Iowa Leads Nation In High School Graduation Rates

Iowa once again leads the nation in the percentage of high school students who graduate.

Iowa Department of Education director, Ryan Wise, says 91.3-percent of students in the class of 2016 completed high school within four years in Iowa and a national report says that the best in the country. The 2016 graduation rate in Iowa was up three-tenths of a percent from the year before and is up three percentage points during the last six years.

The national graduation rate is about seven percent lower at 84.1-percent. New Jersey was the only other state to top 90 percent — at 90.1.

Wise says the graduation rate is just one measure of success as the state has work to do to ensure all the graduates are prepared to succeed beyond high school.


The football season flew by and it was extremely interesting in our listening area. Nine teams qualified in five of the six classes.
In Class 3A, Oskaloosa grabbed one of the two wild card slots and will play on the road at Cedar Rapids Xavier. Xavier is ranked #1 in the Radio Iowa poll and have been one of the highest ranked teams around the state all season. Osky will be a big underdog, but Head Coach Jake Jenkins has a team that went 4-1 on the road this season.
You can hear that game live on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app. The pregame show will begin at 6:30 PM for the 7 PM kickoff.
Pella has won seven straight games after their long winning streak was snapped. The Dutch will start the defense of their three consecutive state championships at home against Webster City in a rematch of last year’s state title game.
PCM made the Class 2A playoffs after dominating in District 6. The Mustangs will host Williamsburg, who grabbed one of the 2A wild cards.
In Class 1A, Pella Christian ran the table in the regular season for the second straight year. The Eagles will also host Sigourney/Keota for the second straight year to start the playoffs. S/K fell in a win-and-in game against Wilton, but the Cobras landed a wild card spot. You can hear that game on 104.9 FM KBOE, kboeradio.com, and the KBOE mobile app. Pregame show will start at 6:30 PM for the 7 PM kickoff.
Also in Class 1A, Pleasantville backed into the #2 seed in District 5 with two district losses. The Trojans won the three-way tiebreaker including Woodward-Granger and Interstate 35. Pleasantville will be on the road to face West Branch in the first round.
Class A District 6 produced two playoff teams from the listening area. Lynnville-Sully is ranked #1 in the Radio Iowa poll after an unbeaten regular season. The Hawks will host district foe New London, who snagged a wild card. L-S beat New London in their meeting earlier this year in New London, 20-14.
Pekin finished in second in the district and they will be on the road at Hudson. Hudson had a great season, going undefeated and have been ranked in the top five for the last half of the year.
Finally, Moravia survived a potential circus in 8-Player District 5, finishing in second with their only loss to district champs HLV. The Mohawks will go on the road in the first round to face perennial powerhouse Don Bosco.
After the games go final, you can also check out a postseason edition of Scores and More Presented By Bubbl’r. Taylor Howard will be running through all of the playoff scores around the state and go through the matchups in the quarterfinal rounds.

Pekin Girls Advance to State, Monte & Lynnville-Sully Fall Just Short

It was a night of celebration and agony in the Mahaska Zone Network listening area in a busy night in girls’ basketball.

Regional finals occurred all over the state in Class 1A and Class 2A. A trio of area teams competed for the chance to play at Wells Fargo Arena in next week’s State Girls’ Basketball Tournament. Unfortunately, only one of the three came out victorious.

That team was Pekin, as the Panthers dominated down the stretch to get a 55-36 win over #11 Van Meter in the Class 2A Region 5 Final. Pekin has been ranked in the top five all season, and will now advance to the state tournament with a record of 24-1.

The Panthers’ state run will begin on Monday, February 29th, at 6:45 PM. Head Coach Davis Eidahl’s squad will matchup against Okoboji, who is 23-1 on the year, and ranked #5 in the state in Class 2A.

In Class 1A, both area teams fell just short of realizing their state dreams.

In Class 1A Region 3, #14 Lynnville-Sully had a fourth quarter lead, but couldn’t hold off a hard charging #5 Kee, falling in overtime, 61-58. The Hawks took a four-point lead into the final stanza, but Kee forced the extra session, and led by as many as eight, making several key free throws to ice the victory. Lynnville-Sully’s season comes to a close at 21-3.

#9 Montezuma had even a tougher task, as they took on #3 Springville. Monte wouldn’t go away, but could never get over the hump, falling 41-37 in North English in the Class 1A Region 5 Final. Montezuma had a stellar season, improving from a losing season a year ago, to getting a South Iowa Cedar League Championship and finishing at 22-2.

