Meet The Gazette's 2019 Male Athlete of the Year finalists


Today, The Gazette reveals its 2019 finalists for its high school Athlete of the Year awards.

The awards were inspired by the longtime sportswriting career of Jack Ogden.

Athletes of the Year are chosen based on exceptional athletic and academic achievement. This is the 37th year of the awards, which began in 1983.

Read on to learn more about this year's male finalists.

Winners will be announced next Sunday.

Jake Hilmer, North Linn


Named co-winner of IPSWA 2019 Mr. Basketball after rewriting the school record book and leading the Lynx (26-0) to the Class 2A state championship. North Linn was the 1A state runner-up in 2018.

Holds state records in season and career assists (356 and 1,106) and steals (180 and 534). Finished his career with 2,332 points.

Completing a memorable career in baseball, too. He will likely become a four-time first-team all-state selection.

Entered his senior season as the state’s all-time leader in runs, and was on track to become No. 1 in hits, stolen bases and pitching wins.

Four-year state qualifier in track and field.

Will play basketball and baseball at Upper Iowa University.

Patrick McCaffery, Iowa City West


Leading scorer in West history at 1,550 points (25.1 per game).

A member of the 2017 Class 4A state championship team. The Trojans were runners-up in 2018, state qualifiers in 2019.

Shot 58.2 percent from the field, 45.3 percent from 3-point range and 76.3 percent from the free throw line as a senior.

Led the Trojans in rebounds per game (7.6) and tied for the team lead in steals.

Set a school record with 42 points in a game.

Will play basketball at the University of Iowa.

Paul Ryan, Mount Vernon


Will finish with 13 varsity letters (four in wrestling, three each in football, track and field and baseball).

A three-time state placewinner in wrestling, he was 43-0 and a Class 2A state champion as a senior at 170 pounds. Fourth place as a junior, eighth as a sophomore and 146-33 with 79 pins in his career.

Rushed for 2,916 yards (1,475 as a junior and 1,441 as a senior) in his football career with 46 total touchdowns and 127.5 tackles. First-team 2A all-state as a junior, third team as a senior.

Qualified for state track in four relays as a senior.

Hit .255 in baseball as a junior with 16 RBIs.

Will attend the University of Northern Iowa, but will not compete in varsity athletics.

Quinn Schulte, Cedar Rapids Xavier


Quarterbacked Xavier to Class 3A state football championships in 2017 and 2018, earning first-team all-state honors as a junior and senior. The Saints were 37-1 in his three years as a starter.

Finished his career with 3,059 passing yards and 2,124 rushing yards and was responsible for 87 touchdowns.

Is believed to be the only player in state history to have more than 3,000 yards passing, 2,000 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and 10 interceptions on defense.

A member of Xavier’s state championship basketball teams in 2016 and 2017 and a three-year starter. Third all-time at Xavier in assists, with 191.

Will become a three-year letterwinner in baseball.

Four-year letterwinner in track and field and a member of the school’s record-holding sprint medley relay.

Will play football at the University of Iowa.

Garet Sims, Iowa Valley


Capped a 204-win wrestling career with a 52-0 state championship season last winter at 220 pounds.

A three-time state placewinner, he was fifth as a sophomore and a runner-up as a junior.

Owns school records in career wins and career falls (127).

A four-year letterwinner and two-time captain in football. Moved from the backfield to the offensive line as a senior.

Three-time all-district and a first-team all-stater in 2018.

Will wrestle at Coe College.