Sports & Recreation
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 07:58
Final homestand will feature $1 tickets for Illinois residents Monday, Iowa residents Tuesday

DAVENPORT, Iowa. (August 20, 2014) – With only six home games left to thank fans for a memorable season at Modern Woodmen Park, the Quad Cities River Bandits are offering incredible savings and a spectacular promotional lineup for a full Fan Appreciation Week.

Among the highlights are back-to-back days of $1 ticket specials. Monday is Illinois Fan Appreciation Day, when anyone who shows a valid Illinois driver's license at the box office can pay just $1 for a bleacher or berm ticket. Tuesday is Iowa Fan Appreciation Day, when anyone who shows a valid Iowa driver's license at the box office can pay just $1 for a bleacher or berm ticket.

“Despite the challenges wrought by cold weather and floods, the people of the Quad Cities continue to overwhelm us with their support, and we are using the entire week to show our appreciation,” said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. “We hope to welcome all of our fans across the region to Modern Woodmen Park next week to celebrate another memorable season, and our $1 tickets are just one of the ways we plan to say thank you.”

The River Bandits, the Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, host the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Class-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, for three games Sunday, Aug. 24, through Tuesday, Aug. 26, and the Clinton LumberKings, Class-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, for three games Wednesday, Aug. 27, through Friday, Aug. 29. Below are the highlights of promotions and events for the homestand.

Rascal's Deal of the Day (through the entire homestand)

For a Super Mega Fan Appreciation Palooza in the team store, all fans receive 15% off their team store purchase - excluding customized shirts and photos.

Sunday, August 24, 1:15 p.m. (Gates open at noon) Sponsors: MidAmerican Energy, KWQC, B100
- MidAmerican Energy Day – Louie the Lightning Bug, the mascot of MidAmerican Energy, will throw out a first pitch at the game, and throughout the game, fans will learn interesting facts about energy efficiency.

- Family Sunday presented by KWQC & B100 – The River Bandits will be on the field 12:30-12:45 p.m. for autographs. Fans can also bring their dogs for Bark in the Park. Following the game, Kids Run the Bases.

- Organization of the Day: Greg's Mission – The postgame Zeglin's Charity Ball Toss will benefit Greg's Mission (

Monday, August 25, 7:00 p.m. (Gates open 5:30 p.m.) Sponsor: 97X

- Illinois Fan Appreciation Night – Anyone who shows a valid Illinois driver's license at the box office can pay just $1 for a bleacher or berm ticket.

- Markdown Monday presented by 97X – The River Bandits offer bleacher and berm tickets, hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, soda and beer for just $2 each.

- $10 All-you-Can-Ride Amusements Special – A pass for unlimited rides on the amusements at Modern Woodmen Park is just $10.

- '90s Night – With promotions and music, the ballpark atmosphere will take fans back to the 1990s.

Tuesday, August 26, 7:00 p.m. (Gates open 5:30 p.m.) Sponsors: R.I.A. Federal Credit Union, Pepsi, WOC & Q-106.5

- Iowa Fan Appreciation Night – Anyone who shows a valid Iowa driver's license at the box office can pay just $1 for a bleacher or berm ticket.

- Honor Flight Night presented by R.I.A. Federal Credit Union – Honor Flight guests and a color guard will be in attendance. The postgame Zeglin's Charity Ball Toss will benefit Honor Flight of the Quad Cities (

- Buy-One-Get-One Free Tickets – All regular individual tickets are buy-one-get-one free.

- Kids Eat Free – Kids 12 and under receive a voucher for a free meal at the ballpark.

- Dew for Twosday presented by Pepsi, WOC & Q106.5 – Fans can bring in old Mountain Dew cans and exchange them for a voucher for a free 16-ounce Mountain Dew.

Wednesday, August 27, 7:00 p.m. (Gates open 5:30 p.m.) Sponsors: Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf, U.S. Bank, Mix 96

- Isle Casino Night presented by the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf – In-game contests will have a Casino Night theme.

- Pay Your Bill Wednesday presented by U.S. Bank & Mix 96 – Fans can bring copies of their unpaid bills to Modern Woodmen Park and enter them in a drawing to be paid up to $100 by the River Bandits. The team will randomly select two to be paid.

- Organization of the Night: Rock Island Fire and Police to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City - The postgame Zeglin's Charity Ball Toss will benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City (

Thursday, August 28, 7:00 p.m. (Gates open 5:30 p.m.) Sponsors: Modern Woodmen, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union & the River Cities' Reader

- Modern Woodmen Half-Price Night – All regular individual tickets are half-price, courtesy of Modern Woodmen of America.

