Coon Rapids-Bayard Crusaders Logo

(KMAland) – Hey, it’s been a little bit, but here’s the latest All-Decade blog, focusing on Coon Rapids-Bayard. But first…









Boyer Valley


Central Decatur



FOOTBALL – Record: 56-35. State playoff qualifiers in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, they somehow missed the playoffs when they went 8-1 in 2016. They also saw one of the largest transformations in style, moving from the spread passing attack of Dan Spooner to the grind-em-out high-powered rushing attack of John Kesselring. Interesting decade.

VOLLEYBALL – Record: 175-105. There were no state tournament trips in the decade, but there sure were plenty of wins. That’s 70 games over .500, including seasons of 21 or more wins five times and another with 19.

GIRLS BASKETBALL – Record: 99-124. The 2008-09 team went to the state tournament, but this decade didn’t see a team quite get there. There were, however, four winning seasons in 2010-11, 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2014-15.

BOYS BASKETBALL – Record: 120-109. A state tournament team in 2009-10 that finished 16-10, the Crusaders had four other winning seasons and three others that were just under .500 by one or two games.

WRESTLING – Jon Meyers won a state championship at 215 pounds in 2010, and Cole Hopkins finished seventh at 140 in the same season. The Crusaders ended up 19th as a team at the traditional tournament that year. Zach Imler added another medal in 2011, taking 8th at 112.

TRACK & FIELD – The Crusaders had a number of individual medalists over the past decade, and they all came in the field. Sam Obert was fourth and seventh in 2016 and 2017 in the high jump while Brandon Riley took second and fifth in 2015 and 2016 in the long jump. Kelsey Winnett was another medalist, placing seventh in the 2015 shot put.

GOLF – Coon Rapids-Bayard qualified for the 2017 state tournament and saw Colton Lenz (16th) and Isaac McAlister (27th) both finish within the top 27. As a team, the Crusaders shot a 703 and finished seventh.

BASEBALL – Record: 256-91. Two state tournament trips during the decade in 2011 and 2015, but they were right on the doorstep many other times. There were some dudes in this program during the decade, which included 10 winnings seasons. And yeah, they’re not done with this season yet.

SOFTBALL – Record: 113-175. Coon Rapids-Bayard had eight seasons of 10 wins or more and two winning seasons during the decade. The best year came in 2012 when they were 22-11.


Brett Carstens (Class of 2014)

Brett Carstens made his biggest marks on the baseball diamond and football field. In baseball, he had seasons with a 0.91 ERA and 1.70 ERA, and he hit at least .430 at the plate in each of those seasons. He also had a monster senior football year with 1,163 yards passing, 663 rushing and 32 total touchdowns.

Jay Carstens (Class of 2011)

Another Carstens that had monster summers in baseball. In his senior season, he had a 0.88 ERA and 62 strikeouts, which was one year after a 1.75 ERA and 54 punchouts during his junior year.

Caylor Deeth (Class of 2014)

Deeth was one of the top receiving threats for the Crusaders during the decade, snagging 38 receiving touchdowns in his final three years on the gridiron. He also had seasons of 1,075, 715 and 606 yards receiving. Deeth was also a standout in baseball, hitting .495/.562/.638 with 38 stolen bases in his senior year and pitching to a 1.68 ERA with 74 strikeouts as a junior.

Katie Dentlinger (Class of 2012)

A three-sport star, Dentlinger averaged at least 3.20 kills per set twice in volleyball, averaged a double-double three times in basketball and hit .407/.481/.670 with 19 extra-base hits as a senior in softball. Back to basketball, her numbers in her final three years of high school: 17.4 points, 14.3 rebounds as a senior, 13.3 points, 11.1 rebounds as a junior and 16.2 points and 14.6 rebounds as sophomore.

Jacob Esdohr (Class of 2011)

Another three-sport star that had 79 receptions, 1,398 yards and 23 touchdowns on offense and 100 tackles (and 15 solo tackles for loss) in his senior football season. Esdohr also averaged 16.6 points per game as a senior in basketball (and 14.6 as a junior) and had a massive .539/.590/.945 hitting line and a 0.87 ERA as a senior in baseball.

