Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
Earlier this month Your Prep Sports highlighted 11 of the top area football stars to watch this season.
With the opening night of the season less than 48 hours away Your Prep Sports offers a look at some of the area players poised to turn into stars this fall.
Leading up to the first full week of the prep football season here is a list of 11 area players that are in line for breakthrough seasons this fall.
Hamilton got his feet wet at the varsity level last season throwing for 786 yards and four touchdowns after taking over full-time as the Little Hawks starting quarterback in week four.
At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds Hamilton has all the physical tools you look for in a quarterback and now has a year of varsity experience to build on.
Hamilton will add an element to the Little Hawk run game and will also play linebacker for the Little Hawks.
Andregg adds another element to an already explosive Solon offense after transferring from Cedar Rapids Prairie.
An explosive 6-foot-2, 205-pound athlete Andregg caught nine passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 290 yards and three scores last season for the Hawks.
A Northern Iowa recruit, Andregg will line up all over the field for the Spartans and is expected to be an impact player on both sides of the bal.
Figueroa was solid as a sophomore rushing for 559 yards and four touchdowns in his first varsity season.
The 5-foot-9, 170-pound speedster should build on those numbers this season as Clear Creek Amana looks to replace the 191 carries and 1,099 rushing yards lost with the graduation of quarterback Andrew Rohret.
Figueroa showed the ability to carry the load early last season going over 100 yards three times in the first six games and will benefit from the return of four starters on a sturdy Clipper offensive line.
Henderson fits the mold of a long list of past West High players to take their games to another level as seniors.
An all-district performer last season on the Trojans’ state quarterfinal team Henderson had 23 tackles and two interceptions a year ago.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Henderson will play a bigger role this season as a defensive back and could become a factor in the West High passing game as a tight end.
It’s tough for a player that produced at the level that Zimmerman did a year ago to be a breakthrough candidate but the 6-foot, 205-pound senior is set up for a huge season after emerging as a leader for the Lightning last season.
Zimmerman ranked second on the team with 54 tackles a year ago with 11 going for loss and should build on those numbers with a year of experience under his belt.
Another player coming off a strong senior season Eagle has all the makings of a potentially dominant outside receiver.
Eagle caught 28 passes for a team-high 487 yards last season in a balanced West Branch receiving corps but should see those numbers soar this season as the only returning receiver with double digit catches.
A huge target at 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds Eagle is a tough cover for Class 1A defensive backs.
Poynton provides another versatile weapon for a Solon squad loaded with playmakers at the skill positions.
The 6-foot, 195-pound Poynton rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Even in a crowded group of skill position players Poynton will find a way to be an impact player for the Spartans.
As a junior Noska put up solid numbers making 29.5 tackles including 5.5 for loss and a sack from his defensive end spot.
Expect those totals to soar this season for the 6-foot-4, 195 Noska who will benefit from teams focusing on slowing four-star prospect TJ Bollers who lines up at the other defensive end spot.
In just his second year of varsity football Dutchik has just scratched the surface of what he can do on the football field.
An all-state goalie on the Regina soccer team, the 6-foot-1, 192-pound Dutchik is an intriguing option in the Regina passing game as well as a versatile piece of the defense capable of playing the rover spot.
Williams was the leading rusher in a Liberty High running back by committee approach last season running for 686 yards and five touchdowns.
The 5-foot-7, 180-pound senior is a threat to crack the 1,000-yard mark this season as the lead back in a powerful Liberty High rushing attack that should be even more potent in year two.
Taking over for the school’s all-time leading passer is a tough spot for any new quarterback but Hierseman has the makeup to excel as a first-year starter.
A coaches’ son, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Hierseman has the benefit of being surrounded by a 1,000-yard running back and an experienced offensive line.
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