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Posted On: 10/31/18 11:18 AM
Fort Dodge (14-9)
No Clayton brother will be there this season, but there is a star in the making with Jordan Jackson. The 6-foot-3 forward averaged 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a junior, and will be the main man for a this Dodgers team that looks to improve upon their 14 wins from a season ago.
Luke Appel had an all-state caliber season last winter for the Bobcats, but he graduated. Now, it’s up to guys like Jacob Smith and Austin Shomo to try and fill that void left by Appel. That’s 22 points and 10.1 rebounds per game that will need to be replaced.
Mason City (4-18)
It could be a very interesting season for the Mohawks. Two star players return, seniors Dylan Miller and Jarvorious Toney, both of which had legitimately productive offseasons while playing with Southeast Minnesota Lightning. Juniors Avery Mellman and Jeffrey Skogan could emerge as stars, too. When the dust settles this season, Mason City should be the most improved team in the conference.
Southeast Polk (6-15)
There’s a lot of newness going on with the Rams this season. A new coach is at the helm, and brother transfers Sam Glenn and James Glenn join the team after winning a state title with 1A Grand View Christian last season. One thing stays the same, that Dominic Caggiano will be a big-time impact player, just like he was last season as a freshman.
Just like every other year we’ve previewed the conference, we’ll write that Valley will be a threat to win the conference. And just like every other year, Valley will be at or near the top of conference come February. Big-man Will Berg is more poised for a breakout season as anyone in the state. Aguek Deng, too. Slashing guard Trayvon Williams is one of the state’s best players. A slew of role players will emerge as solid options.
The future is now in Waukee, and once young guns Noah Hart and Dylan Jones are now seasoned senior leaders. Those two are as good of a one-two punch as there is in the state, and will be aided by Ottumwa transfer Andrew Curran in addition to 6’3 guard Michael Vicente as key seniors. Payton Sandfort is a 6’6 sophomore sniper, and is the state’s 3rd-ranked 2021 prospect.
Projected Order of Finish
3 Mason City
4 Southeast Polk
5 Fort Dodge
It’s tough to pick between Waukee and Valley here, although they are certainly the clear-cut favorites to finish in the top two of this new-look CIML division. We gave the nod to Waukee simply because of the proven duo of Noah Hart and Dylan Jones. With guys like Will Berg and Aguek Deng waiting to erupt for Valley, they’ll be right there with the Warriors. But we’re not willing to bet against the Waukee here.
Preseason Player of the Year
Trayvon Williams, Valley — 2019
This was not cut and dry, and certainly several other CIML Iowa standouts were considered, but what is came down to was Williams’ ability and proclivity to take over games. His athleticism is off the charts and his ability to slash and create is as good as anyone in the state. His stats may not be inflated because of Valley’s slow style of play, but the impact he makes for his team will be massive.
Sam Glenn, Southeast Polk — 2019
There’s lots of sleeper options in this CIML division. Glenn, though, is a guy who has spent the last two seasons as a role player for Grand View Christian’s state title teams. Now, he’ll be thrust into a starring role with the Rams, and we think he’ll thrive.
Players to Watch
Jordan Jackson, Fort Dodge — 2019
Ty Kershaw, Fort Dodge — 2020
Jacob Smith, Marshalltown — 2019
Austin Shomo, Marshalltown — 2020
Jarvorius Toney, Mason City — 2019
Dylan Miller, Mason City — 2019
Avery Mellman, Mason City — 2020
Jeffrey Skogan, Mason City — 2020
Dominic Caggiano, Southeast Polk — 2020
Aguek Deng, Valley — 2019
Will Berg, Valley — 2020
Noah Hart, Waukee — 2019
Dylan Jones, Waukee — 2019
Andrew Curran, Waukee — 2019
Payton Sandfort, Waukee — 2021