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Hughes among a dozen Q-C first team all-state football recipients
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Hughes among a dozen Q-C first team all-state football recipients

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Oliver Hughes has been dubbed as the North Scott High School football team's Swiss Army Knife the past couple of seasons.

He led the team in receptions. He was an integral part of the top-ranked scoring defense in Iowa Class 4A. He converted six field goals, had 25 of his 33 kickoffs go for touchbacks and averaged 35 yards a punt.

Hughes was named a first team all-state selection for the second consecutive season Tuesday in voting by Iowa sports writers and football coaches across the state.

Undecided on his college plans, Hughes finished the year with 57 receptions for 770 yards and eight touchdowns. He also made 36 tackles on defense (seven for loss) and recovered a fumble for the Lancers, who were 9-1. Hughes was instrumental in the kicking game, 40 of 43 on point-after attempts and made a season-long field goal of 47 yards.

Hughes was one of 12 players from the Quad Cities metro and surrounding area named to the first team.

His teammates, receiver Jakob Nelson and defensive end AJ Petersen, were first-team selections in 4A as well. Nelson had 56 grabs for 826 yards and a metro-best 15 receiving scores. Petersen, a junior, had 15 tackles for loss and six sacks for a defense which yielded fewer than seven points per game.

In Class 5A, Pleasant Valley offensive lineman Luke Vonderhaar and linebacker Rusty VanWetzinga were selected to the top team. Vonderhaar and VanWetzinga, both third-team choices a year ago, helped the Spartans rebound from a 1-2 start to reach the state quarterfinals.

Vonderhaar, headed to the Air Force Academy, blocked for an offense which rushed for 3,512 yards in 11 games. VanWetzinga, a two-way player, had 56.5 tackles (5.5 for loss).

Davenport West's Michael Ray was a first-team choice at punter. Ray, punter of the year in the Class 5A Mississippi Athletic Conference pod, averaged 42.5 yards per punt on 41 attempts.

In Class 3A, Davenport Assumption tailback and linebacker John Argo and offensive lineman Joe Turner made the top team.

Argo rushed for a metro-best 1,390 yards and 18 touchdowns along with registering more than 90 tackles from his linebacker spot. Turner, listed at 6-5 and 300 pounds, was the top lineman on a 6-4 squad.

Eight-player state runner-up Easton Valley had four first-team recipients in quarterback Conor Gruver, receiver Carson Fuegen, defensive lineman Hayden Felkey and linebacker Andin Farrell.

Gruver led the state in passing with 3,255 yards and 56 touchdown throws. Fuegen had 88 receptions for 1,091 yards and 25 offensive touchdowns for the River Hawks while also intercepting eight passes on defense.

Felkey and Farrell combined for 83 tackles for loss to lead Easton Valley's defense. Felkey had 19 sacks and four fumble recoveries while also hauling in more than 1,000 receiving yards. Farrell had three fumble recoveries.

The metro had a half-dozen players named to a second team in Bettendorf linebacker Bradley Hill and PV offensive lineman Aidan Kilstrom in 5A; North Scott quarterback Grayson Juel and defensive lineman David Borchers in 4A along with Clinton punter Jai Jensen. Assumption sophomore kicker Billy Moore was a second-team choice in 3A. 

PV had three third-team recipients in offensive lineman Ryan Saddler and defensive linemen Andrew DePaepe and Joey VanWetzinga. North Scott linebacker Ryan Campbell made the third team in 4A.

Camanche had three all-state selections in 2A with second-team linebacker Eric Kinkaid and third teamers Nolan Kagemann (offensive line) and Tucker Dickherber (defensive back). West Liberty's Jahsiah Galvan was a second team defensive back in 2A and teammate JD Seering was third team offensive line.

In 1A, Durant's Nolan DeLong made the third team as a running back. Wapello's Daniel Perez (kicker) and Maddox Griffin (returner) were second team in Class A and Tade Parsons (utility) was third team.

Easton Valley tailback Charlie Simpson made the second team in eight-player while lineman Dillon Beck and kicker Ethan Farrell were third-team honorees.

IPSWA and IFCA all-state teams

Class 5A

First team


Quarterback -- Jaxon Dailey, sr., Southeast Polk

Backs -- Colin Kadolph, sr., Ankeny; Mason Applegate, sr., Iowa City West; Abu Sama, jr., Southeast Polk

Receivers -- Brady McCullough, sr., Ankeny; Eli Raridon, sr., West Des Moines Valley; Cole Filloon, sr., Southeast Polk

Linemen -- Luke Vonderhaar, sr., Pleasant Valley; Gabe Burkle, sr., Cedar Rapids Prairie; Antonio Espino, sr., Ankeny; Ethan Mills, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy; Cade Borud, sr., Southeast Polk; Kadyn Proctor, jr., Southeast Polk

Placekicker -- Max Pelham, sr., Ankeny

Utility -- Jack Gilligan, sr., Dubuque Senior


Linemen -- Ben Reiland, sr., Waukee Northwest; Braden Simonsen, sr., Ankeny; Jaylen Pettus, sr., West Des Moines Dowling; Luke Gaffney, sr., Linn-Mar

Linebackers -- Ben Kueter, jr., Iowa City High; Tamden Webb-Tate, sr., Ankeny; Andrew Reed, sr., Southeast Polk; Rusty VanWetzinga, jr., Pleasant Valley

Secondary -- Jeron Senters, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy; Gable Mitchell, sr., Iowa City High; Xavier Nwankpa, sr., Southeast Polk

Punter -- Michael Ray, sr., Davenport West

Returner -- Graham Friedrichsen, sr., Urbandale

Utility -- Cole Garwood, jr., Urbandale

Captain: Xavier Nwankpa (Southeast Polk)

Second team (metro only)


Lineman -- Aidan Kilstrom, sr., Pleasant Valley


Linebacker -- Bradley Hill, sr., Bettendorf

Third team (metro only)


Lineman -- Ryan Saddler, sr., Pleasant Valley


Linemen -- Andrew DePaepe, jr., Pleasant Valley; Joey VanWetzinga, fr., Pleasant Valley

Class 4A

First team


Quarterback -- Braylon Kammrad, jr., C.B. Lewis Central

Backs -- Dawson Forgy, sr., Winterset; Bryant Williams, sr., Burlington; Jon Humpal, jr., C.B. Lewis Central

Receivers -- Jakob Nelson, sr., North Scott; Drew Kingery, jr., Indianola; Harrison Rosenberg, sr., Clear Creek Amana

Linemen -- Truman Klein, sr., Webster City; Andrew Hough, sr., Spencer; Beau Knobloch, jr., Winterset; Nate Westhoff, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier; Cole Hotz, sr., Waverly-Shell Rock; Carter Gorder, sr., Mason City

Placekicker -- Trysten Vazquez, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier

Utility -- Alex Neal, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier


Linemen -- AJ Petersen, jr., North Scott; Jake Walker, jr., Waverly-Shell Rock; Hunter Deyo, sr., C.B. Lewis Central; Nick Miller, sr., C.B. Lewis Central

Linebackers -- Blake Bellamy, sr., Winterset; Keenan Tyler, sr., Decorah; Thomas Sundell, jr., Cedar Rapids Xavier; Asa Newsom, jr., Waverly-Shell Rock

Secondary -- Oliver Hughes, sr., North Scott; Jake Erickson, sr., Fort Dodge; Kael Kolarik, sr., Indianola; Aidan McDermott, jr., Cedar Rapids Xavier

Punter -- Lane Feierfeil, sr., C.B. Lewis Central

Returner -- Lucci Fidone, jr., C.B. Lewis Central

Utility -- McCrae Hagarty, jr., Waverly-Shell Rock

Captain: Nick Miller (C.B. Lewis Central)

Second team (metro only)


Quarterback -- Grayson Juel, sr., North Scott


Lineman -- David Borchers, jr., North Scott

Punter -- Jai Jensen, sr., Clinton

Third team (metro only)


Linebacker -- Ryan Campbell, sr., North Scott

Class 3A

First team


Quarterback -- Teagon Kasperbauer, jr., Harlan

Backs -- John Argo, sr., Davenport Assumption; Marcus Beatty, sr., Independence; Landyn Van Kekerix, sr., Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley

