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The Rails are back in action during the high school live period in June. Lincoln lost just two seniors from last year’s squad and returns seven players with varsity starts under their belts.
Players to Watch, 2019
Point Guard Josiah Conkrite was named to the CIML Metro Second Team in winter after tallying 9.7 points and three assists per game while shooting 34 percent from behind the arc. He’s joined in senior backcourt by Ben Knoebel, who shot 30 percent from three on his way to 5 points per game. Felix Gallagher moves to wing for the Rails this year after leading the team in minutes from the center position in the 2017-2018. Gallagher, a dynamic inside-outside defender continues to see huge growths in his perimeter game as he spends his grassroots season with Beyond Ball. 6’8 center Logan Sharp is also spending his summer season with Beyond Ball as he shares time between the top 17U program and 24K squad run by John Lamb. Sharp’s focus this offseason has been on his end-to-end presence as he adjusts from a skilled power post into a high-impact rim-runner.
Players to Watch, 2020
Nate Feller’s concussion in January didn’t just take 7.4 points per game off the floor for Lincoln in February. As Lincoln’s primary defender, best wing rebounder and best perimeter shooter, the Rails struggled to match the production the sophomore provided in two years as a varsity starter. Feller returns to the lineup healthy and ready for a big junior campaign. Joining Nate in the backcourt is Ben Badger, a three-sport Lincoln star who saw time on both the Lincoln varsity and sophomore team last season. Six-foot-8 rim runner Maiwut Jock was also a heavy contributor on the sophomore squad with some starts at the varsity level under his belt as well. Jock shot 50 percent from the field for the varsity team and was a lethal shot blocker and rebounder for both squads. Jock also plays for Beyond Ball’s travel team. A skilled finisher around the rim, his growing perimeter skills have created a much higher ceiling for Maiwut, who was already gaining reputation for his rim protection skills. Kameron Young was a key contributor for the sophomore team last season. The lefty continues to improve as a wing player as he sets the daily standard, on the court and off, about how hard you have to work to be a Lincoln Railsplitter. James Anderson, Kobe Moriarty and Kamron Francis are also juniors to watch this June. Anderson and Moriarty played big roles on the sophomore team while Kam Francis transferred to Lincoln in January. Anderson plays for the Cornsharks 16U Elite Team, Moriarty plays for Ignit and Kam Francis has already put together a 30 point team for a Beyond Ball 16U team.
Lincoln senior basketball player Malik Rucker passed away in a car accident on Sunday, April 8. Malik was scheduled to graduate this spring.
Malik was involved with many different things at Lincoln High School. He was a leader of the student section and a baseball player as well. Rucker’s big personality leaves the entire southside and Lincoln community with heavy hearts. The support he showed his fellow classmates was unmatched in his time at Lincoln.
Malik’s impact on the Lincoln Basketball program was substantial as he always put the program ahead of himself. He had many different roles within the program and attacked each one of them with enthusiasm and engaging positivity.
An announcement on Malik’s funeral arrangements is forthcoming. In the meantime, a Go Fund Me account was created through the Rails Basketball Booster Club to raise money for his family during this difficult time. Please visit this link.
For the players of Lincoln’s High School basketball team, there is no offseason. The day after the season ended for the Railsplitters in Ankeny, the players were back on the floor working towards the 2018-2019 season.
Player-organized workouts and open gyms go on daily through the spring and into summer. In April and May, most Rails do double duty as they practice and play with various AAU teams around the metro area. This year, Lincoln players are on rosters at Beyond Ball, Iowa Cornsharks, Ignit and Iowa Elite.
All of that leads up to a summer live period for Iowa High School basketball. This year, the Varsity Railsplitters are entered in four tournaments and the CIML Summer League, all in June. Joining the varsity team in summer competition is the 2022 class. Next year’s freshmen are entered in three tournaments and the CIML Freshmen Summer League as well.
