Video from Friday.
WR Marvin McNutt
DT Mike Daniels (video shot by Gazette photographer Brian Ray)
QB James Vandenberg (shot by Brian Ray)
LB Tyler Nielsen
Coach Kirk Ferentz
HD Ferentz (Brian Ray)
Video from Friday.
WR Marvin McNutt
DT Mike Daniels (video shot by Gazette photographer Brian Ray)
QB James Vandenberg (shot by Brian Ray)
LB Tyler Nielsen
Coach Kirk Ferentz
HD Ferentz (Brian Ray)
SHELLSBURG — Joyce Pence, 70, mayor-elect of Shellsburg, died Friday.
Pence was elected in November and would have taken office at the next Shellsburg City Council meeting. According to her obituary, Pence was vice president at United Security Bank until her retirement in 2006. She founded the Shellsburg Farmers Market in 2007 and was treasurer for the Shellsburg Area Community Group.
Del Chiaro said after the 2011 season that he expected to return to town, though the parent Los Angeles Angels have under gone major front-office changes, including a new major league general manager (Jerry DiPoto) and farm director (Scott Servais).
It has been learned Del Chiaro will run the organization’s minor-league complex in Tempe, Ariz. He also will manage the Arizona Rookie League Angels.
Del Chiaro made his professional managerial debut in 2011, leading the Kernels to a 61-78 record. He was the team’s hitting coach in 2009 and 2010.
It is unclear who will manage the Kernels this season, though an announcement is expected shortly. Sources said the Angels have not hired a pitching coach for Cedar Rapids as yet.
There is a possibility the new manager will be Mike Eylward. He was Cedar Rapids’ hitting coach in 2011.
CEDAR RAPIDS — Two of the busiest travel weekends of the year — Christmas and Thanksgiving — turned out to be big money makers for the city of Cedar Rapids last year.
In 2010, traffic cameras ticketed more than 4,000 drivers during those holiday periods.
From Nov. 25 to Nov. 29, 2010, 2,690 drivers received citations, while between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27, 2010, 1,448 drivers were ticketed by the cameras.
The number of violations was higher compared with at least two other weekends last year pulled randomly by the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
But so far this holiday season, traffic violations have decreased, by about 1,100. From Nov. 24 to Nov. 28 of this year, 1,541 drivers received citations. In addition, there were three more cameras that were active this Thanksgiving that were not active at the same period last year.
Police, along with some drivers, believe there might have been fewer citations because people are becoming more aware of the cameras, not just in Cedar Rapids, but across the nation.
“They’re all over,” said Mike Burkett, who was visiting Cedar Rapids from the St. Louis area. “Practically every state’s got them now. You just have to be careful, stop when the light turns red.”
According to the Cedar Rapids Police Department, officers do get complaints from out-of-state drivers who are ticketed by the cameras. But officers say “photo enforced” warnings posted below speed limit signs and near stoplights are something every driver can see.
Sgt. Cristy Hamblin of the Cedar Rapids Police Department said officers are encouraged by the drop in violations from last Thanksgiving to this year.
“We always want people to slow down, leave space, and obey the rules of the road,” Hamblin said. “It’s a big holiday weekend, and with it being on a weekend, we’ll see how the violations stack up.”
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — If there was a grieving process for suspended running back Marcus Coker, it appears to be over.
Iowa’s schedule for the Insight Bowl was in full throttle at Friday’s practice at Chaparral High School. Every running back ended up sweaty during a speedy practice. And that’s because every running back will be called upon to replace Coker’s 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns against No. 19 Oklahoma (9-3).
From true freshman Jordan Canzeri to senior walk-on Jason White, the starter won’t matter. Everyone will be used, including fullback Brad Rogers who used to be a running back.
First, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz had no update on Coker, who was suspended Tuesday for an unspecified violation of the UI Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.
“You can ask it a thousand different ways and I’ll give you the same answer,” Ferentz said after practice. “We made a statement, violation of the code of conduct and that’s where it’s at.
“His situation, the coaching situation, we’ll turn our sights on that in January.”
The answers from quarterback James Vandenberg and wide receiver Marvin McNutt weren’t much different.
“It’s a great opportunity for the other guys,” Vandenberg said. “We have full confidence for the guys who are going to step in. They’ve been working their butts off everyday, learning as much as they can, getting their timing down. Everyone is looking forward to seeing them in action.”
