Comet football team holds annual awards banquet
By John Burbridge
CHARLES CITY — With all the innovative schemes and formations that have distinquished football played in the 21st Century from the millenium before, it still basically comes down to scoring touchdowns and trying to prevent your opponent from scoring touchdowns.
Those were the primary objectives pursued expertly and respectively by Charles City seniors Keenan Wiley and Josiah Cunnings.
Wiley led the Comets with eight touchdowns — seven from TD passes thrown by Jordan Foster, and the other from a halfback pass from Kaden Littleton which covered 83 yards on the first snap of the game against heavily favored Clear Lake in the regular-season finale.
That play made Wiley the Comets’ all-time leader in season reception yardage before eventually ending with 615 yards on 37 catches (16.6 yards-per-catch average).
While patrolling the secondary, Cunnings led the team in total tackles (72) and solo tackles (40) — it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to say that nearly half of Cunnings’s solo tackles in the open field were touchdown-saving.
Cunnings also had an interception, a fumble recovery and a 94-yard kickoff return TD for the Comets this season.
This week, Cunnings and Wiley were named to the Class 3A-District 2 All-District Football Team.
Cunnings was selected as a defensive back; Wiley was selected as a receiver.
This season there were only one All-District Offensive Team and one All-District Defensive Team. In past seasons, there were First Team All-District Offense, First Team All-District Defense, and Second Team All-District (combined) selections.
All-State Football Teams determined by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association are due to be announced later this month. The Comets’ coaching staff has nominated Wiley for All-State consideration.
During Charles City Football Awards Banquet on Thursday, Wiley was honored as the “Comet Football MVP” as well as “Most Valuable Receiver” and “Offensive Player of the Year”.
Cunnings received the “Hammer Award”, which is given to the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Other Comet players honored determined by coaches’ vote, players’ vote, and coaches’ and players’ combined vote are as follows:
Colton Anderegg: “Coaches Award”
Keegan Bollman: “Most Valuable Linebacker”
Deacon Caspers: “Most Valuable Offensive Back” and “Newcomer of the Year”
Brayden Ellis: “Ironman Award”
Luke Jacobs: “Most Valuable Offensive Lineman”
Jack Hanson: “Special Teams Player of the Year”
Micah Hillhouse: “Most Valuable Defensive Back”
Gabe Rogstad: “Most Valuable Defensive Lineman”
Hayden Heyer: “Eb Wilson Memorial Award”
Talan Weber: “Practice Player of the Year”
In addition to Cunnings and Wiley being honored at the banquet selected to the All-District team, Bollman, Ellis and Hillhouse were honored for being named All-District Honorable Mention.
Senior Hayden Heyer was named to the Academic All-State as well as Academic All-District.
Other Academic All-District players from Charles City included juniors Trevor Carolan, Jose Flores and Quinn Heidebrink; and sophomores Bennett Hansen, Luke Jacobs, Nolan Schmiedel and Bryce Walker.