A heaping helping of talent helped Cedar Falls elevate its program back into the football playoffs where the Tigers completed a run into the quarterfinals and 9-2 record during a memorable 2017 football season.
That success was rewarded with 15 selections to the All-Metro football team selected by the coaches of Cedar Falls, Waterloo Columbus, Waterloo East and Waterloo West.
Seven Tigers were recognized on the All-Metro offense, including junior running back Sam Gary, who ran for 1,677 yards and 19 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Luke Gillett recovered from injury his junior season and passed for 1,564 yards and 20 touchdowns with receiver Blake Christensen (39 catches, 745 yards) and tight end Jackson Frericks (10 catches, 95 yards) joining him on the All-Metro offense. The honor squad also included linemen Austin Smiley, Jackson Leistikow and Adam Wilson, who paved the way for the Tigers’ offensive success.
The All-Metro defense includes seven more Tigers, led by junior linebacker Jack Campbell, who ranked third in Class 4A with 89.5 tackles. Fellow linebacker Tate Johnson, defensive linemen Keegan Larson, Ben Gerdes and Colin Klatt and defensive backs Logan Wolf and Daequan Thomas earned their places on the team after Cedar Falls held its opposition to 8.2 points per game.
Kicker Matthew Cook was 55 of 56 on PATs and blasted eight field goals with a long of 43 to join the All-Metro contingent.
Waterloo West also had its share of difference-makers as the Wahawks capped another winning season with a 5-4 record following a dramatic come-from-behind victory over playoff qualifier Cedar Rapids Washington in the final week.
Cade Dodd, a 1,900-yard passer along with his top target Mario Wright (847 yards, nine TDs) and receiver Devon Jones were named to the offensive team alongside lineman Ross Brown. Kalen Burt, a valuable two-way player, earned a spot on the defensive team for his work on the defensive line. He was joined by West’s tackle leaders in linebackers Caleb Dodd and Noah Susong and defensive back Amel Saric, along with senior punter and kick Adijan Muhamedagic, who booted a career-long 49-yard field goal to win West’s finale.
Quarterback Dylan Reyes, receiver Damon Johnson and linemen Joseph Putnam, Lakey Martin and Brody Card received All-Metro honors after helping East snap a lengthy losing streak with a pair of victories. Senior leader Ja’Cee Clark was the Trojans’ lone defensive representative as he patrolled the secondary in addition to serving as a weapon in the passing attack.
Waterloo Columbus senior receiving leader Mitch McFarland represented the Sailors on the offensive team alongside receiving and rushing threat Kobe Nobis. Juniors in linebacker Donald Patnode and defensive back Kaden Ludwig were named to the defense.