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Hawkeyes open fall practice hoping to continue last year’s success

Sports

August 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Hawkeye football team has opened fall camp with the hope of repeating the record-setting success of last season, while putting a blowout loss in the Rose Bowl behind them. Coach Kirk Ferentz talked with the media Saturday about the work ahead. “Last year was a really historic year in a lot of ways, more importantly a memorable year and a very rewarding year, and I think probably the important thing for us as a football team is to try to learn some lessons from it and hopefully we’ve done that as we approach moving forward,” Ferentz said.

The Hawks are ranked 15th in the preseason poll, after garnering little attention at the start of last year. Ferentz said his research shows how little the early polls mean. “Of the 25 teams that were in the preseason last year, eight of them didn’t make the cut at the end, and so obviously eight teams did make it, entered in,” Ferentz said. “Probably most noteworthy I think would be Houston won 13 games, we won 12, neither us were mentioned a year ago at this point. So the thing I think our players need to understand is that door swings both ways. It opens and it closes.”

Senior quarterback C.J. Beathard is one of the reasons Iowa is expected to make another run at the Big 10 West title. Ferentz says Beathard is a lot like former Hawkeye great Brad Banks when it comes to leadership. ” I don’t know if I can articulate what it was about him, but I know this, it was really powerful, and as he went, our team really went with him. C.J. has kind of got that same characteristic. There’s just something about him,” according to Ferentz. “And the commonality there is they’re both genuine people. They’re just really genuine guys. They’ve got all the right motives and agendas. They’re just out there to help the team win, and they care about their teammates, all those things you hope a quarterback can do. And then different skill sets but yet very effective players in their own right.”

Ferentz said the practices heading up to the first game will be key in determining if this season ends up as successful as last year. “You know as mundane as this sounds, the most important thing we can do is just try to capitalize on every day in front of us. If you just look back last year…I think our team really grew in August really on lot of levels, not just as football players, our leadership base group. It was just a result of doing things right, little things right, paying attention. That’s really the challenge that’s ahead of us right now,” Ferentz explained.

Escaping all the hype and positive things said about the team in the media and online is not easy. Ferentz said his players will read and hear things, but the coaches remind them it doesn’t mean anything at this point. “Just like last year, nobody picked us to do anything, we ended up having a really good year. And so it’s about our actions, it’s not about what people are saying negatively or positively. That’s what we try to educate our players to and then show them the illustrations that back that up,” Ferentz said.

Iowa opens the season September 3rd at home against Miami of Ohio.

(Radio Iowa)

Foltynewicz leads way, Braves top Cardinals

Sports

August 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Mike Foltynewicz worked six strong innings, Nick Markakis and Erick Aybar had two RBIs apiece and the Atlanta Braves kept the St. Louis Cardinals down at home with a 6-3 victory on Sunday. Matt Kemp added two hits and an RBI to help the Braves take two of three, outscoring the Cardinals 19-8 the last two games. Atlanta has the worst record in the majors at 41-70, but has won seven of its last 11 overall.

Adam Wainwright (9-6) had a rare off-day against Atlanta, surrendering three runs in the first and second. He entered 8-2 with a 2.95 ERA against the Braves, who drafted him in the first round in 2000 and traded him to St. Louis in 2003 in a deal for J.D. Drew.

The Cardinals are just 26-32 at home after going 55-26 last season, but have been good on the road at 32-21. Foltynewicz (5-5) gave up a run and six hits. Jim Johnson earned his eighth save in 11 chances. Next up for the Cardinals is the Cincinnati Reds. Listen for the action Monday evening beginning at 6:20, with the 1st pitch at 7:15, here on KJAN.

Freeman, Garcia shots boost Braves past Cardinals

Sports

August 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Freddie Freeman and Adonis Garcia had three-run home runs and the Atlanta Braves got enough from Roberto Hernandez in his first start this season for a 13-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night. The 35-year-old Hernandez (1-0), who previously pitched under the name Fausto Carmona, was the 14th starting pitcher used by the Braves this season, one off the franchise record in 1975. He allowed three runs in five-plus innings in his first start since July 19, 2015 with the Astros.

Carlos Martinez (10-7) surrendered a season-worst seven runs, and his six earned runs matched his season worst. He entered with a 2.99 ERA and had won six of his previous seven decisions. Ender Inciarte and Matt Kemp each had two-run homers during a six-run ninth. Inciarte had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 17 games.

Today’s (Sunday’s) game at Busch Stadium begins with a pre-game show at 12:20-p.m. on KJAN, followed by the 1st pitch at 1:15.

Pacific Coast League Baseball (regional) Scores/Schedules

Sports

August 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Saturday’s Game scores
Memphis 6, Omaha 5

Iowa 6, New Orleans 1

Today’s (Sunday’s) Games
Oklahoma City at Iowa, 4 p.m.

