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Several Area Football Teams Still Have Playoff Pulse Heading Into Stretch Run

The football season is winding down with just two weeks of the regular season remaining. Even though there’s just two games left for most teams, there’s dozens of playoff implications that can come into play for several teams still hanging around for a postseason berth.

In Class 4A District 4, the Newton Cardinals improbably started their season 6-0. But a loss to Southeast Polk last week has put them in a dire position, needing to win both of their remaining games to squeak into the playoffs. With powerhouse West Des Moines Valley on deck, it would be a monumental feat for the Cardinals to be playing postseason football.

The same cannot be said for the Oskaloosa Indians, who will be looking to cinch up a playoff spot out of Class 3A District 5 in Washington this week. Osky has a very easy road map: beat Washington and you’re in, lose to Washington and you need to hope to get a wild card. A Week 9 matchup with West Burlington/Notre Dame should not deter the Indians should they get past the Demons.

Also in Class 3A, Pella is well on their way to another district title after holding off Norwalk last week. The Dutch are the only unbeaten team left in District 6 and have favorable matchups at North Polk and at home to Nevada to wrap up their season.

In Class 2A District 6, PCM is rolling through their schedule. After a tough non-district loss to undefeated Pella Christian in the season opener, the Mustangs have won six straight and are big favorites against Davis County and Clarke as they wind down a season where they’ll be named District 6 Champions.

Class 1A District 4 is pretty self-explanatory for Sigourney/Keota. There’s one open playoff spot after Iowa City Regina and the Cobras need to beat Wilton and Wapello the last two weeks of the season to clinch it. A win over Wapello this week would effectively eliminate them from the race and leave it between S/K and Wilton, and they will meet in Wilton to decide the automatic berth in Week 9.

District 5 in Class 1A is monopolized by a couple of area teams. Pella Christian is still undefeated after they knocked off Pleasantville on the road last week. PC should waltz to the district title. Pleasantville has to beat Woodward-Granger this week to clinch their spot in the playoffs.

Class A District 6 has been a fun one to follow all year and Lynnville-Sully is on their way to winning the district title. The Hawks started 8-0 last year before losing in Week 9 to Montezuma. Now, after gutsy wins over Pekin and New London, L-S gets a bye before seeing the Braves again looking for retribution on their way to the playoffs and a first round home game. Pekin faces off with New London this week to determine the #2 seed out of this district, while the loser hopes to get one of the wild cards.

Finally, 8-Player District 5 is chaotic. All we know is that HLV is sitting pretty at 5-0 in the district after a big win over Colo-Nesco. HLV faces Melcher-Dallas this week. If M-D were to drop this home game, they will likely fall out of the playoff race. Moravia is also hanging around. Their matchup this week with Colo-Nesco will factor heavily into that #2 seed. A Melcher-Dallas win this week would create even more chaos, however, as all four teams could end the week with hopes of the playoffs going into Week 9. There are no wild cards in 8-Player football so these matchups are huge for these schools.

We’ll be following the action closely the last two weeks of the season, so be sure to join us for Scores and More Presented By Bubbl’r after the games go final Friday night on 104.9 FM KBOE, 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, kboeradio.com and radiokmzn.com.

Class 1A and 2A Area Volleyball Playoff Breakdown

Postseason volleyball is just around the corner and the matchups are set.

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union released the final brackets in all five classes for the 2017 volleyball playoffs. The two smallest classes will begin play on Tuesday, October 17th at 7 PM.

In Class 1A Region 4, four area teams are in the top half of the bracket. Lynnville-Sully (9-9) will host Collins-Maxwell (15-4). That match is in Sully even though C-M has the better record. This is their first year without Baxter as a part of the athletic teams. Winner of that matchup will face #8 North Tama (21-6) in the second round.

Also in that bracket is #9 Montezuma (19-3), who will host North Mahaska (10-12) in the first round. That match can be heard on 104.9 FM KBOE, kboeradio.com, and the KBOE mobile app starting around 6:45 PM on October 17th. Monte is 2-0 this season against North Mahaska. Winner of that match will face the winner of Melcher-Dallas (2-8) and Grand View Christian School (19-20). M-D will host that game.

BGM is the only area team in Class 1A Region 6. The Bears (0-22) will host Meskwaki Settlement School (4-15) in the first round with the winner drawing #10 Iowa Valley in the quarterfinals.

