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ALL-AREA: Giesking spearheads ground game for Gladbrook-Reinbeck 2019 T-R FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

January 2, 2020
Ross Thede - T-R Sports Editor ( , Reinbeck Courier

Gladbrook-Reinbeck's 10th-straight trip to the state football playoffs was driven again by a stingy defense, one that allowed the Rebels' offense to find its way and break big plays

Junior Keagan Giesking was a driving force on both sides of the ball.

Giesking, the 2019 Times-Republican All-Area Football Team's Co-Player of the Year, carried the load on offense and led what again was one of the state's top defenses.

Article Photos

T-R FILE PHOTOS - Gladbrook-Reinbeck junior Keagan Giesking (11), left, and North Tama senior Skyler Staker (3), right, have been named as Co-Players of the Year on the 2019 Times-Republican All-Area Football Team.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior quarterback, running back and linebacker ran for 1,400 yards and 21 touchdowns this season, averaging 9.4 yards for each of his 149 carries this fall as Gladbrook-Reinbeck (7-3) got back to the 8-Man playoffs for the second time in as many years since dropping down from 11-man.

For a Rebel squad that lacked depth, Giesking was the durable ball carrier it needed him to be as well as the quick-strike threat the offense created opportunities for. His 1,400 rushing yards ranked eighth in all of 8-Man football, his 21 rushing touchdowns ranked 12th, and he accounted for 49 percent of Gladbrook-Reinbeck's total yards from scrimmage.

Whether he lined up at quarterback or running back, Giesking was the focal point of opposing teams - most of which couldn't stop him. He had the power to break tackles at the point of attack and enough speed to pull away once he hit the second level.

The only teams to slow him down were three of the top teams in the state - No. 1 Don Bosco, No. 2 Turkey Valley and No. 6 Easton Valley. Don Bosco eliminated both Turkey Valley and Easton Valley from the playoffs on its way to the state championship, ousting Easton Valley a round after the River Hawks took down the Rebels.

In addition to being the focal point of G-R's one-dimensional offense, he was the leading tackler on a defense that ranked ninth in the state by allowing just 20.1 points per game. Giesking racked up 58 total tackles, including 11 tackles for loss, as well as one fumble recovery.

As a freshman, Giesking received third-team all-state honors in Class A as a defensive back by the Iowa Newspaper Association, and this fall he was named second-team offensive back in 8-Man by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association. He earned all-district first-team honors for the second-straight fall.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck pitched three shutouts, which matched Don Bosco, Turkey Valley and Northwood-Kensett for second-most this season. State semifinalist Remsen-St. Mary's had four.



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