WEBSTER CITY - Tyler Smith's ability to find a seam and break into the open field was a necessity for a successful Northeast Hamilton football season this fall.
Little did he know at the time as he was piling up yard after yard that it would take him to the top of District 2 in Class 8-man.
Smith, a senior tailback, was recently named the District 2 Offensive Player of the Year by the district coaches. He was joined by Defensive Player of the Year Nathan Grimm of West Bend-Mallard.
Northeast Hamilton senior tailback Tyler Smith breaks through tackles against Laurens-Marathon this season. After piling up 2,080 yards of total offense and 32 touchdowns, Smith was recently named the Offense Player of the Year in Class 8-man District 2.
In addition to Smith, Northeast Hamilton placed three other players on the all-district team - senior fullback/linebacker Gabe Rapp, senior quarterback/defensive end Logan Seiser, and junior offensive lineman Bryce Van Langen.
Senior lineman Tristin Knudsen and junior lineman Andy Pate were honorable mention choices.
Smith, a multiple-year starter in the backfield for the Trojans, piled up 2,080 yards of total offense and 32 touchdowns during a 6-4 season that included a trip to the state playoffs. He racked up 1,725 yards and 26 scores on the ground and also picked up 355 yards and another six TDs receiving.
Class 8-man District 2
Offensive Player of Year - Tyler Smith, Northeast Hamilton.
Defensive Player of Year - Nathan Grimm, West Bend-Mallard.
Co-Coaches of Year - Brian Wilken, Newell-Fonda; Pete Kapustynski, West Bend-Mallard.
Newell-Fonda - Gabe Podraza, sr.; Bryce Nielsen, sr.; Derek Wolterman, sr.; Brady Bohe, sr.; Shawn Thompson, sr.; Andrew Temple, sr.; Dalton Anderson, sr.
West Bend-Mallard - Braden Knobloch, sr.; Cole Banwart, so.; Jason Zinnel, sr.; Jesse Zinnel, sr.; Nathan Grimm, sr.; Davey Jergens, sr.
Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire - Kyle Dalen, sr.; Cody Thompson, jr.; Michael Girres, so.; Mason McGrauth, jr.; Matt McGrauth, sr.
Northeast Hamilton - Tyler Smith, sr.; Logan Seiser, sr.; Gabe Rapp, sr.; Bryce Van Langen, jr.
North Iowa - Alex Paulson, so.; Josh Mathahs, jr.; Tristan Boehm, sr.
Laurens-Marathon - Tre Seiler, jr.; Jordan Gunnarson, jr.
CWL - Esden Carroll, jr.; Grant Carroll, so.
Newell-Fonda - Dillon Anderson, sr.; Kirk Weber, sr.
West Bend-Mallard - Jack Fehr, jr.; Carson Wirtz, jr.
Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire - Ethan Petersen, sr.; Alex Hoffman, so.
Northeast Hamilton - Tristin Knudsen, sr.; Andy Pate, jr.
North Iowa - Derek Yegge, sr.; Austin Paden, jr.
Laurens-Marathon - Chase Oehlertz, sr.
CWL - Stefan Chambers, sr.; Darek Garman, so.
CAL - Andrew Quinones, sr.; Hunter Schleisman, sr.; Taylor Rapp, sr.
Smith rushed for more than 100 yards in Northeast Hamilton's first seven games; five times he crossed the 200-yard threshold. His season high came in the season opener when he ripped off 274 yards in a blowout victory over Ankeny Christian.
Only a late-season leg injury ended his 100-yard streak, but he again reached triple digits in a playoff loss to Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn.
Rapp accomplished his preseason goal to become the school's single-season tackles leader. He topped 200 solo and assisted stops during the 10-game slate, eclipsing the previous mark of 197 held by his older brother, Caleb.
Rapp also picked up 450 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
Seiser led the district in tackles for loss with 16. He was one of the division's top passers as well with 821 yards and 14 scores through the air. He completed 58 of 126 passes.
Van Langen started every game on the offensive line, helping the Trojans collect 3,511 yards of total offense. They rushed for 2,675 - the third-best total in the district.