Receivers -- Connor Frame, sr., Harlan; Will Orness, jr., Humboldt; Tyler Schenkelberg, sr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton

Linemen -- Joe Turner, sr., Davenport Assumption; Gunner Schmitz, jr., Harlan; Luke Reth, jr., West Delaware; Ben Kuehnast, sr., Humboldt; Korver Hupke, jr., Independence; Cody Felt, sr., ADM (Adel)

Placekicker -- Stephen Leinen, jr., Harlan

Utility -- Caden Matson, sr., Humboldt


Linemen -- Nick Wacha, sr., Ballard; Gage Marty, sr., Solon; Jameson Bieker, sr., Harlan; Tanner Pontow, sr., Carroll

Linebackers -- Wyatt Voelker, sr., West Delaware; Ty Dittmer, sr., Nevada; Jacob Imming, sr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton; Lucas Stanley, sr., Harlan

Secondary -- Aiden Hall, jr., Harlan; Seth Brown, sr., Nevada; Raub Loecke, sr., West Delaware; Jacob Brecht, sr., Benton

Punter -- Tanner Te Slaa, sr., Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley

Returner -- Caeden DaSilva, sr., Nevada

Utility -- Will McLaughlin, sr., Harlan

Captain: Landyn Van Kekerix (Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley)

Second team (area only)

Placekicker -- Billy Moore, so., Davenport Assumption

Class 2A

First team


Quarterback -- Kolson Kruse, sr., Southeast Valley

Backs -- Griffin Diersen, jr., OABCIG; Preston Pope, sr., West Marshall; Pat Hennessey, sr., Waukon

Receivers -- Caleb Sauser, sr., Monticello; Will Bunn, sr., Roland-Story; Drake Wemark, sr., New Hampton

Linemen -- Pierce Woodruff, sr., Southeast Valley; Sam Schaper, jr., West Marshall; Easton Fleshman, sr., West Lyon; Joshua Kooi, sr., West Lyon; Griffin Hoyer, sr., Estherville-Lincoln Central; Lyle Moore, sr., Central Lyon/George-Little Rock

Kicker -- Christian Castillo, jr., Monticello

Utility -- Zach Lutmer, jr., Central Lyon/George-Little Rock


Linemen -- Aaron Graves, sr., Southeast Valley; Owen Douglas, jr., Williamsburg; Austin Pfantz, jr., West Marshall; Gabriel TerWee, sr., West Lyon

Linebackers -- Zach Jensen, sr., Spirit Lake; Evan Sloan, sr., Garner-Hayfield/Ventura; Dawson Ripperda, sr., West Lyon; Lincoln Snitker, sr., Waukon

Secondary -- Blake Janssen, sr., Iowa Falls; Kellen Moore, jr., Forest City; Jagger Schmitt, sr., Clear Lake; Jaxon Meyer, sr., West Lyon

Punter -- Nate Black, sr., Greene County

Returner -- Richard Daugherty, jr., Greene County

Utility -- Peyton Hart, jr., West Marshall

Captain: Kolson Kruse (Southeast Valley)

Second team (area only)


Linebacker -- Eric Kinkaid, sr., Camanche

Secondary -- Jahsiah Galvan, sr., West Liberty

Third team area (only)


Lineman -- Nolan Kagemann, jr., Camanche; JD Seering, jr., West Liberty


Secondary -- Tucker Dickherber, sr., Camanche

Class 1A

First team


Quarterback -- Jack Pettit, sr., Van Meter

Backs -- Cade Molyneux, sr., Sigourney-Keota; Gavin Cornelison, sr., ACGC; Dalten Van Pelt, sr., Van Meter

Receivers -- Caleb Holthaus, jr., Waterloo Columbus; Brady Lynott, jr., West Sioux; Griffin Greiner, sr., Cardinal

Linemen -- Zach Smithart, sr., Sigourney-Keota; Easton Eledge, sr., Underwood; Cale Jensen, sr., Dike-New Hartford; Mario Duenas, sr., West Sioux; Lincoln Olsen, sr., Van Meter; Cael Hoing, sr., ACGC

