevie Smith
12. 4, Cody Darrah
13. Brad Sweet
14. 9, Daryn Pittman
15. 83, David Gravel
16. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
17. 82, Bryan Clauson
18. Clint Garner
19. 59, Tim Kaeding
20. Brooke Tatnell
21. Lee Jacobs
22. 2, Shane Stewart
23. 6R, Ryan Bunton
24. 45, Tim Shaffer
25. 1, Sammy Swindell

Shane Stewart Wins Dramatic Night 2 Nationals Qualifier

Posted: Saturday, August 9th, 2014 at 5:59 am

Shane Stewart may have been living by the philosophy of the late John Wooden when he told his U-C-L-A basketball teams be quick but don’t hurry. Stewart waited until the opportune time to make his move and drove by Kraig Kinser on the final lap to get the second qualifying night win of the 54th Annual Knoxville Nationals last night. Stewart said he was surprised that Kinser left the bottom open. Kinser wound up second with Mark Dobmeier in third place. The championship A-Main is set and due to a near perfect night for Donny Schatz, he will start on the pole for tonight’s A-Main with Stewart in the front row. Kerry Madsen and Brian Brown will start on the second row. Knoxville weekly driver Ryan Bunton, who did not have an engine two weeks ago and blew one on Thursday night, locked it into his first ever Nationals A-Main in 16th spot. There is one more show for the non-qualifiers this morning at 11 and then the championships tonight. You can hear all the action on KNIA/KRLS today at 11 and later tonight at five with Live Track Side and seven with Race Night’s Live.

A-Main
1. Shane Stewart
2. Kraig Kinser
3. Mark Dobmeier
4. Donny Schatz
5. David Gravel
6. Craig Dollansky
7. Justin Henderson
8. Brooke Tatnell
9. Lee Jacobs
10. Danny Dietrich
11. Don Droud Jr.
12. Greg Hodnett
13. Daryn Pittman
14. Davey Heskin
15. Sammy Swindell
16. Wayne Johnson
17. Brad Sweet
18. Randy Hannagan
19. Tim Kaeding
20. Tony Bruce Jr.
21. Greg Wilson
22. Josh Hodges
23. Jac Haudenschild
24. Tim Shaffer

Championship A-Main Starters:
A main

1. 15, Donny Schatz 492
2. 2, Shane Stewart 491
3. 29, Kerry Madsen 491
4. 21, Brian Brown 485
5. 51, Paul McMahan 484
6. 24, Terry McCarl 481
7. 7, Craig Dollansky 481
8. 1D, Justin Henderson 472
9. 11K, Kraig Kinser 471
10. 83, David Gravel 471
11. 13, Mark Dobmeier 464
12. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr. 457
13. 71m, Joey Saldana 454
14. 82, Bryan Clauson 444
15. 1, Sammy Swindell 443
16. 6R, Ryan Bunton 443
17. 9, Daryn Pittman 441
18. 4, Cody Darrah 437
19. 51s, Stevie Smith 434
20. 45, Tim Shaffer 434

Lady Dutch Showed Coaches they Wanted to Improve All Season

Posted: Saturday, August 9th, 2014 at 5:59 am

Entering the season having lost a good chunk of seniors from the year before, the young Pella High softball team showed much improvement from the beginning of the season to the end. Coach Krista DeMeulenaere says there weren’t any specific areas the coaching staff noticed were “better” by the conclusion of 2014. She mentions that the girls’ desire and yearning to get better was the biggest “improvement” this season. The Lady Dutch lost three seniors from their varsity squad and will bring back a plethora of sophomores for 2015.

VanderHart Kept Head Up with Adversity

Posted: Saturday, August 9th, 2014 at 5:57 am

His year on the mound cut short due to an injury, Andrew VanderHart was still able to turn in a successful season for the Pella Christian baseball team this year. Though the senior was re-assigned to be the Eagles’ first baseman, he still made the most of it, hitting .322 with seven doubles, a home run and 13 RBI’s. Coach Nate Johnson says a lot of credit should be given to both of his seniors, VanderHart and Coltin Collins. Pella Christian went 11 – 22 in their 2014 campaign.