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(KMAland) -- The Martin Blog Fall Sports Preview series continues today with a look at Class 8-Player District 7 football.

PREVIOUS FALL SPORTS PREVIEWS 

Class 2A District 8 Preview

Class A District 7 Preview

Class 3A District 1 Preview

Class 1A District 6 Preview

Class 8-Player District 8 Preview

Class 1A District 8 Preview

Class 5A Preview

Class 4A District 6 Preview

Class 1A District 7 Preview

Class 3A District 6 Preview

Class 2A District 8 Preview

Western Iowa Conference Cross Country Preview

Western Iowa Conference Volleyball Preview

Class 8-Player District 10 Football Preview

Missouri River Conference Volleyball Preview

Hawkeye Ten Conference Cross Country Preview

Class A District 6 Football Preview

Missouri River Conference Cross Country Preview

Bluegrass Conference Cross Country Preview


2022 CLASS 8-PLAYER DISTRICT 7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Here’s a look at the 2021 standings in 8-7:

1. Montezuma Braves — 10-1 overall, 6-0 district

2. Baxter Bolts — 7-2 overall, 5-1 district

3. BGM, Brooklyn Bears — 5-4 overall, 4-2 district

4. Grand View Christian Thunder — 3-6 overall, 3-3 district

5. Melcher-Dallas Saints — 3-6 overall, 2-4 district

6. Twin Cedars Sabers — 1-8 overall, 1-5 district

7. Woodward Academy Knights — 0-8 overall, 0-6 district

Montezuma, Baxter and BGM all advanced on to the playoffs, but Montezuma was the only team to advance. All three had their demise come at the hands of a KMAland conference school.

COACHES

•Baxter: Robert Luther (6 postseason appearances — 5 with Collins-Maxwell-Baxter)

•BGM, Brooklyn: Jerod Burns (13 postseason appearances)

•Grand View Christian: John Safford Jr. (3 postseason appearances)

•Melcher-Dallas: Pat Ferguson

•Montezuma: John Beck (1 postseason appearance)

•Twin Cedars: Cameron Parker

•Woodward Academy: Not Listed

RETURNING QUARTERBACKS

Here are the returning quarterback in the district, sorted by passing yardage in 2021:

1. Jacob Maurer, SR, BGM: It’s somebody else’s turn to take over the passing lead in the league with the graduation of Montezuma legend Eddie Burgess. Maurer, despite listed as a running back, threw for 1,807 yards and 24 touchdowns while completing 62.1% of his passes.

2. Cody Damman, SR, Baxter: Damman also threw the ball around quite a bit and threw it well. He led the district with a 69.0% completion percentage while throwing for 1,300 yards and 23 touchdowns against just six interceptions.

3. Noah John, JR, Grand View Christian: John had a strong sophomore season for the Thunder, tossing 10 touchdowns and for 1,222 yards.

4. Logan Godfrey, SR, Melcher-Dallas: Godfrey is also back under center for the Saints, although he didn’t throw the ball a whole lot. He had 278 yards on 64 attempts (25.3 per completion) and had two touchdowns.

5. Dallas Smith, SO, Twin Cedars: Smith got the start as a freshman last year, and he made it count for 234 yards and one touchdown.

There are five returning quarterbacks in the league, but Montezuma must replace their QB1. Here’s who we think it will be:

-Owen Cook: A senior, Cook actually threw for 263 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 29.2 yards per completion, during his junior year. 

OR…

-Garrett Watts: Watts is a junior that threw 15 passes and for 93 yards last season.

TOP-RETURNING RUSHERS

Here are the returning leading rushers in the district, sorted by rushing yardage in 2021:

1. Jacob Maurer, SR, BGM: Maurer was all kinds of beastly last year for the Bears. Along with his league-leading passing yardage total, he also rushed for 1,900 yards and 39 touchdowns, averaging 9.0 yards per carry.

2. Cody Damman, SR, Baxter: Damman ranked third in the district last season with 727 yards and 13 touchdowns. All of the top three were quarterbacks for their respective teams.

3. Logan Godfrey, SR, Melcher-Dallas: Another returning quarterback that is among the top-returning rushers in the district. Godfrey had 588 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

4. Noah John, JR, Grand View Christian: Yep, we’re still searching for our first actual running back. John had a good year on the ground, too, with 528 yards and six touchdowns.

5. Kaeden Burger, JR, Grand View Christian: Burger is the first running back on this rushing list, and he had 345 yards and three touchdowns.

6. Shamus Keller, SR, BGM: Keller was a running threat, too, and finished the season with 310 yards on just 42 carries, scoring five touchdowns and averaging 7.4 yards per carry.

7. Jake Travis, SR, Baxter: Travis made the most of his 21 rushes, going for 292 yards and seven touchdowns. Yes, that’s a touchdown every three times he carried it and 13.9 yards per touch.

8. Chryton Arens, SR, BGM: BGM could certainly run the football, and Arens is another that got some run with 216 yards and two touchdowns on just 19 carries (11.4 yards per tote).

9. Nate Curry, JR, Twin Cedars: The youthful Sabers bring back Curry, who had 158 yards on 62 carries last year.

10. Austin Jordan, SO, Grand View Christian: Jordan had 129 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 9.2 yards per carry during his freshman season.

