Top Players In Iowa’s 99 Counties – HWY 18 and 3
In this article:
I’m featuring all of Iowa. Yes, going through each county and finding the top player. This will be a series over the next week working from Lyon County in Northwest Iowa all the way down to Lee County in the…
I’m featuring all of Iowa. Yes, going through each county and finding the top player. This will be a series over the next week working from Lyon County in Northwest Iowa all the way down to Lee County in the Southeast tip.
How did this come together? I used this link to look at what school districts are in what counties. I knew some school districts covered plenty of area, but some represented four counties so I opted for where the high school was located. I even reached out to some old friends native to that part of Iowa to clarify what county a specific school would be associated with. A great way to catch up and talk about Iowa geography.
Being a Winnebago county native, I actually lived across the street from Hancock county. Looking through all of the school districts and remembering some of the “old high schools” that have now been consolidated. Going through these areas on paper and remembering some of the old RAGBRAI routes I was able to be on. Writing articles like this are always a reminder of how grateful I am to be an Iowa native and grow up with that small town atmosphere when it comes to supporting the schools.
We started at the Northern border and will have our next chunk heading South, mostly along HWY 18 and HWY 3. Lot of talented volleyball athletes along this stretch.
Shayna Van Dyken – Western Christian – Class of 2024
Seems wrong to only have one athlete from Sioux County. With the rich volleyball history of this county, there have been plenty of athletes who have been named All State and have gone on to All American collegiate careers. There have been years where Sioux County has had four or five high schools alone advance to the state tournament. This years top player is Shayna Van Dyken who was one of the top attackers in Class 3A where she had over 400 kills and was named All Tournament Team and 1st Team All State for another state title for Western Christian.
Taya Sudbeck – Sheldon – Class of 2026
College programs might want to keep tabs on this libero out of Sheldon where she had 328 digs on the season and was named All Siouxland. The Siouxland Conference is one of the top volleyball conferences in the state that would be comparable to the NICL. Crossover challenge? I digress. Sudbeck will be a key piece for the Orabs as they will return some talented attackers for 2024.
Addison Hoben – Spencer – Class of 2025
Shout out to Spencer. This will always be a special for me where I got my teaching career started. Loved me a day off for “Fair Day”, where everyone in the schools got a day off to go to the infamous Clay County Fair! This past year Addison Hoben would be the top player in Clay County where she had 234 kills and was named to the All Lakes Conference team.
Kiersten Montag – West Bend-Mallard – Class of 2024
Can’t go through West Bend without making a trip to the grotto! I definitely have made a stop at the Mallard Fire Department on the RAGBRAI route – shout out to them. Kiersten Montag had a huge year for West Bend-Mallard with nearly 300 kills and hit .400. She was named All Conference and Class 1A All District.
Gretta Gouge – Garner-Hayfield-Ventura – Class of 2024
Never in my wildest dreams would I see the day where Ventura would consolidate with Garner. Still a little weird to write that. This past season GHV racked up 19 wins and that was large in part to the performance of Gretta Gourge where she had over 200 kills and 200 digs with a Top of Iowa All Conference nod.
– Clear Lake – Class of 2024
I’ve seenin the club world where she has played on a really talented CIA team out of Waterloo. Johnson was a Class 3A 4th Team All State pick where she had nearly 500 kills on 1200 attempts. Dang! She will continue playing volleyball at Minnesota-Duluth, a perennial D2 power.
– Charles City – Class of 2024
Charles City is definitely trending up. Their program has always been respectable, but in the past few years they are in the category of being in the rankings and competing against other top teams. One of the keys to their team has beenwho was an All District pick and will continue her volleyball career at Drake University.
– New Hampton – Class of 2024
This school districts in Chickasaw County made this a little tougher for me. When I see Chickasaw County I automatically think New Hampton, but I didn’t realize that a large part of Sumner-Fredericksburg is also in Chicasaw County (the Fredericksburg part). We’re going with New Hampton and their top player for years who has had a great career in. The senior was a 2nd Team All State pick in Class 3A and to my knowledge is still uncommitted and would be a great pick up at the next level.
