Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – The way Grahm Goering played last season it was hard to tell the West High receiver was operating at less than 100 percent.
Goering emerged as one of the top pass catchers in Class 4A last season leading West High with 42 receptions for a team-high 599 yards and six touchdowns.
All of that production came with a broken foot that required off season surgery.
Fully healthy for the first time as a varsity player this fall, opponents have gotten an up-close look at what Goering can do at full strength.
“Every single game last year it was a pain but I fought through it and I can definitely feel the difference of being healthy this year,” Goering said. “Just the explosiveness is there.”
That explosiveness showed up early on Friday when Goering returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against City High.
Goering took the kick inside the 1-yard line exploded up the middle of the field to midfield, broke a tackle and used a stiff arm to break free before going final 25 yards untouched.
It was an eye-popping play that set the tone in a 56-20 West High win in the annual Battle for the Boot.
“He played on a broken foot all last year and seeing him come off his surgery and just work super hard to get where he’s at he’s a DI guy, I believe that,” West High senior quarterback Marcus Morgan said. “All of the work that he’s put in the offseason has really showed up.”
The kickoff return was just the opening act for Goering on Friday.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior added five receptions for 89 yards and three touchdowns as an encore, snagging scoring strikes of 22, 6 and 33 yards.
“Me and Grahm go back to freshman year,” Morgan said. “We’ve always had that connection we’ve been putting in work all offseason together during quarantine we were working together and we’ve always had that connection and it showed (Friday).”
A bigger, stronger and more explosive Goering is off to a huge start two games into the season.
Goering leads Class 4A with four touchdown receptions and ranks in the top six in both receptions (10) and receiving yards (179) while averaging nearly 18 yards per grab.
He is also averaging nine yards per punt return on five attempts and better than 43 yards per kick return thanks to his 99 yarder on Friday.
Goering, who has collected offers from Division II programs Augustana and Bemidji State and heard from several Division I programs plans on playing college football.
Right now, Goering is just focused on finishing his high school season on a high note.
“I want to play in college for sure, I’m just hoping for the best opportunity,” Goering said. “At this point I’m just having fun playing football.”
Goering is continuing a legacy of strong receiver play at West High under Hartwig that included a string of four consecutive seasons with a 1,000 yard receiver from 2015 to 2018.
Hartwig sees Goering fitting right in with the top pass catchers he has coached at West High.
“He’s got a couple of college offers right now and I think he’s going to end up on the map of programs big time,” Hartwig said. “He’s another one in a long line of receivers that we have been fortunate to have and he’s going to etch his name up there at the top if he continues to work.”