OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa enjoyed an entertaining year of sports that saw first appearances to state in a long time as well as a handful of new school records. Here is a look on how the 2021-22 sports season stacked up for the Indians.
It was a tale of two halves of a season for the Oskaloosa football team under first year head coach Brett Doud. The Indians came out of the gate firing to sweep all four non-district games to start 4-0. The highlight being a hard-fought 24-19 over eventual playoff team Burlington where Osky allowed 322 rushing yards to all-state running back Bryant Williams but the defense would come up big with a late stop to clinch the game.
Unfortunately for Oskaloosa, they would then run into a very tough district where they would drop their final five games to drop below .500 at 4-5.
Keaton Flaherty led the passing game completing 52.7% of his passes for 1,391 yards and 14 touchdowns against nine interceptions. Darryl Fane led the rushing attack with 414 yards on 78 carries (5.3 yards per carry) with three touchdowns while also returning a kickoff 95 yards for a TD. Waylon Bolibaugh would lead the receivers with 32 catches for 618 yards and seven touchdowns and was a huge threat on punt returns with two touchdowns.
Defensively, linebacker Colin Snitker finished with a team-best 61 tackles while Dawson Braden led the d-line with seven tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He also did the kicking going 2-for-2 on field goals with a long of 25 yards and was 19-for-21 on extra points. Five different players would recover a fumble for Osky while Eli Molyneux and Ryan Hafner both had two interceptions with Molyneux taking one back for a touchdown.
They would not make the playoffs.
It was a historic season for the Oskaloosa volleyball team in 2021. Head coach Jennifer Comfort was in her 10th year leading the Indians and she put together her best year with Osky going 31-5 earning a share of the LHC title, a conference tournament title and a trip to state for the first time since 2006. Comfort was named District Coach of Year after the season.
Oskaloosa was led by Iowa State signee Faith DeRonde, who also racked up several honors including being selected to the Elite All-State team (featuring the best girls from all five classes), first team all-state in 4A and all-tournament team.
DeRonde finished her high school volleyball career with 521 kills (.360 efficiency) on the year with 233 digs, 15 blocks and an 89.9% serve percentage with 55 aces.
Maleah Walker would earn all-district honors after finishing with 235 kills (.180 efficiency), 230 digs and 56 aces (88.8% serving percentage). Olivia Gordon (540 assists) and Lucy Roach (220 digs and 52 aces) would both earn second team all-conference honors.
The Indians found themselves at the state tournament after downing Pella 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-16) in the regional finals. They would also beat Pella in the LHC Tournament finals and shared the regular season conference title with them.
Osky would matchup with Waverly-Shell Rock in the state quarterfinals in what was a thrilling five-set battle that saw the Indians come up just short in a 3-2 (23-25, 28-26, 21-25, 25-15, 15-12) defeat to the Go-Hawks.
The match saw DeRonde go off for a tournament record 40 kills which helped her surpass the school record for kills in a career, surpassing the previous record held by her head coach Jennifer Comfort.
Boys Cross Country
The Oskaloosa boys cross country was led by Patrick De Ronde was one last season.
De Ronde earned his third trip to the state meet last fall as he was perusing his first state medal. Prior to that, De Ronde earned his third all-conference finish after taking sixth at the LHC meet as he became the eighth Osky runner to earn at least three all-conference honors in a career since 2000. The Indians as a team finished seventh on the day and would take ninth at districts with De Ronde being the lone boy to qualify for state.
De Ronde was looking to improve on 37th place finish a year ago and was in the fighting for a medal finish in the top 15 but would fall short by less than a second to take 16th with a time of 16:36 to finish off his high school cross country career.
Girls Cross Country
The Oskaloosa girls cross country squad would also send one representative to state this year in the form of senior Sage Adam.
Adam paced the Indians at the LHC meet to finish 22nd while the team took eighth overall. But after an up and down season, Adam put it all together at the state qualifier. She needed a top 15 finish to make it to state and she would hang around that pack before ending strong to take 14th with a time of 20:43 to earn her first state appearance in her final season.
Adam would make her way to Fort Dodge to race against some of the best in the state as she would finish 98th with a time of 21:26 to finish off her cross country season.
Oskaloosa girls swimming head coach Makenzie Kauffman entered her third year leading the program and had a versatile group in the pool for her this season.
Senior Shannon Linder earned NCSC all-academic honors as Osky faced tough competition in both of their conference meets.
The 400 free relay team of Callie Lindgren, Linder, Gwyneth Utterback and Grace Moore highlighted their effort at LHC Meet with a sixth place finish at 4:38.74. Osky’s best finishes at the NCSC Meet were Moore’s eighth place in the 100 butterfly at 1:11.94 and Moore, Lindgren, Linder and Utterback’s 400 freestyle relay, which performed way above their seed to take eighth at 4:30.02.
