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Matt Campbell has once-woebegone Iowa State on the rise

Sports

August 19th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock has seen pretty much everything in 35 years of coaching. In that time, Heacock has come to view head coaches as artists charged with painting a winning picture that everyone in a program can see. Ask Heacock and the rest of the Cyclones, and they feel like they’ve finally found their maestro in third-year coach Matt Campbell. Compassionate, fiercely driven and intensely competitive, Campbell has put a program that suffered through roughly a century of mediocrity in position to win big in the Big 12 and beyond. “I think that’s what great leaders are, I think they are (artists), and I think he’s tremendous at that. … I think he believes in what he’s doing. He trusts in it,” Heacock said. “The vision that he sells for the people behind the scenes, everybody can see it.”

The school and its surprisingly rabid fan base have gone all in on Campbell, who has elevated the once-inept Cyclones with a roster of overlooked recruits he lovingly refers to as “the island of misfit toys,” according to quarterback Kyle Kempt. Those players love him back, from star running back David Montgomery to the last walk-on on the roster. That mutual respect and adoration was crucial when the Cyclones went 8-5 — and yes, 8-5 counts as a big year at Iowa State — and beat Memphis in the Liberty Bowl last December. “He’s selfless. He’s special. He’s more like a father figure than a coach. Sometimes, that’s what kids need,” Montgomery said.

The program needed more than that when Campbell, 38, first arrived from Toledo to a school long known as a coaching graveyard. For years, coaches had come to Iowa State determined to be the one who finally fixed the Cyclones. Most of them left with a pink slip and their career in tatters. The ones who didn’t — Johnny Majors, Earle Bruce and even Gene Chizik — got out of Ames as soon as they could.
Like many of his predecessors, Campbell quickly realized he didn’t have a ton to work with. His first game in 2016 was a mistake-riddled loss to Northern Iowa of the FCS. A week later, the rival Hawkeyes humiliated the Cyclones 42-3. But after that loss to Iowa, Campbell displayed perhaps the first true sign that his Iowa State tenure would be different. Instead of being upset, Campbell appeared more perplexed than anything. It was as though he couldn’t possibly fathom how a team of his could go down without a fight.

The following week, the Cyclones didn’t quit despite suffering another blowout loss to a far superior TCU. They carried that momentum home, clobbering a bad San Jose State team by 34 points for Campbell’s first win. The losing didn’t stop there, as Iowa State would drop five relatively close games in a row. But it finally all came together in November when the Cyclones, as a slight home underdog, clobbered Texas Tech 66-10. “In the second half of that (TCU) game I saw our team actually fight, and I thought that was a turning point,” Campbell said. “We came home, we won a game, and then all of a sudden our kids were starting to say: ‘You know what? Maybe we can have some success here. Maybe this thing can turn in a positive way.'”

Iowa State’s emergence as a team to watch came in 2017, when it stunned Baker Mayfield’s Sooners 38-31 on the road in the first start for Kempt, a backup quarterback. The Cyclones got their revenge on the fourth-ranked Horned Frogs three weeks later, beating them 14-7. Iowa State wound up ranked as high as 14th and finished fourth in the league a year ago. That was the best Big 12 finish in school history, a fact that’s perhaps more telling than anything of the challenge Campbell inherited. In Campbell’s view, the program’s turnaround has come in part because it’s built on a culture in which the players hold one another accountable instead of waiting for the coaches to do so. “When you become an elite-level program, 90 percent of the time it’s the players leading. Ten percent of the time the coaches are leading,” said Campbell, who was named the league’s coach of the year in 2017. “I know all these coaches across the country think we all have all the answers and the kids want to hear us. But really, they don’t. They want to hear each other.”

Campbell could’ve been the next guy to use Iowa State as a launching pad. But instead of weighing his options, Campbell sat down with athletic director Jamie Pollard for dinner and hammered out a new six-year contract worth $22.5 million just days after the regular season ended in November. New deal or not, it’s unclear what the future might hold for one of the brightest young stars in his profession. But there’s no doubt that Campbell’s focus will be solely on the Cyclones for as long as he’s their coach. “Great leaders have the ability to paint the vision and … sometimes those pictures don’t get painted very good. That’s real. He has the ability to allow you to see what his dream is, be part of it, and then he works extremely hard at it, and you in turn want to work extremely hard at it. He’s very genuine in what he does,” Heacock said. “Who you work for is a lot more important than where you work at.”

Iowa State opens its season on Sept. 1 at home against South Dakota State.

Cardinals down Brewers 7-2, move into 2nd wild-card spot

Sports

August 18th, 2018 by Chris Parks

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Miles Mikolas got to celebrate twice on Saturday.

The St. Louis right-hander was all smiles early in the afternoon when his twins, Miles and Madelyn, were released from the hospital for the first time after being born prematurely a month ago.

