Joey Youngblut

Jesup Senior Basketball

Youngblut survived what became a test of endurance last week as he scored 28 points with 20 rebounds while playing all 52 minutes during Jesup’s 91-83, five-overtime win against Union. One of the lone returning starters from last season’s 19-5 team, Youngblut is averaging 18.5 points and 15 rebounds as a primary ball handler for the 2-0 J-Hawks. “His experience and leadership to our new varsity players has been tremendous,” Jesup coach Joe Smeins noted. “Joey does whatever it takes to help us win games each and every night. His versatility has been a key to our early season success.” Youngblut is an honor student who also competes in football and golf.

NaTracia Ceaser

Waterloo West Junior

Basketball

One of the state’s top free throw shooters after converting 89.3 percent of her chances a year ago, Ceaser was clutch last week. The West guard made a pair of free throws in the final minute to lead the Wahawks to a 51-50 Friday win over Linn-Mar. Ceaser scored 28 points, hitting six 3-pointers, during that victory, and is averaging 20.7 points. “She just continues to improve and she’s a key to our team being successful, both with leadership and her basketball skills,” West coach Tony Pappas said of his team captain and third-year starter. “She’s worked hard on her shooting, is one of the top free throw shooters in the state and an excellent 3-point shooter with deep range.” Ceaser also competes in track and field.

Gable Fox

Don Bosco Senior

Wrestling

A three-time state placewinner, Fox has set the tone in Don Bosco’s wrestling room this season. His growth was revealed Saturday as he earned the Keith Young Invitational’s most outstanding wrestler honor following a 4-3 win over Denver’s Riley Wright in a battle of Class 1A’s top two-ranked 138-pounders. “He’s developed over the last couple years, with the work he’s put in in the offseason really helping him right now,” Don Bosco coach Tom Hogan said. “He’s tough to score on. We’ve talked about him getting on his offense a little more this year.” Fox has placed third at state the past two seasons after finishing seventh as a freshman. He’s signed to continue his wrestling career at UNI.

Ben Sinnott

Waterloo Warriors Sophomore

Hockey

Sinnott provided the Warriors with an early spark this season, contributing on five of the team’s first seven goals. The Waterloo forward is one back of his team’s points lead with six goals and six assists. “Ben is a highly skilled forward with a lot of speed and we will be relying on him to put points on the board for us,” Warriors head coach Brian Cook noted. In addition to hockey, Sinnott maintains a 4.0 GPA and is active in football, baseball, golf and participates in student government at Waterloo Columbus.

Amanee Clark

Waterloo East Junior

Basketball

With aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level, Clark has invested extra time in the gym and film room to find success. East’s third-year starter is averaging 18 points, 2.5 steals and three 3-pointers per game for a Trojans team that has jumped out to a 3-2 start. “This is her junior year and she’s treating it like it’s her senior year because she wants to win now,” East coach William Muhammad said. “She’s a competitor, very passionate, she gets where East High girls’ basketball was and she wants to be part of that change.” Clark is also an all-stater in track and part of the All-Iowa Attack club basketball program.

Andrew Snyder

Waverly-Shell Rock Junior

Wrestling

Snyder has invested the time to become a difference-maker on the wrestling mat. Waverly-Shell Rock’s junior heavyweight navigated a challenging field at Saturday’s Keith Young Invitational, defeating West Des Moines Valley’s Carter Lawrence, 3-2, for his first major high school championship. “I thought for the most part he wrestled to his strengths,” W-SR coach Eric Whitcome said. “He followed the game plan through his matches. We saw throughout the day his confidence continuing to build and doing some things that were new for him.” Snyder is also strong academically and a valuable leader on this year’s W-SR team. He has helped take the lead in organizing the Go-Hawks’ pin cancer fundraiser.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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