The Indians would finish off their regular season with a pair of wins over Fairfield and Keokuk but would not have anyone for state.
Boys Basketball (6-16)
It was a tough season for the Indians but when they won they made it exciting as five of their six wins were by 10 or less points.
Senior guard Keaton Flaherty would lead the way for Oskaloosa as he eventually earned second team all-conference honors. The William Penn signee led the conference in scoring at 19.7 points per game while shooting 50.5% from the floor and 31.9% from three. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
Waylon Bolibaugh (8.4 PPG) and Carson Genskow (4.8 PPG) both earned honorable mentions.
Oskaloosa fell to Fort Madison 70-60 in the first round of substate play.
Girls Basketball (11-11)
The Oskaloosa girls basketball team was up and down over the course of the season as they got off to a solid 8-5 start before a tough second half of their schedule.
Junior point guard Presley Blommers earned second team all-conference honors for her play for the Indians. She would lead the team offensively while also causing havoc on defense. She would average 12.5 points per game on 31.9% shooting from the floor and 26% from three while also grabbing 4.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
Addi Carter (7.7 PPG) and Aubree Blanco (7.8 PPG) both were honorable mentions.
Oskaloosa fell to Fairfield 37-24 in the regional quarterfinals.
The Oskaloosa grapplers had some up and down moments but would fall just short of a couple a big results and district berths.
The Indians tied for sixth at the Little Hawkeye Conference Tournament with Garrett Roethler (132), Lucas Phillips (160), Blake Westercamp (170) and Warren Feudner (220) all led the way with fourth place finishes.
Oskaloosa would then compete at sectionals in Grinnell where they would need a top two finish to advance to districts. Unfortunately for the Indians, they would have four wrestlers have to settle for third place to end their season.
Ty Lorentzen (113, 20-17), Reid Luck (120, 7-19) and Feudner (285, 18-17) all lost their wrestlebacks to finish third while Roethler (132, 18-19) took third but did not earn a wrestleback.
The boys bowling team for Oskaloosa made a lot of noise and a lot of history on the lanes this year including their first state tournament trophy.
The Indians would finish second at the Two Rivers Conference Tournament with 2,760 pins, just 106 pins behind Bondurant-Farrar for the title. Freshman Trey VanWyk would bring home the individual title for Osky with a three-game total of 686 to win it by 82 pins.
VanWyk and his teammates would then compete in the state qualifier where they would need a top two finish to qualify. They ended up winning the event with a total of 3,067 pins while VanWyk would also qualify for the individual state tournament with a strong effort that saw him bowl a perfect 300.
The team then made their way to Waterloo where they were one of eight teams competing for a state title for the first time in program history. The day started with 15 baker games to figure out bracket seeding. Osky would finish with a score of 3,124 to earn the fourth seed.
The Indians would start off against fifth-seeded MMCRU as Oskaloosa would finish the game strong to take game one 227-202. Oskaloosa would then complete the sweep with wins of 217-193 and 235-193 to advance to the semifinals against top-seeded Clinton.
The boys from Osky would get another 3-0 sweep over the top seed to advance to the finals against Denison-Schleswig. But the momentum that the Indians had gathered over the day started to fade as they couldn’t pick up enough spares to finish on the wrong side of a 3-0 sweep to take second place.
VanWyk, who had a streak where he 13 straight strikes at the team tournament, would then be one of 32 individuals competing at the individual tournament. He would put up three strong games during the qualifying section to earn the second seed.
He started bracket play against Blake Polzin of Dinison-Schleswig, who would roll a 279. VanWyk answered back with a perfect 300 to advance to the semifinals. He would then fall 213-206 in that match to send him to the third place match where he would bounce back to win 257-233 to take third place and finish off a huge freshman season.
The Oskaloosa girls bowling squad showed improvement throughout the season and were rolling some of their best scores at the right time.
They would show well at the Two Rivers Conference Tournament, taking fourth with a 2,003 pins. They also had three girls in the top 20 with Kaylee Haugen (10th, 456), Autumn DeRonde (14th, 434) and Kyrsten DeWees (17th, 427) all having strong days.
The girls then competed at the state qualifier where they would finish one spot short of state after taking third place with 2,291 pins, 204 off of Lewis Central for second.
DeRonde led the Indians with her 12th place finish with a three-game score of 465, 46 pins off of eighth place and a trip to state as an individual.
The boys swimming team at Oskaloosa saw a good jump in numbers going out as they went from five boys a year ago to 12 boys out for the team this season.
The Indians would race in the Little Hawkeye Conference Meet in Indianola where they would finish third as a team. Keygan Roberts in the 100 backstroke and Cooper Rupprecht in the 100 breaststroke both took fourth in their respective races while Jackson Phillips-Sisul was fifth in the 500 freestyle.
