While no regional team have qualified for state championship games this season, there are many talented individuals who have helped their teams achieve exceptional seasons.
Burlington had its first winning season in 13 years and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2012. WACO went undefeated in the regular season, winning a district title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the 8-Man class. Wapello went 6-3 and had a strong season, while Winfield-Mount Union and Fort Madison were in the playoff race until the last week.
In total, 12 players from the region were recognized for their outstanding contributions this season by being named to all-state teams in their respective classes by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.
WACO got off to a 10-0 start to the season and climbed to fifth in the men’s Class 8 standings before falling to third to Audubon in a late touchdown in the state quarterfinals.
The Warriors were awarded with four players in 8-player teams from all states. Junior Simeon Reichenbach won first-team honors as a running back after running for 1,413 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns.
Senior Jonah Clark won first-team honors as a defensive lineman after making 43 tackles and four sacks and recovering a fumble.
Junior Mason Miller was named to the team’s second defense after tying the lead of Class 8 in interceptions with nine.
Senior Tim Willits was a third-team pick as an offensive lineman for the Warriors’ powerful ground play.
Cam Buffington, a sophomore from Winfield-Mount Union, a University of Iowa rookie, was named to the Class 8 team’s third defense after recording 55 tackles, recovering a fumble and intercept one pass, sending her back 51 yards for a touchdown.
Burlington finished 7-3 in Class 4A, its first winning season in 13 seasons, and advanced to the playoffs, losing to eventual state runner-up Cedar Rapids Xavier. The Grayhounds had three named players from all states, the most since 2001.
Senior Bryant Williams broke almost all racing records in the school book, rushing for 2,226 yards on 219 carries and scoring 30 touchdowns. He was named in the first team of class 4A.
Junior Julian Perez-Hall returned from an offseason operation to pave the way for the BHS offensive line, winning second-team accolades.
Senior Julius Harris was a force on both sides of the ball, taking third-team honors in defense.
Wapello quietly put together a strong 6-3 season and advanced to the playoffs before losing a close game to North Tama in Class A.
Senior Daniel Perez was named in the second team as a kicker. He connected on 20 of 22 points after touchdown tries and averaged 52.9 yards per kickoff on 50 boots.
Senior Maddox Griffin was named to the second team as a returns specialist after averaging 25.4 yards on kickoff returns with a touchdown and 11.2 yards on punt returns.
Senior quarterback Tade Parsons was named to the third team after throwing for 1,844 yards and 20 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He completed 67 percent of his passes.
Fort Madison senior Tate Johnson was named to the third team in Class 3A as a return specialist. He averaged 28.7 yards on 12 kickoff returns, returning two for touchdowns, one for 90 yards. He also averaged 15.4 yards on seven punt returns.
This article originally appeared on The Hawk Eye: WACO and Burlington Footballers Take All-State Honors from IPSWA