Olson the latest Lynx DB to snag 1st-team all-state honors
Mathis named to 2nd team as RB in 3A, Tasler placed on OL 3rd team
WEBSTER CITY — Tailback U? Try again. Go with Secondary U instead.
For all of the notoriety the Webster City football program receives for its vaunted rushing attack — and rightfully so — it’s on the defensive side of the ball where the Lynx have become a state powerhouse over the past five years.
Simply put, no Class 3A team has been a passing turnover machine quite like Webster City.
Landon Daniels started it. Dylan Steen surpassed him. And now Tyler Olson has taken the reins.
Following a record-setting season in which he intercepted a state-leading 12 passes, the fourth-most in a single season in state history, today Olson was rewarded with a first-team all-state honor by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.
Daniels was a first-team member in 2015. Steen claimed a spot on the top squad in both 2017 and 2018.
Five years, four first-team all-state honors for Lynx defensive backs.
Wow. How does that happen?
“The smart aleck answer is it’s great coaching,” WCHS head coach Bob Howard said as he chuckled. “I guess I really don’t know. We’ve played in heavily passing districts, but everybody else does too.”
Olson, a junior, had company on the all-state teams. Classmate Trey Mathis was named to the second team as a running back, and senior offensive lineman Will Tasler received a third-team nod.
WCHS has accumulated 82 interceptions over the past five seasons, the most in 3A. The Lynx led the class in picks in 2015, 2017 and again this fall. They’ve never finished worse than seventh over that span.
An athletic marvel with speed and uncanny leaping ability, Olson had at least one INT in eight of the Lynx nine games this fall. He twice had two and closed the season with three against Boone.
“He’s a playmaker,” Howard said of Olson, who began the year at cornerback before moving over to free safety in Week 4. “A lot of Tyler’s (INTs) were really outstanding catches and that’s where the athleticism came in, but you’ve got to be in good position too. To have those kinds of numbers, that has to be a surprise, but when he does it, it’s not surprising.”
With 14 career picks, Olson is already 43rd on the state’s all-time leaderboard with a season to go. The record is 24, held by Blake Beyer of Albia. Steen sits third all-time with 22.
While Olson was the Lynx defensive leader, there was no question who was the centerpiece of the offense. In his first season as a backfield starter, Mathis chewed up 1,333 rushing yards — No. 4 in 3A — and led the class in ground touchdowns with 25. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry.
“We expected him to have a good year at tailback and he met our expectations for sure,” Howard said. “He still has a lot of room to get better too and if he wants to play in college, it’s there for him.”
Mathis went over 100 yards seven times this fall with a career-high 306 yards in a win over Humboldt. He averaged 11.2 yards per carry against the Wildcats.
At 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, Mathis has speed and power to go along with a natural knowledge of how to play the position.
“He has an innate running ability and that’s his biggest advantage,” Howard said. “Combine that with how physical he can run and his speed, he really has all three things.”
Howard was particularly pleased for Tasler, who was arguably the biggest surprise for the 6-3 Lynx. After missing his entire junior season to injury, he stepped into the strong guard position and became a force on downfield blocking.
“He is a poster child for our offseason weight program,” Howard said of Tasler. “What really made our offense go was Will and (fellow guard) Truman Klein. Our No. 1 priority for next year is who replaces Will Tasler. He’s going to make a really nice-sized hole.
“He richly deserves that (all-state honor) and it’s hard work. He put in a lot of time.”
Tasler led the way for Mathis and wingback Garrett Whitmore on their runs to the outside. WCHS rushed for 2,475 yards, the sixth-most in 3A behind five playoff teams.
District 2 gobbled up eight all-state spots on the three teams. District champion and state quarterfinalist Dallas Center-Grimes picked up four, while Carroll added one for Chase Gladden, the district’s defensive player of the year.
By Iowa Print Sports Writers Association
Quarterback — Calvin Harris, sr, Western Dubuque.
Tight End/Wide Receiver — A.J. Coons, sr, Solon; John Palmer, sr, Glenwood; Brock Johnson, sr, Winterset.
