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Matt’s Monday MAC minutes

Here is a look at 10 happenings from around the MAC.

If you’ve got suggestions or news concerning an individual or MAC squad, send me an email at mcoss@qctimes.com.

1. Football: Playoff chatter

Who’s in? Who’s out? Who and where is my team playing? All those answers officially come just before midnight Friday night.

That said, here is what we know going into the final week of the regular season pertaining to MAC schools.

Pleasant Valley, Davenport Assumption and Bettendorf are in. PV (8-0) and Assumption (7-1) are guaranteed a first-round home game. The same can be said for Bettendorf with a win over Clinton or a Cedar Rapids Kennedy loss to Iowa City High on Friday.

In all likelihood, the MAC will have seven teams in the postseason. If Muscatine beats winless Davenport West on Thursday night, the Muskies, Clinton, Davenport Central and North Scott are safely among the 16 teams in the eastern half of the state.

In terms of seeding, here is a look at how things could shake out late Friday night.

In this scenario, based on BCMoore computer projections, Cedar Rapids (4-4) defeats Waterloo West (4-4), North Scott (4-4) upends Central (4-4), Cedar Falls (5-3) tops Dubuque Hempstead (4-4) and Iowa City High (7-1) defeats Kennedy (5-3).

Top half

16) Waterloo West (4-5) at 1) Pleasant Valley (9-0)

9) Cedar Rapids Kennedy (5-4) at 8) Cedar Falls (6-3)

12) North Scott (5-4) at 5) Iowa City High (8-1)

13) Dubuque Hempstead (4-5) at 4) Cedar Rapids Xavier (8-1)

Bottom half

11) Muscatine (5-4) at 6) Bettendorf (7-2)

14) Clinton (4-5) at 3) Iowa City West (8-1)

10) Cedar Rapids Prairie (5-4) at 7) Cedar Rapids Washington (6-3)

15) Davenport Central (4-5) at 2) Davenport Assumption (8-1)

Alternative scenario: If Davenport Central beats North Scott, the top 10 seeds remain the same. Central would be 11, Muscatine 12, Clinton 13, Dubuque Hempstead 14, North Scott 15 and Waterloo West 16.

There are four things that immediately come to mind with the first scenario:

– PV could meet Cedar Falls, the team to knock the Spartans out in the quarterfinals last year, in the second round. Once again, the game would be at Spartan Stadium.

– PV would be on the same side of the draw as Cedar Rapids Xavier, last year’s state runner-up. The teams would meet in a quarterfinal at PV. The Saints have pitched five shutouts this season.

– There would be two head-to-head MAC matchups in the opening round – Muscatine at Bettendorf and Central at Assumption. Muscatine and Bettendorf were without their starting quarterbacks in the Week 5 meeting, a 20-10 Bulldog victory. Assumption, meanwhile, has won 22 straight over Central, but the Knights haven’t gotten out of the first round since 2007.

– A MAC team is not guaranteed a spot in the semifinals at the UNI-Dome. That said, based on seeding, PV and Assumption could meet in a semifinal.

2. Football: Bulldogs have eye on November

Evident by its eight state championships, Bettendorf always has placed more emphasis on the postseason than the regular season.

That message was reinforced in Bettendorf coach Aaron Wiley’s postgame talk to his squad following a 9-3 defeat to Davenport Assumption on Friday night.

The Bulldogs (6-2) close the regular season at home Friday against Clinton. A win and Bettendorf snags the fifth or sixth seed for next week’s playoffs and an opening round home game.

“At the end of the day, the only thing we preach, we don’t care about the regular season,” Wiley said. “It is all about what you do in November. Obviously, we’d like to be 9-0 when the playoffs start, but you’re remembered by how you do in November, not if you finish the regular season with one or two losses.

“That said, we’ve got to get better. The goal is still there, but we’ve got to fix some things in a hurry.”

Bettendorf completed only one pass and threw for 6 yards in the defeat. It also had four turnovers and punted four times for less than a 21-yard average.

3. Football: Burlington, North pile up points, yards

When the dust settled last Thursday at Brady Street Stadium, Burlington and Davenport North combined for a single-game Mississippi Athletic Conference record 121 points (a 69-52 Grayhounds victory).

