Josh Lange, Tyler Riebhoff, Nolan Smith

(KMAland) -- The Audubon Wheelers. You drive into town, you meet a bull and then you come across some real nice people. Some of them devote many, many hours to growing young adults. And some of those young adults are very good at sports. Ladies and gentlemen, the decade in Audubon athletics.

THE AUDUBON FILE

FOOTBALL - Record: 59-30. The Wheelers went to the state playoffs every season between 2012 and 2017 - some in 11-man and some in 8-man. If you want a lesson in how to transition from 11 to 8-man football, ask these guys.

VOLLEYBALL - Record: 128-139. They were pretty much right around .500 for a large part of the decade before their terrific 27-7 state qualifying season. Since that year - which had a lot of seniors - they’ve gone 16-45. Rebuilding can be tough.

GIRLS BASKETBALL - Record: 121-104. The decade started with a trip to the 2010 state tournament and a 21-2 record. That was one of six teams that had a winning record. After a 3-20 2017-18 season, they are on the way back up with a 9-14 mark this past winter - and that was with a pretty young team.

BOYS BASKETBALL - Record: 80-135. Audubon had just 19 total wins in the first five seasons of the decade, but they went 61-50 the next five. 

WRESTLING - The Wheelers made an appearance at the state dual tournament in 2013, and they’ve had several standout individual wrestlers that we will get to in a bit.

SOFTBALL - Record: 63-206. The Wheelers went 13-15 in the 2010 summer, and that has proven to be their best mark so far this decade.

BASEBALL - Record: 113-127. Similar to boys basketball, Audubon had some struggles in the early part of the decade, but the last four years have seen them go 21-9, 14-11, 12-11 and are now 10-8.

GIRLS TENNIS - Record: 4-28-1.

BOYS TENNIS - Record: 6-39-1.

GOLF - The girl’s golf team qualified for state in 2013 and 2014 and topped out with a fifth-place finish in 2013. The boys team qualified for the 2012 tournament and finished in sixth place.

THE ATHLETES IN THE POLL 

Mykel Brannan, Class of 2010 

The star of Audubon’s 2010 state basketball qualifier, Brannan led the team with 17.3 points per game and also topped the squad with 67 assists and 87 steals.

Susie Bylund, Class of 2014 

Bylund finished tied for fifth at the 2014 state golf tournament, but she was an absolutely fantastic basketball player that averaged 18 points per game in her senior season. She was also the leading scorer as a junior and had over 1,500 assists as a three-year starting setter in volleyball.

Matt Fett, Class of 2014 

The younger Fett was a key member of Audubon’s successful run in football, including a deep run to the state quarterfinals in 2013. He was very good on the OL, but he was a monster on defense with 16 solo tackles for loss. He also took fourth at 220 at the 2014 state wrestling tournament.

Nick Fett, Class of 2012

Fett actually went on to start on the offensive line at Iowa State, something I know even he would have thought you were crazy if you told him that in 2012. The elder Fett placed 8th at the 2012 state wrestling tournament at 285.

Emily Haubrich, Class of 2016 

Haubrich was a terrific multi-sport standout with exploits in a number of sports. She led the 2015-2016 basketball team with 14.6 points per game and also led the 2014-15 in scoring. In softball, she hit .354 and .345 in her junior and senior summers.

Riley Jones, Class of 2014 

Another key member of Audubon’s most successful postseason run. Jones was the bell-cow, rushing for 1,421 yards and 25 touchdowns in his senior year.

Brad Kerkhoff, Class of 2014 

Kerkhoff was a two-time state wrestling medalist and a key cog in a lineup that went all the way to the state dual tournament.

Tate Killeen, Class of 2019 

A three-year stalwart in the Audubon basketball lineup, Killeen scored 1,196 points during his career and shot at least 45.6 percent each year - and over 50 percent twice.

