Your Prep Sports
Head coach: Mitchell Moore (2nd season, 10-2)
Assistant coaches: Ryan Mckim, Greg Brown, Jordan Hanrahan, Tim Casey, Aaron Stalkfleet, Ben Slife, Bryce Merges, Jaden Driskell, Ben Evans, Todd Mcghghy, Jordan Harris, Chayse Schultz, Tyler Eads, Tom Schnoebelen, Michael Madsen, Bryan Parker, Ja’Korey Walker, Jake Leohr, Jeff Schebler, Chris Clendenan, Joe Gaffey
Last season: 10-2 (Class 5A semifinals)
Returning starters: Drew Larson, Jr., QB; Quinton Tran, Jr., QB; Akili Mattox, Sr., WR/DB; Alex Knudtson, Sr., TE/LB; Ben Kueter, Sr., TE/LB; Trey Dervich, Jr., OL; Ronnie Major, Sr., RB/CB; Sam Kueter, Jr., TE/DL
Other returning letterwinners: Bobby Bacon, Soph., QB; Calin Wagner, Soph., OL; Evan Lampe, Sr., TE/LB; Gavin Cook, OL/DL; Joe Cook, Jr., OL/DL; Ian Moore, Sr., WR/DB; Kade Varo, Sr., DL; Michael Etuma, Sr., DL; Sam Rew, Sr., WR/DB; Carsen Newton, Jr., WR/DB; Holdon Clay, Jr., RB/LB; Jake Mitchell, Jr., QB/DB
Newcomers to watch: Tono Cornell, Jr., OL/DL; Jeremiah Madlock, Jr., WR/DB; Kael Kurtz, Jr., WR/DB; Dax Judge, Jr., TE/DE
Playoff history: 29 appearances (1986, 1988-1990, 2992-2001, 2003-2013, 2015, 2016, 2020, 2021)
Circle the date: September 16 at West Des Moines Dowling. City High hits the road for one of the most anticipated regular season games in the state this season after the Little Hawks defeated Dowling 21-17 in a thriller last year at Bates Field in Iowa City.
Headliner: Senior linebacker and tight end Ben Kueter is appointment viewing. An Iowa commit in both football and wrestling the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Kueter is perhaps the best athlete in the state and is coming off a junior season in which he led Class 5A in tackles (101) tackles for loss (41) and sacks (11.5 sacks). On offense Kueter caught 24 passes for 369 yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns and also rushed for a touchdown.
Unsung hero: Senior Evan Lampe didn’t get a ton of snaps last season and doesn’t own gaudy stats after making nine tackles a junior last season. However, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound linebacker and tight end has caught the attention of the City High staff with his work ethic and leadership will be an important piece for the Little Hawks this season especially defensively.
Keep an eye on: Senior receiver Akili Mattox waited his turn last season behind a strong group of senior receivers but is poised for a big-time breakthrough this fall. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Mattox caught seven passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns last season and should flourish in an expanded role this year.
Biggest question: What do the Little Hawks do for an encore? City High was the story of 5A football a year ago snapping a string of three consecutive two-win seasons with a 10-2 campaign that ended with a state semifinal berth. What is next? The Little Hawks lost a key group of seniors from a year ago but the cupboard is far from bare and City High has its sights set on a UNI-Dome return.
Quotable: “I think our kids are seeing that maybe you don’t get to that point (of the state semifinals) every year so when you do get there what can you do to get back and maybe take that next step,” Moore said. “Where that motivation comes in is the dog days of summer, the middle of fall camp where if I take that extra rep or I stay concentrated a little longer we can get to what our goals can be.”
August 26: Liberty High
September 2: at Cedar Rapids Jefferson
September 9: Ames
September 16: at West Des Moines Dowling
September 23: at West High
September 30: Davenport North
October 7: Pleasant Valley
October 14: at Davenport West
October 21: Davenport Central