The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

High School Sports

August 24, 2012

Queens open in tough tourney

CLINTON — For some highly-touted area volleyball teams, the season kicks off Saturday at the Central DeWitt tournament.

Clinton will get its first taste of competition this season when play kicks off at 8:30 a.m.

“It’s a great tournament for us,” Clinton coach Mark Massey said. “DeWitt and Maquoketa are very solid teams. There’s a lot of good, well-coached teams, but we really respect Maquoketa and DeWitt. They’re both highly rated in 4A. We’re rated in 5A. It’s a good opportunity for us to play some tough teams, without it being a conference match.”

Clinton is ranked seventh in Class 5A in the preseason rankings. Maquoketa, coming off a berth in the state tournament, is No. 6 in Class 4A and the host Sabers are No. 10 in 4A.

 “There’s some people who like to say, ‘It doesn’t mean anything and we don’t care about rankings,” Massey said. “But it’s always nice to be ranked. Somebody has processed the teams in the state and has the respect and regard for your program to rank it. I think our kids are smart enough to know that it’s more likely you’re going to get somebody’s best shot. I think it’s a positive because the kids get excited. I think it’s a source of pride for families and communities.”

Preston is also hosting a tournament Saturday with two ranked local team. Marquette Catholic is No. 6 in Class 1A, while the host Trojans are ranked 14th.

Massey said this tournament was a good chance to see where the River Queens stacked up and what might need improving before starting Mississippi Athletic Conference matches next Tuesday.

“We’re trying to figure out where we are in this rotation, what are our strengths, what still needs a little bit of work,” Massey said. “Just like a football team in the fall thinks, ‘Doggone, we’ve seen enough of each in practice.’ We’re excited to play somebody else. Until you have a match, sometimes you’re guessing yourself or sometimes you might know it, but the kids don’t believe you. It’s a good chance to get refocused and ready for the conference season.”

There will be some time, though not much, for any needed last-minute adjustments.

“I don’t think there’s going to be anything that’s totally broken,” Massey said. “It’s usually just a case of tweaking or fine-tuning. ... For us, it’s trying to stay close to the fundamentals and executing those. Then we’ll give ourselves a chance to win.”

Maquoketa was the only local team to make the state tournament last year and six of their seven starters return from last season, along with a starter from 2010, who missed last season because of injury.

Central DeWitt, which beat Clinton both times they played last season, returns an experienced lineup especially heavy on juniors. Camanche is the only local team playing in this tournament that has already played a game. The Indians, who return their top four hitters and top setter from a season ago, won their season opener Thursday.

Massey said in some ways staying healthy would make the season-opening tournament a success, but there was some other criteria on which to judge, as well.

“I looked at the (MAC) scrimmage last week and there were a couple of things that we didn’t do as well in the scrimmage as we did in practice,” he said. “It’s like, ‘Geez, if that’s the worst thing that happens, we’re in good shape.’ Obviously the more matches you win, the better you feel in that regard. If your personnel selection, rotation selection, the way your team and system is designed, if it seems like that’s working and there’s good execution, then I feel like you can take some success away.”

Text Only
High School Sports
  • Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too

    Brady Ernst is having a summer to remember.
    The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jones leaves UNO program

    Jalen Jones is done with basketball — for now, anyway.
    The 6-foot-5 Clinton High grad who had committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha, has left the program, and according to his Facebook page, has enrolled at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
    The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
    "College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
    Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
    Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
    He shot 41 percent on the floor and 28 percent from 3-point territory. He committed to Omaha before last season started in October.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-25-14 Football field Football facility receives makeover CAMANCHE — Camanche School District administrators expect updates to the high school football facility to be completed next week.Camanche Superintendent Tom Parker said crews have worked to make sure everything is complete before next week’s Clinton

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25-14 1B-Photo, Clinton track Clinton king of Brady DAVENPORT — It might not have been the blue oval, but Clinton track can place its mark at the top of the hill.The quartet of Barrion Collins, Marquis Robinson, Quavon Jones and Deshond Robinson won the high school boys division of the Battle Up Brady

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24-14 1B-Photo, Choice 2 Cinderella run ends DUBUQUE — The playoff run was fun while it lasted. Dubuque Hempstead, the No. 1-ranked baseball team in Class 4A entering Wednesday, ended Clinton’s chances at back-to-back appearances in the state tournament in Des Moines. The Mustangs knocked out t

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-23-14 3B-Photo, Clinton baseball Kings feel re-energized (with VIDEOS & PHOTO ALBUM)

    CLINTON -- There’s nothing like a postseason run to get the juices flowing again and jumpstart a baseball season that at times was trying.The atmosphere around the Clinton High School program is upbeat these days. One game away from a second consecut

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • AGWSR silences Marquette Catholic FORT DODGE — AGWSR of Ackley pitcher Ashley Sicard can add another win to her state tournament resume.AGWSR defeated Marquette Catholic (34-7) 2-0 with both runs coming in the third inning for the Cougars (28-6).In that third inning, the leadoff hitt

    July 23, 2014

  • Trio of Queens earn honors ELDRIDGE -- Three members of the Clinton High softball team were named to the All-Mississippi Athletic Conference honorable mention squad Monday.Junior Cara Brewer and sophomores Sydney Davis and Jenna Stremlow received the honors.Brewer, a catcher-t

    July 22, 2014

  • Assumption spoils Sabers' strong start MAQUOKETA—Things fell apart quickly for the Central DeWitt Sabers on Monday night, as they fell 5-4 to the Davenport Assumption Knights in the Iowa Class 3A District 7 baseball final, ending their 2014 season.The Sabers (21-19-1) had complete control

    July 22, 2014

  • 7-23-14 1B-Photo, Clinton baseball A rally fit for Kings (with VIDEO)

    ELDRIDGE — It would have been easy for Clinton sophomore Nick Houzenga to be discouraged as he took the mound in the bottom of the first inning of the River Kings’ Class 4A substate semifinal against North Scott.After all, the Lancers had already bui

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

Sports Updates