Kicker -- Colten Clarahan, sr., Sigourney-Keota

Utility -- Dylan Wiggins, jr., West Sioux


Linemen -- Jason Koopman, sr., Dyersville Beckman; Wil Textor, jr., Dike-New Hartford; Braden Powers, sr., Denver; Casey Trudo, sr., Van Meter

Linebackers -- Carson Hartz, jr., Waterloo Columbus; Nick Reinicke, jr., Dike-New Hartford; Ben Gilliland, jr., Van Meter; Reese Moore, sr., Van Meter

Secondary -- Cayden Gassmann, jr., Dyersville Beckman; Parker Adams, sr., Dike-New Hartford; Blake Van Ballegooyen, sr., West Sioux; Ganon Archer, sr., Van Meter

Punter -- Blake McAllister, sr., South Central Calhoun

Returner -- Cayden Jensen, sr., ACGC

Utility -- Cullen McShane, sr., MFL MarMac

Captain: Casey Trudo (Van Meter)

Third team (area only)


Back -- Nolan DeLong, jr., Durant

Class A

First team


Quarterback -- Logan Knaack, sr., Grundy Center

Backs -- Adam Hackett, sr., East Buchanan; Connor Dodd, sr., HMS; Matthew Francis, sr., West Hancock

Receivers -- Nash Holmgaard, sr., Mason City Newman; Austin Hilmer, sr., North Linn; Carter Bleil, sr., Woodbury Central

Linemen -- Brayden Sawyer, sr., Grundy Center; Cody Fox, so., East Buchanan; Lance Berends, jr., HMS; Rex Johnsen, sr., Logan-Magnolia; Llan Martinez, sr., West Hancock

Placekicker -- Colin Gordon, so., Grundy Center

Utlity -- Gabe Kpriva, sr., North Tama


Linemen -- Seth Hermanson, sr., Lake Mills; Chet Buss, sr., North Butler; Khelton Reed, sr., Earlham; Will Bennett, sr., Lisbon

Linebackers -- Jackson Dewald, jr., Westwood; Max Kohl, sr., Lisbon; Max McGill, jr., Woodbury Central; Kane Zuehl, sr., West Hancock

Secondary -- Dexter Whitehill, sr., Grundy Center; Darrell Matchem, sr., Earlham; Kooper Ebel, jr., HMS; Braden Walk, sr., West Hancock

Punter -- Caden Palmer, sr., Clayton Ridge

Returner -- Keaton Bonderson, jr., LeMars Gehlen

Utlity -- Dayne Zinkula, sr., Grundy Center

Captain: Logan Knaack (Grundy Center)

Second team (area only)


Placekicker -- Daniel Perez, sr., Wapello


Returner -- Maddox Griffin, sr., Wapello

Third team


Utility -- Tade Parsons, sr., Wapello


First team


Quarterback -- Conor Gruver, sr., Easton Valley

Backs -- Lane Spieker, sr., CAM; Marcus Herold, sr., Turkey Valley; Simeon Reichenbach, jr., WACO

Receivers -- Carson Fuegen, sr., Easton Valley; Dalton Dibert, sr., Kee High

Linemen -- Reese Oglesbee, sr., CAM; Collin Kleppe, sr., Turkey Valley; Wesley Galles, sr., Remsen St. Mary's

Placekicker -- Matt Beisswenger, sr., Audubon

Utlity -- Damon Weber, sr., Kee High


Linemen -- Jonah Clark, sr., WACO; Hayden Felkey, jr., Easton Valley; Cade Ticknor, sr., CAM

Linebackers -- Eddie Burgess, sr., Montezuma; Andin Farrell, sr., Easton Valley; Joe Kauffman, sr., CAM

Secondary -- Gavin Smith, sr., Audubon; Jake Malcom, sr., Fremont-Mills

Punter -- Austin Jensen, sr., Remsen St. Mary's

Returner -- Damon Schmid, sr., Kingsley-Pierson

Utility -- Colby Rich, sr., CAM

Captain: Lane Spieker (CAM)

Second team (area only)


Back -- Charlie Simpson, jr., Easton Valley

Third team (area only)


Lineman -- Dillon Beck, sr., Easton Valley

Placekicker -- Ethan Farrell, sr., Easton Valley


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Sports Editor

Sports editor, with my emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 21 years, the last nine at the Q-C Times.

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