Two others with at least 100 yards rushing:

-Brenden Connett, JR, Twin Cedars: 111 yards rushing

-Cruz DeJong, JR, Montezuma: 103 yards rushing, TD

TOP-RETURNING RECEIVERS

Here are the returning leading receivers in the district, sorted by receiving yardage in 2021:

1. Masin Shearer, SR, Montezuma: The top receiver in the district last year — Jacob Moel of BGM — is gone and graduated. Shearer is back, though, and he had 36 grabs for 593 yards and eight touchdowns in the Braves’ big-play offense.

2. Owen Cook, SR, Montezuma: Well, if Cook isn’t throwing passes, it’s likely that he will be catching some more. He had 22 grabs for 566 yards and six touchdowns last season, averaging 25.7 yards per catch.

3. Colin Woodbury, SR, Grand View Christian: The star tight end for the Thunder had a nice year with 32 catches for 541 yards and three touchdowns.

4. Jake Travis, SR, Baxter: Out of the backfield, Travis was a threat in making 22 catches for 363 yards and eight touchdowns.

5. Shamus Keller, SR, BGM: Keller also had a big year through the air with 33 grabs for 312 yards and two touchdowns.

6. Cael Shepley, SR, Baxter: Shepley was worth 25 receptions for 268 yards and scored three touchdowns.

7. Treyton Travis, JR, Baxter: Another returning receiver for Baxter, Travis had 12 catches for 232 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 19.3 yards per reception.

8. Cooper Winter, SR, BGM: Winter made the most of his seven receptions, going for 194 yards and two touchdowns. That’s 27.7 yards per catch.

9. Kaeden Burger, JR, Grand View Christian: The Thunder back had 17 receptions for 160 yards a year ago.

10. Austin Jordan, SO, Grand View Christian: Another back for Grand View Christian, Jordan had 10 receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns. 

Three more with 100+ yards receiving:

-Kasey Clark, SR, Twin Cedars: 20 receptions, 144 yards, TD

-Eli Bustamante, SR, Montezuma: 6 receptions, 120 yards, 2 TD

-Nate Curry, JR, Twin Cedars: 13 receptions, 120 yards

TOP-RETURNING DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS

Here are the returning leading defensive standouts in the district, sorted by total tackles in 2021:

1. Cooper Winter, SR, BGM: Winter was listed as a defensive back last season, and the numbers were pretty dang good. He had 53.5 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and three fumble recoveries.

2. Jacob Maurer, SR, BGM: Another BGM standout on the defensive side, Maurer had 44.5 tackles during his junior year and added three interceptions. 

3. Cody Damman, SR, Baxter: Damman was listed as a cornerback last season, and he finished out the season with 40.5 tackles and 1.0 TFL.

4. Lucas Harrington, SR, Melcher-Dallas: Harrington was key upfront for the Saints, posting 40.0 tackles, 3.0 TFL and 3.0 sacks.

5. Devan Fredregill, SR, Baxter: Huge year for Fredregill, who had 12.0 TFLs and 4.0 sacks among 39.5 tackles for the Bolts.

6. Carlos Gonzalez, SO, Melcher-Dallas: The top freshman tackler in the league last year, Gonzalez had 39.0 tackles, 1.0 TFL and 1.0 sack.

7. Colin Woodbury, SR, Grand View Christian: He didn’t have a listed position on defense, but I’m going to go with defensive end. Woodbury had 38.5 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss in a big 2021 that also included two fumble recoveries.

8. Kaeden Burger, JR, Grand View Christian: Burger had a solid fall on defense for the Thunder with 38.0 tackles.

8. Martavious Knox, SR, Montezuma: Knox had 9.5 tackles for loss among 38.0 total tackles last year for Montezuma.

8. Jake Travis, SR, Baxter: Travis was all over the field for the Bolts, as he finished with 38.0 total tackles, 6.0 TFLs and 4.0 sacks.

11. Max Enfield, SR, Melcher-Dallas: Enfield returns for his senior season and had a big junior year to build off with 37.0 tackles, 2.0 TFL and 2.0 sacks.

12. Nate Curry, JR, Twin Cedars: Curry posted 36.0 total tackles and 2.0 tackles for loss for the Sabers.

13. Cael Shepley, SR, Baxter: Shepley is next with 35.5 total tackles from his linebacker position, but he also had big plays with four interceptions, including two that led to touchdowns.

14. Mason Maschmann, JR, BGM: Maschmann finished his sophomore season with 5.0 tackles for loss among 33.5 tackles. He also hopped on two fumbles.

15. Logan Heishman, SR, BGM: Heishman had a solid run along the defensive line with 6.5 tackles for loss and 33.0 total tackles.

16. Trice Clapper, SR, Baxter: One of the great names you’re going to find in any of these previews, Clapper had 28.0 tackles, 7.0 TFL and 2.0 sacks.

17. Logan Godfrey, SR, Melcher-Dallas: A standout two-way player, Godfrey played cornerback last year and had 26.0 total tackles with two fumble recoveries and three picks, scoring on one of those INTs.