Said McNutt, “You have to treat it like an injury and move on.”
White has been listed as the No. 2 running back all season. He never really was the No. 2, but he did replace Coker when Iowa went with an empty backfield and five wide receivers. Canzeri was slowed by a hamstring injury late in the season and was seldom used when healthy.
Redshirt freshman D’Andre Johnson is the No. 2 rusher for the Hawkeyes, which isn’t saying a lot, but he wore a red jersey and stayed out of contact in practice Friday. True freshman Damon Bullock is in the mix. Fullback Brad Rogers used to be a running back and remembers the plays, Ferentz said.
Rogers is the biggest of these backs weighing in at around 225 pounds, but he doesn’t have Coker’s skill set. The rest of the field fits into the smaller-back category, which could change the tempo of Iowa’s offense.
“We consider that every week, if it fits or not,” Ferentz said. “It’s not out of the question [a faster pace], but we’ll see how the game goes, too.”
Vandenberg pointed to maintaining balance instead of backing into a no-huddle situation, which worked against Pitt but didn’t against Penn State.
“You can’t just pass it against this defense,” he said. “You’ve got to have a little of both. If this defense can key on one thing, have fun trying to do it because it won’t be fun.”
Ferentz talked about some of the mystery running backs after practice. (“Mystery” refers to the lack of carries after Coker. Canzeri, Bullock, Rogers, Johnson and White have a total of 39 carries going into the Insight Bowl.)
Asked if Canzeri could be used in a similar way the New Orleans Saints use smallish running back Darren Sproles, Ferentz pointed to the way Oregon State used smallish running back Jacquizz Rodgers.
“It’s not impossible that a smaller guy could play well,” Ferentz said. “We were enthused with what we saw Jordan do three months ago. Now, it’s his turn.”
Bullock fell off the face of the offense after a fumble in week four against Louisiana-Monroe. He hasn’t had a touch since and was moved back to wide receiver where he started the season. Now, the 6-foot, 195-pounder is back to running back and it’s likely where he stays.
“I really think he’s best suited for running back,” Ferentz said. “We were toying around with the other, but I think that’s where he’s best suited for the long run. We’ll see where it goes.”
Rogers did play running back, in case you don’t remember. He switched in with Coker against Ball State last season. Soon thereafter, Rogers, who missed the first four games of the season after a cardiac complication, was a fullback.
“He remembers the plays,” Ferentz joked. “Fortunately, our plays aren’t that complex, so it makes it a lot easier.”
Yes, Kirk Ferentz has read the Wall Street Journal story about Hayden Fry’s coaching tree at the University of Iowa coaching. It landed on his desk this week.
The story is headlined “Iowa: The Harvard of Coaching,” and it features an interview with Fry and lists the number of Iowa graduates who are coaching in FBS at 16, the most of any school in the country.
Obviously, Ferentz will be head-to-head with one of those Iowa alums in the Insight Bowl. OU coach Bob Stoops was an all-Big Ten safety for the Hawkeyes.
“He’s done a wonderful job with the program in his 13 years,” Ferentz said. “They have a talented team, but they’re well coached, too.”
Fry’s tree doesn’t end with the big names like Stoops and Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema.
“Every one of us has come through Hayden Fry,” William Inge, Buffalo’s defensive coordinator, told WSJ. “He’s the one who molded us into the coaches we’ve become.”
– On the academics front, Ferentz said “as far as I know” everyone is eligible. He said he would know for sure Dec. 26 and wished he could find out sooner.
“I’m not really concerned about things, but we’ll see,” he said.
– Tackle Riley Reiff practiced Friday at Chaparral High School, but was missing late. He was replaced by junior Matt Tobin when he was out.
Running back De’Andre Johnson wore a red jersey. He has been nursing a concussion. TE Brad Herman was out. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, who left the Nebraska game with an ankle injury, went through practice and seems fine.
“Health-wise, we have a couple of guys nicked up, but no one is ruled out of the game at this point,” Ferentz said.
– Senior linebacker Tyler Nielsen will play middle linebacker against the Sooners. Injuries have forced Iowa’s defense to adjust at the position. The lineup will likely be Nielsen in the middle, sophomore James Morris at weakside and sophomore Christian Kirksey on the outside.
– Iowa will practice on Christmas Eve and then there’s a team dinner at their hotel. On Christmas Day, players will lift in the morning and then have the rest of the day off.
