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.

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Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s impressive start continues at stacked Warrior Invitational

AMANA - Brock Barnhart shared one of Cedar Rapids Kennedy's goals for this season.

After missing the state meet by four strokes last season, the Cougars are focused on qualifying with aspirations of a top-three finish. If Thursday was any indicati ... »

Central City’s unselfish rushing duo hopes to lead Wildcats to playoffs

CENTRAL CITY - Wade McKinney has been a running back from his first day in Central City's football program.

Michael Walker was forced to run the ball when injury sidelined a teammate.

Now, the Wildcats have found room in their backfield for ... »

Speed and toughness highlight Cedar Rapids Kennedy

CEDAR RAPIDS - Cedar Rapids Kennedy has its own version of the Fast and the Furious.

These Cougars can run and they also have a hard-nosed approach. You'll get that when you tap into speed from accomplished track runners and draw from toughness ... »

Linn-Mar claims second straight MVC Super Meet golf title

CEDAR RAPIDS - Linn-Mar golfers were recipients of some good-nature smack talk.

The Lions laughed it off and embraced the challenge from former teammates, who texted to say they couldn't top last year's season opener. Now, they have bragging rig ... »

Brother’s death motivates Prairie golfer Ian Johnston to help those battling addiction

CEDAR RAPIDS - Ian Johnston hopes his tragedy results in someone else's triumph.

The Cedar Rapids Prairie junior is using his gift for golf to help others battle substance abuse after the death of his brother to a heroin overdose last October. ... »

Dyersville Beckman blazes way to state baseball final with 8-0 win over Regina

DES MOINES - Dyersville Beckman co-coach Fred Martin received a gameday phone call.

The call was from longtime Beckman skipper, Tom Jenk Jr. It included a command and a promise, informing Martin arrangements have been made for the 64-year-old ba ... »

Waukee wins state baseball pitchers’ duel over Cedar Rapids Prairie

DES MOINES - Cedar Rapids Prairie knows what it is like to be on the winning end of a pitchers' duel.

Last year's state title run opened with a 1-0 victory. Unfortunately for the Hawks, they found themselves on the other end of a similar decisio ... »

Dubuque Wahlert walks off with state baseball quarterfinal victory over Marion

DES MOINES - The seventh inning was a roller coaster of emotion for Marion and Dubuque Wahlert.

Each enduring the highs and lows of the ride.

Unfortunately for the Indians, their state tournament trip came to an end sooner than they want ... »

Iowa City West hopes to add state baseball title to resume

DES MOINES - Iowa City West seniors have impressive achievements in their four years of baseball.

The resume includes conference titles, substate championships, trips to the state tournament and victories when they reach Principal Park. Actually ... »

Dyersville Beckman continues emotional season with state baseball semifinal berth

DES MOINES - Dyersville Beckman continued its emotional season.

In the Blazers' final practice before the state tournament, they welcomed an inspirational spectator with a motivational message. Despite a battle with Stage 4 Glioblastoma - an agg ... »