With just two seniors on the Class 8-Man District 5 team in 2020, Baxter’s football team is primed to break out next season.
The Bolts ended 2020 on a high note, finishing 4-5 overall after starting 1-4.
Eight players earned all-district football honors, led by juniors Rory Heer and Nate McMinamen and sophomore Trice Clapper. Heer, McMinamen and Clapper were all first-team selections.
Second-team picks went to sophomore Cody Damman and senior Micah Kearns. The honorable mention choices were senior Kael Johnston and sophomores Jake Travis and Cael Shepley.
All-district honors are based on statistics inside district play only. Some of the teams in District 5 played seven district games. Baxter only played six.
Heer was a first-team running back after ranking fifth in the district with 859 rushing yards and seventh with 10 rushing touchdowns. He also was second in the district with 35 catches and 432 receiving yards. His five receiving TDs ranked third.
Heer also averaged 8.2 yards per carry, which ranked third in the district among players who carried the ball at least 47 times.
McMinamen was a first-team defensive lineman after ranking eighth in the district with 52.5 tackles. He also had an interception.
Clapper was a first-team offensive lineman and Kearns earned second-team recognition. They helped the Bolts rush for 1,570 yards and pass for 837 yards.
The 1,570 rushing yards ranked fifth in the district and 14th in 8-man and Baxter averaged 6.5 yards per carry.
Damman was a second-team quarterback. He ranked fourth in the league with 726 passing yards and threw 12 TDs. He was seventh in the district with 627 rushing yards and sixth with 11 rushing TDs.
Johnston had eight catches for 64 yards and ranked in a tie for seventh with three receiving TDs. He also had a pick 6 on defense.
Travis helped the Bolts in many ways. He hauled in 14 passes and ranked seventh in the district with 222 receiving yards and three receiving TDs. He also rushed for 87 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Travis finished with 33.5 tackles and an interception.
Shepley hauled in six catches for 92 yards and a TD. Defensively, he had 25 tackles and recovered a fumble. His three interceptions ranked fourth in the district.
Class 8-Man District 5
Team District Overall
Gladbrook-Reinbeck 7-0 9-1
BGM 6-1 8-2
HLV 4-2 5-4
Collins-Maxwell 3-3 4-5
Iowa Valley 3-3 3-5
Meskwaki Settlement 3-4 3-5
Baxter 2-4 4-5
Colo-NESCO 2-5 2-6
GMG 0-7 0-8
Keagan Giesking, senior, Gladbrook-Reinbeck
Taurice Grant, senior, Meskwaki Settlement School
Tanner Wright, senior, BGM
Offensive Line Player of the Year
Auston Wittgreve, senior, Gladbrook-Reinbeck
Defensive Line Player of the Year
Garrett Westerdale, senior, HLV
Special Teams Player of the Year
Kaleb Sternhagen, senior, HLV
Coach of the Year
John Olson, Gladbrook-Reinbeck
Weston Kahler, junior, Collins-Maxwell
Desmond Kapayou, senior, Meskwaki Settlement
Rory Heer, junior, Baxter
Auston Wittgreve, senior, Gladbrook-Reinbeck
Joe Kasal, senior, BGM
Braden Roberts, senior, Colo-NESCO
Tiernan Wanatee, senior, Meskwaki
Quarterbacks — Jacob Maurer, sophomore, BGM; Ethan Kupka, senior, HLV; Brody Ward, junior, Iowa Valley; Taurice Grant, senior, Meskwaki Settlement.
Running Backs — Rory Heer, junior, Baxter; Keagan Giesking, senior, Gladbrook-Reinbeck; Marcus Kolesar, senior, HLV; Andrew Grover, junior, Colo-NESCO.
Wide Receiver — Jacob Moel, junior, BGM
Tight End — Avery Bryant, senior, GMG.
Offensive Line — Trice Clapper, sophomore, Baxter; Auston Wittgreve, senior, Gladbrook-Reinbeck; Trey Eggers, junior, Gladbrook-Reinbeck; Joe Kasal, senior, BGM; Ronan Peach, junior, Iowa Valley.
Defensive Line — Nate McMinamen, junior, Baxter; Evan Reuter, senior, Iowa Valley; Kayden McKinney, junior, Collins-Maxwell.
Defensive Ends — Parker Ryan, senior, Colo-NESCO; Rylee Scott, senior, Collins-Maxwell; Garrett Westerdale, senior, HLV; Cody Gebel, junior, Gladbrook-Reinbeck.
Linebackers — Drake Blakesley, junior, Gladbrook-Reinbeck; Tanner Wright, senior, BGM; Beau York, junior, HLV; Brody Hoyt, junior, Iowa Valley; Luke Huntrods, sophomore, Collins-Maxwell; Teirnan Wanatee, senior, Meskwaki Settlement; Conner Murty, senior, GMG.
Defensive Backs — Caleb Eggestal, sophomore, Gladbrook-Reinbeck; AJ Smith, senior, Collins-Maxwell; Evan Nelson, senior, Meskwaki Settlement.
Quarterbacks — Cody Damman, sophomore, Baxter; Kooper Gill, junior, GMG.
Wide Receivers — Evan Kearney, sophomore, Iowa Valley; Caleb Dvorak, sophomore, Collins-Maxwell; Larnell Velazquez, junior, Meskwaki Settlement; Andrew Tschantz, junior, Colo-NESCO.
Offensive Line — Micah Kearns, senior, Baxter; Henry Mussig, sophomore, Gladbrook-Reinbeck; LJ Henkle, junior, BGM; Kaiden Martin, junior, Collins-Maxwell; Reimundo Balderas, junior, Meskwaki Settlement.
Defensive Line — Eric Cadden, senior, BGM; Jeremie Kane, senior, BGM; Braxton Rohret, junior, HLV; Eli Slaymaker, senior, Iowa Valley.
Defensive End — Shawn Blakenship, senior, HLV.
Defensive Backs —Luke Riffey, sophomore, Gladbrook-Reinbeck; Ethan Geinger, junior, Gladbrook-Reinbeck; Donnie Kruse, junior, HLV.
Kael Johnston, senior, Baxter; Jake Travis, sophomore, Baxter; Cael Shepley, sophomore, Baxter.