Oskaloosa would then finish off their season at the district meet in Cedar Rapids where they would set a lot of personal best times but would come up short of sending anyone to state.
Boys Track and Field
The boys of the Oskaloosa track and field team saw some solid results on the year and were also able to send a couple of boys to state to cap off the season.
After seeing their last three home meets cancelled, Oskaloosa was finally able to play host to a track meet in their backyard at Statesmen Community Stadium as they played host for the Little Hawkeye Conference Meet.
The boys were able bring home a couple of good results on the night as they took seventh with 34 points. They were led by a strong evening from Patrick De Ronde, who took on a busy night running in four tough events, placing in each of them.
He would take sixth in the 3200 (10:13.06) and 1600 (4:37.70) and would then join Riley Humphrey, Tatum Westercamp and Waylon Bolibaugh to anchor the 4x400 and take seventh at 3:38.11. He also anchored the distance medley earlier in the night with Christian Cavan, Colin Snitker and Humphrey to take fifth at 3:54.90.
The boys would then compete at the state qualifier in Bondurant, finishing seventh as a team with 46 points while also qualifying five events.
Oskaloosa would then finish off the year at the blue oval as De Ronde would take 12th (10:12.8) in the 3200 and 10th (4:28.15) in the 1600. He then helped the distance medley to a 13th place finish with a time of 3:41.13. Westercamp would take 16th (15.81) in the 110 hurdles while Bolibaugh grabbed 18th (58.87) in the 400 hurdles.
Girls Track and Field
The girls track and field team also saw a lot of good success this season.
They would play host to the Little Hawkeye Conference Meet and would finish fourth as a team with 96 points. The girls picked up four conference titles on the night as Faith DeRonde swept the throws, winning the discus at 137-3 and the shot put at 40-8.25. Jordan Czerwinski would win the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:09.35 and Maleah Walker would tie the school record in the long jump to win with her jump of 18-0. That jump tied her with Taylor Richardson, who set the school record in 2014. Walker didn’t finish there as she would take second in the 100 while tying another school record along the way previously held by Kristy Roozeboom in 1976 with a time of 12.35. She also placed third in the 400 and the 200. Walker later broke the long jump and 200 school records at the state qualifier.
The Indians picked up a handful of automatic state bids at the qualifier in Bondurant and when the dust settled they had qualified in nine events.
DeRonde would finish just outside the finals in 10th place in the discus with a throw of 118-2 while showing very well in the shot put to finish second with a new school record throw of 43-4.75 as now owns both throwing records at Oskaloosa.
Walker had a busy week competing in four events as she would take eighth in the long jump with a leap of 16-10.5, eighth in the 100 at 12.63 and sixth in the 200 with a time of 25.95. Walker along with DeRonde, Jordan Czerwinski and Macie Krier would also run in the 4x200, taking 14th with a time of 1:47.80.
Meanwhile Hayley Van Arkel, Gracie DeRonde, Lydia Van Veldhuizen and Hannah Quang would finish 20th in the shuttle hurdles with a time of 1:11.69 while Quang took 22nd (17.56) in the 100 hurdles and Czerwinski ended up 11th (1:08.85) in the 400 hurdles.
Oskaloosa would finish state tied for 20th as a team with 13 points.
Boys Soccer (11-7)
The boys soccer team put together their second straight winning season to continue moving in the right direction after having seven straight losing seasons prior to the COVID year.
Senior midfielder Carson Genskow earned second team all-state honors after leading the Indians with 15 goals and six assists and also playing solid defense all over the field.
Genskow also earned first team all-conference honors along with Elliot Nelson and Landon Briggs while Aaron Scholes was a second team selection. Nelson roamed the midfield and supplied three goals while Briggs was really good all year in net for Osky, finishing with 152 saves and an 84.4% save percentage. Scholes was solid on the back end for Oskaloosa and had one assist this season.
Oskaloosa were winners of five of their last six games before losing 3-0 to Pella, the eventual state runner-up, in the substate semifinals.
Girls Soccer (2-14)
It was a tough season for the Indian girls soccer squad as they dropped their first 13 games of the season before gaining some momentum late getting a pair of exciting 2-1 wins over Des Moines North in the season finale and against Fairfield in the regional quarterfinals.
Junior Audrey Cheney supplied the offense with six goals and one assist to lead Osky on the season. Senior goalkeeper Kyrsten DeWees finished off her high school career with 202 saves (school record) and a 71.9% save percentage in 2022. DeWees ends with a pair of school records as she recorded a school-record 42 saves against Pella and finishes as the school leader in career saves.
Both girls were all-conference honorable mentions.
