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.





Iowa City Regina escapes semifinal thriller for eighth straight finals appearance

CEDAR FALLS - Iowa City Regina Coach Marv Cook may have aged a little more rapidly this postseason than others.

He might find a few extra gray hairs or maybe even a few more missing. His ticker has had a bit of a workout as well. You will have tha ... »

Williamsburg’s Gage Hazen-Fabor has thrived as feature back

WILLIAMSBURG - Gage Hazen-Fabor recalled meeting with Williamsburg Coach Curt Ritchie last spring.

Ritchie checks in with his players, discussing their goals and role. This conversation was expected and was a chance to confirm Hazen-Fabor's prom ... »

No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier rolls past No. 3 Solon in state football semifinals

CEDAR FALLS - An entire game doesn't hinge on one series or one specific play.

Specific sequences, however, can have a major impact on the direction of said outcome.

Take the opening series for both Cedar Rapids Xavier and Solon. The Sai ... »

Lighter Sam Stoll feels good as he returns from second knee surgery

IOWA CITY - Iowa heavyweight Sam Stoll doesn't sound like he's ready to trade in his place at center mat for center stage any time soon.

Stoll showed he could be leading man material, starring in a few "Morning Stroll with Sam Stoll" video short ... »

Iowa wrestling not settling for rebuilding status

IOWA CITY - University of Iowa Coach Tom Brands has never been scared by the unknown.

After all, he once talked about interplanetary dominance while taking anyone or anything in the universe. So, a few unproven weights aren't putting a damper on t ... »

Watch: Iowa high school football semifinal picks on Iowa Prep Sports Gameday

Twenty-four high school football teams will make their way to the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls this week to play for spots in state championship games. On Iowa Prep Sports Gameday this week, The Gazette's Jeff Linder, K.J. Pilcher and Jeff Johnson make their ... »

Prep football area state semifinal capsules

CEDAR FALLS - The Iowa High School Athletic Association state football semifinals begin Thursday.

The round opens with 8-player matchups followed by Class 3A. Class A and 4A will play Friday. Semifinals conclude with Classes 1A and 2A on Sa ... »

UNI's Max Thomsen and Drew Foster compete in All-Star Classic

CEDAR FALLS - Northern Iowa's Max Thomsen and Drew Foster ended last season as All-Americans.

The Panthers duo will start this season as All-Stars.

Thomsen and Foster were invited to compete at the 52nd National Wrestling Coaches Associa ... »

Special teams power Cedar Rapids Xavier to 3A semifinals

CEDAR RAPIDS - The game was truly a tale of two halves.

The first resembled a shootout that resulted in 49 total points and scores in just about any fashion imaginable - punt returns, kick returns, a flea flicker and long runs.

The second wa ... »

Success breeds success for Cascade football

CASCADE - Success breeds success.

The concept is easy to understand and widely accepted. Cascade has reaped the rewards.

The Cougars have set a school record with 10 victories and reached the Class 2A state football quarterfinals for the ... »