Playoff, season success reviewed on awards night

The Monticello High School football team held its annual awards event Nov. 10 in the MHS Auditorium. Earning All-District awards, first row from left: Caleb Sauser, Luke Lambert, Tyler Luensman, Justin Recker, Brady Cleeton and Owen Thomas. Second row: Preston Ries, Kaden Kiburz, Bo Kramer and Tate Petersen. Not pictured is Christian Castillo. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Earning team awards, from left: Bo Kramer, Lucas Bartachek, Luke Lambert, Tyler Luensman, Brady Cleeton and Caleb Sauser.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     To even have a season in this era of COVID-19 was a plus for any Iowa high school football team. To make it a successful one was even better.

     The Monticello High School football team celebrated both achievements at its annual awards night Nov. 10 in the MHS Auditorium.

     The Panthers went 6-2 overall, including 4-1 in the regular season and 2-1 in Class 2A, District 5 play.

     In the state playoffs, for which every team in the state qualified, Monticello won its “pod” of four teams in the first two rounds before losing to Waukon in the round of 16. 

     Two scheduled Panther games were affected by the pandemic. Because of COVID issues in Monticello, the Panthers were unable to play Anamosa this year, the first time since 1920 the two Cowbell Trophy rivals had not met. And a later game at West Liberty was cancelled due to an outbreak in the Comets’ school district.

     “It was a year like no other,” Monticello coach Wes Wilson said. “We had a lot of adversity coming in. You had COVID. We weren’t able to lift. We weren’t able to do the things that we wanted to do, pre-season.”

     The coach praised the seniors for leading the Panthers to the round of 16 for the second consecutive season; the first time Monticello had achieved that since 1977.

     “You seniors, when you were back in middle school, you weren’t lighting the world on fire. You guys had solid years, but nobody talked about you guys as a football class,” Wilson said. “But you just worked your tails off, and did things the right way.”

     A list of Panther awards follows.




     Special Team Awards: Christian Castillo, sophomore, District Kicker of the Year; Caleb Sauser, junior, Return Specialist of the Year.

     First Team: Brady Cleeton, senior defensive lineman; Luke Lambert, senior quarterback; Tyler Luensman, senior defensive back; Justin Recker, senior wide receiver; Owen Thomas, junior offensive lineman.

     Second Team: Kaden Kiburz, junior offensive lineman; Preston Ries, freshman linebacker.

     Honorable Mention: Bo Kramer, senior linebacker; Tate Petersen, sophomore wide receiver.


     Offensive MVP: Luke Lambert, senior.

     Defensive MVP: Tyler Luensman, senior.

     Best Lineman: Brady Cleeton, senior.

     Special Teams MVP: Caleb Sauser, junior.

     Most Improved Player: Lucas Bartachek, junior.

     Coaches’ Award: Bo Kramer, senior.


     Seniors: Brady Cleeton, Caleb Gillmore, Bo Kramer, Luke Lambert, Kain Luensman, Tyler Luensman, Riley Manternach, Justin Recker, Grahm Schneiter. 

     Juniors: Gabe Goodyear, Eian Weber, Davin Wickman.

     Sophomores: Tate Petersen, Dylan Roher.



Subscriber Login