Nate Trenkamp started as a sophomore, but he really burst onto the scene last season. He passed for 2,619 yards and 38 touchdowns, numbers that put him at the top of the state.
This year, he was even more impressive.
Trenkamp completed 63.4 percent of his passes, threw for 2,826 yards and 41 touchdowns and was intercepted just seven times. He also showed a bit of versatility, rushing for 462 yards and nine touchdowns as well as recording five sacks in the few snaps he played defensively. He earned second team all-state honors in 8-player football by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association and was first team all-district.
Behind the arm of Trenkamp, the River Hawks enjoyed their best season since 2012. Easton Valley won its first seven games of the season, including a 58-8 win over three-time defending district champion Midland.
Following a 72-62 loss to Turkey Valley, the River Hawks still earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2013 and won their first playoff game since 2012 with a 55-6 win over Gladbrook-Reinbeck in the first round, a game in which Trenkamp threw for 283 yards and four touchdowns. Easton Valley's season came to an end with a 67-28 loss to eventual state champion Don Bosco in the second round, scoring the most points the Dons allowed all season. The River Hawks finished 9-2.
"Definitely winning that playoff game, something Easton Valley hasn't done in quite a few years," Trenkamp said. "It was just the atmosphere of it, being out there with all my friends. Growing up, all we wanted to do is play playoff football. When we were younger we were a really good football team and we got to see them play so when we grew up, we wanted to be just like them. The atmosphere was really wild, we were all really hyped for it."
A place in the record books
Trenkamp finishes his career as one of the best passers in 8-player history. He is second with 535 completions and sports a 58.0% completion rate. He's second all-time with 7,277 passing yards and third with 102 career touchdown passes.
However, the wins in his senior year mean more to him.
"It's really incredible, looking back on it. But I don't like looking at the stats, it's been an up and down career for me judging by wins and losses. It's definitely better we got more wins towards the end ... the stats all come with teammates. I've had great teammates around me, a wonderful coach for me. All the pieces really fell into place."
"It's very important for all of us seniors because we really wanted to build a good foundation for the program and keep it trending upwards. ... Freshman and sophomore year, we really noticed that we were completely outmatched by every single team we played so we knew we were going to have to dig deep and start working harder and we really put in a lot of work the last two and a half years ... and it's starting to pay off."
Trenkamp is about as busy as it gets. Besides football, he also plays basketball in the winter, runs track and plays golf in the spring and plays baseball in the summer.
He also sports a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society and student council.
"It's fun trying to balance it all, to say the least," Trenkamp said.
He's had some interest to play at the next level but hasn't even come close on deciding where he wants to go, or even what sport he'll choose.
"I'm just trying to enjoy the senior year first, and then everything is going to fall into place after that," he said.
— Bobby Metcalf