MAXIMUM EFFORT

Joining a long list of top male athletes at Fort Dodge Senior High, Andrew Stover was recently named the 2014 Henry W. Schultz award winner.

Each year, the most outstanding boy in the Dodger graduating class is honored for their individual efforts. Stover was the 96th annual recipient of the prestigious accolade.

“I was surprised, but being one of the only four-sport guys with JC (Hatcher) and Jake (Porter), I had an idea formulated that I could win it,” Stover said. “One of the biggest things was my hard work. What I’d like to be remembered as is a person that always gave it my all.”

During his time at FDSH, Stover was a four-sport captain and a valuable member of the baseball, basketball, football and tennis programs, earning 13 letters.

“Sports taught me to be adaptable and welcoming to keep everyone relatively happy,” said Stover. “I had the most fun playing tennis because you could make a mistake four times and still win. You couldn’t run out the clock in baseball or tennis, so you had to earn the victory.”

On the diamond, Stover held a career .324 batting average with 59 hits, 43 runs, 36 RBI, 12 doubles, three triples and two home runs in 107 games. Pitching-wise, Stover went 8-5 in 89 1/3 innings of work. Stover helped the Dodgers to an outright CIC Northern Division title last summer, receiving honorable mention all-division status. This past season, Stover was tabbed to the all-division top squad, while claiming a spot on the Class 4A North Central District second team. He saw limited duty on both the 2011 and 2012 FDSH state squads.

“He’s a very competitive guy,” Fort Dodge head coach Blake Utley said. “He was probably the best leader on our team and was voted as the Ed McNeil Coach’s MVP. A kid like Andrew was great to have in the program because you always knew you were going to have some success.”

As a quarterback, Stover made the 4A-2 all-division second squad the past two years. Stover etched his name in the FDSH football record books by finishing second to only Dodger great Randy Reiners (4,385 yards, 39 touchdowns) for both passing yards (3,265) and TDs (27) by a quarterback.

Last fall, Stover threw for 1,261 yards and 13 scores against only six interceptions.

“We could count on Andrew to give us his best game every night,” said Fort Dodge head coach Matt Miller. “He improved dramatically over his four years at Senior High. With him being involved in a lot of different things, I look at Andrew as a kid that kind of epitomizes what the Schultz award is. I’m very proud of everything he achieved. He never changed once on his approach and was always willing to do all sports. As a coach, I was very appreciative of that competitiveness. He worked hard and showed character throughout.”

Stover collected 333 points, 181 rebounds, 160 assists and 60 steals in 66 varsity basketball games. He was picked to the all-CIC Northern Division second squad as a junior, while being chosen as an honorable mention performer in his final prep campaign.

“Stover was a three-year letterwinner that was always going to be consistent,” Dodger head coach Tom Daniel said. “Andrew was a smart guy on the court. He kind of took his quarterback skills and relayed them to the basketball court. You can always use a guy like Andrew. He was obviously deserving of the awards and recognition.”

Stover was also a three-time 2A state doubles qualifier in tennis. He led the Dodgers to a fourth-place state team showing last June. Stover and freshman Jon Bowser went 16-1 overall in doubles play this year, finishing fifth at state.

“Andrew was one of those kids you could always count on to be a fierce competitor no matter who you were playing,” said FDSH head coach Jared Feddersen. “Andrew really understood that tennis was a team sport.”

Among Stover’s highlights in basketball were a game-winning three-pointer against West Des Moines Dowling this past winter and a made 80-foot desperation heave against Ames as a junior. In football, Stover connected on a memorable 80-yard touchdown pass to Austin Halligan on the game’s first play in Fort Dodge’s 10th straight victory over Mason City last fall.

“I’ve been involved in stuff since I was five years old whether that be football, tennis or soccer,” Stover said. “What I’m probably going to miss most is playing with the same group of guys since I was in fourth or fifth grade.”

Stover’s parents, Curtis and Laura, and coaches have also played a major role in helping him reach his potential.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my parents,”said Stover. “I don’t remember the last time one or both of them weren’t at an event. I know both of my parents have been praying for me before school and on days of athletic events. I’m positive that’s why I’ve been able to stay away from injuries. I’m looking forward now to taking advantage of every opportunity given to me by the grace of God.”

Outside of athletics, Stover served as Student Body President and a youth deacon. He also participated in Dodger Senate, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 707 Live, Bell Choir and was a National Council on Youth Leadership winner.

Stover will continue his baseball career at Iowa Central. His future plans include being either a coach or an athletic director.