116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — The athletic potential, that was clear when Mitch Moore started watching film on Ben Kueter.
The other stuff, that had to be witnessed in person.
“To be honest, I wasn’t blown away on tape by his details,” said Moore, football coach at Iowa City High. “I saw the potential, but I didn’t see the intangibles.”
He does now. He sees them every Monday through Thursday.
“That’s just kind of how competitive I am as a person,” Kueter said. “Some people take practice off, they just coast. I can’t do that. If I’m going to practice, I’m going to do it as hard as I can.”
“He brings attention and joy to practice every day,” Moore said. “And that’s contagious.”
Kueter is coming off a weekend that would be hard to rival. Friday night, the Little Hawks validated themselves as a Class 5A power with a 21-17 victory over perennial giant West Des Moines Dowling.
The next day, he visited the wrestling room at the University of Iowa, then took an official visit at Kinnick Stadium.
By the end of the weekend, he had committed to the Hawkeyes in both wrestling and football.
“The visit was everything I thought it would be,” said Kueter, a junior. “I’ve done both sports my whole life. If I can do them both at a high level (at Iowa), I’m going to do it. If it’s too much, I’ll re-evaluate.”
Keuter owns a 37-0 career record in wrestling, winning a state championship at 160 pounds as a freshman and at 195 as a sophomore. He’ll compete at 220 this winter.
Also a standout in baseball and track, Kueter’s high school athletics career already is full of memorable moments. One of them came Friday, when he caught the winning touchdown on a flea flicker in the final minute.
“Everybody was yelling in the huddle, and I said, ‘Let’s run it now. This is it right here,’” Kueter said. “We made it look like a jet sweep, and I was open and just had to catch it.”
Said Moore, in his first season at City High after coaching at Des Moines Roosevelt: “We’ve been practicing that over and over since June. We do a good job running the jet series. I thought Ben might be able to sneak out on the sideline, and they worked it to perfection.”
Kueter has eight catches this season for 149 yards and three touchdowns. He’s just as effective on the other side of the ball; 13.5 of his 28.5 tackles are for loss.
After Friday’s big victory and Saturday’s double-commitment, Kueter had his mind on something else.
Iowa City West.
The Battle for the Boot is Friday at Bates Field, and the sixth-ranked Little Hawks (4-0) are seeking to end a five-game losing streak to the Trojans (1-3).
“It’s a big deal that we beat Dowling, but we expected to do it,” Kueter said. “We were happy and excited. But by Sunday, we were all thinking about West. To be honest, I’d rather beat them even over Dowling.”