By Jon Swisher-Sports Director:
The West Delaware Athletics Department hosted the annual season closing boys and girls basketball and cheerleading awards banquet Monday evening.
Cheerleading sponsor Rachel Tucker was proud of her small squad’s effort for their commitment and dedication to improving. The four members of the group this season were Alexia Chapman, Brianna Hartmann, Addy Rieken and Madison Zaring.
The girls JV team coached by Rich McMahon and Shannon Funke had a record of 13-7. The squad was a part of the program that accumulated a 3.78 grade point average earning the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s ” Distinguished in Academic Achievement” award.
Junior and Senior members of the varsity team achieving a 3.5 gpa or higher earning Academic All-Conference honors included juniors Annie Cassutt and Jamie Glanz,. Seniors Cassie Eilers, Jessie Hilby, Kara Moorman, Kaitlyn Reth and Kristen Wegmann. Reth also was selected as a member of the Academic All-State team.
The varsity girls had a mark of 10-12 in head coach Rod Conrad’s second season at West Delaware, his first as head coach at WD and 11th season overall. Coach Conrad talked about the experience the past two years:
A 7-7 WaMaC Conference East Division record was good for 5th place, as four players earned All-Conference honors. Wegmann on the first team, junior Haley Lyness on second team and Moorman and Reth were named honorable mention.
Coach Conrad and the coaches handed out team awards:
MVP= Kristen Wegmann
Most Versatile= Kara Moorman
Most Inspirational= Kaitlyn Reth
Best Defense= Cassie Eilers
Unsung Hero= Jessie Hilby
Iron Hawk= Jamie Glanz and Annie Cassutt
Best Offensive Player= Haley Lyness
Hustle Award= Brooke O’Connell
Most Improved= Kendra Offerman
6th Player Award= Lauren Collier
Coach Conrad couldn’t have asked for a better group of seniors, on and off the court and in the classroom to lead his first squad at WD:
The five seniors on this years Hawks team, pictured L to R.
Wegmann, Reth, Moorman, Eilers and Hilby.
Senior Kristen Wegmann led the Hawks offense with 11.2 points per game and became the tenth player in school program history to score more than 600 points in her varsity career which started when she was a sophomore in 2013. Wegmann comments on what the experience of being a member of the Hawks program has taught her:
Wegmann is one of three seniors along with Moorman and Reth who have been on the varsity roster since their sophomore campaigns and were a part of 43 wins in 3 seasons including being on the 2013-14 team that tied the 2006-07 squad for second most wins in program history at 17. It was an impressive turnaround that saw just 8 victories the previous two seasons. Wegmann talks about that time in the history of the program and the journey since that point:
Reth sums up her senior season and adds her life lessons she learned from being involved in the sport:
The freshmen boys coached by Brad Wubbena finished at 6-11, the sophomore’s led by Brad Lott were 13-7. Those student-athletes were among the program who achieved a 3.42 GPA and earned the “Distinguished Academic Achievement” Award given by the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Junior and Senior members of the varsity team achieving a 3.5 gpa or higher earning Academic All-Conference honors included juniors Ryan Trainer, Kyle Wright, Marshall McCarty, Troy Monaghan and senior Clayton Larsen.
It was a very memorable season for the varsity boys, coached by Matt Uthoff, Roger Wright and BJ Hermsen, who recorded a 16-7 mark, the first winning season since the 2007-08 team won 18 games. The first round overtime victory on Feb. 22nd against Marion gave the Hawks their first postseason district win since 2008. Third-year head coach Matt Uthoff talks about the success of his squad this season and the high expectations on the horizon:
The four seniors that will move on include Clayton Larsen, Matt McMahon, Aaron Demmer and Leon Gosa. The underclassmen who were selected for WaMaC East Division All-Conference recognition were:
First team= Junior John Nagel
Second team= Freshman Derek Krogmann
Honorable Mention= Junior Kyle Wright and Sophomore Tyler Kelley
The staple of this program continued to be their defense as they set a school record by allowing 49 points per game breaking the 51 point mark set by the 2002-03 squad.
Sophomore coach Brad Lott who has been in that role in the boys program since 2004 will step away for the time being to focus solely on helping the younger levels develop. Coach Uthoff is glad to have Coach Lott to do that but knows he will be missed at the high school level:
Coach Lott started coaching girls and boys middle school basketball at West Delaware in the late 1990’s then entered the boys high school program as the head Freshmen coach. Coach Lott will miss working with the high school age players especially in the practice setting but will never forget the experiences and the young men he has had the opportunity to coach over the years: