(Avoca) -- The AHST Vikings are off to a 2-0 start and the state is taking notice. The Viking football team is ranked fifth by Radio Iowa and 7th by the Associated Press in state football rankings released on Monday.
"They need to not pay attention to it," is what AHST football coach Davis Pattee told his kids about being ranked in a conversation with KMA Sports on Tuesday morning.
Pattee says the school has had at least one season recently where they were ranked early and ended up not having a good season. Pattee says "it's one other thing for a high school kid to be distracted with and hopefully they'll overcome."
"Record-wise we're pleased," says Pattee when asked about his team through two weeks, "but in terms of execution we still need to definitely improve."
He says they're definitely satisfied with beating "two good teams" in Tri-Center and Audubon.
Pattee says beating Tri-Center and Audubon are good wins with both being playoff teams a year ago, and both returning quite a few players. He says they feel good that they have "escaped with two wins, although we want to do more than just escape."
Pattee says they really don't have a standout. "Everyone is doing their 1/11th." When looking at the statistics, Kyle Bauerkemper is leading the Vikings in rushing with 260 yards and 10 yards per carry while scoring four touchdowns. Quarterback Nathan Herbst has 155 yards passing and 214 yards rushing with two total touchdowns. Austin Fink leads the team with 38 tackles, which is tied for 2nd most in Class A.
The Vikings visit Westwood on Friday to open district play.
"They're absolutely dangerous," says Pattee on the Rebels.
Westwood has won five consecutive games, dating back to last season and is scoring 44 points per game so far in two wins this year over Woodbury Central and Maple Valley.
The Rebels have three players with more than 100 yards rushing, led by quarterback Hunter East, who has 228 on the ground and five touchdowns to go with 90 yards passing and two more touchdowns. Tanner DeVries adds 171 yards on the ground for the Rebels while Zach Ulven has 106 yards on just eight carries. Jacob Becker leads the team with 24 tackles.
Pattee says the Westwood offense is very similar to what he runs at AHST. He says "they do a really good job at spreading the football."
"We're nowhere near where we need to be," says Pattee when looking at making a run at the district. He says they need consistent improvement and make sure they don't have a "long-term vision," keeping their heads in each game, each practice. He says the Vikings, like everyone else, must limit the turnovers and stay healthy.
Join Derek Martin and Bryan Clark for full coverage of Week 3 of the high school football season starting with the Iowa Western Community College - Clarinda Campus - High School Football Preview Show at 6:20.