In this series we look at former Iowegian athletes continuing to carry the torch for their schools in college, we now look at Moravia. There are 12 former Mohawks (most in the area) currently continuing their athletic careers in college.
Alex Cloyed (Class of 2016, Central, Football)
The former district Defensive Player of the Year in 2015, Cloyed has since taken his talents from Moravia to Central College.
Cloyed was one of those cases where a player got better every year with experience. His freshman year he only recorded 2.5 tackles. His sophomore season he would nab 16.5 tackles including one sack and one fumble recovery. That jumped up to 25 tackles his junior season along with two sacks, one interception and two fumble recoveries.
Finally, his senior season saw Cloyed help Moravia to an undefeated regular season and overall record of 10-1. Cloyed was voted the district’s Defensive Player of the Year that season after finishing with 58 tackles while leading the team in tackles for loss (24) and sacks (10).
Cloyed is now a senior at Central. The 6-foot-0, 205-pound linebacker didn’t get varsity playing time in each of his first two years. He has now played in one game as a junior and one as a senior. Cloyed is an exercise science major.
Central is 8-1 this season with their next game coming up on Saturday against Coe.
Kendall Brown (Class of 2016, Central, Basketball)
Brown was named to the Class 1A all-state third team her senior season while helping Moravia to a 22-3 season that saw their season end in the regional semifinals.
Brown ended a three-year career (missed sophomore season) with the Lady Mohawks with 1,121 points. Over 47% of those points came in her senior season, as she scored 526. She averaged a double-double that year at 21 points and 12 rebounds per game while shooting 59.7% from the field.
She ended her career with 762 rebounds, leading Class 1A in rebounding with 294 boards her senior year. Brown was also a force on the defensive end that season averaging 3.8 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.
Brown has entered her senior year at Central. She won the team’s Rookie of the Year award her freshman season when she appeared in 24 games off the bench averaging 4.7 points (on 47.8% shooting), 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while averaging 15 minutes per game.
She would enter the starting lineup as a sophomore, starting in 24 of the Dutch’s 25 games. She averaged 7.8 points (on 50% shooting) and 5.4 rebounds per game with three double-doubles. Brown was also awarded as the team’s Defense Player of the Year after averaging 1.9 blocks per game and was also second in the league with 48 blocked shots on the season.
Brown continued to take off as junior, nearly averaging a double-double at 9.6 points (on 50.3% shooting) eight rebounds per game. She continued to dominate in the paint defensively, averaging 2.9 blocks per game (ninth in NCAA Division III) with a school-record 73 blocks on her way to a second team all-conference selection.
Brown, who has seven career double-doubles and is fifth in school history in career blocked shots, will hope her play translates to wins this season after Central finished 7-18 a year ago.
Central started their season on Nov. 8 against Grinnell.
Autumn McDanel (Class of 2016, Belmont, Softball)
One of the best to put on a Moravia softball uniform, McDanel racked up the accolades in her time with the Lady Mohawks. After spending one year at Des Moines Area Community College, McDanel has now moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she plays for Belmont University.
McDanel was a five-year starter for Moravia earning first team all-conference three times while being tabbed to first and second team all-state. The pitcher led all of Class 1A in ERA and strikeouts her senior season owning a 0.65 ERA with 345 strikeouts (second in the state) in 184 innings pitched. She also wasn’t a slouch at the plate. That same year she would lead in the team in batting average (.404), doubles (12), triples (4), home runs (2), RBIs (25) and stolen bases (13).
She set many school records at Moravia including single game strikeouts (19), single season strikeouts (345), single season strikeouts per game (13.2), career strikeouts (872) and single season slugging percentage (1.085).
McDanel began her collegiate career at DMACC where she posted a 3-1 record on the rubber for the Bears with a 1.38 ERA and 22 strikeouts over 25 1/3 innings. At the plate, she would collect nine RBIs while having a .356 batting average.
McDanel then transferred to Belmont for her sophomore season. She would get a taste of Division I softball last season appearing in 11 games but getting just three at-bats, recording one hit, one RBI and one walk.
She had six appearances in the circle for the Bruins including one start. McDanel would finish with a 5.25 ERA with six strikeouts against five walks in 12 innings.
McDanel will try to carve out more playing time as Belmont returns all four of their pitchers from last year’s 31-23 squad, including McDanel.
Belmont starts up their new season on March 6 at the Memphis Tournament.
