Cedar Rapids Prairie quarterback Jace Hanna and Iowa City West versatile running back Ezra Reiners can add another page to the scrapbook filled with highlights from this season.
The pair was named Mississippi Valley Conference Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, according to Wednesday’s release of all-conference selections. Hanna earned the honor in the Valley Division, while Reiners received the honor in the Mississippi Division.
Hanna has helped lead Prairie to an 8-3 mark, going 6-3 in the regular season and advancing to Friday’s Class 4A state quarterfinal game against host Cedar Rapids Xavier. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior has thrown for 2,353 yards and 28 touchdowns, completing 59 percent of his passes.
Hanna, who has committed to play basketball at Upper Iowa University next year, threw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns in the Hawks’ 49-28 playoff win over second-ranked West on Monday. Hanna has rushed for 299 yards and three TDs.
“There’s a reason why we are so high on that kid,” Prairie Coach Mike Morrissey said after the second-round playoff win at Trojan Field. “He’s as tough as it gets, and he’s one heck of a player. he showcased himself (Monday).”
Hanna’s top target, Jarred Edmonds, also earned first-team honors, leading the conference with 1,139 receiving yards. Edmonds has 16 TDs this season for the Hawks.
Prairie linebacker Cam Rathje, who leads the league with 150 tackles, and Hawks defensive back Mitch Dellamuth, tops in the league with six interceptions, were first-team picks on defense.
Reiners and the Trojans had an impressive season, posting a 10-1 record and winning the MVC Mississippi Division, which earned Coach Brian Sauser and staff the Coach of the Year award. West had a division-high five first-team selection, all on offense. Wide receivers Jeremy Morgan and Dondre Alexander, quarterback Nate Boland and offensive lineman Sam McLeran were first-team picks for the Trojans.
Reiners was a key offensive weapon, rushing for more than 1,070 yards this season and 14 TDs. Reiners, a senior, added almost 200 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.
Morgan and Alexander were among the league’s top receivers. Alexander had more than 870 yards, while Morgan had more than 780, tying a West record 10 TD passes and setting the school mark with 17 career touchdown receptions.
Valley division champion Xavier (11-0) placed a league-high six players on the first-team. Quarterback Reggie Schulte leads the way with more than 2,100 yards of total offense and 37 touchdowns, throwing for 2,080 and 35.
“He can only do as much as the line gives you time for and if your receivers make you look good,” Xavier head coach and Schulte’s father, Duane Schulte, said after the Saints 48-10 playoff opener win over Iowa City High. “At the same time, I’ll put both my dad and coach hat on, I’m proud of him.
“He’s a great leader and helped lead his team to a win.”
Saints wideout Corbin Woods, who reeled in 14 of Schulte’s TD passes, was a first-team choice, gaining 938 receiving yards. Emiliano Martinez and Craig Murtha highlight the Saints strong defense that allows less than eight points a game.
Seth Fahnle and kicker Ryan Persick were also first-team picks for the Saints, whose coaching staff was named Coach of the Year.
Cedar Rapids Washington wide receiver Jason Oney (45-636) and lineman Zac Gillis were first-team picks in the Valley Division. Linn-Mar was represented on the Valley’s first team by Justin Green on offense and Nick Trabucco and Zach Martins on defense.
Kennedy closed the season strong, winning five straight to reach the second round of the playoffs. The Cougars had four first-teamers, including standout running back Alex Hillyer. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound rusher amassed 1,662 yards and 20 TDs. he ranked second in yards and third in rushing touchdowns in 4A.
Hillyer was joined by teammates Drew Heitland and Austin Holzer on offense and Grant Miller on defense.
Iowa City High’s Jake Leohr, Tanner Odle, De’Airius Saliibi made the Mississippi Division’s first team.
Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Drake Allen and Peter Watson were selected to the Mississippi Division’s first-team defensive squad.
Below is the entire list.