Four Bobcats named CIC all-Division 3 first team

Four members of the Marshalltown football team were named to the Central Iowa Conference Division 3 first team Tuesday despite the Bobcats’ 1-8 season record.

Seniors Derek Mann, Dylan Diveney and Christian Guido along with junior Blair VanStaalduine were all recognized for their efforts on the gridiron. Mann was voted first-team linebacker, while VanStaalduine was picked as a defensive lineman, Diveney was one of five first-team quarterbacks and Guido was a first-team offensive lineman.

Mann led the division and was tied for fifth in 4A with 118 tackles on the season, while VanStaalduine did most of his work behind the line of scrimmage. The junior ranked ninth in 4A in both tackles for loss (16) and sacks (7) this season as he manned the outside linebacker position in the Bobcats’ new 3-4 system. He finished with 39 total tackles.

Diveney finished with 1,139 passing yards and 404 rushing yards in his only season as Bobcat signal caller. He tossed seven touchdowns and ran for six more while throwing 12 interceptions.

The Bobcats also had four representatives on each of the other two teams.

Senior wideout Austin Sowers, senior defensive linemen Justus Bjelland and Connor Overstake and senior defensive back Austin Lovin were all named to the second team, while honorable mention selections went to Josh Edel, Jordan Paone, Trevor Dolezal and Devan Mann.

Of the 12 Bobcats who were recognized, five will be back in uniform next season – VanStaalduine, Edel, Paone, Dolezal and Mann.

Sowers was fifth in Division 3 with 34 catches and sixth with 532 receiving yards. Overstake ended up with 33 tackles, 16 solo tackles and four tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks, while Bjelland finished with 35 tackles, 17 solo tackles, four tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks. Lovin was the team’s most productive defensive back as he finished second on the team with 47 tackles and had a team-high three interceptions. He also had 27 solo tackles.

Three of the Bobcats’ nine opponents this season ended up in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A playoffs, including top-ranked Dowling, Ames and Waukee. The only other 4A team to make the quarterfinals on the Western half of the state was West Des Moines Valley and the Tigers were defeated by Dowling in the state semifinals last week.