Quinton Casteel (Class of 2017, William Penn, Football)
Casteel was a force on the Moravia defense becoming a two-time second team all-state performer while leading the Mohawks in tackles his senior year. He is now looking to help the defense line at William Penn University.
Casteel was a four-year starter for Moravia coach Denny Whitlow. As a freshman, he finished fifth on the team in tackles with 21.5 while claiming two sacks. His numbers would jump up to 41.5 tackles in his sophomore campaign before he helped a couple of dominant defenses his final two seasons.
He would tally 77 tackles his junior season, good for third on the team. Casteel finished second on the Mohawks in tackles for loss with 18.5 and sacks with six. His senior season saw him lead the team with 83.5 tackles with a team-high 24.5 of them going for a loss. Casteel would also nab eight sacks, which was second most on Moravia.
Casteel played in two games as a freshman at William Penn, recording three tackles. Now a sophomore, the 5-foot-10, 240-pound defensive lineman has yet to play for the Statesman this season. Casteel is majoring in biology and wildlife management.
William Penn is 4-5-1 this season and will travel to Culver-Stockton on Saturday.
Payton Rogers (Class of 2017, Central, Basketball)
Rogers was another one of those dominant Moravia post players in recent years. In her time with the Lady Mohawks, Rogers was a four-year starter and a four-time Bluegrass all-conference selection. Now, Rogers has reunited with her former teammate Kendall Brown at Central College.
As a Lady Mohawk, Rogers scored 1,237 points, had 952 rebounds, 223 steals and 227 blocked shots. She was also one of only 15 athletes statewide to average more than 20 points per game her senior year.
She averaged a double-double that year ranking 10th in the state in points with 20.5 per game and 12th overall in rebounds with 11.7 per game. Rogers pulled in numerous honors that year including first team Bluegrass Conference, South-Region all-district team, Class 1A third team all-state and the IGHSAA All Star Senior Games White Team MVP.
As a freshman with the Dutch, Rogers only saw a total of 20 minutes on the floor scoring four points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
She saw her role increase as a sophomore, seeing time in 25 games off the bench. Rogers would average 4.2 points (on 42% shooting), 4.1 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game in about 12.4 minutes.
Now entering her junior year, Rogers and Central starts their season on Nov. 8 against Grinnell.
Emma McDanel (Class of 2018, Iowa Wesleyan, Softball)
Like her older sister Autumn, Emma McDanel racked up the accolades during her time at Moravia. Her honors include all-conference honors four times, including three first team recognitions. McDanel was a two-time all-district recipient and was a two-time all-state recipient, including a first team all-state honor.
McDanel was a five-year starter for Moravia where she amassed a career .332 batting average with two home runs and 73 RBIs in 123 games. She also pitched as a junior and a senior where she would go 5-11 with a career ERA of 3.73 with 145 strikeouts against 48 walks in 139 innings.
As a senior, she was voted to first team all-state after helping lead Moravia to an 18-12 record and a regional semifinals appearance with only 10 girls out for the team after going 8-20 the year before. She led Moravia in batting average, hitting .442, on base percentage (.542), and slugging percent (.647). McDanel also led the team with 15 doubles, which was ranked fifth in the state.
For her high school career, McDanel earned 18 varsity letters and received the Moravia 4x4 Award for lettering in every season in all four years of high school.
Her success continued as a freshman at Iowa Wesleyan where she started in 34 games, posting a .314 batting average with 25 RBIs (third on the team), four doubles and six stolen bases (led team).
McDanel also was the number two pitcher for the Tigers, finishing with a 9-6 record to go along with a 5.87 ERA. She recorded 61 strikeouts against 27 walks in 92 innings of work.
Iowa Wesleyan was 26-11 a year ago and will start up their season in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on March 8.
Payton Maddy (Class of 2018, Davis & Elkins, Softball)
A player with a lot of heart and leadership, Maddy emerged as a first team all-conference outfielder her senior year as she now roams the outfield in Elkins, West Virginia at Davis & Elkins College.
Maddy was a four-year varsity player for the Lady Mohawks, who enjoyed a really nice breakout senior season. The slap hitter led off for Moravia batting .324 with 11 RBIs and a team-high 14 stolen bases. She was great in center field making some impressive plays showing off her speed and glove.
Maddy was used almost exclusively as a pinch runner during her freshman season at Davis & Elkins. She played in 18 games and would score six runs and steal one bag while only having at-bat.
The 5-foot-5 sophomore outfielder will hope to earn some playing time when Davis & Elkins, who finished 20-30 last year, start their season on the road at Tusculum on Feb. 8.