It shattered the previous mark of 92 points set by North Scott and North (a 61-31 Lancer win) two years ago.

The 69 points were a school-record for Burlington, more than its boys basketball team scored in any game last season. The 52 points were the most for North since tallying 57 against North Scott in 1992.

The 1,088 total yards (633 for Burlington, 455 for North) is third most in league history, trailing the 1,177 yards the teams combined for last year in a 54-24 Burlington triumph.

“It was like a Madden (video) game out there,” Burlington’s Garrett Grimshaw said.

4. Football: Week 8 standouts


Burlington’s Garrett Grimshaw: 21 rushes, 252 yards, 3 TDs

Davenport North’s Jordan Trowers: 26 rushes, 165 yards, 3 TDs

Burlington’s Dominique Fleming: 14 rushes, 144 yards, 2 TDs

North Scott’s Jacob Ridgeway: 23 rushes, 125 yards

Davenport Central’s Tony Marshall: 18 rushes, 124 yards, 3 TDs

Assumption’s Jake Gervase: 31 rushes, 106 yards

Burlington’s Chanse McChesney: 7 rushes, 96 yards, 2 TDs

Davenport North’s Kevin Murphy: 10 rushes, 94 yards

Muscatine’s Matt Wieskamp: 12 rushes, 85 yards, TD


Davenport Central’s Tyler Pethoud: 8-17-0, 153 yards

Pleasant Valley’s Brady Letney: 9-13-0, 148 yards, 2 TDs

North Scott’s Matt Sacia: 14-23-1, 137 yards, 2 TDs

Davenport North’s Corey Iossi: 3-6-1, 107 yards, 2 TDs

North Scott’s Ricky Grimes: 3-4-0, 100 yards, TD


Davenport North’s Quilin Johnson: 4 receptions, 158 yards, 2 TDs

North Scott’s Jordan Gronewold: 5 receptions, 111 yards, TD

North Scott’s Ricky Grimes: 7 receptions, 89 yards, TD

Pleasant Valley’s Logan Jacobs: 3 receptions, 72 yards, TD

5. Cross country: Stelk puts in miles, sees reward

Pleasant Valley senior Ben Stelk finished 24th at last year’s state cross country meet, the third Spartan to cross the finish line in their runner-up finish at Fort Dodge.

Stelk is motivated for more this season after logging 455 miles this summer.

“I was hoping to get in 500 miles, but I didn’t want to push it too much,” Stelk said.

Stelk reaped the benefits of that work Thursday at the conference meet with a second-place finish in 16 minutes, 25 seconds – 7 seconds behind Davenport Central’s Mason Tope. The Spartans won their third straight league championship.

“It was really worth it,” Stelk said. “It felt great finishing second – just one place from my goal. The other guys on our team all ran really well and I couldn’t be happier with our performance.”

Now, PV has its eyes on this week’s state-qualifying meet at Crow Creek Park. Once again, Stelk will have to contend with Tope.

“Mason is an amazing athlete and I have nothing but respect for him,” Stelk said.

6. Cross country: A trip to Fort Dodge is at stake

The boys and girls state-qualifying meets are Thursday across the state with teams and individuals hoping to secure a spot at the state meet in Fort Dodge on Nov. 2.

At first glance of the forecast, it appears runners will be greeted to temperatures in the mid 40s. The top three teams and fastest 10 individuals on the boys and girls side advance to state at Lakeside Golf Course.

Crow Creek Park will host a Class 4A nine-team meet that features Bettendorf, Burlington, Clinton, Davenport Central, Davenport North, Davenport West, Dubuque Senior, North Scott and Pleasant Valley. The girls race begins at 4 p.m. with the boys to go off at 4:30 p.m.

In the girls division, fifth-ranked PV, 11th-ranked Senior and No. 15 Bettendorf are the front-runners to advance. In the boys division, No. 7 PV and No. 10 Senior are the leading candidates, while the third spot should be hotly contested among Burlington, Bettendorf and Davenport Central.

Muscatine will run at Cedar Rapids Kennedy. Iowa City West and Cedar Rapids Kennedy are the top girls teams, but 12th-ranked Muscatine should be in the fray for a top-three finish.

