(KMAland) -- Now for something completely different. For years, KMA Sports has been running out district awards to highlight the top players we covered that football season. It’s time for a change.

Frankly, the coaches of these districts do a good enough job handing out awards that our own district awards seem to be a practice in monotony and repetitiveness. So, rather than sort by district we are going to do our football awards like we did for volleyball and for cross country. Yes, that’s right — this year’s KMAland football awards are the KMAland Iowa Football Conference Awards.

We had some fun with this in handing out an Offensive Player, Defensive Player and Coach of the Year to go with a Senior, Junior, Sophomore and Freshman of the Year. Plus, awards for the top quarterback, running back, receiver/tight end, lineman, linebacker, defensive back, kicker, punter and return specialist in the Hawkeye Ten, Corner, Western Iowa, Pride of Iowa, Rolling Valley, Missouri River and Bluegrass conferences.

Without further ado, here are the first KMAland Iowa Football Conference Awards. 

Note: As a reminder, KMA Sports will not respond to any questions or comments on our choices.  


Offensive Player of the Year: Teagon Kasperbauer, Junior, Harlan — There were some terrific offensive players in the conference, but how could we possibly turn away a record-breaking season like this? Kasperbauer threw for 3,307 yards and a school-record 46 touchdowns while completing nearly 66% of his passes and leading the Cyclones to their 13th state tournament.

Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Miller, Senior, Lewis Central — An insane season for Miller, who helped the Titans to their first state championship behind 27.0 tackles for loss and 15.0 sacks among 49.5 tackles on the season.

Coach of the Year: Todd Bladt, Harlan — It’s pretty rare where you have to choose between two state champion coaches, but that’s what we have here. Tie goes to the classic they played in the opening week that was won by the Cyclones.

Senior of the Year: Hunter Deyo, Lewis Central — Deyo was a two-way force for the Titans, posting 42.5 tackles and 16.0 tackles for loss on defense and spearheading a terrific offensive line that could pass or run all over a defense.

Junior of the Year: Aidan Hall, Harlan — A playmaker in every sense of the word. Hall averaged 8.3 yards per carry, rushed for 777 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. He also had 32 grabs for 755 yards and another seven scores (an average of 23.6 yards per reception). And then there’s the defense where he had three interceptions, two Dome pick sixes and 29.5 total tackles.

Sophomore of the Year: Jase Wilmes, Clarinda — A strong two-way player for Clarinda on the line, Wilmes finished with 38.5 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks for the Cardinals this season.

Freshman of the Year: Adam Baier, Red Oak — A lot of this can come down to opportunity, and Baier made the most of his with 11.0 tackles, 1.0 TFL and one fumble recovery on defense while rushing for 35 yards and a score on offense.

Top Quarterback: Teagon Kasperbauer, Harlan — See above.

Top Running Back: Jonathan Humpal, Lewis Central — Hall as a rushing and receiving threat and as a two-way lands him the JOTY, but Humpal takes the top running back spot. The LC star had 1,432 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns for the 4A champs.

Top Receiver/Tight End: Connor Frame, Senior, Harlan — Frame averaging 21.5 yards per reception as a primary receiver is something special. He pulled in 50 balls for 1,076 yards and 22 touchdowns on the year. 

Top Lineman: Hunter Deyo, Senior, Lewis Central — See above.

Top Linebacker: Wyatt Hatcher, Senior, Lewis Central — Hatcher finished with 62.0 tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions.

Top Defensive Back: Marcus Duncan, Senior, Lewis Central — A first team all-district pick, Duncan had four interceptions and regularly drew the toughest receiving assignments.

Top Kicker: Boston Hensley, Junior, Lewis Central — Stephen Leinen (Harlan) is another great choice, but Hensley missed just one extra point, went 5/7 on FGs and kicked the longest one this year (50).

Top Punter: Lane Feierfeil, Senior, Lewis Central — Feierfeil tied for the conference-high in yard per punt at 39.8. And, ya know, he saved the game in the state championship. That counts for something. For a lot, actually.

Top Returner: Tadyn Brown, JR, Clarinda — Brown had a punt and kick return for a touchdown and averaged over 27 yards per return in both.


