Gabe Pauley, AHSTW

Gabe Pauley of AHSTW celebrates after winning his second state wrestling championship

(KMAland) -- Our All-Decade series began yesterday with a chance to vote on the best athlete of the decade at AHSTW or AHST. Here’s a look at those that I put in the poll:

Gage Clay, Class of 2018

Clay won eight state medals in track, including a championship in the 200 at his junior state meet and an incredible anchor for the winning 4x200 meter relay champion in his senior season. He also had a pair of runner-up medals and a third during his career. Clay was also a major game-breaker in football and was a strong wrestler early in his career.

Danikah Grobe, Class of 2015

Grobe was an underrated talent on the basketball court that led the Lady Vikes in nearly every category – points, rebounds, assists and blocks – in her senior season. She finished her career with 1,023 points. She was also the leading hitter in volleyball during her senior season.

RJ Harris, Class of 2018

The all-time leading scorer in AHSTW/AHST basketball history, Harris was a standout performer on the court, on the gridiron and an important part of some strong AHSTW track teams. In his senior year, he threw for 1,611 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 578 and nine more scores in football and averaged nearly 16 points per game in basketball.

Nate Herbst, Class of 2016

Herbst was one of the most electric run-pass threats in the area during his four years as the AHSTW quarterback. He spanned the end of the Cory Faust era and the beginning of the Davis Pattee era. In four years, he had 2,629 passing and 2,502 rushing yards with a combined 72 touchdowns.

Hunter Nelsen, Class of 2011

He was one of the best hurdlers I’ve covered, winning the 2010 Class 1A 110 high hurdles championship without the benefit of a track or hurdles to practice with. He was also the Vikings leading rusher in his senior season.

Jayna Olesen, Class of 2016

Olesen was a standout in multiple sports, but her best sport was arguably soccer. She scored a team-high 16 goals in her senior season and had 29 for her career. She also had several standout seasons on the softball diamond, hitting .398 as a junior and .309 or better in two other seasons.

Drake Partridge, Class of 2019

The Class of 2019 is represented by the speedster that won the 100 and 200 meter dash state championships as his final act with the Vikings. Partridge also helped lead AHSTW to the state championship game, finishing his senior season with 1,197 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns.

Gabe Pauley, Class of 2019

Another Class of 2019 representative. Pauley rushed for 1,760 yards and 27 touchdowns and had a team-high 95.5 tackles for the aforementioned state runner-up this past fall. For his career, he had nearly 3,500 yards rushing and 48 touchdowns and 256.5 total tackles. And oh yeah, he won two state wrestling championships, including an undefeated junior season. I believe he gave up just one takedown over his final two years on the mat.

Kinsey Scheffler, Class of 2020

Here’s an active athlete that still has some time to add to her accomplishments and accolades. Scheffler was an instant impact athlete with 722 career points in basketball, 510 kills in volleyball and a state medal in track. Pretty, pretty good.

Johnni Schueman, Class of 2012

Schueman made her most in the world of track, finishing her career with seven state track medals, including four in the 100 meter dash, and seven Western Iowa Conference titles. At the time of graduation, she held seven school records. She also played volleyball and basketball and was a cheerleader for football and wrestling. She was so good at cheerleading, in fact, that she went on to cheerlead at Iowa State.

Brayton Tuma, Class of 2019

Another Class of 2019 representative, Tuma is the all-time leading goal scorer in soccer at AHSTW – and he was good enough in football that Northwestern wants him to play for them. But again, he’s arguably the most dynamic soccer player the school has seen, finishing his career with 64 goals and 17 assists.

WHO DID I MISS?

There was some love for Kyle Bauerkemper, Steven Jacobsen, Austin Fink and Lee Whyte. All four were terrific athletes, and I probably should have had them all in the poll.

Bauerkemper was an absolute freak on the gridiron, on the mat and on the track. His 400 hurdles performance at the state track meet his senior season is one of my favorite runs I’ve seen. Pure guts.

Jacobsen was an All-State kicker, a terrific shooter in basketball and a really good baseball player.

Fink was the top defensive player for a 12-1 football team and a very good wrestler among other standout performances. He’s also making an impact as a coach now with the Vikings.

And Whyte was a smooth operator on the basketball court and made major contributions for successful football and baseball teams. I have nothing bad to say about him whatsoever, and I hope he’ll remember that if I’m ever going too fast through Harlan.

Blake Osbahr (Class of 2019) is also definitely noteworthy. He was an outstanding quarterback this past fall and led the state in voerall quarterback rating. He's also the all-time leader in assists in soccer and a really solid basketball player. 

Another from the Class of 2019 would be Gabe Madsen, who was a really successful and impactful football player, a great wrestler, a standout soccer player and an important leader in baseball. 

I also want to note that Seth Enke and Gunner Gilliland were 2010 graduates that were absolutely AWESOME football players and terrific basketball standouts. They probably belong in the last decade conversation, though, since their impacts were mostly made before 2010.

YOUR PICK

The poll will run through tomorrow morning, but I think it’s pretty safe to say Gabe Pauley is the public’s pick as the AHSTW/AHST Athlete of the Decade. I can see why with his All-State abilities on the football field and pair of state wrestling championships. He would most likely be my choice, too.

We will move to Ar-We-Va this afternoon. Send in your nominations to dmartin@kmaland.com.