Atlantic Trojans

(KMAland) -- About a half hour into my Atlantic research yesterday, I realized this was not going to be an easy task. Bigger schools have more sports, and they have more athletes. And so I compiled a list of 26 athletes from the school over the past decade. Unfortunately, in the transfer from notepad to computer, I only listed 25. More on that later. But first…

THE ATLANTIC FILE

The Trojans had plenty of success in a number of sports at the conference and state level. Here’s quick rundown:

CROSS COUNTRY - The decade started with Ali Krogman finishing off a perfect 4-for-4 in winning back-to-back-to-back-to-back conference championships – the last two of those in 2010 and 2011. Later, Tiffany Williams won a pair of titles in 2014 and 2015, and Phoenix Shadden won the boy’s title in 2016. Most recently, the Atlantic girls and boys qualified for the 2018 state meet.

FOOTBALL - The Trojans had just one state appearance and two winning records, although the decade is not yet finished. Record: 26-55.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Their best mark came in the 2015-16 season when they went 13-9. Overall record: 51-167.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Alan Jenkins played in a state tournament in 2002, and then he coached his alma mater back to Des Moines in 2017. They also won the 2012 and 2013 conference championships. Overall record: 137-90.

WRESTLING: What a terrific decade for the Trojans. A pair of state individual champions, three conference team dual titles and two traditional conference tournament titles. They also went to state dual tournaments in 2011, 2012 and 2017.

GIRLS GOLF: Good place to start here in the spring. They won three state championships and three conference titles during an incredible decade.

BOYS GOLF: The boys have also been terrific with their current ongoing three-peat representing the three conference titles for the decade.

GIRLS TENNIS: Since 2015 (QuikStats era of tennis), they are just 6-42 in duals.

BOYS TENNIS: The boys have been very successful with a 37-15 dual record since 2015. They also won the Hawkeye Ten Tournament in 2018 and qualified for state (and the Final Four) that very same year.

GIRLS TRACK: Tiffany Williams and Ali Krogman collected state track medals during the decade, but I feel like the Trojans are about to make even more noise in future years. In fact, they had two medals just this past year alone.

BOYS TRACK: This has been a very successful last half of the decade, as Atlantic won back-to-back conference championships after a nine-year drought. They also captured back-to-back team trophies at the state meet for the first time in school history and count many state event titles, including repeats in the distance medley and 4x400 in ’18 and ’19.

GIRLS & BOYS SOCCER: The two teams have combined for one winning record in the decade, but they’ve been close multiple other times. Girls Record: 35-95. Boys Record: 53-86.

SOFTBALL: What a decade for this program. It started at 8-25 and then went to 10-26. Since then, they’re 94 games over .500 and count state tournament trips in 2016 and 2018. Record: 219-158.

BASEBALL: There have been some ups and there have been some downs, but they’ve had a respectable six winning seasons. Record: 141-130.

THE ATHLETES

Ally Anderson, Class of 2018

She led the Trojans to two state tournaments and a bunch of wins. In her five-year career, she walked just 99 batters and struck out 923. Hahaha, what? She also hit .491 as a senior and .488 as a junior.

Chad Christensen, Class of 2013

A key component of Atlantic’s 2012 and 2013 basketball conference champions and their best two-year run in baseball (2011, 2012). Christensen had 142 and 132 assists on the hardwood in his final two years as a Trojan.

Carter Cox, Class of 2017

A four-time state qualifier and two-time state medalist during his career, Cox was a key piece to one of Atlantic’s finest decades of wrestling.

Alyssa Derby, Class of 2021

Derby is best known for her softball exploits, where she is in her third year of starting behind the plate for the Trojans. She hit .353 as an 8th grader, .447 as a freshman and is currently at .355 with a career-high five bombs in her sophomore season. She’s also a standout in volleyball and track, where she won two medals at this past year’s state track meet.

Jaxson Eden, Class of 2018

A three-year starter at quarterback, finishing top five in Class 3A in yards, completions and completion percentage as a senior. He also ran for the state champion 4x800 relay, ran sixth in the 1600 in 2016 and qualified for seven state events in his career. Also a contributor in basketball and baseball.