- Modern Woodmen River Bandits Hat Giveaway – The first 1,500 fans to the ballpark will receive a free River Bandits hat.

- Thirst-day Thursday presented by the River Cities' Reader – Fans can enjoy $2 drink specials throughout the game.

- Buy One-Get-One Free tickets presented by IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union – All Thursday tickets for IHMVCU members are buy-one, get-one free. Fans must show membership at the box office to receive the ticket special.

Friday, August 29, 7:00 p.m. (Gates open 5:30 p.m.) Sponsors: Bridgeway Auto Parts, Great Clips, Smart Toyota of the Quad Cities, WQAD, & WLLR
- Fan Appreciation Night presented by Bridgeway Auto Parts – The last home game will be packed with prizes given away by the River Bandits.

- Great Clips Charity Cuts – Great Clips will be giving free haircuts in the Sport Lounge, and accepting donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa.

- Friday Fireworks Show presented by Smart Toyota of the Quad Cities, WQAD & WLLR – All fans will be treated to a free postgame fireworks show.

- Organization of the Night: Humility of Mary Shelter - The postgame Zeglin's Charity Ball Toss will benefit Humility of Mary Shelter (


Tickets are available by calling 563-324-3000 or visiting


ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership recently made one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 105 feet over the playing field, opened May 24, Space Camp opened June 20; the new Drop-N-Twist debuted in July; and the newly expanded 300-foot long zip line also reopened. In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. Last season, the team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.


News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Scott Kornberg   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 13:26

Critical error in three-run Kernels eighth drops Bandits for 15th time in 20 games

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (August 19, 2014) – The Cedar Rapids Kernels scored three runs in the eighth inning, helped by a critical error, to come back and win their season-best eighth in a row 5-3 over the Quad Cities River Bandits, who have now lost seven of eight and 15 of 20.

With Quad Cities ahead 3-2, River Bandits reliever Albert Minnis walked J.D. Williams to start the bottom of the eighth before fanning Zack Larson. An Engelb Vielma single put runners on first and second and then Tanner Vavra doubled down the right field line to bring in Williams and tie the game at three. With just one out and runners on second and third, Quad Cities brought the infield in. Minnis got a groundball off the bat of Jonatan Hinojosa right at Bandits second baseman Jose Fernandez, who threw low to the plate, with the ball getting by Quad Cities catcher Brett Booth and roll all the way to the backstop to score Vielma. Booth went to retrieve the ball as Vavra raced home, but Minnis was unable to handle his throw back to the plate as Cedar Rapids grabbed the 5-3 advantage. Fernandez was charged with an error as Minnis (2-2) gave up three runs, just one earned, in two innings to ultimately suffer the loss.

The River Bandits grabbed an early lead when Marc Wik drilled a solo home run, his fourth of the year, to straightaway center against Cedar Rapids starter Kohl Stewart in the first.

Quad Cities was able to add to their lead in the second. Booth doubled with one out and James Ramsay walked before Stewart left the game with an apparent injury. Kernels reliever Jared Wilson issued a wild pitch to advance the runners up to second and third, respectively, before striking out Dayne Parker. Another wild pitch then brought in Booth to make it 2-0 River Bandits.

Cedar Rapids answered with a Vielma RBI single in the bottom of the second.

After Fernandez doubled to lead off the third, Wik immediately singled him home to make it 3-1 Quad Cities. However, the River Bandits would not get another runner in scoring position.

The Kernels began chipping away when Vielma launched his first home run of the year, a solo shot, to left off of Quad Cities starter Blaine Sims to pull Cedar Rapids to within 3-2. Vielma went 4-for-4 with two RBIs while scoring the game’s deciding run in the eighth. Sims earned a no-decision, scattering 11 hits over six innings while allowed two runs with a walk and five strikeouts. He stranded at least one Kernel in every single inning.

The winning pitcher was Mat Batts (2-0), who fired five scoreless innings of relief, giving up just two hits while fanning six. He retired the last 13 River Bandits to come to the plate.

Jake Reed worked a perfect ninth for his second save of the season. The Kernels right-hander has now worked 17.2 straight scoreless innings, the longest streak of any Cedar Rapids pitcher this year.

The win pushed the Kernels to a season-best seven games over .500 at 67-60, 35-21 in the second half while Quad Cities dropped to 61-65, 26-31. The River Bandits will try to salvage the three-game set by sending Chris Lee (6-6, 4.04 ERA) to the mound tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. against Cedar Rapids’ Stephen Gonsalves (2-2, 1.57).