That good feeling continued hours later as Mikolas tossed six effective innings to push the St. Louis Cardinals into the second wild-card spot in the NL with a 7-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

“A special day,” Mikolas said.

St. Louis moved a half-game ahead of Milwaukee and within four of the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

The Cardinals, who are a half-game behind wild card-leading Philadelphia, have won 10 of their last 11 and captured their seventh straight series after winning the opener of the three-game set on Friday.

“We’re surging and we’re dangerous,” Mikolas said. “This is the time of year to get hot.”

The seven-series winning streak is the longest since the Cardinals won eight in a row from April 10-May 7, 2015.

Travis Shaw and Christian Yelich homered for the Brewers, who have lost six of eight.

Marcell Ozuna hit his 15th homer of the season in the second off Wade Miley (2-2).

Paul DeJong and Harrison Bader added two-run hits as St. Louis improved to 21-10 under interim manager Mike Shildt, who took over after Mike Matheny was fired on July 14.

When Shildt claimed the job, the Cardinals sat in fourth place in the wild-card standings, four games behind the second spot and 7 1/2 games behind first-place Chicago. They have made up plenty of ground in a relatively short amount of time.

“This is nice,” Shildt said. “If we keep playing good baseball, the process will take care of itself.”

Mikolas (13-3) gave up one run on five hits. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter in winning his fifth consecutive decision.

He said he felt motivated by the progress made by his twins. His wife, Lauren, gave birth last month, with Mikolas returning early from the All-Star festivities.

“I think it’s good to keep those happy thoughts in your head while you’re pitching,” Mikolas said. “It’s nice to have my family healthy and happy.”

Mikolas lowered his ERA to 2.80.

Miley surrendered four runs on four hits over five innings. Three of the runs were unearned thanks to a missed third strike by catcher Erik Kratz that prolonged a three-run third inning.

“It’s my fault,” Miley said. “I crossed (Kratz) up on the fastball with two outs. He put down cutter and I thought I saw fastball.”

Tyler O’Neill broke a 1-all tie with a bloop single to right following the passed ball by Kratz, which would have ended the inning. Following a walk to Ozuna, DeJong hit a two-run single to push the lead to 4-1.

DeJong had two hits and drove in three runs.

“We can beat you in a lot of different ways,” DeJong said. “That’s something we’re figuring out.”

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter had a 35-game streak of reaching base snapped with an 0-for-4 performance.

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell was ejected in the first inning by home plate umpire Cory Blaser. Blaser had warned Miley for throwing inside to O’Neill. Mikolas hit Lorenzo Cain in the top of the first.

Counsell came out to argue the warning and was ejected for the fourth time this season.

The Brewers have lost four of five.

“We’ve kind of got our tails kicked the last couple nights,” Miley said. “Not to put a lot of pressure on us, but we’ve got to play better baseball.”

St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong was removed in the fourth inning with a bruised right elbow. He was hit by a pickoff attempt from Miley. Shildt says he is day-to-day.

UP NEXT

RHP Jhoulys Chacin (12-4, 3.72) will face RHP John Gant (5-4, 3.74) in the final game of the three-game series on Sunday. The Brewers are 18-8 when Chacin starts. He is 0-2 with a 5.65 ERA in three career starts in St. Louis. Gant hit a two-run homer in his last outing, a 6-4 win over Washington on Tuesday.

7AM Sportscast 08/18/2018

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August 18th, 2018 by Chris Parks

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High School Football scores from around the state 08/17/2018

Sports

August 18th, 2018 by Chris Parks

PREP FOOTBALL

English Valleys, North English 70, Twin Cedars, Bussey 6

H-L-V, Victor 57, Colo-NESCO 6

Iowa Valley, Marengo 62, Collins-Maxwell 16

Midland, Wyoming 50, Lone Tree 47

Southeast Warren, Liberty Center 46, Montezuma 35

Springville 52, Winfield-Mount Union 28

WACO, Wayland 25, Janesville 14

Ryan impressive in Falcons’ 28-14 preseason loss to Chiefs

Sports

August 18th, 2018 by Chris Parks

ATLANTA (AP) — Even in the preseason, Matt Ryan gets miffed about a poor showing.

He had nothing to complain about Friday.

Ryan guided the Atlanta Falcons right down the field for a touchdown on their first possession, hooking up with Austin Hooper on a 4-yard scoring pass , and led another impressive drive before calling it a night in a 28-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Ryan finished 5 of 7 for 90 yards, looking very much like the quarterback who won the MVP during the 2016 season even though receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman didn’t play for the second week in a row.

It was certainly an encouraging contrast to the preseason opener, when the Falcons (0-2) were blanked 17-0 by the New York Jets and Ryan played only one brief, dismal series .