17. Brett Plants, SO, Montezuma: Plants tied with Godfrey last year with 26.0 total tackles and also had 2.0 TFLs.

19. Landyn Roland, SR, Twin Cedars: Roland was one of Twin Cedars’ top tacklers from the linebacker position, finishing with 24.5 tackles, 2.0 TFLs and 2.0 sacks.

20. Tate Martin, SO, BGM: And we round out the top 20 returning tacklers with Martin (no relation), who had 3.5 tackles for loss and 24.0 total tackles.

Other defensive players with at least 2.0 TFL, 2 INT and/or 2 FR:

-Connor Cooling, SR, BGM: 18.5 tackles, 6.0 TFL, 1.0 sack

-Tod Geiger, JR, Montezuma: 16.0 tackles, 4.5 TFL

-Aiden McFadden, JR, Baxter: 18.0 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks

-JaMarcus Bradley-Norman, JR, Grand View Christian: 9.0 tackles, 4.0 TFL

-Kasey Clark, SR, Twin Cedars: 20.5 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks

-Peyton Minner, SO, Montezuma: 7.0 tackles, 2.0 TFL

-Trevor Raab, JR, Melcher-Dallas: 2 FR

-Treyton Travis, JR, Baxter: 2 INT

-Owen Cook, SR, Montezuma: 2 INT, 1 TD

TOP-RETURNING SPECIALISTS  

-Austin Jordan, SO, Grand View Christian: 222 KR yards (11.1 PER)

-Shamus Keller, SR, BGM: 180 KR yards (20.0 PER)

-Jacob Maurer, SR, BGM: 150 KR yards (18.8 PER); 199 PR yards (19.9 PER), 1 PR TD

-Logan Godfrey, SR, Melcher-Dallas: 128 KR yards (12.8 PER); 689 PUNT yards (26.5 PER)

-Brenden Connett, JR, Twin Cedars: 116 KR yards (11.6 PER)

-Owen Cook, SR, Montezuma: 41/47 PAT, 1/1 FG (36 LONG), 51 TB

-Chryton Arens, SR, BGM: 10/19 PAT, 4 TB

-Wyatt Findley, JR, Twin Cedars: 654 PUNT yards (25.2 PER)

RETURNING ALL-DISTRICT PLAYERS 

Baxter (6): Trice Clapper (1st), Devin Fredregill (2nd), Aiden McFadden (HM), Cael Shepley (2nd), Jake Travis (1st), Treyton Travis (HM)

BGM (6): Connor Cooling (2nd), Logan Heishman (HM), Shamus Keller (1st), Mason Maschmann (HM), Jacob Maurer (1st), Cooper Winter (2nd)

Grand View Christian (3): Kaeden Burger (2nd), Noah John (1st), Colin Woodbury (1st)

Melcher-Dallas (4): Max Enfield (HM), Logan Godfrey (2nd), Carlos Gonzalez (2nd), Lucas Harrington (2nd)

Montezuma (6): Eli Bustamente (HM), Tod Geiger (1st), Martavious Knox (1st), Brett Plants (HM) Kennen Roadcap (1st), Masin Shearer (1st)

Twin Cedars (3): Kasey Clark (HM), Nathan Curry (2nd), Landyn Roland (2nd)

PRESEASON ALL-DISTRICT 

QB: Cody Damman, SR, Baxter

QB/RB: Jacob Maurer, SR, BGM

RB: Kaeden Burger, JR, Grand View Christian

WR: Masin Shearer, SR, Montezuma

WR: Owen Cook, SR, Montezuma

OL: Kennen Roadcap, JR, Montezuma

OL: Trice Clapper, SR, Baxter

OL: Connor Cooling, SR, BGM

DL: Lucas Harrington, SR, Melcher-Dallas

DL: Devan Fredregill, SR, Baxter

DL: Colin Woodbury, SR, Grand View Christian

LB: Carlos Gonzalez, SO, Melcher-Dallas

LB: Jake Travis, SR, Baxter

LB: Martavious Knox, SR, Montezuma

DB: Cooper Winter, SR, BGM

DB: Jacob Maurer, SR, BGM

RET: Jacob Maurer, SR, BGM

K: Owen Cook, SR, Montezuma

P: Logan Godfrey, SR, Melcher-Dallas

PRESEASON PROGNOSTICATION 

This is not my prediction. This is formulaic: 2021 district wins + # of returning standouts listed above + all-district returnees + preseason all-district. In Class 8-Player District 7 it looks like this:

1. BGM (30)

2. Baxter (28)

3. Montezuma (27)

4. Grand View Christian (19)

5. Melcher-Dallas (17)

6. Twin Cedars (14)

7. Woodward Academy (0)

Thoughts: There is a little bit of shuffling on the top, but it figures to be a heck of a battle between BGM, Baxter and Montezuma. According to The Formula, BGM will jump from No. 3 to 1, Baxter will stay put at 2 and Montezuma will move down to 3. Regardless, it likes the three playoff teams from last year to be the three playoff teams this year. I don’t blame it.

Send any more questions, comments and/or concerns to dmartin@kmamail.com.

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