Zach Evans (Class of 2016)

Evans was a multi-sport standout as well, but his biggest impact came on the football field where he was…an…absolute…monster. Evans rushed for 2,080 yards and 27 touchdowns in his junior season – one year after going for 1,453 yards and 25 touchdowns in his sophomore season. He also had 23 tackles for loss as a junior on defense.

Mary Halverson (Class of 2012)

Mary Halverson was simply one of the best all-around basketball stars in the area during the decade. She averaged 12.1, 16.1 and 15.3 points per game in her final three years of hoops, but she was so much more than that. She also had 194 steals and 174 assists during those three years.

Jade Hays (Class of 2018)

Hays went from 3.40 to 3.31 to a massive 5.39 digs per set as a standout libero for the Coon Rapids-Bayard volleyball team in her sophomore through senior seasons. She also hit .388, .356, .500 and .543 in her four best years of softball. Hays was also a solid contributor in basketball and track.

Tina Lair-Van Meter (Class of 2017)

Tina Lair-Van Meter dominated the block and the glass during her basketball career. She averaged a double-double in her final two seasons, going for 12.5 and 10.1 as a senior and 11.6 and 10.2 as a junior.

Isaac McAlister (Class of 2017)

Along with the aforementioned golf exploits, McAlister could swing it on the diamond, hitting .344 and .351 as a junior and senior, respectively, and combining to steal 57 bags in those two years.

Jon Meyers (Class of 2010)

Meyers was a state champion wrestler at 215 pounds, which means you have to be an absolute beast. He didn’t play any football during the decade, but he was a beast there, too, finishing his senior season (2009) with 28 solo tackles for loss. That’s a lot.

Ben Obert (Class of 2019)

The all-time leading scorer in school history, Obert averaged a moderate (at least for him) 11.6 points per game as a freshman. But that’s a pretty major accomplishment – to score in double figures as a frosh – and so we knew more was coming. The next three years saw him put up 18.6, 22.4 and 22.0 points per game.

Sam Obert (Class of 2017)

The two-time state track medalist also had two seasons of at least 1,400 yards rushing and scored a combined 44 touchdowns on the ground in his final two years on the gridiron. He was also a standout on defense and hit .382/.515/.402 with 29 stolen bases for his sophomore baseball season.

Gage Reis (Class of 2012)

A huge and highly successful star in basketball and baseball, Reis had a monster senior season in hoops. He averaged 17.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game and also had 76 assists, 75 steals and 23 blocks. Reis also had multiple dominant summers, hitting .485/.618/.901 and striking out 99 batters as a senior and .436/.525/.667 with 80 Ks on the mound as a junior.

Brandon Riley (Class of 2017)

The athleticism runs deep here, and he showed it in four sports during his career. He had two 1,000-yard rushing seasons and another over 700 while also passing for about an average of 500 yards over those three seasons. Riley had his best basketball season as a senior, averaging 12.0 points per game and then followed up each of his two state track medal campaigns with solid summers in baseball. For instance, he hit .425/.548/.700 as a senior and was a solid pitcher for several seasons.

Rylie Schlepp (Class of 2014)

Schlepp was the kind of player every good basketball team needs to be successful. She did all the little things that turned into big things that turned into wins. She had 59 assists and 77 steals as a junior and 86 assists and 104 steals as a senior.

Steven Schwartz (Class of 2010)

Schwartz was a beast at the plate during his final season of baseball in 2010, hitting .433/.553 and .740 with a big 20 extra-base hits. A major piece of the successful CRB baseball puzzle.

Michael Schwenk (Class of 2011)

Schwenk could really pass – in football and in basketball. In football, he had 2,795 yards and 46 touchdowns (with 386 and 7 on the ground) through the air during his senior season. In basketball, he had 235 assists over his final two seasons – and also averaged 10.2 points per game as a senior.

Katelyn Winnett (Class of 2019)

Winnett had an outstanding softball career with a batting average of .378, .435, .322 and .375 in her final four years at the plate. She was also a top hitter in volleyball with 2.53 kills per set this past fall while also contributing in basketball and track.

Kelsey Winnett (Class of 2015)

Another Winnett that placed seventh in the shot put in 2015 (worth mentioning again), averaged double figures in basketball twice (10.5 and 10.6 – good consistency) and absolutely tore it up on the diamond. She hit .535/.589/.899 as a senior and .421/.491/.653 as a sophomore.