Emma Konkler, Class of 2014

Konkler was the third-place finisher in the 100 meter dash at state track in her senior season, but she also averaged 1.99 kills per set in that senior volleyball year and 1.09 in her junior season.

Josh Lange, Class of 2018 

The first member of the famed 2018 class that we mention, Lange helped the Wheelers go 10-1 in his senior season, leading the team in receiving for the fourth straight season. Well, third straight in yardage and fourth straight in receptions. Lange also hit .421/.535/.579 and a had a team-low 2.33 ERA in his senior year of baseball. And he has a fourth-place state track medal (SHR) to his name.

Lane Lawson, Class of 2019

A standout defender for the Wheelers, Lawson had a team-high 67 total tackles and 13 solo tackles for loss for Audubon this past fall. He also had 800 career points in basketball.

Jake Mulford, Class of 2016 

Pound for pound, Mulford is arguably the best athlete of the decade in Audubon. The 5-foot-5 dynamo  rushed for 1,530 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior season. The year before that it was 1,152 and 15, and he was a perfect change-of-pace back for Riley Jones in 2013 when he went for 571 yards and five scores. Mulford also placed sixth at 132 pounds and eighth at 138 in 2014 and 2015 state wrestling.

Emily Nelsen, Class of 2013

A complete stud in volleyball, Nelsen averaged 2.81 kills per set and hit a .302 efficiency in the 2012 season. She also led the 2011 team with 2.13 kills per set in her junior season. 

Mitchell Nelsen, Class of 2016 

He did everything. He doubled up with football and cross country and then starred in track and baseball in the spring and summer. In track, he captured seven medals, including a state championship in his senior season in the shuttle hurdle and 110 highs. In his senior summer, he finished with 28 stolen bases in 30 attempts to finish 46 out of 49 in his final two years.

Dylan Obermeier, Class of 2019

A standout wrestler that also starred in football and was a solid golf and baseball contributor during his career. In football, Obemeier was the Class 8-Man District 8 Lineman of the Year and wreaked havoc defensively. 

Sydney Obermeier, Class of 2017 

Another that was good at anything and everything she tried. She was the team’s leading scorer in basketball in her senior season and averaged 3.00 kills per set for their state qualifying volleyball team. She was also a very good track contributor through her career.

Colby Rattenborg, Class of 2014 

Rattenborg finished his track career out in style with a second place finish in the long jump in 2014. He was also the leading hitter for the 2014 baseball team.

Tyler Riebhoff, Class of 2018 

Another Class of 2018er, this dude was dominant in every sport when he was healthy. He took over at quarterback in his sophomore season and then ended with 1249 yards passing and 1202 yards rushing in his senior year. In his junior basketball year, he averaged 10.4 points and 7.4 rebounds and had 122 assists - a triple-double threat every night. And his best sport may have been baseball where he went on to play at Coe College. Oh, and he was a four-time state track medalist with a ‘ship in the shuttle hurdle to his name.

Kaitlin Schultes, Class of 2017

Schultes teamed with Sydney Obermeier in volleyball to provide a dynamic 1-2 punch that went to Cedar Rapids. Schultes averaged a ridiculous 4.39 kills per set in her senior season and finished with over 800 career kills. She also hit .377/.443/.468 in her senior softball summer and .367/.457/.467 as a junior.

Skyler Schultes, Class of 2020

He’s not done yet, but what a junior season he had. In football, he threw for 954 yards, rushed for 1,136 and had 40 total touchdowns. He was a key contributor in basketball and is currently hitting .393/.534/.482 and is one of the aces of the pitching staff for the baseball team. He was also a terrific standout on the track, specifically the hurdles, where he has a fourth-place medal from the 2018 shuttle hurdle team.

Nolan Smith, Class of 2018

A complete beast. Nolan Smith rushed for 922 yards and 24 touchdowns in his senior football season after 1450 and 26 as a junior. He also won eight state track medals, including a title in the 110 high hurdles and as a member of the shuttle hurdle champ in 2016. He hit .320 and .326 in his final two seasons of baseball.

