Getting to Know You: West Des Moines Valley Tigers


Things don’t usually change at West Des Moines Valley, but don’t tell that to long time coach Gary Swenson. There are plenty of changes to expect, along with a few returning starters for the Tigers’ 2014 campaign. Running back Drew Gray, Wide Receiver Dominic Daffney, and highly touted junior OL John Rairdon headline a group of returning starters on offense. Gray will be asked to carry the workload after all-stater Tyus Mason’s graduation. Mason racked up 2,099 yards for the Tigers.

Sophomore Rocky Lombardi and junior Will Lounsberry will compete for the quarterback spot (Lombardi was named the starter vs. Waukee).

LB/P Zach Downs and CB Zach Grasso return to the defense from 2013, along with S Gabe Honnold patrolling the defensive backfield, that will

Valley Stats

2013 Record: 10-3 overall, 5-0 division

2014 Class, District: Class 4A, District 3

Coach: Gary Swenson, 39th year (20 at Valley), 311-100 overall (186-41 at Valley)

Returning Starters – Offense

Drew Gray, RB, 12, 5-10, 180

Trevor Bell, RB, 12, 5-7, 153

Dominique Dafney, WR, 12, 6-1, 200

Brady Smith, C, 12, 5-11, 220

Returning Starters – Defense

Zach Downs, LB/P, 12, 6-0, 215

Zach Grasso, CB, 12, 5-10, 170

Gabe Honnold, S, 12, 5-10, 165

Returning Letterwinners – 9

Coaching Staff: Randy Ripperger, Travis Young, Ryan Cooley, Dave Cochran

Interesting stories about the squad, players, or upcoming season: Swenson’s concern is solidifying the defensive and offensive line. Depth is a big issue, but Swenson feel confident that the junior class will help fill in some of the gaps. Sophomore quarterback Rocky Lombardi’s father is Tony Lombardi, who coached at Cedar Rapids Washington from 2006 to 2013. Lombardi guided the Warriors to four post-season berths, including two quarterfinal appearances and one semi-final appearance.

2014 Schedule (district games in bold)

Aug. 29 @ Waukee

Sept. 5 Iowa City West

Sept. 12 @ Southeast Polk

Sept. 19 Dowling Catholic

Sept. 26 @ Des Moines Hoover

Oct. 3 @ Council Bluffs Lincoln

Oct. 10 Sioux City West

Oct. 17 @ Ankeny Centennial

Oct. 24 Des Moines Lincoln