Offensive Player of the Year: Ethan Meier, Senior, East Mills — Who saw this one coming? Meier threw for 1,502 yards, rushed for 886 and had 33 total touchdowns on the season. Monster year. 

Defensive Player of the Year: Braxton Blackburn, Sophomore, Fremont-Mills — Blackburn lived in opponents’ backfields all season, finishing with 22.0 TFL and 10.0 sacks among 70.0 total tackles.

Coach of the Year: Jeremy Christiansen, Fremont-Mills — Until the championship game, Fremont-Mills head coach Jeremy Christiansen and the rest of his staff put together the game plan for CAM’s closest contest this year.

Senior of the Year: Logan Roberts, Stanton-Essex — Roberts put up monster numbers on both sides of the ball with 921 yards rushing, 242 yards receiving and 19 total touchdowns on offense and 84.0 tackles and 11.0 tackles for loss on defense. 

Junior of the Year: Ryan Stortenbecker, East Mills — Stortenbecker led East Mills with 55.5 tackles and posted 7.5 tackles for loss while also nabbing five interceptions. He also had 474 yards rushing and 10 total offensive touchdowns. 

Sophomore of the Year: Braxton Blackburn, Fremont-Mills — Along with his star work on defense, Blackburn rushed for 1,064 yards and had 15 offensive touchdowns. 

Freshman of the Year: Nick Jennum, Griswold — Big year for Jennum, who had 555 yards receiving, 118 rushing and six offensive touchdowns. He also posted 49.0 tackles and an interception on defense. 

Top Quarterback: Ethan Meier, Senior, East Mills — See above.

Top Running Back: Braxton Blackburn, Sophomore, Fremont-Mills — See above.

Top Receiver/Tight End: Davis McGrew, Junior, East Mills — McGrew had 41 receptions for 526 yards and 10 touchdowns, ranking second, third and first in the conference in those categories.

Top Lineman: Adam Perrin, Senior, Fremont-Mills — The district lineman of the year, Perrin was a key piece to F-M’s hard-churning offense and added 32.0 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks on defense.

Top Linebacker: Logan Roberts, Senior, Stanton-Essex — See above.

Top Defensive Back: Jake Malcom, Senior, Fremont-Mills — He’s been a ballhawk throughout his career and finished this season with five interceptions to go with 54.5 total tackles. 

Top Kicker: Ryan Stortenbecker, Junior, East Mills — Stortenbecker made a pair of field goals, with a long of 38, and had 22 made extra points. All were the best among Corner kickers.

Top Punter: Carter Johnson, Senior, Stanton-Essex — Johnson averaged 34.4 yards per punt, which was the top number for punters with at least five attempts on the year.

Top Returner: Kyle Kesterson, Senior, Fremont-Mills — Kesterson had a kick return and a punt return for a touchdown, averaging 17.3 yards per punt return and 25.7 yards per kick return.


Offensive Player of the Year: Gavin Smith, Senior, Audubon — It’s a ridiculously tough decision here. Let’s go with the 2,000-yard rusher (2,074 to be exact) and pay the runner-up off somewhere else (maybe tomorrow). Smith also had 43 rushing touchdowns and threw for 995 and 13 more scores.

Defensive Player of the Year: Brecken Freeberg, Senior, Tri-Center — Freeberg put up some pretty massive numbers in somewhat limited action. He posted 74.0 total tackles to go with 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. 

Coach of the Year: Nate Mechaelsen, Underwood — Don’t take Underwood’s success for granted. Coach Mechaelsen’s team was expected to be good, and they were great. They pulverized teams into submission on their way to an undefeated regular season and a playoff victory.

Senior of the Year: Joey Anderson, Underwood — Anderson rushed for 1,757 yards and 32 touchdowns, averaging 9.8 yards per carry, while also contributing greatly on defense with 16.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks among 40.5 total tackles. 

Junior of the Year: Alex Ravlin, Underwood — Ravlin’s success came on both sides of the ball. The star signal-caller had 2,358 yards passing, 408 yards rushing and 31 total touchdowns for the Eagles. He also had 30.0 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and an interception on defense.

Sophomore of the Year: Josh Ravlin, Underwood — There were some solid offensive and defensive performances, but Ravlin seems to be the biggest contributor on both sides. Ravlin posted 18 receptions for 212 yards and two touchdowns on offense and finished with 22.5 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions on defense. 

Freshman of the Year: Carter Kunze, Tri-Center — Kunze stuck his nose in there in a very hard-nosed district, posting 23.0 tackles with 2.5 TFL and 1.0 sack.

Top Quarterback: Gavin Smith, Senior, Audubon — See above.

Top Running Back: Joey Anderson, Senior, Underwood — See above.

Top Receiver/Tight End: Scott Pearson, Senior, Underwood — Consider that Pearson got banged up late in the year and didn’t play in every game. He still put up 35 receptions for 627 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 17.9 yards per grab.

Top Lineman: Easton Eledge, Senior, Underwood — There’s a reason Eledge is being sought by many terrific schools. He was one of the stalwarts on the line for the WIC’s most explosive offense and had 25.0 tackles and 9.0 tackles for loss on defense.

Top Lineman: Rex Johnsen, Senior, Logan-Magnolia -- Johnsen was so good that we felt like we needed to honor two from the Western Iowa Conference. The Wyoming recruit handled business up front for one of the best rushing attacks in KMAland this year while also finishing with 34.0 tackles, 11.0 TFL and 5.5 sacks on defense.

Top Linebacker: Brecken Freeberg, Senior, Tri-Center — See above.

Top Defensive Back: Calvin Wallis, Junior, Logan-Magnolia — Wallis went out and got the football all season, finishing with a conference-best eight interceptions. 

Top Kicker: Matthew Beisswenger, Senior, Audubon — There were a lot of options here, and if you lined them up for a “kick off” you could have some different winners. However, the stats lean Beisswenger, who went 3/3 for on field goals, made a long of 42 and went 43/45 on PATs.

Top Punter: Raydden Grobe, Senior, AHSTW — Grobe averaged 41.3 yards per punt, and he punted it 29 times. So, it was consistently good. 

Top Returner: Braden Wessel, Senior, Audubon — He had the most important special teams return of anyone, and it was his third of the season. Wessel averaged 20.9 yards per return on 16 punt returns this season. 


Offensive Player of the Year: Jaixen Frost, Junior, Mount Ayr — Frost threw for 1,181 yards and 17 touchdowns while throwing just three interceptions. He also added 711 yards rushing and 10 scores for the Raiders.

Defensive Player of the Year: Luke Lane, Senior, Southeast Warren — A huge season for Lane, who finished the season with 83.5 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss.

Coach of the Year: Cole Bonde & Michael Nardini, Lenox — The Tigers were undefeated district champs and tied for the deepest push in the postseason. 

Senior of the Year: Brendan Knapp, Southwest Valley — Knapp rushed for 1,156 yards and 12 touchdowns and threw for another 509 yards and five touchdowns. He was also a key defender for the Timberwolves with 43.5 total tackles. 

Junior of the Year: Jaixen Frost, Mount Ayr — Along with Frost’s exploits on offense, he had 35.0 total tackles on defense.

Sophomore of the Year: Silas Walston, Bedford — A great two-way year for Walston, who had 811 yards rushing, 124 receiving and 11 total touchdowns on offense and 49.5 tackles, 7.0 TFL and 4.0 sacks on defense. 

Freshman of the Year: Trey Fisher, Southeast Warren — Fisher is the real deal. He had 36.0 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks on defense and tallied 692 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. He added 13 receptions for 294 yards and five scores. 

Top Quarterback: Jaixen Frost, Junior, Mount Ayr — See above.

Top Running Back: Isaac Grundman, Junior, Lenox — The numbers are undeniable for Grundman, who led his district 1,669 yards rushing and 32 touchdowns. 

Top Receiver/Tight End: Caelen DeVault, Senior, Nodaway Valley/Orient-Macksburg — DeVault led the conference with 53 receptions and finished the year with 565 yards and two touchdowns.

Top Lineman: Cody Larson, Senior, Mount Ayr — Larson had terrific two-way ability, working as an offensive guard for one of the best offenses in the conference while also posting 34.5 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks on defense.

Top Linebacker: Luke Lane, Senior, Southeast Warren — See above.

