Another state-bound season has resulted in a multitude of honors for the Van Meter football team.
With their 2019 season officially concluding, the Class 1A All-District 8 honors have been released. As one might expect from a state finalist team, the Bulldogs had a host of players earn All-District honors to the tune of 15 players. Highlighting the field of 15 were senior stars Parker Fryar and Anthony Potthoff. Both were first-team selections and both earned the highest honors as Potthoff was named district offensive MVP and Fryar earning defensive MVP.
Potthoff was arguably one of the premier quarterbacks in the Class 1A field this year. The senior completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,684 total yards and 17 aerial scores, both of which ranked top-15 or better. His 201.8 passer rating was the second-highest behind Dike-New Hardford’s Drew Sonnenberg among quarterbacks with at least 80 completions. Potthoff has been a two-year starter and has made the most of his time, earning praise from Bulldog head coach Eric Trudo.
“Anthony is an exceptional quarterback,” said Trudo. “He protects the ball and has great field vision. Most of all he’s an exceptional teammate and a phenomenal leader.”
Potthoff also produced 966 yards on the ground, second-most inside Class 1A’s District-8 field.
On the defensive end, Parker Fryar has been noted as one of the better defensive stars seen in quite some time by the Bulldog coaching staff. Fryar ended his senior season with 86.5 total tackles which ranked sixth among all Class 1A tacklers. Six of those tackles were solo tackles for loss.
“Parker is a really good team player and one of the better defensive players I’ve seen in a long time,” said coach Trudo. “He’s a guy who won’t give you anything less than 100 percent every practice and every game.”
Continuing down the first-team All-District defense included fellow seniors Bryce Cole, Cody Coffman, Zach Madden, and Blade Koons. Cole made the team in the defensive line position capturing 53.5 tackles and 12 for a loss which ranked tied for 14th best in the Class 1A field. Madden made his claim to fame defending passing attacks and hauled in three interceptions. Blade Koons capped off a successful year with a first-team selection in the punters position. That included an 80-yard punt in the state title game. The rest of the first-team offense for Van Meter included Ian Abrahamson, Lincoln Olsen, Blade Koons, and Max Gilliland.
Along with Potthoff, Abrahamson, Koons, and Olsen were all unanimous selections. For Koons, he was the only player voted to both the first-team offense and first-team defense. Offensively, that was due to a district second-best 336 receiving yards for four scores. He was a major part of a well-balanced offense that pleased coach Trudo all season long.
“This offense is just so well balanced, everybody does their job,” began Trudo. “Every person on the offense knows their roles and they do a great job.”
That included the work of future collegiate back Ian Abrahamson who still managed a top-four rushing performance despite a knee injury. The senior still managed a district fourth-best mark of 838 yards while tying with batterymate Potthoff for 15 touchdowns, second-most inside the district. Abrahamson averaged 6.4 yards per play across 130 rushing attempts. Helping to open up those running lanes was a great offensive line that included Lincoln Olsen and Max Gilliland, part of an offensive line that also received high praise from coach Trudo.
“All of our success stems from those guys up front,” said Trudo. “Without them, I don’t know if we’d be as successful this season. They do a great job each and every week.”
The Bulldogs had strong representation on the second team as well with five total selections. Just one came on offense and included offensive lineman Andrew Simpson. Defensively, seniors Patrick Junker and Tyler Haynes along with junior Calvin Sieck. Also included in the second-team defense was Brett Berg who became the only three-year starter on a team that produced a state title back in 2017.
“Being a Bulldog is the best thing I could have done over the last four years,” said Anthony Potthoff.