FOUR FROM 2015: Only two teams from last year’s Elite Eight return this summer. Second-ranked Iowa City West has four championship game appearances including the last two without a title. Tenth-ranked Waukee returns for the third straight year.
RATED & ADVANCING: Six of the Top Ten teams in the final rankings have qualified, led by top-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie followed by second-rated Iowa City West. Sixth-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson, seventh-ranked Johnston, ninth-ranked Urbandale and 10th-ranked Waukee are still alive.
THEY’VE WON TITLES: Only three schools in the 2016 field have championship trophies. Johnston has three (1977, 2008 and 2013), while Davenport West won in 1977 and 1987; and Urbandale grabbed top honors in 2000 and 2007.
ROOKIE STATE MENTORS: Five coaches will make their state tournament debut. The list includes Todd Rima from Prairie; Kyle Rodenkirk of Jefferson; Scott Beatty from Davenport West; Jerry Heinen of Urbandale; and Chris Miller of Des Moines Roosevelt. The five represent the most newcomers in any class since the tournament moved to Principal Park in 2005.
CAN CIML CONTINUE ITS DOMINANCE? Since 1995 the CIML has virtually ruled the tourney, with current CIML teams winning 19 of 21 titles including the last five and a string of 14 (1995-2008). The league’s schools have won nine of the 11 contested at Principal Park. In that span, nine different CIML teams have won championships. In the previous 11 years at Principal Park only Valley, Johnston, and Southeast Polk have won two or more titles.
BIG WIN COACHES: Two coaches in the tournament have over 400 or more career wins, led by Charlie Stumpff at Iowa City West who is 657-373 for his career and 583-311 with the Trojans. Waukee’s Dave Dirkx comes to the tourney with a 430-169 slate. Incidentally, Dirkx as prep, shares a state championship game record of 4 hits which he collected for Storm Lake St. Mary’s in 1993.
WIN STREAKS: Waukee has the longest current win streak in Class 4A at 10 games. The Warriors have won 10 of 11 contests in July. Iowa City West has won its last nine and has chalked up 14 wins in its last 15 games. Jefferson has wins in its last seven games and is 10-1 in July. Top-rated Prairie has gone 4-2 after having a 16-win string halted by Wahlert, 3-1 on July 8.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE: Jefferson is appearing for the ninth time in the elite field but the first time since 1998. Davenport West has qualified for the eighth time but the first since 2001. Urbandale has 12 trips but the last was in 2007 and this is only the second state team for Prairie, who was a 2005 qualifier.
THE TOURNAMENT: This is the 71st season for the state summer baseball, which has been in four classes since 1981. It is also the 89th state tournament series for the sport that started in the spring of 1928. This is the 12th year for the four-class tournament at Principal Park. In the previous 11 years at Principal Park 342,063 fans have supported their teams. Attendance since 1997 is at 489,510 going into this year’s games.
ENROLLMENTS: The IHSAA uses the official state certified BEDS enrollment figures for grades 9 thru 11 for the 2014-15 school year for the placement of a school in particular class. In Class 4A the top 48 schools have battled for a tournament slot. Waukee is the largest school in the field with 1,658 students while Urbandale is the smallest with 946.
Team and individual stat leaders are at QuikStats Iowa
Fans and coaches can go to the Baseball QuikStats page and find the tab that says “2016 State Baseball.” Click on that and select the class you want, then select “Load List” and team stats for the state qualifiers will be displayed. To view individual stats, click on individual season stats, select the class you want to view in the “2016 State” tab, then hit load list and all individual stats for the eight tournament teams or individuals will be displayed. You can sort that list by clicking on the stat category of hitting — hits, avg, rbis, etc, pitching or fielding.
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