2014 Class 4A, District 7 Preview

Who will win the 4A, District 7 championship? Who is our preseason MVP? Iowa
Preps takes a look at this district and breaks down those questions and much
more. Get inside today and don't miss any of our previews for the 2014 football
Davenport Central
It was tough to surpass their season opening upset over Muscatine but
Davenport Central went 4-6 last fall and could have easily added more victories
to that total. Their top two tacklers may have moved on defensively but
the Blue Devils have plenty of talent returning on that side of the ball.
Brady Cartee earned All MAC honors as a junior and is hungry to spend another
season proving what he can do on the gridiron. If he stays healthy and can
continue to make improvements, don't be shocked to see him be an All Stater as a
senior. Rodney Levi, Jacob Houghton, and Calvin Clevenger are three others
to keep an eye on. The offense shared carries and that means Tony Marshall
and Carter will see their number called much more frequently in 2014. Replacing
production up front along the line is a major concern with many of their top
blockers having graduated over the off-season.
Most Valuable Player: Tony Marshall
Davenport North
After losing their first three games by a combined score of 124-0, Davenport
North could have very easily quit on the rest of the season. This group
instead stayed focused and got back on track by beating their rivals from West
and competing at a much higher level. The Wildcats are looking for
progress and hope that they can continue taking steps in the right direction
during 2014. Offensively, Kevin Murphy is likely to be the focal point of
this unit after totaling nearly 600 yards on the ground as a junior.
Additional off-season workouts and training could help him flirt with the 1,000
yard mark as a senior. Having two all conference linemen returning in
Michael Walsh and Tyler White will certainly help his chances. North needs
the most work defensively as the 44 points they gave up each night out are a
major concern. Calvin Conger, Murphy, and others return but a lot of new
faces must be ready to compete at the varsity level on day one if they can make
strides overall.
Most Valuable Player: Kevin Murphy
Dubuque Hempstead
After an extremely forgettable season in 2012, Dubuque Hempstead got back on
track last fall as they won four games and battled their way to the postseason.
That included an upset win over Cedar Rapids Kennedy that pushed them into the
playoffs. The pieces are there for the Mustangs to continue building off
of last fall as they hope to get over the .500 mark. Offensive lineman
Morgan Paca will be missed as he is suiting up at Northern Iowa but others are
working hard to replace him. Running back Matt Zenner quickly took his
game to another level a year ago while rushing for over 1,200 yards. Look
for his opportunities to grow as he adds strength and size to his frame over the
off-season. Zenner could easily be an all stater as a senior. Leading tackler Carter Daack is back for another go around and
will be asked to lead the charge defensively. Adam Clendenen and Peyton
Imhof are two others who will make their presence known on that side of the ball
as well.
Most Valuable Player: Matt Zenner
Iowa City West
Considering all of the elite talent that Iowa City West graduated before the
2013 season, the fact that they won nine games and were twelve points away from
being undefeated says a lot about the state of this program. Reloading is
the focus once again this off-season as replacing the production out of Nate
Boland behind center is a must. This dual threat signal caller did an
excellent job helping his team move the chains and the team must find a suitable
replacement. Oliver Martin is their top returning athlete offensively as
he caught twenty passes as a freshman. With three years left of his prep
football career, there is no doubt that he has the talent to be an all stater.
The defense, which gave up under sixteen points per game on average, has Conner
Greene, John Milani, Tyler Eads, and Kevin Dowell all back for the fall.
This core unit will help this team compete with the best in the new 4A districts
from day one. A change within their coaching ranks may be an adjustment
but don't expect it to hold them back for long.
Most Valuable Player: Conner Greene
Pleasant Valley
They may have fallen one game short once again of playing at the UNI-Dome but
Pleasant Valley has gone 18-0 during the final two years of MAC regular season
football. The Spartans have a lot of talent that must be replaced and
their ability to reload will dictate how good they can be as they move to
district play. The offense will have nearly all new skill players but Ryan
Spelhaug is back up front after earning first team all conference honors a
year ago. This group will be a work in progress during the off-season as
the coaches get athletes in key spots ready to perform at a high level.
Expect three returning starters along the line to make life much easier.
The defense will be searching for quality numbers to bolster the roster but
return their top two tacklers in Brendon Bormann and David Carr. A few
other teammates bring back big game experience but will be thrust into much more
important roles. On paper, this team will struggle to keep pace with their
recent success but this is not a group to bet against. They have excelled
in the MAC and hope to continue building as one of the best programs in Class 4A
on the gridiron.
Most Valuable Player: David Carr/Ryan Spelhaug
Who made our Preseason All State Teams? Find out now!
On their team:
"I think the potential is there because we have a lot of returning guys and
players coming up in the program. We have a lot of leaders that have stepped
up to help us."
Iowa City West tight end Conner Greene
"I feel good
about it. We laid a really good foundation and we'll be successful against
this year."
Iowa City West defensive back Tyler Eads
"I think we'll
be good. Our goal is for an undefeated regular season and a state
Iowa City West athlete Aaron Bleil
"We have been
putting a lot of work in this off-season. I think we'll have a great team."
Pleasant Valley lineman Ryan Spellhaug
On the toughest opponent in the district:
"I haven't looked too
closely. We have to go out there and play hard every day."
Iowa City West
tight end Conner Greene
"PV is good year in and year out. Hempstead
will also be pretty good."
Iowa City West defensive back Tyler Eads
"There are a few teams in our district that I don't know about but Iowa
City West will be tough. North Scott and Bettendorf are returning a lot of
Pleasant Valley lineman Ryan Spellhaug
On the toughest individual opponent in the district:
"Since it is a new district with a lot of the Quad City schools, I haven't
seen many of the kids."
Iowa City West tight end Conner Greene
"Matt Zenner from Hempstead is a quick running back. I saw him in track and he
is fast."
Iowa City West defensive back Tyler Eads
"I have no
Iowa City West athlete Aaron Bleil
"Ricky Grimes from North
Scott has been tough to shut down in the past."
Pleasant Valley lineman
Ryan Spellhaug
Sleeper Team:
Dubuque Hempstead
Preseason Offensive MVP:
Matt Zenner, Dubuque, Hempstead
Preseason Defensive MVP:
Conner Greene, Iowa City, West/David Carr, Pleasant Valley
Preseason District Champion:
Iowa City West
Iowa City West
Pleasant Valley
Dubuque Hempstead
Davenport North