McKenna Zanders (Class of 2015)

As you might expect, another multi-sport standout for the Crusaders, Zanders was a terrific hitter/setter in volleyball (2.71 kills, 4.00 assists per set at different points in her career) and was an unstoppable force by the time she was done in basketball. She averaged 11.0 points as a sophomore, 13.5 as a junior and a big 19.0 during her senior year.


There are definitely some others, and there are definitely going to be some others that don’t “make” the poll in future votes. There were comments of “this is disrespectful” for so and so. This isn’t about respect or disrespect. This is just a fun activity and a way to look back at the decade in athletics.

It’s an unscientific activity based on available research (mostly QuikStats). There are some schools that I know better than others, but this is going back through nine years of data. My memory can be a little foggy at certain points. There’s no disrespect intended. Frankly, I don’t have to do this All-Decade series. Nobody else is doing it, but I do it because I enjoy it and think it’s fun. If someone else wants to take the idea and run with it and thinks they can do a better job in certain towns and schools…well, it wouldn’t be the first time our features and ideas have been copied.

Anyway, here are some from CRB that also deserve mention:

-Cassidy Baker (Class of 2021): A do-it-all star on the volleyball court that has averaged over 5.5 assists per set in her first two years.

-Jeffrey Eagle (Class of 2020): He’s coming off a 1,139 yard rushing season and had nearly 700 as a sophomore.

-Peyton Clipperton (Class of 2020): He’s a dynamic run-pass threat that had 831 rushing, 414 passing and 21 total touchdowns this past fall.

-Kade Schlepp (Class of 2020): Big-time contributor with a 1.40ish ERA this summer.

-Christian Cook (Class of 2019): One of the key members of the current Crusaders, which are having a huge summer.

-Kristin Mahlberg (Class of 2019): She averaged 2.29 kills per set in her senior volleyball season and was also a strong standout on the softball diamond.

-Kayla Lenz (Class of 2018): She had a 2.52 ERA and 146 strikeouts as a senior and started multiple years in the circle for CRB.

-Taylor Pevestorf (Class of 2018): She averaged 2.59 kills per set as a senior in volleyball and 2.18 as a junior.

-Brianna Davis (Class of 2017): Hit .446/.505/.602 for her senior year.

-Hannah Baker (Class of 2016): Not that Hannah Baker, 13 Reasons Why fans. Baker was also a do-it-al standout with over five assists per set in her final two seasons.

-Kaitlyn Culbertson (Class of 2016): A monster senior season with 3.25 kills per set.

-Bailey Esslinger (Class of 2015): A solid .423 hitter in her senior season.

-Trevor Hachmeister (Class of 2015): Hachmeister put in 14.1 points per game as a senior – one year after 11.3 as a junior.

-Hailey Cook (Class of 2014): She had a terrific .440/.517/.700 line during her junior softball summer.

-Nicole Dentlinger (Class of 2014): She averaged 2.47 and 2.81 kills per set in her final two volleyball seasons.

-Zach Dentlinger (Class of 2014): A great distributor for the Crusaders, finishing his senior year with 104 dimes.

-MacKenzie Olson (Class of 2014): A five-year starter in the circle, she also hit .442 during her senior season at the plate.

-Spencer Winnett (Class of 2014): A star on defense that had a senior season with 19 total tackles for loss and 10 sacks.

-Caleb Oswald (Class of 2013): Another strong defender with 15 solo tackles for loss and 12 sacks in his own senior season.

-Keaton Schlatter (Class of 2013): Schlatter threw for 2,039 yards and 30 touchdowns and rushed for another 400 and eight in his senior season.

-Marissa Spoo (Class of 2012): A monster at the plate with a .447/.531/.767 line as a senior, Spoo also struck out 92 during her senior year of pitching – her third year starting.

-Tyler Boeke (Class of 2010): He hit .390/.531/.540 at the plate and had 82 strikeouts on the mound in his senior season.


Here are the final voting results for Coon Rapids-Bayard, which ran an extra day or two as I was tied up with the wedding festivities of my brother-in-law.

Obert is the all-time leading scorer in school history in basketball so it definitely makes sense. He’s also recent, so that seems to be an ongoing trend in the polls, too. I like the pic. I really do. Others I really liked here included Gage Reis, Katie Dentlinger, Brandon Riley and McKenna Zanders (in no particular order).


Council Bluffs, Thomas Jefferson is next. Stay tuned.

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