Keelie Curtis – Starmont – Class of 2024
Curtis was a dual threat for the stars where she could set and swing. She was triple figures in both and was named Class 1A All District.
Audrie Helmichs – Edgewood-Colesburg – Class of 2024
Helmichs capped off quite a senior year where she gathered plenty of awards. She was named 3rd Team All State in 1A where she had 432 kills, 300 digs, and over 50 blocks. That is an all around game where she is having an impact everywhere on the court. The Vikings had quite a season with 29 wins and a regional final appearance.
Heading back West….
– Hinton – Class of 2026
Hinton was such a fun team to watch at state. I was familiar with Boeve, but I was really impressed with the team and the balance they provided. However, with Boeve on their side of the net it is just different. She is a middle blocker who plays six rotations, can pass, serve receive, and can attack from the backrow. Her skill set is unique, dynamic, there aren’t many like her. She was the only sophomore to be named to the Elite All State team.
– Cherokee – Class of 2024
Cherokee had a storybook year where they knocked off Western Christian, won their conference, and advanced to the state tournament. One of the top players from this team waswho had 229 kills and 123 blocks, giving her a Class 3A 2nd Team All State nod. A real dynamic athlete where the other side needed to know where she was at all times.
Kinze Hinders – Newell-Fonda – Class of 2025
This was another county where I had to double check, my mom is very proud to say she is from the Newell-Fonda area back when they had a Catholic school in Fonda. Newell is in BV county with Fonda in Pocahontas. I’m grouping Newell-Fonda in Buena Vista county where they had a phenomenal season, advancing to the state tournament and taking a set off of eventual state champion Ankeny Christian. Kinze Hinders is a phenomenal athlete where was a force at the net and the backrow. She had 379 kills, 95 blocks, and 234 digs. She will now look to help get Newell-Fonda back to state in basketball this winter.
Jenna Vonnahme – Pocahontas – Class of 2024
Vonnahme is a name that rings a bell when it comes to top athletes in the West Central Iowa area and Carroll area. Jenna Vonnahme did a little bit of everything for Pocahontas with her swing and setting. She had 257 kills and 215 assists where she was a Class 2A All District pick.
and Kenall Works – Humboldt – Class of 2026
I’m trying to stay away from the “Co-Player”, but this duo was just too close to call, especially when they had plenty of connections this past season. Humboldt is a young and talent squad where Schluter had close to 200 kills and Works had over 400 assists. These two will be key for the future as the Wildcats tied for the NCC title.
– Clarion-Goldfield-Dows – Class of 2024
Johnson was an unanimous pick in the North Central Conference where she had 450 digs, 39 aces,, and even 70 assists. To be a unanimous pick as a libero shows the respect that other coaches have for Johnson. She was also a Class 3A All District pick.
Aubryee Showalter – Hampton-Dumont – Class of 2025
Showalter had a breakout season for HD where she had over 250 kills and was a 1st Team pick in the North Central Conference. She was also named Class 3A All District. She will be returning next season, along with setter Aubree Gronewold.
– Aplington-Parkersburg – Class of 2024
The St. Cloud State commit was key in the run to the state tournament for Aplington-Parkersburg. She was a 2nd Team All State pick where she had 360 kills, 35 blocks, and 187 digs. She is the type of athlete who can be used in a variety of ways and will be a really dynamic player in the future at St. Cloud.
– Denver – Class of 2026
I didn’t realize all the different school districts going on in Bremer County with Waverly-Shell Rock, Janesville, Wapsie Valley, Tripoli, and even part of Nashua Plainfield and Sumner-Fred (Sumner-Fred people….what county do most kids like in?). I’m giving the nod toout of Denver. Denver made it back to the final four after graduating All State attacker Kayla Knowles and did it with Johnson quarterbacking the offense. She has surpassed over 2,000 assists in her career and is just a sophomore. The improvement she has shown since her freshman season has been fun as she is taking total command of everything going on her side of the net. She was a 2nd Team Class 2A All State member.