As time goes by: The Ledger looks back at 15 years of high school footballAs the fall sports season approaches, The Ledger looks at six memorable seasons
Another season on the gridiron will begin in just 23 days.
The Fairfield Trojans will march to Bloomfield to take on Davis County. Pekin, Cardinal and Van Buren, which are now in the same district, will play against Eddyville-Blakesburg, Southeast Warren and Lynnville-Sully, respectively. With the 2014 season looming, we look back at the last 15 years of area high school football and six memorable moments that shaped the years gone by.
2000 – Fairfield coach Mike Schenck was named All-GTNS coach of the year after leading the Trojans to their first conference or district title since 1987, and their first playoff berth since a loss to West Delaware in 1994. Fairfield won six of its final seven games, including victories over rivals Washington and Mt. Pleasant. Western Dubuque would take down the Trojans in the first round of the postseason 21-14.
Levi Amrine, Willie Regnier and Todd Evans would make the All-GTNS offense, while Ryan Hempel was selected to the All-GTNS defense.
2003 – Pekin quarterback Andrew Lehn was named All-GTNS captain after leading the Panthers to the playoffs. He scored 23 combined touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball, but where he really made his bones was as a linebacker. Lehn totaled 101 tackles, four INTs and three sacks.
2004 – Fairfield made the trip to the UNI-Dome and the state semifinals. Wins over Benton Community (30-16) and Chariton (17-6) sent the Trojans to Cedar Falls, where Decorah-North Winneshiek was waiting. Fairfield lost once at the dome 42-14. All in all, it was the furthest the Trojans had gone in the postseason in 17 years.
2007 – Will Wellington was named All-GTNS captain after running through district opponents all season for Fairfield. The running back totaled 2,198 yards on the ground, and scored 34 touchdowns. His best performance was against Oskaloosa, when he side-stepped his way to a school-record 367 yards on the ground.
Schenck was named All-GTNS coach of the year for the fourth time in the past seven seasons. Mike Wiseman, Brady Curran and Jeff Roloff joined Wellington on the All-GTNS roster. Fairfield lost a wild playoff game to Central Dewitt 69-41 in the first round of postseason play.
2009 – Cardinal head coach Darren Hill picked up the clipboard just two weeks before the season started. Hill wound up leading a team that went 1-8 the previous season to a 5-4 regular season and the first playoff berth in school history. The Comets lost to B-G-M (Brooklyn) 41-6, but the season put them on the map.
2013 – Pekin head coach Joe Donovan had his best season yet at the helm of the Panthers. The program won its first playoff game since 2001, but it didn’t stop there. The Panthers disposed of Lone Tree and Lisbon by the combined score of 70-6 before falling to B-G-M (Brooklyn) 29-8. Pekin ended its season with a 9-3 record.
All-GTNS Coaches of the Year
2013 – Randy Schrader, Washington
2012 – Randy Schrader, Washington
2011 – Randy Schrader, Washington
2010 – Chad Edeker, WACO
2009 – Darren Hill, Cardinal
2008 – Bob Jensen, Mt. Pleasant
2007 – Mike Schenck, Fairfield
2006 – Jason Ganoe, Washington
2005 – Bob Howard, Sigourney-Keota
2004 – Mike Schenck, Fairfield
2003 – Chad Edeker, WACO
2002 – Mike Schenck, Fairfield
2001 – Bob Howard, Sigourney-Keota
2000 – Mike Schenck, Fairfield
1999 – Jeff Wrede, Winfield-Mount Union
All-GTNS Captain (Player of the Year)
2013 – Alex Coker, Washington
2012 – Quentin Garrels, Pekin
2011 – Jake Redlinger, Washington
2010 – Andrew Utterback, Sigourney-Keota
2009 – Tanner Miller, Mid-Prairie
2008 – Jordan Cotton, Mt. Pleasant
2007 – Will Wellington, Fairfield
2006 – Zach Davis, Washington
2005 – Jon McLaughlin, Sigourney-Keota
2004 – Brendan Grieser, WACO
2003 – Andrew Lehn, Pekin
2002 – Christian Grieser, WACO
2001 – Derek Greiner, Sigourney-Keota
2000 – T.J. Greiner, Sigourney-Keota
1999 – Todd Miller, Mt. Pleasant