The final all-GTNS team from the fall sports season is released today with two local athletes earning the honor. When these lists are voted on, we start with the obvious choices, and then work backwards, making sure these athletes fit in alongside some of the tougher decisions. Both Dayne Eckley of Pekin and Trey Albert were immediate selections to the all-GTNS football team, along with Fairfield’s Tristin Waugh who made the defensive squad yesterday although he and Albert both could have played on either team.
Mark McSorley, New London
New London head coach Mark McSorley was in just his second year coaching and his first year coaching eight-man in 2018, yet his squad rose above the rest of the class.
New London went 8-1 in the regular season this year and earned a playoff spot due to the RPI rankings. When they hit the playoffs they won four straight games away from home, defeating Gladbrook-Reinbeck 60-12, Iowa Valley 56-20, Fremont-Mills 60-54 and Rockford 55-14 to win New London its first ever state championship.
Zach Beason, Sr., Mt. Pleasant
It wasn’t easy picking a captain for this year’s all-GTNS team with so many deserving seniors around the area, but Zach Beason’s offensive fire power was just enough to earn captain’s honors in 2018.
Beason was fourth in all of Class 3A with 2,146 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions this year. Beason was also the leading rusher on the team, punishing teams up the middle on QB sneaks all year. He ran for 434 yards and scored 12 rushing touchdowns this season.
Luke Turner, Jr., Washington
Turner led the Demons to a 6-3 record after an 0-2 start. His rating was 130.0, good for third in the district. He ran for 508 yards on 127 carries and passed for 1,446 on 108 of 211 attempts. His combined total of 1.954 yards was second in the district as was his 26 touchdowns. He had 16 aerial TDs and just four interceptions. Turner was a first-team pick for all-district.
Dayne Eckley, Jr., Pekin
The Panther tailback rushed for 1477 yards on 174 carries, good for eighth in Class A and 8.5 yards per carry. The first-team selection in A-6 also rushed for 13 touchdowns, including a long of 95 yards that gave him a team-high 80 points scoring with the addition of a two-point conversion. With 407 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore, Eckley will be looking to eclipse the 3,000 yard career rushing mark next season if he continues at the same pace. This is Dayne Eckley’s first all-GTNS selection.
Keontae Luckett, Sr., New London
Nobody could stop Keontae Luckett this year, whether it was in the regular season, early in the playoffs or at the UNI-Dome. Luckett ran for 1,598 yards and 26 touchdowns this year, and also went for 347 yards and three scores through the air. He also had 86 tackles, four interceptions and one fumble recovery on defense. Including a pick-six, Luckett found the end zone 13 times in New London’s four playoff games including a couple of breakout runs at the UNI-Dome.
Rylan Seberg, Jr., Mt. Pleasant
Defenses simply lost Rylan Seberg in the secondary this season. Seberg sped past any defensive back that tried to cover him, going for 657 yards and four touchdowns through the air. He ran the ball on an end-around just twice this year, but one of those went for a 32-yard score. The biggest playmaker that isn’t a senior for Mt. Pleasant, Seberg will truly be a player to watch when the football season rolls back around in the fall.
Cade Hennigan, Sr., Washington
The Southeast Conference’s Player of the Year in baseball, Hennigan caught 30 passes for 421 yards, good for sixth in the district. The first team all-district player also snagged three interceptions playing defense.
Colton Horak, Sr., WACO
Horak did everthing for the Warriors, who had a 6-3 record in the same district as the state champions. He was third in the 8-man Class in total offense with 1,190 yards rushing and 624 yards receiving. He was eighth in the class in scoring with 194 points, 120 from rushing TDs, two receiving TDs, three field goals, seven point-after-touchdown kicks, five two-point PATs and one return TD. Horak led the team in solo tackles (72) and total tackles (88.5). He tied for fifth in the class with seven interceptions. His 28 touchbacks on kickoffs was seventh in the class.
Ben Baughman, Sr., Washington
The 6-foot-1, 250-pounder helped clear the way for the Demons on offense and was fifth on the team in tackles, but tied for first with Tristin Westphal-Edwards in solo tackles for loss with nine, including two solo sacks. He was selected to the district’s first team.
Brody Burton, Sr., Highland
The leader of the Huskies’ offensive line as the center, Burton also returned kickoffs, racking up 169 yards on 10 returns. He had two fumble recoveries and and three interceptions from his linebacker position. He helped Highland lead its district in total offense, and place sixth in Class A in that category.
Mac Conrad, Sr., Sigourney-Keota
The 6-foot-1, 208-pounder was named first team all-district. He helped the Cobras lead the district in rushing by close to 700 yards over second-place Mediapolis, which was ranked all year. Conrad’s presence helped SK finish third in Class 1A in total rushing yards, fourth in rushing touchdowns (35) and fourth in average yards per carry (6.7).
Kade McKinney, Sr., WACO
The WACO football team had one of the top offenses around in 2018, and that was thanks in part to a big offensive line. Warrior running backs found plenty of room with 280 lbs. McKinney opening holes for them, and quarterback Nik Coble enjoyed some extra time to get the ball off.Defensively, McKinney had 34 tackles, including 11 tackles for a loss. He also finished the year with two fumble recoveries.
Jaxon Allen, Jr., New London
New London’s offensive line wasn’t the biggest on the eight-man field, but when it mattered the most, it was one of the best. Jaxon Allen stood tough against some big defensive linemen, especially against Rockford in the state championship, but no matter how big the opposing defense was, they never seemed to get to New London’s skill players. The Tiger offensive line in general helped New London gain over 5,000 yards this season and played a big factor in the school’s state title run. Allen was also a factor on defense, finishing the year with 60.5 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Trey Albert, Sr., Cardinal
Having a mobile quarterback that tripled as their punter gave the Comets a lot of options on offense this season. Albert was a first-team A-6 selection after passing for 1015 yards and nine touchdowns and rushing for another 435 and seven more scores. Just for good measure, the senior captain made three receptions as well. Defensively, Albert led the Comets in tackles with 64, tackles for loss with 3.5 and interceptions with four, including a pick-six. Albert was also the team’s kicker and punter, unfortunately his official kicking stats are not available. This is Trey Albert’s first all-GTNS selection.
JD Stout, Jr., Sigourney-Keota
Stout made all-district first team at utlity after the second-most total yards in Class 1A District 5. He rushed for 1,150 on 180 rushes and threw for 256 on 13 of 34 passes. He scored 22 touchdowns. His 134 points scored led the district.
The all-GTNS football offense was selected by Justin Webster of The Fairfield Ledger, Andy Krutsinger of the Mt. Pleasant News and Doug Brenneman of the Washington Evening Journal.