Linemen — Logan Jones, sr, CB Lewis Central; Josh Volk, sr, CR Xavier; Henry Lutovsky, jr, Mt. Pleasant; Tyler Maro, jr, Davenport Assumption; Dodge Sauser, jr, Grinnell; Michael Broghammer, sr, Solon.
Running Back — Wyatt Hunter, jr, Grinnell; Ben Bryant, sr, Western Dubuque; Terrance Weah, sr, Denison-Schleswig.
Kicker — Aaron Blom, sr, Oskaloosa.
At Large — Cam Miller, sr, Solon.
Linemen — Kaden Sutton, sr, ADM; Allen Fries, sr, Harlan; Cody Heisman, jr, Pella; Jace Andregg, sr, Solon.
Linebacker — Ben Clark, sr, Norwalk; Blake Willey, jr, DC-Grimes; Ethan Hurkett, sr, CR Xavier; Will McLaughlin, so, Harlan.
Secondary — Tyler Olson, jr, Webster City; Aaron Downs, jr, Pella; Logan Schmitt, sr, Independence; Will Burds, sr, Western Dubuque.
Punter — Tate Stie, jr, ADM.
Kick Returner — Scott Anderson, sr, Norwalk.
At Large — Aisea Toki, sr, LeMars.
Quarterback — Daniel Wright, sr, SB-Luton.
Tight End/Wide Receiver — Deric Fitzgerald, sr, SB-Luton; Logan Shetterly, sr, Pella.
Linemen — Dylan Hopp, sr, Glenwood; Hayden Amos, sr, Carlisle; Trevor Griffin, sr, CB Lewis Central; Mason Huerter, sr, Pella; Brady Schlager, sr, Spencer; Jeremy Chaplin, sr, Waverly-Shell Rock.
Running Back — Trey Mathis, jr, Webster City; Nic Goodhue, sr, Carlisle; Bryson Bowman, sr, CB Lewis Central.
Kicker — Brock Sell, so, Glenwood.
Linemen — Chase Gladden, sr, Carroll; Dustin Wille, sr, Western Dubuque; Koby Clayborne, sr, SC Heelan; Ben Belkin, sr, North Scott.
Linebacker — Seth Adrian, sr, Davenport Assumption; Spencer Kleene, sr, SB-Luton; Trashaun Willis, jr, Washington; Nate Link, sr, North Scott.
Secondary — Keegan Cox, jr, Knoxville; Nic Lawton, jr, DC-Grimes; Ty Anderson, sr, North Scott; Silas Bales, jr, Glenwood.
Punter — Drake Woody, sr, Iowa City Liberty.
Kick Returner — Tyler Miller, sr, Oskaloosa.
Quarterback — Zach Marker, sr, Norwalk.
Tight End/Wide Receiver — Logan Halverson, sr, Decorah; Thomson Fidone, jr, CB Lewis Central; Ethan Carlson, jr, Norwalk.
Linemen — Will Tasler, sr, Webster City; Gage Linahon, sr, Newton; Sam Hester, sr, Norwalk; Ryan Friese, sr, Washington; Dylan Reuther, sr, Independence; Wade Phair, sr, SB-Luton.
Running Back — Isaiah Spencer, sr, Spencer; Max Tafolla, jr, Iowa City Liberty; Zach Brand, jr, DC-Grimes.
Kicker — Gabriel Austin, sr, Decorah.
Linemen — TJ Bollers, jr, Clear Creek-Amana; Mitchell Helmkamp, sr, CR Xavier; Jayne Augusma, sr, DC-Grimes; Cole Kramer, sr, Waverly-Shell Rock.
Linebacker — Jacob Hanley, sr, Waterloo East; Colton Dreith, sr, Storm Lake; Ben Olson, sr, Knoxville; Carter Kluesner, sr, Western Dubuque.
Secondary — Cejay Whisler, jr, Carlisle; Zach Carr, sr, Glenwood; Corey Bates, sr, SB-Luton; Ethan Vetterick, sr, Norwalk.
Punter — Gille Bishop, so, SC Heelan.
Kick Returner — Luke Turner, sr, Washington.