Shenandoah football seniors

The Shenandoah football seniors pose for a picture following the annual end-of-season banquet, Monday, Nov. 4. Pictured: front row, from left: Greg Carmichael, Blake Swanson, Payton Stephens, Devin Morelock and Anthony Stogdill. Back row, from left: Wyatt Aufdenberg, Jake Wiegel, Kalob Inman, Austin Herold and Kyle Cerven. Not pictured: Conner Birt

SHENANDOAH – Senior Kyle Cerven was named the Shenandoah football season MVP during the team’s annual banquet, Monday, Nov. 4 at the Shenandoah Elks Lodge.

The banquet was sponsored by the Elks. Lu and Al’s Nishna Valley Café catered the meal.

Cerven passed for 913 yards and a school record 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 444 yards and four scores and was second on the team with 42 total tackles. He did all this despite not playing the last two games of the season because of a hand injury.

Cerven led the Mustangs to a 2-7 record, with victories over Riverside and Red Oak.

Mustang coach Ty Ratliff said the team showed tremendous growth during the season and there were a lot of positives, led by many of the same athletes who put in a lot of time during the off-season.

The Mustang defense earned its first shutout since 2015 and the offense finished the season with more passing yards than any Mustang team had in more than a decade.

Ratliff felt the team started to show what they were capable of in the Week 3 loss to Treynor, and then played at a very high level beating Riverside the following week with Ratliff saying they were “explosive on both sides of the ball.”

Two weeks after beating Riverside, Shenandoah went into Red Oak and beat the Tigers, something that was the top goal set by the team during the offseason.

The junior varsity won four games and was very competitive in a few others for a pretty fun year, according to Ratliff. The junior high program accomplished two winning seasons.

Ratliff opened by thanking many people, headlined by his family and coaching staff.

The Mustangs had seven players receive all-district recognition, including four to the first team. Look for a story on those athletes shortly after the district’s top two teams, OABCIG and Greene County, are eliminated from the Class 2A playoffs. The all-district teams are voted on by the district’s coaches.

Seniors Cerven, Devin Morelock, Payton Stephens, Anthony Stogdill and Blake Swanson were named Hawkeye 10 All-Academic. Those five joined by Seth Hughes, Cain Lorimor, Avery Martin, David Rendon, Ty Rogers and Zayne Zwickel to the Academic All-District team.

The football team also earned the Distinguished Academic Achievement Award from the Iowa High School Athletic Association for having a team Grade Point Average of 3.25 or better.

Cerven’s team MVP was the last of the 10 Kiwanis Awards that were handed out by Ratliff. These awards are voted on by the players or coaches, depending on the award. The winners are listed below.

Defensive Lineman of the Year: Avery Martin

Offensive Lineman of the Year: Payton Stephens

Linebacker of the Year: Austin Herold

Offensive Back of the Year: Morgan Cotten

Defensive Back of the Year: Devin Morelock

Wide Receiver of the Year: Anthony Stogdill

Most Improved: Clayton Holben

Junior Varsity MVP: Beau Gardner

Newcomer of the Year: Blake Herold

Ratliff said the 11 seniors in the program left their mark and the school and community can be proud of that group.

The rest of the team can improve in the off-season by continuing to work in the weight room as a team and competing in seven-on-seven during the summer. Ratliff said about 80 percent of the offense was installed during the summer months last season.

First-year football cheer coach Amy Nielsen spoke before Ratliff, saying it was a great first year for her. She challenged her group of eight early in the season and they met those challenges.

The cheer squad also earned a Distinguished Academic Achievement Award from the IHSAA.

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