UP NEXT: The season's final homestand opens with MidAmerican Energy Day and Family Sunday presented by KWQC and B100 at 1:15 p.m. Aug. 24. Pregame autographs are at 12:30 p.m., Bark in the Park means dogs are welcome to the Modern Woodmen Berm, and Kids Run the Bases after the game. The River Bandits are then home through Aug. 29. Tickets are available at

Governor Quinn Signs Law to Help Prevent Concussions Among High School Athletes PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Katie Hickey   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 10:28

Law Requires Illinois High Schools to Train Athletic Directors and Coaches on Concussion Reduction

OAK PARK – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to help reduce and prevent concussions among high school athletes. The law requires training on concussion awareness and reduction for high school athletic directors and coaches. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect and improve the health of the people of Illinois.

“Sports play a big role in the lives of many young people across our state,” Governor Quinn said. “While we want to ensure all children have the opportunity to play sports, we must also protect the health of our young athletes from potentially life-changing damage. This new law will help ensure that coaches will be better prepared to address and prevent concussions among their student athletes.”

House Bill 5431, sponsored by State Representative Carol Sente (D-Lincolnshire) and State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), requires the Illinois High School Association to develop and implement an online training program on concussion awareness and reduction for all coaching personnel and athletic directors. The legislation was written in response to recent increases in concussions among adolescents, especially student athletes.

“We appreciate the confidence Governor Quinn and Representative Sente placed in the IHSA to work with respected medical professionals to develop and administer a top-tier program,” IHSA executive Director Marty Hickman said. “Risk minimization for student-athletes, especially as it relates to concussions, will continue to be a top priority for the IHSA.”

The online training will focus on concussion recognition and prevention, what to do when a player may have a concussion and education on the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma. Completion of the training and certification will be mandatory for all high school coaching staff.  Student athletes will also receive concussion awareness education.  The law goes into effect immediately.

“Today, we know more about the negative impact concussions have on student athletes than ever before,” Senator Kotowski said. “We have to ensure that coaches are informed about the consequences of traumatic head injuries and take steps to reduce their frequency and keep our kids safe.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a concussion can result from a blow to the head or body which causes the head to move violently. It can affect the athlete mentally or physically, causing light and noise sensitivity, concentration problems or confusion, balance problems and other symptoms. It is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). For more information on recognizing a concussion, please visit

Governor Quinn is committed to protecting and improving the health of young people in Illinois schools.  Earlier this month the Governor signed legislation strengthening the Young Adult Heroin Use Task Force originally created by the Governor and the General Assembly in 2013 to address the growing problem of heroin use in Illinois High Schools.

This year the Governor signed legislation allowing trained school personnel to administer potentially life-saving epinephrine injections to help against serious allergic reactions. In June he signed a law that requires CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) training for students in all Illinois high schools.

In 2013, Governor Quinn convened a School Safety Summit that included more than 50 top experts from across the state to develop short- and long-term actions to further safeguard Illinois schools and signed Rocky’s Law, which required schools to insure student athletes.

News and Results from the 2014 Iowa State Fair XII PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Lori Chappell   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 09:14

Experienced Wives Win Top Honors in Iowa State Fair Contest

DES MOINES, IA (08/19/2014)(readMedia)-- Leslie Eichelberger of Muscatine won first place in the Ladies' Husband Calling contest judged Friday at the 2014 Iowa State Fair.

Second place was awarded to Bonnie Swalwell Eilert of Newton, and third place went to Rose Beauregard of Center Point.

Complete results below:

1) Leslie Eichelberger, Muscatine

2) Bonnie Swalwell Eilert, Newton

3) Rose Beauregard, Center Point

4) Lori Frank, Sterling, Va.

5tie) Marge Mefferd, Des Moines

5tie) LeAnne Hewitt, San Benito, Texas

6) Sheryl Beals, Colfax

7) Virginia Stone, Waukee

8) Michelle Redman, Dauphin Island, Ala.

9) Melissa Longnecker, Des Moines

10) Lisa Snodgass, Indianola

The contest was part of "Rural Americana Olde Tyme Competitions" in Farm Bureau Pioneer Hall. A first prize of $5 and ribbons were awarded to each class.

Farmers Test Their Skills in Iowa State Fair Contest

DES MOINES, IA (08/19/2014)(readMedia)-- Teams of farmers competed in the Adult and Youth Farmer's Challenges on Thursday at the 2014 Iowa State Fair.

In the Adult division, each male/female team competed in six farm-related events such as bale throwing, egg gathering and an obstacle course, and were awarded points for their placement in each event. The team with the most points at the end of the challenge was named the Farmer's Challenge Champion and received a $300 cash award.

