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GR’s Smoldt repeats as NICL West’s league MVP

March 6, 2016
Reinbeck Courier

A late-season football injury forced Joe Smoldt into the starting point guard spot at Gladbrook-Reinbeck a year early.

A year later, he's proven himself once again.

Smoldt has been named the North Iowa Cedar League West Division's Outstanding Player for the second year in a row in a vote among conference coaches, becoming the first two-time winner in a decade.

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The 6-foot junior guard flourished in the spotlight of the state tournament a year ago, earning Class 1A All-Tournament Team captaincy as a sophomore in helping the Rebels complete a perfect 28-0 campaign with the school's first-ever boys state basketball title.

He hasn't slowed down, either.

Smoldt averaged 24.6 points per game in NICL West play this season, leading the league in scoring as well as steals (34) and finishing second in assists (69). He was tops in 3-pointers made (37) and free-throw percentage (83) too, further proving his potency as the top player in the conference for the second year in a row.

He is the first two-time Outstanding Player honoree since Corey Viet of AGWSR claimed back-to-back awards in 2004-05 and 2005-06, the latter of which he shared.

Smoldt was one of just three unanimous selections to the all-NICL West first team, earning repeat honors alongside AGWSR junior Nathan Karsjens. The Cougars' 6-foot-7 forward finished first in rebounding (8.6), third in scoring (14.2) and third in blocks (15).

Grundy Center junior Bryce Flater claimed his first all-conference honor after ranking third in steals (24), eighth in scoring (11.8) and ninth in rebounding (5.6) during league games.

Rounding out the first team were first-time honorees Josh Cooley and Colton Dinsdale of Gladbrook-Reinbeck, West Marshall junior David Disney and East Marshall sophomore Zane Johnson.

Dinsdale is a third-time all-conference pick, earning honorable mention as a sophomore and second-team honors last winter. The Rebels' defensive stalwart played in only seven of 12 conference games but averaged 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game in helping G-R to its fourth straight NICL West crown. Cooley, a senior like Dinsdale, was second in the league in steals (28) en route to his first all-conference award.

Disney ended fifth in scoring (13) and eighth in rebounding (5.7) in moving up from last year's honorable mention status, while Johnson's first league honor arrived on the heels of him ranking seventh in scoring (12.4) and second in rebounding (8.0).



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