Region 7 has a trio of teams from the area in Class 1A. English Valleys (8-11) will host Tri-County (0-13) in North English. The winner will draw #14 HLV in the quarterfinals. Also in the top half of that bracket is Keota. The Eagles (2-11) are on the road to face Winfield-Mount Union (11-18). Winner of that match will face either Iowa Mennonite School (12-9) or WACO (5-15).

Class 1A Region 8 involves Moravia and Twin Cedars. The Mohawks (9-12) will host Moulton-Udell (0-14) in the first round. Winner will play at #5 New London in the quarterfinals. Also in the top half of that Region 8 bracket, the Twin Cedars (3-10) will face Seymour (14-5) in Centerville. Winner will matchup with either #7 Holy Trinity Catholic (24-5) or Notre Dame (13-20).

In Class 2A, Pleasantville is the lone area team in Region 4. The Trojans (3-7) will play at home in the first round against Martensdale-St. Marys (4-11). Winner draws Des Moines Christian (19-8) in the quarters.

In Region 5 of Class 2A, Pella Christian (13-12) will play host to Colfax-Mingo (9-10). PC has been ranked for much of the year and their strength of schedule is one of the best in Class 2A. Also in the bottom of the bracket, Sigourney (6-10) will host Cardinal (6-16) with the winner taking on Pekin (19-11) in the quarterfinals.

We’ll be keeping close tabs with all of these games when they happen. You can check out a preview of Class 3A, 4A, and 5A in the coming days. Check out South By South Central on Wednesdays at 5:15 PM on 104.9 FM KBOE and kboeradio.com to hear more volleyball coverage as well.

Several Area Schools In Good Playoff Position at Midway Point of Football Season

Five weeks of high school football are in the books and we are starting to learn who the contenders are in every district in the state.

For our listening area, there are several teams who seem to be look to push towards the playoffs.

Oskaloosa (3-2) made the playoffs in 2016 after a great 7-2 regular season after a couple of down years. They are looking to repeat the dose here in 2017, and their road map is identical. Wins in their last four games will clinch the #2 spot in Class 3A District 5 and send Osky to the postseason. Their biggest challenge will be in Week 8 against Washington, who sits at 4-1 on the year.

Pella (4-1) also sits pretty as one of the top teams in Class 3A District 6 along with Norwalk (4-1). Those teams will battle for what will likely be the District 6 Championship in Week 7.

In Class 2A, PCM (4-1) should run away with the District 6 Title once again, following up a dominant run in 2016. District 6 is fairly weak after the Mustangs which has to door wide open for someone to grab that second spot. After EBF’s (3-3) tough loss to Albia last Friday, Central Lee seems to be in the best shape to snag that #2 slot and an automatic playoff berth. Do not rule out a wild card team either, as Centerville (2-3) snuck into the playoffs last year after having a high district point differential.

In Class 1A District 4, Sigourney/Keota (2-3) is looking to bounce back after a couple of tough weeks to start the year. Their playoff aspirations likely rest on their Week 9 matchup on the road at Wilton (5-0) as Iowa City Regina (3-2) will run away with the district. Don’t sleep on Louisa-Muscatine (2-3), as they still have a road to the playoffs they can follow as well.

Class 1A District 5 seems to be locked up for Pella Christian (5-0) and Pleasantville (5-0) to make it back to the playoffs. They will meet in Pleasantville in Week 7 to likely determine the district champion and who will get home field in the first round.

Chaos is the name of the game in Class A District 6, as Lynnville-Sully (5-0), Pekin (6-0), and New London (4-0) are all rolling so far this year. A huge matchup will be featured in our Game of the Week on 104.9 FM KBOE and kboeradio.com this Friday, as Lynnville-Sully hosts Pekin. Winner of that matchup sets themselves up nicely to get into the playoffs and potentially win the district while the loser will need to win out. New London gets their crack at the top when they host Lynnville-Sully in Week 7 and travel to face Pekin in Week 8.

In 8-Player District 5, Moravia (5-1) seemed to have the best chance to make the playoffs, but a slip up last week at HLV (4-2) has the Mohawks desperate. A Week 8 duel at Colo-Nesco (4-1) will in all likelihood decide who gets the only other playoff berth at stake barring any upsets to HLV. Melcher-Dallas (4-1) has played well this season and have a route to the playoffs, but will be a solid underdog in their matchups with HLV and Moravia in Weeks 8 and 9.

