They are Cade and Jay. Or, if you prefer Cedar Rapids Kennedy defensive jargon, they are Mike and Lou.
Cade Parker is “Mike,” code for middle linebacker. His role is to locate the ball carrier and “go directly to the ball,” according to Kennedy football coach Brian White.
Jay Oostendorp is “Lou,” for left-side linebacker. He monitors the edge.
Together, they ruled over a defense that helped send Kennedy to a 10-2 record and a spot in the Class 4A state semifinals. And today, they are selected as co-defensive players of the year on The Gazette’s 2019 all-area football team.
“They’re a couple of the top tacklers in Iowa,” White said. “They are so good at what they do. They play so fast.”
Oostendorp finished with 87 tackles (25 for loss) and nine sacks. A University of South Dakota recruit, Parker collected 81.5 tackles, 17 for loss.
“They’re both so fast,” White said. “And they are sure tacklers. Running backs don’t run out of their tackles very often.
“They’re two of the very best we’ve had here.”
Kennedy claimed seven spots on the 40-man honor roster. Western Dubuque, the Class 3A champion, had five players honored; 3A runner-up Solon had four, as did Cedar Rapids Xavier.
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Solon’s Cam Miller is the offensive player of the year. He passed for 2,436 yards and 28 touchdowns as the Spartans posted a 12-1 mark and reached the 3A final before falling to Western Dubuque.
Miller completed nearly 70 percent of his passes. He also ran for 840 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“He’s grown as a leader,” said his father and coach, Kevin Miller. “His understanding of what we’re doing offensively is a big part of it as well. We give him a lot of responsibility and freedom to do a lot with our offense.”
The Area Player of the Year and Area Coach of the Year will be revealed later this week.