A talented second-year starting setter, Hedges distributed the ball for a Dike-New Hartford team that closed out a perfect run through the NICL East last week before capturing a championship at the Johnston Invitational filled with 5A schools. Hedges has 1,074 assists on the season at an average of 10.13 per set to go with 1.5 digs per set. She’s serving 95.9 percent with 23 aces. “Madison does a good job of distributing the ball to our hitters and running our offense,” D-NH coach Diane Harms noted. “She is a very athletic player who is able to react and adjust to the ball. She leads by example of how hard she works each day in practice.”
Thorn’s drive and determination never faded Friday as the Aplington-Parkersburg senior ran for 255 yards on 49 carries during a 23-14 win over East Marshall that put the Falcons in position to win a district title this week. “He’s the type of kid you don’t feel like gets tired throughout the game,” A-P coach Alex Pollock said of his 1,506-yard rusher. “He was running just as hard at the end as he was at the beginning. He has made our running attack very consistent and I think he’ll be the first to credit our offensive line for being a huge improvement this year and paving the way for him.” Thorn also competes in baseball and runs track.
Starting every match since her freshman season, Kopriva has become a go-to weapon for Class 1A’s No. 8 North Tama. Kopriva ranks third in 1A with 402 kills at an impressive .328 efficiency. She’s a 95.9 percent server with 43 aces and averages 2.27 digs and 0.34 blocks per set. “She has really become more of a leader than she was last year,” North Tama coach Channing Halstead said. “I think last year she was a lot more reserved. Now she has become more vocal and the players around her look up to her. If Katie’s on and talking, everyone else is kind of on and talking.” In addition to volleyball, Kopriva was also a member of a state finalist soccer team through her school’s sharing agreement with Union.
Velky allowed Class 3A’s No. 7 Waverly-Shell Rock to recover from its lone loss of the season by accounting for all seven Go-Hawk touchdowns Friday during a 61-23 win over South Tama. The first-year starting QB passed for 224 yards and two scores and ran for 102 yards and five TDs. Velky is now up to 840 passing yards and 683 rushing this season. “Luke does a great job of just evaluating what needs to be done to continue to get better as a player,” W-SR coach Mark Hubbard said. “He’s done a great job of that every week and really does a good job of taking what the defense gives him.” Velky also competes in basketball and is an honor student with a 3.9 GPA.
An impact player at wide receiver and on special teams, Wolf scored three touchdowns Friday during Cedar Falls’ 45-7 district championship-clinching win over Cedar Rapids Jefferson. In addition to a receiving TD, Wolf returned a punt 71 yards for a score and ran back a kickoff 97 yards. The junior has 343 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on the season. “Logan is a dynamic football player that has been a major part of the success of our football team,” Cedar Falls coach Brad Remmert noted. “He has demonstrated the ability to excel as both a big play wide receiver and defensive back. Logan is also one of the leading punt and kickoff returners in Class 4A.” Wolf plays basketball and maintains a 4.03 GPA.
A 6-foot-2 middle hitter, Joerger has helped lead Wapsie Valley into the Class 2A state rankings. The junior averages 3.37 kills per set on .269 hitting. She also leads the team with 45 blocks and is a weapon out of the back row. “No matter where Mikenna is at on the court, she wants the ball,” Wapsie Valley coach Heather Robinson noted. “Mikenna does a nice job of finding the open spots on the other side of the court whether it is a hard swing or a fast tip.” In addition to volleyball, Joerger competes in basketball and golf.”
Mathews is a key weapon for a Grundy Center team that closed out another perfect run through the NICL West last week with a win over South Hardin. The junior is averaging just under 5 assists per set as part of a two-setter system and serves 96 percent with 35 aces. “Sydney took on a new role for us this season as we switched to a 6-2,” Grundy Center coach Lori Willis said of the returning honorable mention all-stater. “Sydney embraced this challenge with excellent mentoring and leadership. She has nurtured and educated our other younger setter throughout the season.” Mathews is active in chorus, student senate, basketball, soccer and softball.