Dodgers named to all-district football teams
Mosley, Lara, Miller on first squad; Lockner, Nelson, Schmidt recognized
The most prolific passing season in Fort Dodge football history recently yielded first team all-district honors for three of its main contributors.
Senior wingbacks Trey Mosley and Tyrnan Lara joined junior quarterback Drake Miller on Class 4A, District 4’s elite squad. The trio helped rewrite the program’s record books in a number of offensive categories for a Dodger squad that averaged over 38 points and 400 yards of offense during its 4-5 campaign in 2017.
Senior Damond Lockner (DB) and juniors Bryer Nelson (DB) and Dalton Schmidt (OL) made the district’s second team.
”I’m very proud of the guys who were recognized. They’re all very deserving,” FDSH head coach Matt Miller said. ”We lost two games in the final seconds that cost us both a winning season and a chance at having two more kids on (both the first and second team; the number of recipients are based strictly on final district standing), but our young men fought and gave everything they had from start to finish.”
Statistically speaking, Mosley finished his career as the top receiver ever to wear a Dodger uniform. The 165-pounder broke the single-season (924 yards) and all-time (1,993 yards) mark in 2017, while also shattering the career receptions record (150) by nearly 70 grabs.
Mosley will graduate ranked in the Top-15 for both yards and catches in Class 4A grid history.
”Trey’s what Fort Dodge football is all about, both on and off the field,” Miller said. ”I get emotional talking about his career in past tense, because he’s been everything you could ask for in a player and a person.
”The numbers are the numbers, which have him up there with the elite in the 4A record books. But not having him around anymore — that’s not just going to be a hole to fill, but a crater.”
The 6-foot-3 Lara went from a relative unknown as a junior to one of the more reliable targets to ever suit up at Dodger Stadium. The Iowa Central baseball recruit’s 82 career receptions are tied with Sam Kolacia behind only Mosley on the career list.
Mosley and Lara also both tied Alonzo Clayton for the single-season FDSH touchdown record, with 11 scoring receptions a piece this year.
”We’ve had some great quarterback/receiver duos here, but to have two reliable targets put up the kind of numbers they did was special,” Miller said. ”Tyrnan took a huge step forward and worked very hard to get to this point. He had the kind of senior season you hope all seniors have, and really became our go-to guy in a lot of situations.”
Drake Miller broke former Iowa Hawkeye quarterback Randy Reiners’ 23-year-old single-season record with 2,340 passing yards. The 6-foot, 200-pound left-hander completed 160 of 266 passes (60 percent) and was intercepted only five times.
In over 500 offensive snaps with Miller behind center, the Dodgers turned the ball over just seven times total. Miller had the most touchdowns passing (31) and total (39) in all of 4A, while ranking near the top in yards and completions.
”Drake puts our offense in a position to be successful, and he does it very efficiently,” Miller said of his son. ”He doesn’t try to force the issue, and his decision-making keeps getting better and better. He watches a lot of film and is really a student of the game.
”Where I saw Drake take his biggest step forward was at Newton (during Fort Dodge’s record-breaking 71-70 loss). When we were down by two scores, he was vocal on the sidelines and helped get us going for one last rally. To me, he became a senior at that point — and we’re going to need that moving forward into next year.”
Lockner was a repeat all-district performer as a second teamer. Nelson and Schmidt were first-time honorees.
”Damond did everything we asked him to as a senior,” Miller said. ”He had a really productive two seasons for us. He was more vocal and consistent, and has been one of our more physical players from start to finish.
”Bryer bounced back (from an ACL tear as a sophomore) and became one of our more dependable defensive players (as a safety). He made quite a few big plays for us, and you could really see his confidence building. We’re going to challenge him to be even more of a leader heading into his senior year.
”Dalton was probably our most improved player, and he graded out as our best lineman (at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds). He set himself up for what should be a great senior season. Like Drake and Bryer, we’re going to be relying on him to take that next step in the weight room (this coming offseason).”
Dodger honorable mention choices included seniors Aaron Porter (OL), Brayden Bell (DB), Dakota Stenzel (OL/DL), Alec Crimmins (DL), Mitch Glass (LB) and Luke Jacobson (LB), along with junior Logan Finowski (OL), sophomore Tysen Kershaw, and freshman tailback Dayson Clayton.
”A lot of our honorable mention guys could’ve very easily been on the second team,” Miller said. ”Aaron gave us three really solid years on the line. Brayden is what being a high school student-athlete is all about; he’s very active in a number of different activities, and is a terrific student.
”We used Dakota on both sides of the ball, which is never easy to do (up front), and he gave us everything he had. Alec was never close to 100 percent; he really battled, but it would’ve been great to see what kind of year he could’ve had if he’d been healthy.
”Mitch and Luke really improved and had strong stints at linebacker. They were kind of unknowns heading into the year, given they hadn’t seen the field much before (their senior seasons). But they were very effective and steady.
”It will be great having Logan, Tysen and Dayson back. Logan is already a two-year starter on the line. Tysen and Dayson are just getting started; they have some big days and performances ahead. All three of those guys were definitely all-district caliber.”
Fort Dodge is slated to return 14 starters next fall: Miller, Nelson, Schmidt, Finowski, Kershaw and Clayton, along with 2018 seniors Carson Spiker (DL), Drew Callon (SE), Jace Peterson (SE), Mason Bodholdt (LB) and Ben Nebel (K), and juniors Bryson Opande (OL), Austin Lee (LB) and Brycen Bell (S). The Dodgers will be in a new district, which should be announced sometime in January.