Top Defensive Back: William Amfahr, Senior, Martensdale-St. Marys — Amfahr had 51.0 tackles and led the conference with six interceptions. 

Top Kicker: Evan Timmerman, Junior, Southwest Valley — He made one of the most important field goals of the season in the Timberwolves wins over Earlham. He also hit one from 35 yards out on the season. 

Top Punter: Samson Adams, Senior, Lenox — Among the punters that had at least 10 attempts, Adams led the conference with 41.9 yards per punt.

Top Returner: Silas Walston, Sophomore, Bedford — Walston led the conference with two kickoff returns for touchdowns while finishing the season 22.5 yards per return.


Offensive Player of the Year: Lane Spieker, Senior, CAM — You were expecting someone else? Spieker rewrote the record books with 3,462 yards rushing and 72 touchdowns. Read that sentence again and try to not let your head explode. He also threw for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns. 

Defensive Player of the Year: Joe Kauffman, Senior, CAM — Kauffman was all over the field at all times, finishing the season with 116.0 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss and two interceptions. 

Coach of the Year: Barry Bower, CAM — Undefeated. State champs. First time ever. Those are all things that count in big ways for a Coach of the Year award.

Senior of the Year: Lane Spieker, CAM — Spieker also had 35.0 tackles and four interceptions on defense. 

Junior of the Year: Trey Petersen, Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton — Petersen threw for 1,843 yards and 22 touchdowns, rushed for 701 and 13 more and had a great year on defense, too, with 46.0 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.

Sophomore of the Year: Jack Follmann, CAM — A big year on defense for Follmann, who had 80.5 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks.

Freshman of the Year: Wade Ragaller, Ar-We-Va — Ragaller gave contributions on both sides of the ball. He was his best on defense with 38.5 tackles and 3.5 TFLs, but he also finished with 146 yards receiving and three scores.

Top Quarterback: Cory Bantam, Senior, Woodbine — If you qualify Spieker as a running back, as the district did, Bantam wins by a hair over Ar-We-Va’s Will Ragaller. Bantam threw for 2,162 yards and 28 touchdowns while rushing for an additional 623 yards and 11 scores.

Top Running Back: Lane Spieker, Senior, CAM — See above.

Top Receiver/Tight End: Tyler Kingery, Senior, Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton — Kingery led the conference with 61 receptions for 888 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

Top Lineman: Dylan Hoefer, Senior, Woodbine — The 8P-10 Lineman of the Year, Hoefer was a key on both offense and defense, where he had 41.5 tackles, 13.0 TFLs and 7.0 sacks. 

Top Linebacker: Joe Kauffman, Senior, CAM — See above.

Top Defensive Back: Cooper Kock, Senior, Ar-We-Va — Kock had 54.0 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks while also picking up a pair of interceptions. He’s listed as a cornerback on Varsity Bound.

Top Kicker: Jacob Estrada, Junior, Coon Rapids-Bayard — Estrada led the conference with two made field goals, including a long of 28, and also had 13 PATs.

Top Punter: Trey Petersen, Junior, Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton — Petersen averaged 39.2 yards per punt on 37 punts this season. Both were tops in the RVC.

Top Returner: Gabe Gilgen, Senior, West Harrison — Gilgen had a pair of punt returns for touchdowns this season, averaging 29.1. yards on seven returns. He also averaged 11.8 yards per kick return.


Offensive Player of the Year: Tyler Smith, Junior, Sergeant Bluff-Luton — Smith threw for 2,271 yards and 24 touchdowns in his junior season at quarterback. He also rushed for an additional 511 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Wells, Junior, Sioux City East — A terrific offensive tackle, Wells also put up big numbers at defensive end with 24.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks among 73.0 total tackles.

Coach of the Year: Justin Smith, Sergeant Bluff-Luton — Another strong season and another deep postseason run for the Warriors and their head coach, Smith — a Hamburg alum.

Senior of the Year: Drew Benson, Sioux City West — There are some good options here, but Benson is the only 1,000-yard rusher (1,176 to be exact) and scored 11 touchdowns on the ground. Benson also added 22 receptions for 281 y yards and a touchdown.

