On The Mats

K.J. Pilcher

K.J. Pilcher is a reporter for SourceMedia Group, and he covers prep sports and college wrestling, among other things. His wrestling podcast, called the "Pinning Combination" is available here at TheGazette.com and also on iTunes.





Week 1 promises many marquee matchups

Battles between highly-ranked teams? Yes.

Regional rivals? Of course.

Programs fighting over a traveling trophy and novelty games? You bet.

The first full week of the prep football season has a little of everything for fans.

... »
Kennedy opens with tough test, hosting Muscatine

CEDAR RAPIDS - Consider the preseason as a long cram sessions for Cedar Rapids Kennedy.

The work up until this point has been preparation for a very tough test to start the regular season.

The Class 4A fifth-ranked Cougars are come of ... »

Andrew Joseph thrives on the field and in the classroom for Cornell

MOUNT VERNON - No one is going to mistake Heritage Days with Mardi Gras.

In fact, you may not find more different locales than Mount Vernon and New Orleans, La.

The one common thread is that Cornell College's defensive lineman Andrew Jos ... »

Four Downs with The Gazette: Prep football Week 1
1st & 10

Q: Which 4A district seems to be the toughest, in which a very good team could get left out of the playoffs due to the new format?

JL: Such a scenario could arise in both District 7 or District 8. Perennial po ... »

2016 Prep Football Preview

For some, the prep football season lasts two to three months from the start of practice to the final whistle.

For others with the goal of playing beyond their high school days, football is a constant in their lives.

The chance to secure ... Preseason Rankings Rank School 2015 Points 1 West Des Moines Valley (4) 10-3 ... Preseason Rankings Rank School 2015 Points 1 Norwalk (2) 12-2 55 ... Preseason Rankings Rank School 2015 Points 1 Mount Vernon (6) 11-3 ... Preseason Rankings Rank School 2015 Points 1 Iowa City Regina (7) 13-1 ... »

Lone Tree handles Central City in 8-player football debut

LONE TREE - If anyone questioned why Lone Tree made the move to 8-player football, that likely changed to why did the Lions wait so long after their debut.

The transition seemed almost flawless.

Lone Tree scored on its first seven cha ... »

Helen Maroulis captures first women’s freestyle medal for the United States

The United States was in search of its first Olympic medal in women's freestyle wrestling.

Not only did Helen Maroulis deliver, but she made sure it was a golden moment for the USA Wrestling program coached by former University of Iowa three-time ... »

Daniel Dennis receives Olympic draw

Daniel Dennis has traveled the Road to Rio and now his path to an Olympic medal has been revealed.

Dennis, the former University of Iowa NCAA finalist and Hawkeye Wrestling Club member, received his draw for the 57-kilogram freestyle bracket at ... »

Dominant Cedar Rapids Washington linebacker O’Rien Vance fueled by love of football

CEDAR RAPIDS - O'Rien Vance hadn't played a down of football in his life.

He never attended a practice or made a tackle.

His father, Johnnie Vance, approached one day before his sixth-grade year and asked if he would be interested in joi ... »

Experienced Saints look to make mark this golf season

CEDAR RAPIDS - Cedar Rapids Xavier has become a regular at the state golf tournament.

The Saints have forged their way to the Class 4A meet all but one year since 2012. Their sights are set on something bigger than just extending the successful ... »

Iowa moves into third with four semifinalists at NCAA Wrestling Championships
NEW YORK - Iowa made a modest climb in the team standings and advanced four to the semifinals at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The Haw ... »
Iowa wrestling trio advance to national finals
NEW YORK - Two years ago, Thomas Gilman and Cory Clark were battling with each other for the top spot in Iowa's starting lineup. Now, they both will ... »