Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

November 8, 2018 Breaking down barriers: Huskies hope season sets new standard
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

After a 2-7 campaign in 2017, the Highland football team made a choice to get better. It resulted in a 8-3 finish and the first playoff win in more than a decade.

“Those seniors, you have to give them all the credit. They created that,” Highland co-head coach Joe Donovan said.

Off-season lifting and practice weren’t different, he said, it just came down to a will to win from the seniors.

“These kids have broken down barriers that this school hasn’t experienced before,” Donovan said.

A lot of that came down to experience on the field. From 2017 to 2018, the Huskies returned a large portion of their on-field production and through those losses the players learned what makes a team good.

The offense doubled their touchdowns from 2017 to 2018 and improved their per play average from 4.4 yards per play to 7.2 yards per play.

A strengthened offensive line gave Highland the opportunity to get the ball to a talented bunch of skill players and produced their first 1,000 yard rusher in more than a decade with Trey Lasek finishing the season with 1,178 yards rushing and more than 2,000 all-purpose yards.

Highland’s other three running backs — Brady Hahn, Cole Adamson and Jordan Sosa — combined for 1,296 yards rushing.

The defense created a ton more havoc than the year before, forcing a total of 28 turnovers this season compared to just 11 the season before.

That culminated in a Class A quarterfinal appearance and giving the No. 1 team a close half of play.

Lasek said the season was like a dream, especially playing with the same teammates since elementary school.

“It’ll be lifelong memories, especially the Durant game and Brady Hahn blocking that kick,” he said.

Lasek said he hopes this year’s team has helped raise the bar for the program and the team should be in capable hands with leaders like Mason McFarland and Cole Adamson.

Donovan said this season can act as a springboard for Highland to become a program that continues to compete on a yearly basis.

“Hopefully we’ve established that we don’t have to wonder what-if, but you have to have kids that understand that you have to reload, adjust things and go again,” Donovan said.

Losing a strong senior class will no doubt present some bumps in the road, but Donovan is hoping the taste of postseason success can help reverse tradition at Highland.

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