A championship trophy makes for a memorable season, for sure. But that’s not the only thing.
“I’ll remember the season more for COVID,” Waukon senior Brennan Sweeney said. “You didn’t know, week to week, what was going to happen. Are we playing? Are we not?
“It was scary, and that was an added factor. To do what we did, under these circumstances ... it says a lot.”
A defensive end, Sweeney was a regular presence in opponents’ backfields. He finished the season with 50.5 tackles, with 24.5 of them for loss. He accumulated 15.5 sacks as the Indians (10-1) captured the Class 2A state football championship.
For all of that, Sweeney has been selected as The Gazette’s 2020 area defensive player of the year.
He is one of three Waukon defensive standouts (linebacker Lincoln Snitker and safety Creed Welch) on the honor squad.
“That allowed me to be aggressive, knowing if somebody got by me, I had a lot of reliable guys, especially those two, behind me,” Sweeney said.
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Twenty-two area schools are represented on the 40-man roster. Cedar Rapids Xavier and West Delaware have the most players, with four each. Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Iowa City Regina, Montezuma and Sigourney-Keota join Waukon with three representatives.
The team consists of 31 seniors and nine juniors.
Alec Wick, Regina’s prolific receiver, is the offensive player of the year after helping lead the Regals (11-1) to the Class A state title.
“Bringing the title back to Regina, that was our goal,” Wick said. “It had been (five years), and we just wanted to bring it back.”
Wick, along with quarterback Ashton Cook, combined for one of the state’s most prolific passing duos through the past three years.
“We feed off each other’s energy,” Wick said. “We have a great line, Ashton throws the ball well, and the coaching staff is really good about getting guys open.”
Wick caught 75 passes as a senior for 1,401 yards (18.7 per reception) and 16 touchdowns. He also converted 46 of 48 extra-point attempts and made his only field goal attempt, from 22 yards. He averaged 36.5 per punt.
Wick has accepted a preferred walk-on offer from the University of Iowa. Sweeney continues to weigh his options, which include Drake, Upper Iowa and Iowa Western.
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2020 Gazette all-area football team
Player of the year — Eddie Burgess, Montezuma
Offensive player of the year — Alec Wick, Iowa City Regina
Defensive player of the year — Brennan Sweeney, Waukon
Coach of the year — Chad Beermann, Waukon
Eddie Burgess, 6-4, 215, jr., Montezuma
Ashton Cook, 6-5, 210, sr., Iowa City Regina
Marcus Morgan, 6-3, 185, sr., Iowa City West
Theo Kolie, 6-2, 175, sr., Iowa City Regina
Nick Pearson, 5-10, 180, sr., Cedar Rapids Prairie
Sam Sieren, 5-7, 193, sr., Sigourney-Keota
Jahsiah Galvan, 6-1, 175, jr., West Liberty
Alec Wick, 6-1, 180, sr., Iowa City Regina
Tommy DeSollar, 6-1, 190, sr., Western Dubuque
Trey Shearer, 5-11, 160, sr., Montezuma
Graham Goering, 6-1, 190, sr., Iowa City West
Connor Colby, 6-6, 315, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy
Carson Petlon, 6-6, 302, sr., West Delaware
Brant Baltes, 6-0, 270, sr., Lisbon
Zach Smithart, 5-10, 250, jr., Sigourney-Keota
Keean Kamerling, 6-3, 260, sr., Mount Vernon
Max White, 5-11, 190, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy
Jared Voss, 6-2, 193, sr., West Delaware
Marcus Beatty, 5-9, 200, jr., Independence
Lincoln Oakley, 6-1, 170, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier
Brennan Sweeney, 6-3, 220, sr., Waukon
T.J. Bollers, 6-4, 250, sr., Clear Creek Amana
Christian Nunley, 6-1, 218, sr., West Delaware
Jeff Bowie, 6-5, 250, sr., West Branch
Mike Steffen, 6-2, 220, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier
Wyatt Voelker, 6-0, 209, jr., West Delaware
Lincoln Snitker, 5-11, 195, jr., Waukon
Drew Bartels, 6-0, 195, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy
Carson Shive, 6-0, 205, sr., Solon
Nick Lemke, 6-2, 205, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier
Kale Rodgers, 5-8, 190, sr., North Fayette Valley
Clayton Muszynski, 5-11, 185, jr., Linn-Mar
Jaxon Rexroth, 6-3, 195, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier
Brady Duwa, 6-1, 193, sr., Sigourney-Keota
Evan Nelson, 5-11, 150, sr., Meskwaki
Creed Welch, 6-4, 195, sr., Waukon
Trashaun Willis, 6-5. 230, sr., Washington
Cole Watts, 5-11, 170, sr., Montezuma
Cullen McShane, 6-2, 202, jr., MFL MarMac
Ben Swails, 6-2, 175, jr., Clear Creek Amana
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