Oskaloosa were on the wrong side of a 10-0 defeat to Norwalk in the regional semifinals.
Boys Tennis (0-10)
Oskaloosa’s boys tennis team were unable to pick up a dual win and finished seventh at the Knoxville Invite, sixth at the Pella Invite and seventh at the Little Hawkeye Conference Meet.
But the boys picked the best time to play their best as they finished one point ahead of Knoxville for fourth place at the state qualifier which would give them a pre-substate berth for a second year in a row.
Khydin Yang would lead the Indians with a strong performance in singles play where he would advance all the way to the semifinals before falling to the second seed of Joshua Roozeboom of Pella 6-0, 6-0 to finish finish fourth for a second year in a row and one semifinal win away from state.
Oskaloosa would later fall to Pella Christian in the pre-substate round 5-2 to end their season.
Girls Tennis (5-6)
The girls tennis team had a solid season that saw them take sixth at the conference meet and advance a doubles team to state.
Oskaloosa’s top doubles team of Presley Blommers and Lucy Roach entered the regional meet as the number three seed and would go on a great run winning their first two matches 6-2, 6-3 and 6-1, 6-1 to move to the semifinals and a win away from state. They would face a familiar opponents from Pella Christian, who they had split their two meetings with entering the match. But the third time around it was all Blommers and Roach as they would cruise to a 6-2, 6-1 victory and earn a state tournament berth. They later went on to clinch the regional title after an injury default from their opponent.
The team would start regional team play against Pella Christian and would fall a hard-fought 5-4 duel that lasted over five hours to finish their season with a 5-6 record.
Meanwhile, Blommers and Roach would finish up their seasons at the state individual tournament. The junior duo would win their first match 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals where they would run into No. 2 Waterloo Columbus and fall 6-2, 6-2.
They would move to the consolation bracket where they would eventually come away with eighth place medals.
The boys golf team at Oskaloosa would tally an eighth place finish at the LHC Meet and would just miss out on a district berth but would also send one individual to state.
The Indians would shoot a 339 at the sectional meet but would unfortunately finish 10 shots out of the required top two finish to qualify for districts. The good news was that Johnathon Terpstra would shoot an 83, good for 11th place to earn a spot at the district meet as an individual.
The district meet was at the always difficult Bos Landen is Pella but Terpstra would battle to put up a solid 82, good for eighth place and a trip to state.
Terpstra would compete at the two-day state event at Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames. He would shoot 92 on day one and 88 on day two to end 36-over and finish tied for 37th overall.
Oskaloosa girls golf team saw a huge jump in numbers out as they went from three girls out in 2021 to 15 girls out in 2022. Although many didn’t have much experience, they would improve as the season progressed.
The Indians would shoot a season-low score of 444 to finish sixth at the conference meet. Amelia Meador would earn all-conference honors after taking 12th with her round of 103.
Oskaloosa’s Edmundson Golf Course would then play host for the regional tournament as the Indians would once again shoot a season-low team score of 425 to finish seventh. Emerson Lee led the team with a round of 100.
Although they didn’t qualify for state, Oskaloosa showed great improvement from shooting a 556 at their first 18-hole meet to the 425 they shot at their last for a 131-shot improvement over the seven-week season.
The Indians had an up and down start and were hovering at 7-13 before dropping 11 of their last 12 games to end the year.
They would have two boys earn second team all-conference honors in catcher Charlie North and left fielder Colin Snitker.
North finished with a .371 batting average to go along with a .455 on-base percentage. He would also nab two doubles, one triple, a home run and a team-best 22 RBIs while also throwing out five runners from behind home plate. Snitker batted .289 with a .361 on-base to go with a team-high eight doubles along with two triples, two home runs and 14 RBIs.
Oskaloosa earned the sixth seed for substate but would fall to third-seeded Fort Madison 10-5 in the substate quarterfinals.
The Oskaloosa softball team could just never quite find their footing this season coming off their state tournament appearance in 2021.
The Indians had three all-conference selections with Olivia Gordon earning first team honors while Presley Blommers and Maleah Walker were both chosen to the second team.
Gordon played first and caught in her final season as she posted a .333 batting average with five doubles, two home runs and 26 RBIs. Blommers returned to play a solid shortstop and would hit higher in the order with a .284 batting average to go along with a .303 on-base percentage as well as five doubles, a homer and 13 RBIs. Blommers would also step up and see a lot of time in the circle for the first time in her career, posting a 2-4 record with a 3.95 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings. Walker would bat .305 for the Indians with a .365 on-base percentage. She also tallied two doubles and seven RBIs while stealing a team-best 25 bases and leading the outfield with seven assists.
Oskaloosa fell to Pella 14-4 in the regional quarterfinals to end their season.