AC/GC’s only 1,000-yard rusher and his lead blocker as well as a defensive stalwart were each honored recently with a trio of prestigious first team, all-district honors.
The Class 1A, district 8 all-district teams were released following defending state champion Van Meter’s loss to West Sioux in the state semifinals Saturday, and the list featured six Chargers, including a pair of first team members.
Running back Ben Kingery and offensive lineman Sam Madsen paved the way for a record-breaking year this fall, earning first team honors while defensive lineman Quynton Younker as made the first team list.
Kingery became the first tailback in AC/GC history to cross the 1,000-yard rushing plateaus, tallying 1,010 yards, which was the third best total in the district. The senior produced a 5.1 yards per carry average, resulting in seven touchdowns. Kingery compiled a season-high 182 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-20 win over Clarinda in week six.
As a team, Madsen paved the way for 2,060 Charger rushing yards, the 11th-best total in Class 1A and the second-most yards in the district behind 11-1 Van Meter (3,642). AC/ GC scored 16 rushing touchdowns and carried the ball at a 4.6 yards per carry clip.
Younker (19 tackles, 3 TFLs) was named to the first team as well, anchoring a defense that held two opponents to single digits and two others under 15. The Chargers took a drastic step forward defensively, a year after allowing 35 points per game.
Younker was also pivotal on an offensive line that helped a sputtering offense from a year ago make marked improvements. AC/GC ran for just 836 yards last fall, more than 1,000 yards less than 2018.
The Chargers finished this year 3-8, breaking the single-season school record for wins, sparked by three additional second team members. Running back Gabe Rowley (487 yards, 3 TDs) as well as defensive linemen Lucas Marsh and Gage Buttler were honored with second team selections. Marsh recorded nine tackles for loss (fourth in the district) and four sacks (T-4th) while Buttler recorded two sacks and four tackles for loss.
Quarterback Bryce Littler was recognized as an honorable mention.
Mount Ayr’s John Shields led the district with 24 tackles for loss and 10 sacks while West Central Valley’s Cole Sackett was tops in the district
with 106 total tackles.
Offensively, Van Meter’s Ian Abrahamson led the district with 2,006 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns.
“We had a great group of seniors and our underclassman has big shoes to fill,” first year AC/GC head coach Cody Matthewson said, recapping the 2018 season. “They have set the standard and new leaders will have to step up as we begin off-season workouts.
The season may not look like a success on paper when comparing wins and losses, but we made strides as a program.
He continued, “We have a lot of talent coming back next year and the weight room will be a major part in improving going into next season.
It is imperative that we stay hungry and it is my job to motivate and hold our guys accountable throughout the off-season. That’s a special group of seniors. They will never be replaced, we must reload.”