PEABODY, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts woman says an airport security officer in Las Vegas confiscated her frosted cupcake because he thought the icing on it could be explosive.
Peabody (PEE’-buh-dee) resident Rebecca Hains tells WCVB-TV the Transportation Security Administration agent took her cupcake, telling her its frosting was “gel-like” enough to constitute a security risk. The TSA has restrictions on taking liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives.
Hains says she had passed through security at Boston’s Logan International Airport with two cupcakes packaged in jars. But she says she was stopped Wednesday on her return from Las Vegas with one of them.
TSA spokesman Nico Melendez says the agency is reviewing the situation. He says passengers are allowed to take cakes and cupcakes through checkpoints.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Speaking on “Sports Nightly,” a University of Nebraska radio talkshow, Rick Kaczenski let one loose that certainly is open to interpretation.
In an interview with show host Jeff Culhane, Kaczenski said this on the topic of recruiting, “It’s obviously helps when you walk into a high school and you have the ‘N’ on your chest. I’m looking forward to that. That will be the first time in my career when you’re walking into high schools with a name brand on your chest. I’m very excited about that.”
Up until the beginning of this week, Kaczenski happened to be recruiting for Iowa. His base was Florida, but he also roamed into Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Slight to Iowa or playing to the new fan base? Is it related to Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz announcing Kaczenski’s departure before the news was official at Nebraska?
No, on that second question. The reason Iowa released Kaczenski’s departure when it did was to activate LeVar Woods, who’s coaching Iowa’s D-line for the Insight Bowl. NCAA rules dictate that a school must make a departure official before it can replace a coach. Iowa wanted Woods to jump right in.
Here is Kirk Ferentz’s statement from Tuesday’s release: “Defensive Line Coach Rick Kaczenski has decided to leave our staff for another coaching opportunity. During the last five years, Rick contributed greatly to our program. We wish Rick and his family the best.”
On the first question, the “brand name” thing, Ferentz said, “I’m not sure what that means.”
However you interpret it, Kaczenski is Husker property now. He will run into Iowa on the recruiting trail (the national signing period starts Feb. 1) and he will recruit against his former staff mates or maybe the new coaches Iowa will soon have on staff.
Kaczenski also said Iowa scouted Nebraska’s defensive style (two-gap on the D-line) before the Huskers joined the Big Ten. He mentioned secondary coach Phil Parker checking out the Huskers’ defensive back play.
Ferentz said Friday there will be no news on the coaching front until after New Year’s. Iowa currently has two openings on its staff with Kaczenski’s departure and coordinator Norm Parker’s retirement.
Go Daddy dropped its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act on Friday after a threatened boycott by customers of the domain name registrar and web hosting company.
“Fighting online privacy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation — but we can clearly do better,” Go Daddy’s new CEO, Warren Adelman, said in a statement released Friday.
The bill was aimed at protecting intellectual property rights, at a time of growing concern aimed largely at foreign-based operators reproducing intellectual property on the web without obtaining IP rights.
Go Daddy is the world’s leading domain name registrar and one of the largest web hosting companies, with a growing Iowa operation in Hiawatha employing nearly 500.
Users of the popular online community reddit had launched a boycott action, urging Go Daddy customers to switch their services to another provider. The effort had the support of some influential members of the ‘net community, Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh, who threatened to pull 1,000 websites from Go Daddy to another provider. In a tweet, he told GoDaddy “We love you guys, but #SOPA-is-cancer to the Free Web.”
Huh was not immediately available for comment on Go Daddy’s decision to reverse its position.
While the Department of Justice had released a long list of some 180 supporters of SOPA, Go Daddy was reported to be one of the only supporters within the Internet industry itself.
Go Daddy General Counsel, Christine Jones had worked with federal lawmakers for months to make revisions to legislation first introduced three years ago, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company said in a statement. It said Jones “fought to express the concerns of the entire Internet community and to improve the bill by proposing changes to key defined terms, limitations on DNS (domain name system) filtering to ensure the integrity of the Internet, more significant consequences for frivolous claims and specific provisions to protect free speech.
Go Daddy had previously declined to comment on the boycott threat and pointed journalists to its own blog posts outlining areas of the bill Go Daddy did support. After reversing its position, Go Daddy removed the blog postings, saying it wanted to eliminate any confusion about its reversal on SOPA.