Tucker Babbitt (Class of 2018, Southwestern Illinois, Baseball)
Babbitt was a third team all-state selection his senior season helping Moravia to a 21-7 record. He took his talents to Quincy University where he will played baseball for one year before transferring to Southwestern Illinois College.
A five-year letter winner with Moravia, Babbitt was a hitting machine in his high school career. He had a batting average over .400 in each of his final three seasons with the Mohawks. Babbitt also was a very productive pitcher in those last three seasons. He would finish with a 9-2 record with 119 strikeouts in 96 innings.
After seeing a lot of time at third base, Babbitt shifted to be a full-time centerfielder for his senior season. It was a seamless transition as Babbitt would own a 0.958 fielding percentage that year.
As the leadoff hitter for the Mohawks, he would hit .433 with eight doubles, two home runs, 23 RBIs and score a team-high 41 runs. Babbitt was one of four Mohawks to draw 20 or more walks and he flashed his speed with a team-high 21 stolen bags.
Babbitt played on Quincy’s junior varsity team last year as a freshman and now has a chance to have a more important role as a sophomore at Southwestern Illinois, who were 27-21 last season.
Babbitt and Southwestern Illinois start their season on Feb. 26 at Three Rivers.
Lauren Perry (Class of 2019, Grand View, Volleyball)
Perry was a two-time first team all-conference selection for the Lady Mohawks. Now she just wrapped up her freshman season at Grand View.
Perry had a team-high 116 kills (1.9 per set) for the Lady Mohawks during her senior year. Her 23.7% kill efficiency was best among the hitters on Moravia. She also finished with 21 aces on the season, good for third on the team.
She was one of two seniors for the Lady Mohawks that year. Perry took on a leadership role as a captain and was a key vocal leader.
Perry recorded 289 kills over her four-year varsity volleyball career for the Lady Mohawks, leading the team in kills her final two years.
Perry spent her freshman campaign on the Grand View junior varsity team as she looks to climb the ranks.
Brendan Gray (Class of 2019, Graceland, Basketball)
Gray was a three-year starter and a second team all-conference selection his junior year for the Mohawks. He now enters his freshman season for the Graceland basketball team.
Gray totaled exactly 600 points and 185 assists over his career while leading the Mohawks in assists his final two years. He helped Moravia to a winning record in those last two years after the Mohawks had a losing record in the previous 11 seasons in the QuikStats era (since 2006).
Known for his energy and playmaking, Gray averaged 8.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game his senior year, helping Moravia to a 14-7 record as the Mohawks would fall to North Mahaska in the district semifinals.
It looks like Gray will try to find his footing on Graceland’s varsity reserve team for his first collegiate season. Their first game was on the road at Southwestern on Nov. 2.
Jessica Self (Class of 2019, Cornell College, Softball)
Self was a third team all-state first baseman as a junior and a second team all-conference selection as a senior.
During her senior year, Self finished with an 8-8 record on the rubber to go along with a 3.29 ERA and 120 strikeouts against 34 walks in 104 1/3 innings. At the plate, Self had a .347 batting average with one home run, 30 RBIs and a team-high nine doubles.
Over her career, Self batted .304 with six home runs and 91 RBIs in 118 games. In the circle, she own career record of 17-18 with a 3.61 ERA. She would strikeout 229 batters against 76 walks in 234 1/3 innings pitched.
Self is one of three pitchers on the Cornell roster for her freshman year. She will try to find some playing time on the rubber and at first base. Cornell was 20-16 last year as will start their new season in Clermont, Florida for the Spring Break Games starting on March 4.
Hunter Arbogast (Class of 2019, William Penn, Football)
Arbogast started out attending the University of Iowa this year, but has decided to transfer to William Penn University to play football.
Arbogast led Moravia on both sides on the ball in his senior football season. On the defensive side, the linebacker finished fourth in the district with 84.5 tackles, 27 more than second most on the team. As a quarterback, he would finish fifth in the district with 798 passing yards and 13 touchdowns against four interceptions. Arbogast also did damage with his feet finishing with 673 yards and an additional six touchdowns.
His best season came as a junior where he finished the season with 1,072 passing yards and 1,002 rushing yards. He would throw for 16 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. Arbogast also added 18 touchdowns on the ground on his way to being the district’s Offensive Player of the Year while leading the Mohawks to the playoffs.
While at Moravia, Arbogast also participated in the sports of baseball, basketball, and track and field.
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