Dalton Franken, Class of 2013

Complete star for the two-time conference basketball champions, scoring 1,404 career points while leading the team in the category his final three years. Also the team’s leading rebounder in his final three seasons and a contributor in football and baseball.

Garrett Franken, Class of 2017

Very similar to his brother, Franken was a star in basketball and a contributor in football. The star player, averaging 23.8 points per game, in Atlantic’s first trip to state in 15 years. He scored 1,543 career points.

Alyssa Ginther, Class of 2019

Ginther was a key member of two state championship-winning golf teams and went to state all four years of her high school career. However, she was also a terrific soccer player with 25 career goals.

Alexis Handel, Class of 2018

One of the most intimidating hitters I’ve ever covered – in softball or baseball. Handel was a threat to launch at any moment, finishing her career with 46 home runs along with 49 doubles, 10 triples and 202 RBI.

Kole Hansen, Class of 2018

A four-time state qualifier that left Atlantic with the most wrestling wins in school history.

Ryan Hawkins, Class of 2016

A FIVE-sport athlete that could do absolutely anything and everything in anything and everything. Basketball was his best. His senior season still gets me – 510 points, 309 rebounds, 89 steals, 61 assists and 43 blocks. How many can claim a 500-point, 300-rebound, 90ish-steal, 60-assist, 40-block season? Incredible.

Brendan Holmes, Class of 2016

Holmes was a standout in football and track, but he was also a solid contributor in baseball and basketball. A splendid athlete with incredible hair, he started immediately for Simpson football.

Ali Krogman, Class of 2012

She’s the only athlete to win four consecutive girls cross country championships in the Hawkeye Ten.

Sam Markham, Class of 2013

Awesome athlete, better person. Markham was the second-leading scorer for Atlantic’s back-to-back basketball conference champs, but he also had 70 assists, 71 steals and 22 blocks in his senior year. However, his biggest and best calling was as a record-breaking wide receiver at Central College.

John McConkey, Class of 2018

The heavyweight champion of Class 2A in 2018, he was also a three-time medalist and a multi-time conference champion. McConkey was also the best football player on his team for multiple years.

Chase McLaren, Class of 2019

Now the winningest wrestler in Atlantic history (over 200), McLaren won four Hawkeye Ten Conference championships, qualified for four state tournaments and finished out his career with a runner-up finish.

Tyler Moen, Class of 2020

Already an 8-time state track medalist with four state championships and five top five finishes to his name, Moen also averaged double figures in basketball and is a gamebreaker in football.

Chase Mullenix, Class of 2019

His 2018-19 year is one for the ages that saw him star in football, wrestling, basketball and track. And he could have in baseball if not for the whole Division I track athlete thing. Mullenix won eight state track medals, including six state championships.

Baylee Newell, Class of 2019

Newell is really good in a number of sports, including golf and softball. On the golf side, she went to four state tournaments and helped the Trojans win two state team titles. In softball, she’s been an important member of their two state qualifiers and has hit no worse than .338. If that’s not enough, she averaged 9.1 and 9.4 points in her final two years of basketball.

Brooke Newell, Class of 2017

Newell won three Hawkeye Ten Conference individual championships and was a member of three state golf champions, finishing second individually at state in 2016. She was a key member of their 2016 state softball squad, hitting .370/.424/.486 and did a solid job behind the plate.

Erin Olsen, Class of 2016

Olsen is a cousin of the Newells and has a similar profile. She was an outstanding golfer and a key member of three state champions. She played shortstop for the 2016 state softball qualifier and led the team with 23 stolen bases. And she was really a nice basketball player, averaging 15.9 points per game in her senior season and led the team in scoring her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

Taylor Petersen, Class of 2010

The dreaded Class of 2010. It’s only dreaded because they were only able to give us about half of a winter season and then a spring and a summer. What Taylor Petersen did on the diamond in one summer – his senior year – was enough to get him on the list. He hit .548/.671/.839 with nine doubles, three triples and 24 RBI while walking 18 times against just five strikeouts. That’s a dude.