Newton (5-0) has looked great in Class 4A so far this year, but the Cardinals have benefitted from the weakest schedule in the state’s largest class. They have two top teams in Southeast Polk and West Des Moines Valley in as opponents in District 4 and will need to beat at least one of them to have a chance at the postseason. That doesn’t include tough matchups against Indianola and Fort Dodge that the Cardinals will be also find themselves as underdogs.

The playoffs begin October 27th, but we will be able to track every single movement of our area teams between now and then. Check kboeradio.com or radiokmzn.com for weekly looks at the area playoff picture.

Oskaloosa, PCM Have Strong Nights in Volleyball

It was a busy night in high school volleyball Tuesday night.

The Oskaloosa Indians had a good night with wins over Carlisle and Colfax-Mingo at home. The Indians beat Carlisle in three sets and swept Colfax-Mingo in two straight sets.

Another team who had a great night was PCM. The Mustangs cruised through the Newton Invitational, winning all three of their matches. They swept Des Moines Hoover in two straight sets and beat Saydel and the hosts from Newton in three sets.

It was a rough night for BGM, as they were swept in all four of their matches in Lisbon. They fell to East Buchanan, Alburnett, Tipton, and the hosts from Lisbon on the night.

Finally, Pella got their season off to a strong start, beating Ballard on the road in four sets.

Our first volleyball game on our airwaves will be next Tuesday, August 29th, as Oskaloosa travels to face Pella Christian to open up Little Hawkeye Conference play. The first serve of that game will be around 7 PM with the pregame at 6:45. You can hear all the action live on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app.

EBF Trio Leads Class 2A All-State Softball Teams

We continue our look at the All-State Teams in softball from the 2017 season and today Class 2A gets the spotlight.

Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont made a run to the state championship game and finished with a school record 32 wins. The Rockets were rewarded for their outstanding accomplishments with three First Team All-State players and the Coach of the Year.

Senior shortstop Haegen Boyer has been a major piece to the puzzle since her freshman year, and she was named to the First Team. Boyer hit .429 with an on-base percentage of .507. She was among the state leaders in all classes with 15 home runs and 59 RBI.

Boyer is joined on the First Team by fellow senior Claire Jager, who has been the starting catcher for the Rockets for four seasons. Jager had a great year at the plate, hitting .420 with a .507 on-base percentage. She also hit 3 home runs and drove in 34.

Jager had a great year behind the plate as well handling junior pitcher Randie Richmond, who was honored on the First Team. Richmond went 20-6 in the circle with an outstanding 1.16 ERA. Opponents only hit at a .206 clip against her in 2017. Richmond was also dangerous at the plate, as she hit .377 with 4 homers and 27 runs batted in.

Head Coach Tony Fenton had a lot to do with the success these players have enjoyed and he was rewarded for that by being named Class 2A Coach of the Year. 2017 was the second time in four years that EBF made it to the State Softball Tournament and Fenton guided the way with a very different group both times.

A team the Rockets eliminated from the tournament this year also has a duo of First Team All-Staters. Pella Christian had a phenomenal year, winning the large Little Hawkeye Conference outright on their way to a 32-6 overall record.

Their battery of senior pitcher Emma Schnell and senior catcher Elizabeth Van Manen led the way in all facets and were honored as First Team All-State players.

Schnell wrapped up a great career in the circle, finishing 2017 with a 23-5 record, a stellar 1.32 ERA, and a great opponent’s batting average of .168. She also struck out 213 batters in 186 innings while only issuing 22 walks. She also batted .384 with 4 homers and 27 RBI.

Van Manen was successful catching Schnell throughout her career, but really blossomed at the plate this year, leading the Eagles with a .409 average, 12 home runs, and 46 RBI.

There are no area players listed on the Second Team, but Pleasantville junior Andie Sowers made the Third Team. Sowers batted an unreal .490 with 2 homers and 27 RBI. She struck out only three times at the plate in 104 at bats in 2017.

The Class 2A Honorable Mention list is lengthy with players just missing the cut on the three All-State Teams, but a trio of area players were named there as well.

Pleasantville 8th grader Josie Sowers was the lone non-senior to make the list from the area after batting .425 in her first varsity season for the Trojans.