With a resting Jones watching from the sideline, Calvin Ridley got a chance to shine for the Falcons. The first-round pick from Alabama hauled in the first touchdown of his professional career on a 7-yard pass from backup quarterback Matt Schaub .

Ridley finished with three receptions for 49 yards.

Kansas City’s new starting quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, had an up-and-down game but delivered one tantalizing pass.

Alex Smith’s replacement was intercepted on a deep throw by Falcons safety Damontae Kazee , who drifted over from the middle of the field to pick a ball intended for Sammy Watkins. Mahomes caught a break when another ill-advised throw into the end zone was dropped by Falcons cornerback Blidi Wren-Wilson, allowing the Chiefs to salvage a field goal.

But, with just 17 seconds left in the first half, Mahomes made the most of his final pass. Three Atlanta defensive backs inexplicably allowed Tyreek Hill to get behind them, and Mahomes delivered the pass in stride for a 69-yard touchdown .

The throw actually traveled 70 yards in the air — ample evidence of Mahomes’ enormous potential .

“I don’t think I’ve ever thrown one that far in a game,” said Mahomes, who finished 8 of 12 for 138 yards. “I don’t know many people that would be able to catch that ball going that far in a game. I told (Hill) if I had thrown a spiral, he wouldn’t have been able to get to it. He disagreed with that.”

Chad Henne took over for Mahomes at quarterback to begin the second half. He connected with Gehrig Dieter on a 27-yard touchdown that put the Chiefs (1-1) ahead for the first time, capping a 10-play, 76-yard drive.

Ben Niemann finished off the scoring with a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown after picking off a horrible throw by Atlanta’s third-string quarterback, undrafted rookie Kurt Benkert.

“He overthrew it and gave me a gift,” said Niemann, also an undrafted rookie.

While many Atlanta fans were still backed up in security lines outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Ryan began his impressive showing by converting on third-and-11 with a 29-yard pass to Hooper.

Tevin Coleman, the other half of the Falcons’ dynamic 1-2 punch at running back, broke off a pair of 15-yard runs before Ryan rolled to his left and hit Hooper on the short scoring pass. The tight end showed impressive athleticism, hurtling into the end zone over cornerback Steven Nelson .

After the Chiefs went three-and-out, Ryan guided the Falcons deep into Kansas City territory once again. The big play was a 36-yard completion to Ridley , who beat David Amerson to haul in the pass.

On fourth-and-2 at the Chiefs 20, the Falcons passed on a field goal attempt, which was essentially irrelevant since 43-year-old kicker Matt Bryant skipped his second straight preseason game. Ryan’s pass for Ridley was broken up by Kendall Fuller, halting a seven-play, 69-yard drive.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: Hit the road again to face the Chicago Bears on Aug. 25.

Falcons: Travel to Jacksonville that same day to face the Jaguars in a matchup between 2017 playoff teams.

Cardinals beat Brewers 5-2, pull closer in wild-card race

Sports

August 18th, 2018 by Chris Parks

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jack Flaherty got an extra day of rest and a chance to pitch against Milwaukee, and took advantage of both.

Kolten Wong and Marcell Ozuna drove in two runs apiece, Flaherty pitched six shutout innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Brewers 5-2 on Friday night.

The Cardinals won for the ninth time in 10 games and pulled within a half-game of the Brewers for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

Milwaukee has dropped three of four.

Flaherty (7-6) gave up three hits, walked three and struck out seven. The Brewers had only two runners reach second base against the rookie, who has allowed two earned runs in his past 19 innings pitched.

Friday marked his third start against Milwaukee this year and fourth in his young career. In 18 innings this season, he’s allowed two earned runs in 18 innings and struck out 29.

Bud Norris earned his 24th save in 28 opportunities.

Freddy Peralta (5-4) went six innings, giving up three earned runs. He allowed three hits, walked three, and struck out five. It was his third loss in his last four decisions.

Wong made a nifty play to start the eighth by charging a hopper that bounded over pitcher Jordan Hick’s head. Wong snagged the ball in his glove and made a hard sidearm throw to get Keon Broxton at first. That turned out to be important because the Brewers scored twice that inning and cut the lead to 3-2.

He capped his night with a two-run double in the eighth to pad the Cardinals’ lead to 5-2.

Jedd Gyorko hit his 10th home run of the season to open the fourth. The shot to left field gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.

St. Louis took an early lead after Ozuna followed Yadier Molina’s single and a double from Jose Martinez with a hard grounder up the middle.

The Brewers threatened a comeback in the eighth. They loaded the bases against Hicks, and Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run single to pull the score to 3-2 with one out. But Travis Shaw fouled out to left field and Jonathan Schoop’s flair to shallow center field was caught by shortstop Paul DeJong.

