Trio of Huskies chosen first-team all-district

By Giovanni Coronel
Posted 11/8/23


Led by a trio of juniors earning first-team recognition Highland football had six Huskies obtain all-district honors.  

Highland ended its regular season on a strong note, …

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Trio of Huskies chosen first-team all-district



Led by a trio of juniors earning first-team recognition Highland football had six Huskies obtain all-district honors. 

Highland ended its regular season on a strong note, claiming back-to-back wins with the first victory breaking a 15-game losing streak that stretched back to 2021. As a team the Huskies had 536 passing yards and five touchdowns. When it came to running the ball, they had 1243 rushing yards and nine TDs. 

On defense they recorded 270 tackles, five fumble recoveries, and eight interceptions. 

Leading Highland in passing and rushing yards was quarterback/defensive back Sage Hartley-Norman. His efforts on offense earned him a first-team all-district selection as an offensive utility. This marks the second consecutive year he has been selected first-team. 

Through the air Hartley-Norman completed 44 passes for 463 yards and three TDs. He threw for a season high 149 yards in a week five game against Columbus. In the last two games of the season, he was relegated to a position where he was encouraged to rush the ball more and this choice proved to be quite effective for Highland. 

Hartley-Norman rushed for over 100 yards in three games this season which include the two games Highland won. He ended the year with 515 rushing yards and scored three TDs. He ran for a season high 144 yards in Highland’s second to last game of the season against Louisa-Muscatine. 

Setting high school career highs across the board Ayden Havel proved to be a reliable and effective target all year long. He was selected first-team all-district as a wide receiver. 

As a freshman Havel registered no offensive stats and as a sophomore, he caught seven passes for 114 yards and one TD. Showing everyone how impressive he can be on the gridiron he led Highland with 309 receiving yards on 18 receptions and scored four TDs. 

Havel is the only Highland receiver to surpass 100 yards and his ability to gain yards after the catch is a big reason why. He caught six passes for a season high 115 receiving yards in a week three contest against Van Buren. On defense he snagged two interceptions, tied for the team lead. 

Making impact plays on both sides of the ball Logan McFarland, a running back/linebacker, was chosen first-team all-district as a defensive utility.

Flying across the field week in and week out on defense McFarland led the Huskies with 55.5 total tackles with 38 being solo tackles. He tallied 11.5 tackles for loss with four being quarterback sacks. McFarland also had a hand in two turnovers, recovering a fumble and grabbing one INT.   

McFarland was one of two Huskies, the other being Hartley-Norman, to rush for over 200 yards. Setting a new high school career high, McFarland rushed for 451 yards and scored three TDs. He rushed for 100 yards twice this season and he rushed for a season high 159 yards in Highland’s final game of the season against Wapello.

When it came to catching the ball, McFarland posted the second most yards among the Highland receiver corp. Stopped just shy of reaching triple digits, McFarland had 11 receptions for 99 yards and one TD.   

Three Huskies received honorable mention all-district: Remington Fields at defensive utility, Isaac Kleese at offensive line, and Colten Sypherd at offensive utility.

Fields ended his senior year with 26.5 total tackles with 17 being solo and four being tackles for loss. On offense he caught the ball four times for 25 yards. 

Ending the season with the second most tackles on the team, Kleese had 32 tackles, 16 of them were solo and five occurred behind the opponent’s line of scrimmage. He also accounted for one INT.

Doing a little bit of everything, Sypherd saw playing time as a passer, a rusher, a receiver, a kick returner, a punter, and a defensive back.

On offense he only completed one pass for 10 yards on three attempts, but it was a TD pass. He ended up as one of four Huskies to eclipse 100 rushing yards, ending his junior year with 102 yards and one TD on 25 carries. As a receiver he caught six passes for 28 yards. 

As a defensive player Sypherd had 18 solo tackles, the second most on the team, and 27.5 total tackles. He also recovered a fumble and nabbed one INT.