In the Youth division, teams of two boys and two girls competed in bale toss, egg gathering, bale shuffle and obstacle course competitions.

Complete results below:


1) Luke Wilson, 35, Prairie City, and Andrea Wilson, 36, Prairie City

2) Steven Allgood, 26, Eddyville, and Devan Voss, 24, Eddyville

3) Zach Mosbey, 23, Hedrick, and Ashley Mosbey, 25, Hedrick


1) Hunter Hamilton, 18, Lone Tree; Savannah Keitzer, 16, Mediapolis; Mikayla Dolch, 18, Villisca; and Seth Weirup, 16, Delmar

2) Jay Spitler, 18, Belmond; Cody Bonnstetter, 18, Belmond; Rachel Freland, 18, Prairie City; and Kallie Malloy, 15, State Center

3) Bobbi Fogle, 17, Oskaloosa; Carey Stroh, 16, Peru; Justin Rottinghaus, 17, La Porte City; and Joshua Sunberg, 17, Red Oak

"Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fair. The 2014 Fair ended August 17. The 2015 Iowa State Fair is set August 13-23. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Scott Kornberg   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 09:13

Quad Cities strikes out 14 times in 4-2 loss

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (August 18, 2014) – Andrew Thurman tossed six strong innings but the Quad Cities River Bandits offense struck out 14 times in a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Cedar Rapids Kernels, who won their season-high seventh game of the season Monday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Cedar Rapids starter Chih-Wei Hu (6-1) gave up a lone unearned run on three hits over six innings to earn the win. The Taiwanese right-hander struck out eight without walking a batter, and only allowed Quad Cities to put runners in scoring position in one inning. The River Bandits have now fanned 45 times over the last four games, in which they’ve gone 1-3, losing all three contests by two runs or less.

Shoddy defense helped the Kernels get the scoring started in the second. Thurman got the first two outs of the inning on a strikeout and dribbler back to the mound before a throwing error on Quad Cities shortstop Thomas Lindauer allowed Cedar Rapids center fielder Zack Larson to reach first. A double off the bat of Logan Wade brought Larson all the way around to score the first run of the game. Wade came home when the next batter, J.D. Williams, tripled to right-center to make it 2-0. Both runs were unearned off Thurman (5-9), who took the loss despite fanning seven against zero walks with three runs, one earned, on six hits in six innings.

Quad Cities was able to get on the board in the fifth for the only time against Hu. An error on Cedar Rapids third baseman Jonatan Hinojosa placed J.D. Davis on first. Marc Wik then tried to bunt him over, but popped the ball up in the air. That forced Davis to hold at first, and when the ball dropped to the turf, Hu threw him out at second on a 1-6 fielder’s choice. Brett Booth singled to put runners on first and second with one out, and then James Ramsay lifted a double to center to score Wik and cut the Kernels’ lead to 2-1. Ramsay finished 2-for-4 with both of Quad Cities’ runs batted in.

With Hu out of the game and the score 3-1 Cedar Rapids in the seventh, Quad Cities was helped when Davis reached first on an error, this one by Cedar Rapids second baseman Ryan Walker. Wik struck out, but Davis stole second during Booth’s at-bat, which ultimately ended in another strikeouts. Ramsay then singled up the middle to bring home Davis and trim the Cedar Rapids lead to one. However, Cedar Rapids reliever Brandon Bixler got Thoams Lindauer to pop out to second on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat.

Kernels reliever Dallas Gallant gave up a double to Chase McDonald in the eighth, with a wild pitch advancing the River Bandits’ designated hitter to third, but struck out A.J. Reed to end the River Bandits’ chances in that frame. Gallant fanned both Ryan Bottger, who had entered the game for Davis in the bottom of the seventh and Wik, before yielding a single to Booth with two outs in the ninth. Gallant picked up his fifth save by getting Ramsay on strikes to end the game.

The Kernels improved to a season-best six games over .500 at 66-60, 34-21 in the second half while Quad Cities dropped to 61-64, 26-30. The River Bandits are scheduled to send Blaine Sims (3-4, 4.30 ERA) to the mound tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. against Cedar Rapids’ Kohl Stewart (3-5, 2.42).

UP NEXT: The season's final homestand opens with MidAmerican Energy Day and Family Sunday presented by KWQC and B100 at 1:15 p.m. Aug. 24. Pregame autographs are at 12:30 p.m., Bark in the Park means dogs are welcome to the Modern Woodmen Berm, and Kids Run the Bases after the game. The River Bandits are then home through Aug. 29. Tickets are available at

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