The Muskies are led by freshman and 14th-ranked Brina Kraft, who was second at the MAC meet behind PV’s top-ranked McKenzie Yanek.

“At the beginning of the year, it was a little bit overwhelming, but I’ve gotten used to it,” Kraft said. “Being in the top (15) is really exhilarating.”

Meanwhile, Davenport Assumption is at a 3A meet in Solon. The top-ranked Lady Knights are the favorite, followed by No. 5 Mount Vernon-Lisbon and No. 8 Cedar Rapids Xavier.

7. Volleyball: River Queens look for share of MAC title

Bettendorf wants an outright conference title. Clinton wants a piece.

The schools square off Tuesday night at Clinton’s Yourd Gymnasium, one of the more difficult venues in the MAC for visiting teams.

Clinton (20-8, 7-1) put itself in position for share of the league title after a dramatic five-set win over Class 5A eighth-ranked Pleasant Valley last week, a match in which it lost the first two sets. Second-ranked Bettendorf (31-2, 8-0) is seeking its second perfect run through the MAC in four years.

The only previous meeting of the season between the teams came at the North Scott tournament in September. Bettendorf won the best-of-three match, 21-11, 21-16.

8. Girls basketball: Graettinger to have expanded role for Muskies

With the graduation of Bradley recruit Leti Lerma and sharpshooter Megan Thiesse, two of the team’s top three scorers, Muscatine’s girls basketball team will need somebody to emerge this winter in the scoring column to help point guard Emily Clemens.

Annabel Graettinger is eager to do her part. The 5-foot-10 junior verbally committed to South Dakota State last week. She averaged nearly 8 points and just more than 3 rebounds a game for the Muskies last season primarily as their top reserve.

“Coach is looking for me to step up and I’m ready for it,” Graettinger said. “I’m ready to have a bigger role. I have some big shoes to fill, but I’m excited to have the opportunity and be more of a leader on the team.”

Muscatine was 20-4 last season and reached the Class 5A state tournament, losing a tight game to eventual state champion Southeast Polk in the quarterfinals.

“We’re going to need increase time and production with a lot of our girls, and Annabel is in a position she can do that with her versatility,” coach Susan Orvis said. “She’s not one of our seniors, but I expect her to be a leader and she mixes well and fits into the mold with that senior group.”

9. Girls swimming: Ames supplants PV at No. 1

PV spent the past two weeks at No. 1 in the state power rankings, but Ames has taken it back after its performance Oct. 12 at the Johnston Invitational.

PV is No. 2, Bettendorf is 10th and Muscatine is 12th. The Bulldogs topped the Muskies in a dual meet this past week, 90-80.

Muscatine freshman Sarah Schemmel lowered her own school record in the 200 IM by three seconds. She finished in 2 minutes, 13.19 seconds, currently the seventh fastest time in the state this season.

Among the state leaders, Bettendorf’s Maddy Burnham tops the leaderboard in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. PV’s Sydney Angell is second in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM. The Spartans are first in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, while the Bulldogs are second in the 200 free and third in the 200 medley.

The state-qualifying meet is Saturday, Nov. 2 and the state meet is the week after in Marshalltown.

10. Where Matt will be at this week?

Here are the MAC events I’ll be attending. I’ll have updates on Twitter (@mattcoss78), and you can follow our live blog Friday night at qctimes.com for all the football happenings.

Tuesday (approx. 7:15 p.m.) – Volleyball: Bettendorf (8-0 MAC) at Clinton (7-1)

Thursday (4 p.m.) – Cross country: State-qualifying meet at Crow Creek Park. Bettendorf, Clinton, Davenport Central, North, West, North Scott and PV boys and girls are the locals competing.

Thursday (approx. 7:30 p.m. start) – Football: Muscatine (4-4) at Davenport West (0-8)

Friday (approx. 7:30 p.m. start) – Football: Davenport Central (4-4) at North Scott (4-4)

We’ll also be covering the following football games: Clinton at Bettendorf; Davenport North at Davenport Assumption; Burlington at Pleasant Valley


Matt Coss covers the MAC for the Quad-City Times. Contact him at 563-383-2288 or mcoss@qctimes.com

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