To catch the Rails in summer live action, catch these events:
Varsity June Competition Schedule:
June 2, 3- All Iowa Attack High School Tournament, Ames
June 5- Urbandale, CIML Summer League, Time TBA
June 9- Simpson High School Tournament
June 12- Urbandale, CIML Summer League, Time TBA
June 16, 17- Urbandale Tournament
June 19- Urbandale, CIML Summer League, Time TBA
June 22, 23- Grand View High School Tournament
June 26- at Urbandale, CIML Summer League, Time TBA
2022 Summer Competition Schedule
May 4-6- Southside Shootout
June 2, 3- All Iowa Attack Summer Tournament, Ames
June 4- Freshmen CIML League, Urbandale
June 11- Freshmen CIML League, Urbandale
June 18- Freshmen CIML League, Urbandale
June 22, 23- Grand View High School Tournament
June 25- Freshmen CIML League, Urbandale
Surrounded by his family and teammates on Tuesday afternoon, four-year varsity standout Will Feller signed his National Letter of Intent to play for Graceland University under three-time national champion head coach Craig Doty.
Feller averaged 12.7 points per game and six rebounds per game for Des Moines Lincoln as a senior. Feller’s efforts gained him first team all-CIML Metro honors.
“Will took a very big jump as a senior but most of the growth came off of the basketball court, which is why I think he’s going to be a great fit for Coach Doty and Graceland,” said Lincoln Head Coach Justin Einerson.
“Will’s role was a lot more complex this year as he was one of just two seniors on a team that featured a lot of underclassmen,” continued Einerson. “It is not easy to be a leader. It’s hard to be early, be consistent, be vocal and be a great example at all times. This year, that’s exactly what Will was for us. A great example. I can’t wait to tell our young players about him for years to come.”
Will’s mother Deb Feller is looking forward to seeing Will grow, not only as a basketball player but as a man. “I’m so excited for him, it’s such an exciting time for him. He knew he had to go out there and start every game, he had to be the leader. He went and did that. His growth was just amazing, and it’s still showing.”
Feller joins the defending NAIA National Champion YellowJackets this fall. Follow his career here: Graceland YellowJackets
Calling all Rails fans, players, parents and alumni! Senior Will Feller is signing with NAIA National Champion Graceland University on Tuesday, March 27 at 3pm in the Lincoln Counseling Office.
Feller scored 755 points in his career and was named first team all-CIML Metro this season while averaging 12 points per game.
Graceland was the NAIA National Champion this season after a 29-10 season under second-year head coach Craig Doty. Coach Doty also won two national titles as the head coach at Rock Valley College, a NJCAA Division III school out of Rockford, Illinois.
The Des Moines Lincoln Boys Basketball team officially concluded the 2017-2018 season on Thursday night with the annual Varsity Banquet at Cash Saver.
The parents, players and coaching staff enjoyed a fried chicken dinner complete with two very short-lived sheet cakes.
Post-season awards highlighted the evening as five members of the squad picked up all-CIML Metro Conference honors.
1st Team All-CIML Metro- Will Feller (Sr.)
2nd Team All-CIML Metro- Josiah Conkrite (Jr.)
Honorable Mention, CIML Metro- Blake Barnett (Sr.)
Honorable Mention, CIML Metro- Felix Gallagher (Jr.)
Honorable Mention, CIML Metro- Ben Knoebel (Jr.)
All Academic Team- Logan Sharp (Jr.)
All Academic Team- Ben Knoebel (Jr.)
All Academic Team- Ben Badger (Soph.)
All Academic Team- Steve Lo (Jr.)
Three Point Threat- Nate Feller (Soph.)
Dime Dropper- Blake Barnett (Sr.)
Defender of the Year- Felix Gallagher (Jr.)
Grinder- Josiah Conkrite (Jr.)
Abe’s Axe Man- Kameron Young (Soph.)
Community Impact Player- Logan Sharp (Jr.)
MVP- Will Feller (Sr.)
Ben Badger, 2020, 5’10, Point Guard
Ben Badger returns for his senior season with two full years of varsity experience under his belt. Badger received votes to be an all-conference selection as a junior while averaging 9.7 points per game as the starting point guard for the Railsplitters. Badger is a 4.2 student with a high ACT. He also is a very successful golfer and tennis player at Lincoln High School.
Ben was the number one offensive option for Coach Quijano’s sophomore squad while also contributing as a rotational player and spot starter for the Lincoln varsity team in 2017-2018.
A skilled ballhandler and interior scorer, Ben Badger’s most important trait is as a leader. With some varsity experience under his belt as an underclassmen, Badger is destined to be a big part of the future of Lincoln Basketball.