UP NEXT

Braves: LHP Wade Miley (2-1, 2.23) looks for his first win since he went seven innings July 21 in a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was his longest outing of the season.

Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (12-3, 2.85) has won five consecutive games. He went seven innings in each of his last three starts and the Cardinals have lost just one of the past eight games in which he started.

IGHSAU releases 2018 Preseason Volleyball Rankings

Sports

August 17th, 2018 by Chris Parks

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union released the 2018 Preseason Volleyball rankings on Friday.

Locally in Class 1A East Mills is ranked 7th to start the season. In Class 2A Sidney checks in at 6th, St. Albert 7th, Tri-Center is 8th, and Treynor is 10th. In Class 3A Kumper Catholic opens as the top ranked team. Red Oak comes in at #7. In Class 4A Lewis Central opens the year at 9th.

Check out the full rankings here: preseasonvbrankings81718

Atlantic sets goals high for 2018 football season

Sports

August 17th, 2018 by Chris Parks

Trojan LogoThe Atlantic Trojans football team has some confidence coming off a winning season in 2017 and has set their goals high for the 2018 season that begins next week. Atlantic is coming of a 5-4 record in Class 3A play last season and will make the transition down to Class 2A this season. Atlantic Head Coach Mike McDermott was asked if the transition to Class 2A will change much for the Trojans?

Atlantic lost some key players to graduation including John McConkey on the offensive and defensive lines and quarterback Jaxson Eden. Coach McDermott is confident that their are guys on the team ready for their chance to make an impact this season. After spending the 2017 season as a hybrid player, Chase Mullenix will take over the signal-caller duties.

The Trojans tried to find ways to get their athletes the ball in space last season and Coach McDermott thinks speed will be a strength of this team out of the backfield as well.

Coach McDermott said tasting some success last season has grown the confidence of the players. He feels the program is settling in to a better groove with a few seasons of his staff at the helm and the players are setting their goals high.

The Trojans will open up the season next Friday on the road at Saydel. We’ll have coverage of that game on KJAN with pregame at 6:30pm and kickoff at 7:00pm. We’ll have our weekly chat with Coach McDermott Trojan Preview at 4:45pm next Friday. Our weekly pick ’em show Who’s Gonna Win? is back for another season and will air at 6:00pm on Friday nights throughout the season once again. We will also have all the scores from around the state on the Iowa High School Scoreboard Show from Radio Iowa once again each week after our broadcast game from 10:00pm-11:30pm. This season we will also provide a live video stream of all of our broadcast games via Facebook Live on our page KJAN AM 1220.

8AM Sportscast 08/17/2018

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August 17th, 2018 by Chris Parks

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Harper drives in 3, Nationals snap skid, beat Cardinals 5-4

Sports

August 17th, 2018 by Chris Parks

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Koda Glover rewarded his manager’s faith.

Bryce Harper had three hits and drove in three runs, Glover earned the save in the first opportunity since Ryan Madson was placed on the disabled list, and the Washington Nationals snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

The Nationals won for just the third time in their last 10 games and snapped the Cardinals’ season-high, eight-game winning streak.

Tanner Roark (8-12) gave up four runs, three earned, in six innings.

A beleaguered bullpen that had blown two leads to start the losing streak took care of the rest. Justin Miller pitched two scoreless innings before Glover closed it out.

Glover took the loss in the series opener on Monday, giving up a game-ending homer to Paul DeJong.

Harper drove in the game’s first run with a double in the first and knocked in two more with a bases-loaded single in the fourth to give the Nationals a 4-1 lead.

A pair of errors helped the Nationals extend their lead to 5-1 in the fifth. St. Louis committed three errors in the game after committing just four total errors during the winning streak.

The Nationals had opportunities to pad the lead, leaving the bases loaded in the third and fifth while stranding nine runners in the first five innings.

The Cardinals got within one in the sixth. After DeJong and Kolten Wong came up with back-to-back, two-out RBI hits, Harrison Bader hit a slow grounder to third. Anthony Rendon’s throw to first got away from Ryan Zimmerman for an error, allowing Wong to score from second to cut the Nationals’ lead to 5-4.

Just two of the four runs Luke Weaver (6-11) allowed in his 3 2/3 innings were earned. He gave up seven hits, including two to Roark, who scored both times.

Tyson Ross allowed one unearned run in 3 1/3 innings of relief.

Bader homered in the third and Matt Carpenter walked twice to extend his on-base streak to a career-high 34 games.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (6-6, 3.22 ERA) kicks off a three-game series Friday night as the Cardinals host the Milwaukee Brewers and RHP Freddy Peralta (5-3, 4.47 ERA). Flaherty struck out a career-high 13 batters in his last start against the Brewers on June 22.