Jones said Go Daddy “has always fought to preserve the intellectual property rights of third parties, and will continue to do so in the future.”
IOWA CITY — He was on his way out after coming down too hard again.
Iowa City West’s Justin Koethe was distraught and ready to do the unthinkable after experiencing the unimaginable as his quest for a state title was derailed by disqualification at the state tournament for the second straight year.
“To have that happen, to be honest, I had my shoes off,” Koethe said about being called for an illegal slam and losing in the 2011 state semifinals. “I was walking out of the building. I felt like I can’t do this.
“It was heartbreak, man. It’s what you work for all your life and you just can’t accomplish it.”
The Trojans senior continued and placed third, earning his third state medal and helping West to a runner-up team finish. Koethe hopes to rebound from those disappointments to cap a successful career with a championship.
“”It’s been what I’ve wanted since I’ve been in high school,” Koethe said. “It hasn’t happened. Things haven’t gone my way.”
The way his title treks ended made them harder to swallow. Koethe had been one of the most dominant wrestlers in the state the last two seasons, but only had bronze medals from state to show for it. As a sophomore, Koethe was called for an illegal slam against Joey Trizzino of Bettendorf in the quarterfinals at 152. Trizzino did not continue and won by default. As a junior, Koethe advanced to the 160-pound semifinals against Sioux City East’s Ethan Lara. Koethe had a commanding lead when he was penalized for an illegal slam again.
“He didn’t want to compete anymore, and knew he had to for the team,” West Coach Mark Reiland said. “It’s part of the game. You can take a lot from somebody that can come back and win his next two matches after something like that. That’s saying something about the kid and his toughness. He’ll fight through things.”
Koethe was on his way to the hotel to pass the time. He credited teammates Phillip Laux and Kegan Wakefield for having the most influence in returning after the loss. He gutted out two decisions to place third again. Koethe would have preferred getting dominated on the scoreboard as opposed to his last two downfalls at state.
“If I’m not going to win state, I’d rather it be that I get beat,” Koethe said. “I would know it in my head and mind.”
His greatest attribute as a wrestler may have caused him the most trouble when it mattered most. Koethe is explosive, but keeping it harnessed has been the issue. The key is to control it, but not eliminate it from his arsenal.
“It’s something you don’t want to hinder,” Reiland said. “He’s got to continue to compete the way he competes.”
Technically, Koethe said he isn’t the same wrestler from the previous two years. The top-ranked 160-pound senior has a 23-1 record, giving him 150 career wins after pinning his way to the finals of the Dvorak Wrestling tournament at Machesney Park, Ill. He has attempted to become more versatile in his offensive attacks, and not relying on his strength to muscle around opponents. He said West assistant and former University of Iowa national qualifier Chad Beatty has been an asset in practice and limits his power moves in competition.
“I’m hitting ankle picks, low ankles, double-legs, ducks and everything to try to change from one style to everything,” said Koethe, who does have 17 falls including 13 in the first period. “Whatever’s there I’ll do.”
The Trojans boasts five state finalists on their team, including state champions Laux, Dakota Bauer and Jack Hathaway. West has had a four-time state champion, wrestlers who have won more than one state crown and wrestlers who have moved on to earn all-America status at the NCAA Division I level. Koethe has yet to reach the state finals, but has three medals. His Cadet freestyle national title elevates him among the program’s top competitors.
“That puts him on equal footing as far as credentials go,” Reiland said.
Koethe, who has signed to wrestle for the University of Wisconsin, placed fourth as a freshman. He wrestled along side Hawkeyes Nick Moore and Derek St. John, receiving his knocks. He progressively got better, working to get takedowns against them before eventually beating them in practice. They were the leaders he looked up to and now he helps play that role, which is new to him.
“It’s kind of weird, because we’re filled with people who are really talented and good,” Koethe said about three other Division I signees on the West team. ”It’s fun to be able to help somebody.”
Reiland has noticed Koethe’s effort, trying to the Trojans’ leader. It might be a sign of growth off the mat.
“I think some of that stuff comes with maturity,” Reiland said. “He knows he needs to help others on his team versus everything is about himself.”
The goal isn’t to soothe the sting from the past, but to capture what has eluded him. He is focused on a 3A state championship, which is the ultimate fuel for his fire.
“I think that’s the motivation, not so much what has happened the last two years,” Reiland said. “Although that probably plays a part in it, it’s more he wants that state title.”