Darrian Schwenke, Class of 2014

One of Atlantic’s two state wrestling champions in the decade, Schwenke won over 150 matches during the course of his career and capped it off the best way possible. He was also an international traveler and competed in Major League Gaming competitions. So, that’s something.

Joey Walker, Class of 2015

A two-year starter at quarterback, Walker helped ease the basketball transition from the end of the Franken/Markham/Christensen era into the next. He scored in double figures in both his junior and senior basketball seasons and hit .324 and .395 in his senior and junior baseball years.

Tiffany Williams, Class of 2016

Tiffany Williams is probably best known for her back-to-back cross country conference titles or her state track medal. However, she’s playing basketball at the next level and did that pretty well during her career, too. Williams averaged 10.1 points per game in her senior season.

ONE MORE

Gratt Reed, Class of 2018

This was not an oversight. A guy with the profile of Gratt Reed is not overlooked. I had him on my list yesterday, but when I transferred the name from the notepad to the computer it just didn’t transfer. I may need a new system. Anyway, Reed won eight state track medals, including two firsts (110 highs, 4x400) and a runner-up (400 hurdles). He was also a contributor in football and baseball multiple seasons. I appreciate Gratt for not coming down hard on me for my error.

OTHERS?

Yes, there are definitely others. How about…

Austin Alexander (Class of 2018): He averaged double figure points in his final two seasons, including just over 16 in his senior year of basketball.

Tristan Benn (Class of 2015): An outstanding pitcher for the Trojans, he had a 1.72, 2.10, 2.84 and 1.14 ERA in his last four years of baseball.

Gunnar Blum (Class of 2012): One person told me that this would have absolutely been their vote. Blum hit .386/.55/.743 and .416/.554/.948 in his last two baseball seasons, he was a key member of their basketball successes in the early part of the decade and was their second-leading rusher in his senior season of football.

ReAnn Cappel (Class of 2013): She could crush. In her senior year she hit .403/.429/.515 with 12 doubles and a home run and also stole 24 bases. She was even better as a junior with a .403/.435/.540 line and 34 steals.

Harrison Hoegh (Class of 2013): A 3-year starter at quarterback and ranks second behind Bret Meyer in all-time passing at the school.

Tyler Hovey (Class of 2012): He won a state discus championship, wrecked shop on the football field and was a really nice baseball player.

Catherine Leonard (Class of 2017): Solid in volleyball and softball, she averaged 11.7 points and 10.5 rebounds in her senior basketball year.

Scott Leonard (Class of 2018): Leonard was a standout multi-year starter in basketball that nearly averaged a double-double in his senior year – 16.5 points and 9.7 rebounds.

Kari Sandage (Class of 2011): Sandage averaged 2.39 kills per set and hit at a solid .329 efficiency in her senior year of volleyball.

Matt Smith (Class of 2015): Smith scored 60 goals during his soccer career, including 21 each in his junior and senior seasons.

McKenzie Waters (Class of 2020): Waters is a standout in multiple sports, including softball, volleyball, basketball, track and soccer. Big tip of the cap for that schedule.

Also, how about some of the Atlantic freak golfers like Evan Schuler, Matt Gearheart, Ben Renaud and company? The number of elite golfers at that school never ceases.

SOMEONE THAT HAS BLOSSOMED

How about Travis Petersen and what he has blossomed into at the collegiate level? He was a three-year letterwinner at Atlantic, but he’s doing huge things at Missouri Southern State. He finished fourth in the hammer throw at the Division II National Track and Field Championships this year, and he won prior national championships at Iowa Central in both the weight and hammer throw. Who knew?

YOUR & MY PICK

There are a lot of great choices, but the pick is Ryan Hawkins. Hawk, a key member of Northwest Missouri State’s national championship basketball team this past winter, played five sports and played them all really well. At the moment, he has a sizeable lead over Chase Mullenix, Ally Anderson, Joey Walker, John McConkey and Carter Cox. I’m calling it – Hawkins is your winner.

UP NEXT

You’re next, Audubon. Make your pitches.

Send any and all information, questions, comments and/or concerns to dmartin@kmaland.com.