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With all the hoopla surrounding Saturday’s annual Cy-Hawk football game at Jack Trice Stadium, it’s easy to forget the just-as-important Little Cy-Hawk showdown taking place the night before.
Ames and Iowa City High will play in the sixth annual Little Cy-Hawk game, complete with a chunk of hardware for the victor — which of late has been the Little Cyclones, who's won each of the last three meetings.
Friday's game, set for 7 p.m. at Ames, features two winless teams looking to jumpstart their 2019 campaigns. With the Iowa High School Athletic Association installing a new RPI system to decide playoff spots, an 0-3 start would heavily tilt the postseason odds against the loser.
In past years, both schools have often developed future stars that went on to play in the bigger Cy-Hawk clash. You know many of the names — Tim Dwight and the Hilgenberg and Ferentz brothers from City High; Austen Arnaud, Colin Newell and Dustin Avey from Ames.
With the help of City High coach Dan Sabers and Ames coach Bruce Vertanen, we’ve compiled past Little Hawks and Little Cyclones who went on to play at Iowa and Iowa State.
We’ve highlighted five from each school, followed by extensive lists of other notable players — including some from Ames who went to Iowa, and some from Iowa City who went to Iowa State.
“Throughout the years, there have been many,” Sabers said, “some going back to the 1940s.”
From City High to Iowa
McCarney was active in both track and wrestling as a Little Hawk, but especially football, earning all-state honors in 1970. He went on to play offensive line at Iowa from 1972-74, then returned as a graduate assistant under Hawkeye coach Bob Commings from 1977-78.
When Hayden Fry took over, he named McCarney his defensive line coach. He helped Iowa to two Rose Bowl appearances over the next decade. After a four-year stay at Wisconsin, McCarney coached Iowa State from 1995-2006.
McCarney led the Cyclones to five bowl games. In 2000, the Cyclones defeated Pittsburgh in the Insight.com Bowl, giving the program it's first bowl victory.
Jay, one of the many Hilgenberg brothers to play at Iowa, was a standout athlete on both the gridiron and wrestling mat. He starred as an offensive lineman for the Hawkeyes from 1977-80, becoming a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and two-time honorable mention All-American.
Hilgenberg went undrafted but carved out a phenomenal 12-year NFL career. He was a 7-time Pro Bowler, a 5-time All-Pro selection, and helped the 1985 Chicago Bears win Super Bowl XX.
Reichardt graduated from Iowa City High in 1948, where he was a first-team all-state fullback for the Little Hawks. He went on to become an All-American fullback for the Hawkeyes in 1951. He played one season with the Green Bay Packers and died in 2004.
Everybody knows the lore of Dwight. A three-time all-state football selection, he led the Little Hawks to a state title in 1993. He was also a standout track athlete, winning eight individual state crowns. He was named the Des Moines Register’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1994.
At Iowa, Dwight was electric, twice earning All-American honors (1996-97) and setting the record books ablaze as a receiver and return specialist. He played a decade in the NFL with his highlight being on a 94-yard kickoff return touchdown with Atlanta during Super Bowl XXXIII.
The oldest of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz’s three sons, Brian Ferentz was a star at City High, earning all-state honors in 2000 and leading the Little Hawks to the state semifinals. At Iowa, he played on the offensive line and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in 2005.
After toiling on NFL practice squads, he jumped into coaching. Ferentz worked as an assistant for the New England Patriots from 2008-11, then came back to Iowa to coach the offensive line from 2012-16. He became the offensive coordinator in 2017, a post he holds today.
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From Ames High to Iowa State
Arnaud was an all-state quarterback in 2005, leading Ames to an 8-2 record. He started at the same position for Iowa State from 2007-10, during which he etched his name into Cyclone lore.
Arnaud’s name is still listed throughout Iowa State’s record books — second in career passing yards (6,777); third in single-season passing yards (2,792 in 2008) and career touchdown passes (42); and first in single-game passing yards (440 against Kansas State in 2008).
Glotfelty was an all-state quarterback in 1986, leading Ames to the state quarterfinals. He switched to receiver at Iowa State, where he recorded 57 receptions for 898 yards and 6 touchdowns in three seasons.
Avey was another all-state talent who led the Little Cyclones to the state semifinals in 1995. He was also a standout track athlete, excelling in the hurdles. Avey went on to become a four-year letterwinner at Iowa State, where he recorded 247 career tackles. Against Colorado in 1997, he returned an interception 94 yards for a touchdown.
Cox was a two-time all-state selection (1959-60) and a three-year Iowa State letterwinner (1962-64). He was a first-team All-Big Eight pick in 1964 and his No. 30 is the only number retired at Iowa State. Then-head coach Clay Stapleton said Cox “represented the finest characteristics of a true student athlete.” He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1965 and died in 2017.
Newell was a three-star prospect and a consensus top-100 offensive tackle recruit at Ames. In addition to being a standout wrestler, he was a first-team all-state selection for the Little Cyclones in 2016. After redshirting in 2017, he started 12 games at center last season for Iowa State.
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There have been a handful of instances when a homegrown Ames kid opted for the black and gold, or when an Iowa City native decided to become a Cyclone. Here are two notable players who crossed over.
Butler was an all-state player for City High in 1997. His high school career included a state championship in 1996. He was also an honorable mention All-American by USA Today. His father, Dave, played at Iowa in the 1970s alongside McCarney. But Butler opted for Iowa State, where he was team captain as a senior in 2002 when the Cyclones beat Iowa on the way to a 7-7 season.
Greving was a two-time all-state selection (1996, 1998) and led the Little Cyclones to the 1996 Class 4A championship where they lost to City High, and the 1998 state semifinals. He chose Iowa, where he recorded 453 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns in 2000-01. Ankle injuries stymied a potential breakout campaign in 2002 and he left the program in October of that year.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.
Additional City High alum to play at Iowa
- Norm Balke
- Jeff Beard
- Greg Brown
- Tony Burrier
- Mike Cilek
- Alonzo Cunningham
- Calvin Davis
- Ben Evans
- Bill Fenton
- James Ferentz
- Steve Ferentz
- Jim Freeman
- Don Fryauf
- Joel Hilgenberg
- Kahlil Hill
- Brion Hurley
- Josh Koeppel
- Mark Mitchell
- Michael Sabers
- Jim Sangster
- Bill Schultz
- Rob Thein
- Scott Rathke
- Tom Ward
Other Ames High alum to play at Iowa State
- Joe Anderson
- Robert Ash
- Owen Austrheim
- Jesse Woodrow Beard
- Bill Bliss
- Dick Bliss
- Mike Bliss
- Bill Byrus
- Jim Champlin
- Dick Cox
- Roland “Bud” Coe
- Mark Criner
- Bill Dailey
- Will Davis
- Gary Ellis
- Ed Farni
- Doran Geise
- Malcolm Goodwin
- Matt Goodwin
- V.A. “Chick” Heater
- Howard Jensen
- Steve Johnson
- Andy Kohler
- Chuck Lamson
- Greg Mulhall
- Tendai Muyengwa
- Larry Owens
- Fred Poole
- Matt Rahfaldt
- Hiram Roe
- Orrie Roe
- Mark Rothacker
- Maurice Ryan
- Mal Schmidt
- Burt Shoen
- Clyde Shugart
- Harold Shugart
- Dick Stuber
- Jim Sutherland
- Rickey Thompson Jr.
- Alvin Thornburg
- Charles Vondra