Junior of the Year: Tyler Smith, Sergeant Bluff-Luton — See above.

Sophomore of the Year: Dayton Harrell, Sioux City North — Harrell put up a pretty solid year on offense with 527 yards rushing, 127 yards receiving and eight offensive touchdowns. He also had 20.5 tackles and two interceptions on the defensive side. 

Freshman of the Year: Myles Wegher, Bishop Heelan Catholic — Wegher led all freshmen in the conference with 58 yards rushing and a touchdown. He also had a reception for 15 yards. 

Top Quarterback: Tyler Smith, Junior, Sergeant Bluff-Luton — See above.

Top Running Back: Drew Benson, Senior, Sioux City West — See above.

Top Receiver/Tight End: Tyler Schenkelberg, Senior, Sergeant Bluff-Luton — Schenkelberg proved to be the top receiving threat for Smith this year. He finished with 54 grabs for 938 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Top Lineman: Nick Wells, Senior, Sioux City East — See above.

Top Linebacker: Jacob Imming, Senior, Sergeant Bluff-Luton — The Iowa State recruit had 53.0 total tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss in his senior season.

Top Defensive Back: Kaden Smith, Senior, Sergeant Bluff-Luton — Smith finished the year with 49.0 total tackles and three interceptions.

Top Kicker: Jacob Schroeder, Senior, Sioux City East — Schroeder made four of his six field goal attempts, including a long of 43, and was a perfect 37 out of 37 on PATs.

Top Punter: Sione Fifita, Junior, LeMars — Fifita led the conference with a 37.8 yard per punt average during his junior season. 

Top Returner: Keavian Hayes, Junior, Sioux City West — Hayes had a touchdown return and averaged 36.3 yards per kick return this season.


Offensive Player of the Year: Javin Stevenson, Senior, Lamoni — Stevenson was a dual threat that made very few mistakes, and that is what set him apart from the rest of the league. He threw for 663 yards and 11 touchdowns against just three interceptions while also rushing for 749 and 13 more scores. 

Defensive Player of the Year: Logan Evans, Junior, Mormon Trail — Evans earned first team all-district after posting 79.0 talkies, 17.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks this season. 

Coach of the Year: Bryan Nowlin, Lamoni — After a 1-3 star to the season, the Demons were able to finish on a stretch of three wins in their final to find their way into the playoffs.

Senior of the Year: Javin Stevenson, Lamoni — Stevenson was also key on defense with 39.5 tackles, 1.0 TFL and one interception.

Junior of the Year: Kalvin Brown, Lamoni — Brown churned for 575 yards and five touchdowns this season for the Demons. He also added 13 receptions for 158 yards and three scores. On defense, Brown had a trio of interceptions on the season from his safety position. He also posted 66.0 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss for the Demons.

Sophomore of the Year: Titus Barber, Murray — A second team pick on both the offensive and defensive line in his district, Barber played guard on offense and had 10.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks from his defensive end spot. 

Freshman of the Year: Carlos Gonzalez, Melcher-Dallas — Gonzalez had 39.0 tackles to lead all freshmen in the conference. 

Top Quarterback: Javin Stevenson, Senior, Lamoni — See above.

Top Running Back: Kalvin Brown, Junior, Lamoni — See above.

Top Receiver/Tight End: Gabe Stripe, Senior, Mormon Trail — Stripe pulled in 46 receptions for 865 yards and scored 16 touchdowns for the Saints.

Top Lineman: Brycen Wookey, Senior, Murray — Wookey was a first team choice on both the offensive and defensive line within his district. He had 16.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks among 31.0 total tackles on the defensive side.

Top Linebacker: Logan Evans, Junior, Mormon Trail — See above.

Top Defensive Back: Kalvin Brown, Junior, Lamoni — See above.

Top Kicker: Blake Evans, Senior, Mormon Trail — Evans was the only Bluegrass kicker to make a field goal and easily had the most PATS (7). 

Top Punter: Brycen Wookey, SR, Murray — Wookey topped the conference this year with 38.7 yards per punt on 15 attempts.

Top Returner: Riley Hawkins, Junior, Moravia — Hawkins took two kickoffs to the house, averaging 26.6 yards per return on eight attempts.

Thank you for reading

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