The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

High School Sports

August 22, 2012

Kings aim for playoffs

Read about all area football teams in today's Herald, either in print or in our online edition

CLINTON — Last year, Clinton snuck into the playoffs, grabbing the final spot as the No. 16 seed in the eastern half of the state in Class 4A and lost its opener 47-0 to Marion Linn-Mar.

The River Kings are looking for more this season.

“We want to get off to a positive start and set ourselves up for an upper-division finish in the MAC,” Clinton coach Lee Camp said.

That would be a good change for Clinton — which plays all nine games against fellow Mississippi Athletic Conference teams — after losing its first three games of the season last year. The River Kings went 3-3 over their final six games to grab that playoff berth.

Clinton got a boost from the schedule-makers in that regard as the River Kings open against Davenport North, which went 1-8 in the MAC last year and finished next to last.

Another bonus is that senior quarterback Will Carr has a year of varsity experience under his belt and the River Kings are in Year 2 of a transition to a spread offense.

Carr has the third-highest quarterback rating in the MAC among returning quarterbacks who threw at least 100 passes. He threw for 705 yards and twice as many touchdowns (6) as interceptions (3). Carr — a 6-foot, 2-inch, 183-pound right-hander — also rushed for 253 yards last season, good for third on the team.

Clinton will be without 1,000-yard running back Torris Green, a senior last year, so the River Kings will likely rely on 5-9 senior Ryan Driscoll. Driscoll rushed for 272 yards and three touchdowns last year after rushing for 363 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore. Driscoll struggled with injuries early in his junior season.

“Ryan is really developing into a good leader,” Camp said. “He’s really seeing the field. Once he got a little behind last year — sometimes you over-try — and he wasn’t seeing the holes develop. I think you’re going to see him have some pretty good games for us. He’s going to be a go-to guy for Will. He’s a hard north-south runner. I really expect him to bounce back and have a great season.”

An important part of Clinton’s new offense — which emphasizes quarterback reads — is the offensive line. Camp said he was pleased with the line’s performance, and retention of concepts, early in practice.

“Our strengths include experience at the skill positions, as well as returning linemen,” he said. “We possess good quickness and an aggressive attitude.”

The offensive line is led by 5-11, 255-pound senior Jacob Oldaker, who was selected to the Clinton Herald’s All-Area first team on the offensive line last year. Jacob Judd (6-3, 260) was named to the all-area second team and Ben Damgaard (6-0, 210) earned a third-team all-area selection. Those three, along with Jared Daehler (5-9, 190) and Zach Mohr (6-0, 202), give the River Kings five returning senior starters on the offensive line.

“I think all the seniors that we have returning — not only the offensive line, but at the skill spots — add a lot of confidence,” Camp said. “I know Will feels a lot more comfortable behind them, with his own experience, but also with theirs. The kids have had some great offseasons and put on size and speed. Raf Ramirez (another senior) has kind of come out of nowhere to fill in, too. He’s put on a lot of size, and with the return of Oldaker and Judd, those are some nice-sized kids up front.”

Clinton also returns its leading receiver from last season, 6-0 senior Cody Collender, who was named to the all-area second team. Collender caught 19 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns. He also returned a fumble for a touchdown and was the River Kings’ second-leading scorer with 30 points, behind Green’s 78.

The biggest concern for Clinton last year was its defense. The River Kings held only one team to fewer than 20 points and allowed seven of their 10 opponents to score more than 30 points, five more than 40.

“We made some changes in the defensive scheme,” Camp said. “I think we’re a little more confident up front. We have a lot of new guys deep. We’ve dedicated some more time to trying to stop opponents. I think we’ll see some rewards.”

Clinton’s top tackler from last season, Kyle Winter — a first-team all-area linebacker — graduated. Winter was the sixth-leading tackler in the MAC with 102.

Collender, a defensive back, is the leading returning tackler with 43, which placed him fifth on the team last year.

The defensive line is going to be key for the River Kings, according to their coach.

“We want the d-line to dominate,” Camp said. “We need to be lined up right and have the line dominate to free up the backers to make some tackles. They need to get pressure on the quarterback and control the line to give our safeties  and corners a chance to settle in and get some experience. It’s going to be up to the d-line to get that done.”

Camp said he expected Pleasant Valley, Bettendorf and Muscatine to be among the top teams in the MAC. The River Kings face Pleasant Valley and Bettendorf the final two weeks of the season.

The defense isn’t the only area that may cause some worry in Clinton fans.

“Our concerns are depth at some positions, size and how fast some of the younger players develop,” Camp said.

The River Kings also have to replace Seth Pennock, who in addition to several other duties, handled the punting and place-kicking.

Pennock averaged nearly 33 yards a punt, including a long of 67 yards. Camp said Jeremy Peters would likely handle much of the punting and kicking, with Ben Lauritzen possibly punting and Tyler Thacker doing some kicking.

“I think we’ll do a nice job there,” Camp said. “Neither of them have the booming leg that Seth had, but they can both place the ball. I think they’ll improve — like Seth did — as the season goes on. But they’re getting better and getting more confident in just the few weeks we’ve been going.”

Pennock, the second team all-area kicker, made 19 of 22 PATs and hit a 41-yard field goal, his only attempt of the regular season. Peters made 2 of 4 PATs last year as a junior.

TEAM photo/10D, Conference outlook/9D

1
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
Facebook