Colorado Springs at Omaha, 5 p.m.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning Sports report, 8/6/2016

Podcasts, Sports

August 6th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The 7:18-a.m. Sportscast w/Ric Hanson

Play

Rain forces Chiefs’ practice to indoors Friday

Sports

August 6th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Fans will have to wait at least a day to see the Kansas City Chiefs’ new presumptive backup quarterback. Rain forced the team into the indoor facility on the campus of Missouri Western State University for practice Friday, which took place hours after Nick Foles signed a one-year contract with an option for a second year. The move reunites him with coach Andy Reid, who drafted him out of Arizona in 2012 while with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Pacific Coast League Baseball: Scores (8/5) & Schedule (8/6-7)

Sports

August 6th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Friday’s Games

Memphis 11, Omaha 5

New Orleans 3, Iowa 0

Saturday’s Games
Omaha at Memphis, 6-p.m. (CDT)

New Orleans at Iowa, 7-p.m. (CDT)

Sunday’s Games
Oklahoma City at Iowa, 4-p.m. (CDT)

Colorado Springs at Omaha, 5-p.m. (CDT)

Garcia shuts down Braves, has RBI single in Cards’ 1-0 win

Sports

August 6th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaime Garcia pitched eight scoreless innings and had an RBI single to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. Garcia (8-8) struck out 11 as he topped the 100-strikeout mark for the third time in his career.

He pitched out of a two-on, no out jam in the fourth, striking out Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp before getting Adonis Garcia to ground out. Freeman and Kemp, third and fourth in the Braves’ lineup, were a combined 0 for 6 against Jaime Garcia with five strikeouts. Garcia’s two-out single in the second drove in Matt Holliday.

Garcia needed just 89 pitches to get through eight innings, facing three batters over the minimum. Seung Hwan Oh got the last three outs for his ninth save. Braves right-hander Joel De La Cruz (0-4) gave up the run and two hits with five walks in 5 1/3 innings.

Both teams are in action this (Saturday) evening at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. You can catch the pre-game at 5:20-p.m., with the 1st pitch at 6:15, on KJAN.

Ferentz talks about new season

Sports

August 5th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says a new season brings a new challenge. The Hawkeyes open practice with high expectations after rolling to a 12-0 regular season record in 2015. He says “Every year you try to win every game. I think every coach has that goal certainly, but rarely do you accomplish it, so it was a special year. But there are still things we can improve on, things we have to work on. The other big thing is, like every team in America, we’re a new team. We’re not the same team we were a year ago. We’ve got some new opportunities, certainly for a lot of challenges, and hopefully the next month and a half here we’ll work through some of those.”

Ferentz says last season was also proof of just how slim the margin is for the Hawkeyes. “The key thing” he says, “Is that we won 12 games…outside of one. There wasn’t one of us who was relaxed in the last four minutes, so it’s just an illustration of how close things are. Certainly in our conference they are.” The point being, he says “We’ve got a lot of work to do, just to win one game right now, let alone 12. That’s where our focus has to be, to see if we can get into position to win our first game.”

Ferentz says leadership was a key element in Iowa’s success last season and they need a new group of leaders to emerge. “We had 21 Seniors that did a fantastic job. Only one NFL draft pick in the whole group, so it gives you an idea of the collective power that those guys had. To that point, we’ve got to have other guys ascend now to take that spot. I think we have those people. What I’m most concerned about probably, is who’s going to fill the void underneath, as those guys emerge. That’s where the younger players have to step up. I think we got a glimpse of that this Spring. Certainly the next month here we’ll learn a lot more about our team and if guys are ready to step up and meet those kinds of challenges.”

Ferentz says the coaches got a glimpse of their potential during spring practice and are now looking forward to finding out how good they can be. He said “It’s interesting: you only have 15 days in the Spring. 12 of those are in pads. Now you move into [training] camp and it’s 29 practices…the concentration on football is a little bit more intense. I think we’ll learn more about our team here, and like every coach in America, just curious to see what games we’ve made, who’s ready to really step in there and do a good job, and provide and leadership, those kinds of things.”

Iowa opens at home on September third against Miami of Ohio.

(Learfield Sports)

UNI sees lots of new faces as fall practice begins

Sports

August 5th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Northern Iowa football coach Mark Farley met with the media today (Friday) and says with a lot of new faces, he’ll depend on his staff to bring them along. “As I look at this football team moving into a media day with only one practice behind it, I think the best opportunity that we have is going to start with the coaching staff. I think the coaching staff has been the stable part of what we’ve done over all the years,” according to Farley.

One area where there is experience is at quarterback. Aaron Bailey has the skill set and has the experience now, and his game could be as good as he develops it too…..he’s put the time in, now we know his skill set,” Farley says. Another experienced leader is on defense. He says Karter Schult is a leader and another self -made, self-developed player form Tripoli who represents what it means to be a U-N-I player. Farley says Schult has gotten a lot of preseason recognition and hopefully he can earn some post-season recognition too.

Farley says the new faces in camp will add the depth that has been missing. Farley says the team was lean in the spring due to injury and the size of the graduating class. He has filled out the roster with a mix of players. There are several freshmen, and a transfer from Fresno State, Florida State and Northern Illinois. “So we have some young men that came in with some experience and some maturity to them, and yet we have some young men who came from some great programs who have a lot of confidence,” Farley says.

The Panthers open the season September 3rd in Ames against Iowa State.

(Learfield Sports)