Trevor Smith, Class of 2015 

Sources indicate this was younger brother Gavin’s pick for the Athlete of the Decade. And it’s hard to argue. Smith was a three-year starter at quarterback, leading a program from 2-7 to 5-4, 9-3 and 7-3 in his years as the starter. He won a state wrestling medal and state track medal in 2015.

Matthew Smith-Petersen, Class of 2016

One of the great defensive standouts I’ve covered over the last decade, Smith-Petersen had 277 career tackles and 36 solos for loss. 

Jesse Svoboda, Class of 2013

Svoboda was a state wrestling runner-up in 2013 and one of the football team’s top tacklers. He also joined Jones and Trevor Smith in the backfield in rushing for 402 yards that season.

Lacey Vokt, Class of 2012

Terrific in everything she did, Vokt led the 2011-12 team in scoring (14.2 PPG), assists (80) and steals (82). She was also among the top two in those categories as a junior and was a standout as a sophomore (on a team of seniors) when they went to state. She absolutely crushed on the diamond with a .390/.468/.573 line as a senior, she had a seventh-place medal in the 100 hurdles and was a member of their state shuttle hurdle champion.

Joseph Zaiger, Class of 2018 

One final 2018 member. Zaiger had 34.5 tackles, but 20.5 of those were behind the line of scrimmage to finish his great football career. He also finished his career at state track in style with a second place finish in the discus.

WHO DID I MISS?

Several names from their successful football run that deserve mention include Dustin Andreasen from 2018, Garrett Inman from 2017, Elijah Zaiger from 2016 and Dylan Jensen from 2014. Prior to that, there’s Blair Kerkhoff from 2012 and Jay Blomme out of the 2011 class.

Kaiden Smith has been very good for the time he’s been in Audubon in a couple sports, and Andy Hoffman (2013), Ranen Spies (2011) and Luke Nissen (2010) had solid basketball performances at the beginning of the decade.

Micky Williamson (2017) was a standout all-conference player in baseball, and Andrew Irlmeier (2012) also had a nice career on the diamond.

Some 2019 girls that have been key contributors in many sports include Keaton Wessel and Jasmine Turner while Claire Olsen (2017) had an awesome career, including setting for the state volleyball qualifier. Courtney Rudolph and Morgan Gust from 2015, Haillie Anthofer from 2014 and Ashley Nissen from 2011 were standouts in volleyball.

You can add Stephanie Brannan (2011) to the basketball standouts and two-time state track medalists Joe Christensen (2010) and Aaron Roberts (2011). Madison Hagedorn is another from the Class of 2016 that medaled in 2015’s 100 hurdles. And I think we need to mention Aleah Hermansen, too. The freshman is already off to a fine start to her basketball career, and it’s possible she could be the winner of the next decade poll.

YOUR PICK

The public has made a major push for Lacey Vokt, and it’s going to be very tough to catch her. That would be the first female win of the All-Decade series, and I can’t argue with it too much. She was great in multiple sports, and that’s what it takes to get this kind of recognition.

MY PICK 

With that said, I’m going to throw out two names - one male and one female:

-Tyler Riebhoff: A complete star quarterback, triple-double threat in basketball, four-time state track medalist with a state title to his name and he was so good at baseball he was recruited to play at the next level.

-Susie Bylund: I surprised myself with this. She was a three-year starting setter in volleyball, a GREAT basketball player and arguably the best golfer of her era in the WIC.

Whomever you pick or picked, it’s hard to go wrong. It was definitely a fantastic decade for Wheeler sports.

ATLANTIC RESULTS

I’ve worked out some issues with the poll where it doesn’t complete delete from our system when it’s done. While you can’t see the actual results, I can tell you the top five:

WHO’S NEXT?

Bedford is on the clock! Look for that poll later today.