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Chris Umscheid

The tradition starts now

Liberty High’s Bolts gird for gridiron

NORTH LIBERTY– They’re the first football team for the still-under construction Liberty High School, but being “first” isn’t tops on their list of concerns.
For the 21 West High freshmen who make up the Liberty Lightning’s inaugural team, it’s more about building a legacy for the “Bolts” who will follow them.

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Party on the turf

Annual kick-off event raises money for CCA football

TIFFIN– The 2nd annual Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Football Kick-Off to Friday Night Lights was held Friday, Aug. 12, at the high school stadium in Tiffin. The event serves as a fundraiser for the football program as well as a way to build excitement for the coming season.
Headlining the event again this year was contemporary country music artist Jake McVey, who had the students dancing on the sideline. McVey and his bass player even jumped off the stage and rocked out among the students at one point.

Lightning will strike this fall

Liberty High to field freshman athletic teams in ’16-‘17

NORTH LIBERTY– While construction still continues on the new Liberty High School in North Liberty, some future students will compete in the school’s uniforms this school year.
Principal Scott Kibby confirmed the Liberty Lightning Bolts will be in action, albeit at the freshman level, for the 2016-2017 school year.

The Great Race

Rural Shueyville man completes cross country road rally

SHUEYVILLE– For Shueyville’s John Williams, the third time was not only the charm, but also charmed.
Williams, a retired teacher from the College Community School District’s Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, participated in the 2016 Great Race cross-country road rally and made it all the way from near the California coast to Moline, Ill.
This was Williams’ third attempt at the event, held annually since the early 1980s, and the first time he made it from starting line to finish line.

Rhino fun

NLFD gears up for 2016 Salute to Summer

NORTH LIBERTY– It’s not uncommon for a volunteer fire department to host a fundraising event, or two, each year. Pancake breakfasts, soup suppers and dances are the typical fare. The volunteer professionals of the North Liberty Fire Department (NLFD) held a Fireman’s Dance as an annual fundraiser for many years, but they knew they could do something bigger and better.
“While it was successful, the members of the department decided they wanted to create a more family-oriented event,” said Firefighter-Emergency Medical Technician Mike Johnston.

Trojans’ luck runs out

Prairie hands West its fifth state runner-up trophy

DES MOINES– The West High Trojans entered the 2016 Class 4A State Baseball Tournament as the No. 2 seed and with hopes of earning their first championship in the school’s 11th appearance in Des Moines.
However, a six-run inning by the Hawks of Cedar Rapids Prairie in the title game dashed those hopes and led to West’s third consecutive runner-up trophy and its fifth overall since 2009.

Mustangs sink the Clippers in district semifinal

Mount Vernon ends Clear Creek Amana season, 6-3

SOLON– The 2016 season for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers’ varsity baseball team ended Friday, July 15, in Solon as the Mount Vernon Mustangs won a Class 3A District 9 semifinal game, 6-3.
The Clippers ended the season at 19-20 overall while the Mustangs (28-10 overall) advanced to face Solon in the district final on Monday, July 18, in Solon.
The Mustangs did the bulk of their damage in the bottom of the third inning with a five-run barrage built on an RBI double, a three-run homer and an RBI single. Mount Vernon added a bit of cushion with an RBI double in the fourth inning.

Big plans for Cedar River Crossing

Conservation Board project to enhance both sides of Sutliff Bridge

SUTLIFF— More changes are coming to Sutliff. The small settlement, in the extreme northeastern corner of Johnson County, was thrust into the spotlight in 2008 after record flooding heavily damaged the historic Sutliff Bridge. While the bridge was rebuilt in 2012, that project did not mark the end of preservation efforts in the area also known as “Cedar River Crossing” or “McLellan’s Landing.”

Women of Troy whack the Warriors

IC West beats CR Washington 11-1 in regional semifinal

IOWA CITY– The West High Women of Troy defeated Cedar Rapids Washington 11-1 in a five-inning Class 5A Region 5 semifinal game Saturday, July 9, on the West High diamond.
The win advanced West to a Tuesday, July 12, regional final game against Davenport West in Iowa City with the winner heading for the 2016 state softball championships in Fort Dodge.

The final word

73-year-old Air Corps report sheds light on Pavel brother’s disappearance

MASSILLON– On May 29, 1943, a United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) B-24D heavy bomber disappeared off the coast of California during a routine training mission. Ten men were on the plane, including Second Lt. Paul Pavel of Solon, the pilot. Pavel’s plane was the 10th in a 10-plane group flying from Marysville, Calif., located in the northern part of the state. The planes took off 15 minutes apart and were to fly to a rendezvous point 140 nautical miles out to sea. Pavel’s plane never made it to the rendezvous point.

Division III overlooked, underrated

Iowa NCAA DIII schools aim for a well-rounded student-athlete

NORTH LIBERTY– Iowa has 15 colleges and universities affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). A few, aligned with the association’s top tier of programs, or Division I schools, are very well known. The University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa and Drake University are popular among potential students, student athletes and fans of college sports. Lesser known are the Division II and Division III schools.

Women of Troy split with J-Hawks on Senior Night

Opiola, Libby and Klosterman homer for West High

IOWA CITY– The West High Women of Troy settled for a split with the J-Hawks of Cedar Rapids Jefferson in a Senior Night varsity doubleheader Tuesday, June 28, in Iowa City.
West took the opener with a sudden-death 10-9 win after Taylor Libby knocked a tie-breaking solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jefferson took a quick 2-0 lead, with a two-RBI double, in the top of the first inning and extended it, with two more runs, in the second with the bases loaded.