Kuiper put together his best game of the four weeks since returning from injury during Friday’s 21-20 victory over Mason City Newman in a non-district showdown. The Grundy Center senior rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Kuiper added nine tackles, including two for loss, from his outside linebacker position. The Spartans’ reliable rusher is coming off a junior season in which he ran for 1,465 yards and 11 touchdowns. “He has grown through our system and done everything that we’ve asked of him,” Grundy Center coach Brent Thoren said. “He does things the right way, works really hard at it and he’s a good person. He’s a great teammate to everybody.” Kuiper is a National Honor Society member who also competes in basketball and track.
Gates’ setting helped Union follow up a big conference win over Hudson last week with a 4-1 showing in the Clear Creek-Amana tournament where the Knights’ lone loss came to Class 4A’s No. 12 North Scott. Gates tallied 25 assists against Hudson and finished Saturday’s tournament with 75 assists and 10 aces. She is averaging 5.54 assists as part of a two-setter 6-2 system while serving 92 percent with 48 aces. “She worked hard this past winter in club, the weight room and summer workouts,” Union coach Brian Jesse noted. “She is one of the vocal leaders for our team.” Gates also participates in tennis.
Clark has played every position except center on offense and every position on defense for Gladbrook-Reinbeck in its first season of 8-player football. The versatile senior’s calming influence has helped the Rebels win their last five games after dropping the first two. Clark is averaging 8.4 yards per carry and has 10 touchdowns as a rusher. He’s averaging 20.3 yards per catch with four scores and leads G-R’s defense with four fumble recoveries. “He’s a pretty good player at every position,” Coach John Olson said. “We can put him anywhere and we can trust and rely on him.” Clark also competes in basketball and soccer and is active in drama and chorus.
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Gergen has become a valuable asset in her first season as a starter for Class 1A’s top-ranked Janesville. The Wildcat sophomore works as a setter in a 6-2 system, averaging 5.12 assists per set, 1.7 digs per set and hitting .255 with 69 total kills. She is serving at 93 percent accuracy with a team-high 55 aces. “Gabby is a very composed player,” Janesville coach Shelly Sorensen noted. “She provides great chemistry on the court and has a true passion for the game of volleyball.” Gergen also participates in basketball and is a member of Janesville’s band.
Corday is a veteran leader within the offense for a Denver team that has improved on last season’s 16-18 record with a 22-16 mark so far this year. The Cyclones’ senior setter is averaging 7.06 assists, one dig and one kill per set. She’s a 93-percent server with a team-high 66 aces. “She puts a number of extra hours in on and off the court to better herself and her team,” Denver coach Mara Forsyth noted. “She is a leader and has stepped into our captain role this year.” Corday is also active in soccer, band, a variety of school leadership organizations and cheerleading. She plans to play collegiate soccer.
Kremer has become the leading pass rush threat for Independence (6-1) in his first season as a varsity starter. The defensive end leads the Mustangs with seven sacks — including two during Friday’s 38-13 win at Charles City. On offense, Kremer is a guard for a Mustangs team that ranks third in Class 3A with 2,868 total yards. “He brings a lot of toughness,” Independence coach Justin Putz said. “He’s one of those guys that works extremely hard. He plays really hard, has a passion for the game and he’s gotten better every week.” Kremer also competes in wrestling and track and field.