Senior Brooke Mitrisin has been a long time contributor to the Pella Christian softball team and she was named to the Honorable Mention list. She hit .351 with a .400 on-base percentage for the Eagles.

Finally, Pekin senior Kaylee Linder made the Honorable Mention list. Linder hit .484 for the Panthers while striking out only twice in 93 at bats. She also led the team on the basepaths, going 22 for 22 in stolen bases.

Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up our look at the All-State Softball Teams by unpacking the Class 1A list on the No Coast Network.

Softball Regional Finals To Be Decided Monday and Tuesday Nights

Over the next two days, 40 schools will punch their ticket to the Iowa High School Softball State Tournament at Harlan Rogers Park in Fort Dodge. In the No Coast Network listening area, there are seven who are looking to do just that.

On Monday night, Class 1A, 2A, and 3A will all be looking to raise a banner.

Class 1A Region 3 is one of the most incredible matchups in the state, as Montezuma (18-12) will host Fort Dodge St. Edmond (12-17). Monte finished the season strong but still had to win a play-in game against Tri-County, which they barely survived in walkoff fashion last Monday, 4-3. Then, the Bravettes came from behind to walkoff again on Wednesday, this time against North Mahaska, 2-1 in 10 innings. They made things a little easier on themselves last Friday, exploding late to defeat Lynnville-Sully on the road, 10-4.

Now, they’ll play one of the unlikeliest of regional finalists in Fort Dodge St. Edmond. The Gaels started their run last Monday by beating Coon Rapids-Bayard, 3-2, in a game at Harlan Rogers Park. The big upset occurred last Wednesday, as they defeated #5 Newell-Fonda, 8-6, in Fonda. They kept up the momentum on Friday, waltzing past Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton, 9-2.

These two will do battle on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app, beginning at 6:45 PM for the 7 PM first pitch in Montezuma.

In Class 1A Region 7, Sigourney (21-11) has to go on the road to face #3 Martensdale-St. Marys to get to state. The Savages have held serve throughout in the bottom half of the bracket, getting a 7-1 win over Winfield-Mount Union on Wednesday and a 6-5 win over New London on Friday, both at home.

Martensdale-St. Marys (32-3) dominated in their first game against Southeast Warren, 12-0, but faced a stiff test against Wayne before surviving, 4-3.

That game can be heard on 104.9 FM KBOE, kboeradio.com, and the KBOE mobile app at 6:45 PM for the 7 PM first pitch in Martensdale.

In Class 2A Region 6, two area teams will duke it out for one trip to state. #4 Pella Christian (32-5) will host #9 Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (29-8) in Pella. These two teams haven’t seen each other yet this year, but have a great rivalry in other sports.

EBF has been ranked as high as #2 this season and seemed destined to comfortably sit at the top of their region, but after some confusion with the IGHSAU, regions needed shuffled and a white-hot Pella Christian was added to the Rockets’ bracket. After both teams strolled through the first two rounds, they now find themselves needing one win to make it to Fort Dodge. First pitch in Pella is at 7 PM.

Region 7 in Class 3A features #9 Albia (27-8) travelling to face #6 Solon (30-12). Albia has a ton of youth and has shown great growth all season long. Solon has been there and done that, qualifying for state on a near-yearly basis. These two will lock horns in Solon at 7 PM.

On Tuesday night, just two area teams will be looking to advance to state.

Class 4A Region 5 sees the defending state champion and fifth-ranked Oskaloosa Indians (28-12) hosting #7 Burlington (22-17). Osky breezed past Washington in the semifinals to get to this point, hosting another regional final. They’ll face Burlington, a perennially ranked team in Class 5A who dropped down to 4A this year. The Greyhounds had to sweat it out in the semis, needing extras to down North Scott at home on Saturday, 3-1.

That game can be heard live from the Oskaloosa Softball Field at 6:45 PM on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app. First pitch Tuesday night is at 7 PM.

Finally, the Ottumwa Bulldogs (26-14) will look to keep up a strong tradition under Head Coach Frank Huston and get back to state. The #11 Bulldogs will face top-ranked Waukee (37-3-1) on the road Tuesday night. Both teams won by double-digits in their first postseason game and it will be sure to be a heavyweight fight in Waukee on Tuesday night, with the first pitch at 7 PM.

Be sure to stay locked in on KBOE and KMZN on the air and on the web for all the latest scores and updates throughout the postseason.

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