Waterloo West coach Lonnie Moore points towards Rottinghaus as a valuable team captain for a Wahawk squad that extended its season with a 24-17 playoff win Friday against Fort Dodge. Rottinghaus plays tight end and linebacker and is a third-year varsity contributor. “He’s a great leader and very hard worker,” Moore said of his linebacker, who has recorded 19 tackles this season. “Clayton brings energy to everything he does. He’s dependable, you never have to worry where he is at.”
Knowles has been a valuable terminator for Class 2A’s No. 6-ranked Cyclones. She tallied a team-high 17 kills during Denver’s first round regional win over North Linn. Knowles’ 334 kills entered the week ranked sixth in Class 2A. “Kayla’s explosiveness and the ability to terminate the ball is so valuable for our team,” Denver coach Jamie Johnson noted of her 5-foot-11 outside hitter. “She has worked really hard to improve her efficiency by adding more shots to her arsenal and it shows. We really feed off her energy.”
A second-year starting cornerback, Gee is a key lockdown defender in the Tigers’ secondary. The senior captain leads Cedar Falls with three interceptions. He’s also become an impact player on special teams. Gee averaged 15.8 yards per punt return during Friday’s 35-0 playoff win over Cedar Rapids Washington. “Nate has been instrumental as a return specialist in setting our team up with good field position,” Cedar Falls coach Brad Remmert said. Gee also participates in basketball.
A big-play receiver, Hartz recorded touchdown receptions of 71 and 50 yards over the top of Osage’s defense during Friday’s 42-35 playoff victory. Hartz has caught 25 passes for 558 yards. “Not only does Caden make big plays in the passing game, but he also excels in blocking downfield in the run game,” Columbus coach Brad Schmit said. “Caden is one of the best blocking wide receivers we have had in my time at Columbus.” Hartz also starts at cornerback and doubled his season interception total with a pair of picks Friday. The honor student competes in baseball and wrestling.
Consistent play from the Wildcats’ second-year starter has helped Janesville (26-4) recently capture an Iowa Star Conference championship and tournament title. Hovenga averages 4.4 digs per set from her libero position and is one of the team’s top passers on serve receive. “She comes up with so many great touches on defense, which turns into offense,” Janesville coach Shelly Sorensen said. Hovenga also leads the team with 30 aces on 93.4% accuracy. The volleyball team captain is a four-sport athlete and honor student active in a variety of student organizations.
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