Pekin joins Mid-Prairie, who qualified for the Class 3A State Tournament last Saturday with a win over South Tama in Oskaloosa. The # 14 Golden Hawks (16-8) will play their first state tournament game on Tuesday, March 1, at 3:15 PM against #2 Center Point-Urbana (23-1) at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

State Wrestling Day One Recap

It wasn’t the greatest day for Mahaska Zone Network area wrestlers on day one of the State Wrestling Tournament as several wrestlers were eliminated, however several survived to wrestle another day.  Class 1A action got the day started and for Sigourney Keota, two of their four wrestlers advance on in the consolations as Kaleb Reeves at 182 lost 17-0 to #1 ranked Daniel Bishop of Hinton but came back strong to win by fall over Hunter Hagen of West Hancock and at 195 Noah Boender lost 9-2 to #1 ranked Landers Kuboushek of South Winnisheik but came back to win by fall over Mike Ward of East Union.   However, Luke House at 113 and Lane Boender at 145 both went 0-2 and have been eliminated.   Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont was able to advance both of their wrestlers through to Friday as Adam Proctor lost 5-1 then came back to win by fall in the consolations and Alex Hanna at 132 fell 14-2 to #2 ranked Drake Halblum of Alburnett then bounced right back to win by fall over Ty Joint of West Central Valley.   Moravia had a strong day as Nicholas Martin won 1-0 over Michael Egan of MFL Marmac,  Briar Cochran won by major decision 14-2 over Bo Giese of Logan Magnolia and 220 pounder Quinton Casteel lost 5-3 in overtime but bounced back in the consolations to win by fall over Nick Perkins of East Mills so all three advance on to Friday’s quarterfinals and second round consolations.  Both of North Mahaska’s  and Tri County-Montezuma’s wrestlers have been eliminated as Tyler Strasser at 120 and Jarrett Stodghill at 126 for North Mahaska  each went 0-2 , although Stodghill gave a great fight in both losses,  and Hunter Foubert at 220 and Travis Lewis at 126 for T-C-M both went 0-2.  And for English Valleys, top ranked Zach Axmear at 152 won by fall to advance while Cooper Andreassen at 106 lost his first match but won big by technical fall in the consolations. Class 1A Quarterfinals and second round consolation matches get underway at 9am Friday.

It wasn’t a good day for Oskaloosa or Ottumwa in Class 3A as Oskaloosa lost two of their three wrestlers and Ottumwa lost five of their seven.  For Oskaloosa Josh Diehl at 113 went 0-2 losing 15-3 and 5-4,  4th ranked Callan Tomlin at 220 lost two close matches 3-2 and 2-1 in double overtime and has also been eliminated,  however Drew Sams at 132 is still alive.  7th ranked Sams lost his opener to #2 Grant Stotts of West Des Moines Valley in a tight match 3-2 then dominated in the consolation round winning 10-1 to advance to Friday’s second round consolations.    Ottumwa got opening round wins from Alec Clark at 120 and Isaiah Cox at 182,  however Johnathan Morales at 126,  Collin McConnell at 138, Justus Skinner at 145, Wyatt Schlotter at 152 and Tyler Bookin-Nosbisch all went 0-2 and have been eliminated.

And in Class 2A action,  Albia went 4-4 advancing all four to the quarterfinals as Aden Reeves at 106 received a medical forfeit,  Bryce Leshen at 145 won 9-3,  Blake Lawless at 152 won 14-3 and heavyweight Carter Isley won by fall.  Other first round area winners included Xavier Miller of PCM at 145,  Levi Duwa of Mid Prairie at 220, and Tanner Hoffstetter at heavyweight for Grinnell.  After losing their first matches,   Joe Simon of Grinnell at 106,  Duncan McCain of Mid Prairie at 113,  Lucas Roland of PCM at 138,  and Wes Cummings of PCM at 152 all fought back to gain consolation wins and advance.  Walker Henderson of Davis County,  Jarron Trausch of PCM,  Dylan Henderson of Davis County, Jordan Beal of Knoxville and Travis Poffenbarger of Knoxville all have been eliminated.  Action resumes Friday at 9am with Class 3A and 1A quarterfinal and second round consolation matches.  You can hear another full day of live coverage from each session with Jamie Brockman and Brett Sams on 99.5 FM or 740 AM KMZN or listen online at radiokmzn.com or use the KMZN mobile app.   Our coverage begins at 8:45am today from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.


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