By Perry Bell Journal-Express
The Journal Express
---- — The Des Moines Register released their All-Century Iowa High School Football Team in the Sunday newspaper.
One of the players listed on the team played his high school ball in Marion County.
Named to the All-Century Team (1914-2013) was Grant McGraw as an end. McGraw played his high school football at Pleasantville under the direction of head coach John Danks.
Other ends named to the offensive squad over the past 100 years were Karl Noonan, Davenport Assumption (1961), Bill Happel, Cedar Rapids Washington (1981), Marv Cook, West Branch (1982-83), Michael Burger, Harlan (1992-93), Dallas Clark, Twin River Valley (Bode), (1997), Keenan Davis, Cedar Rapids Washington (2007-08), and Allen Lazard, Urbandale, (2011-13).
Grant currently lives and works in Indianola. He works for Edward Jones, a financial planning firm.
Grant McGraw was named to the all-state team in football three times. His senior season, he and Pleasantville quarterback Scott Koerselman, were each named to the elite Des Moines Register All-State Football Team.
“To find out I made the All-Century Football Team was a nice honor. To tell you the truth, the highlight of the whole thing is when Coach (John) Danks called me and how excited he was that I made the team,” Grant said.
“What I remember most about high school is how competitive we were as a team,” he commented.
When he graduated, Grant held three career all-time records in football for all classes.
He had 46 career touchdown passes. He had 3,710 career receiving yards. Those two records still stand 17 years after he graduated.
The third record he held when he graduated was career catches with 171. That mark has since been broken. “I’m only seventh on that list now,” Grant stated.
Grant’s junior year in high school the Trojans were knocked off in a playoff game in the UNI-Dome by Hudson.
In Grant’s senior year, the Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the state. Madrid beat Pleasantville in a state playoff game hosted by Madrid in a game slated for the UNI-Dome, but played outside due to a snowstorm that forced games to be played on a Monday outdoors.
For a Trojan football team that threw the ball, the conditions for the Madrid contest, would have been better suited for inside.
Grant listed a few of his classmates his senior year on the Trojan squad. The list included Chris Haugen, Ryan Hancock, Adam Krichau, Scott Koerselman and Brock Stubbs to name a few.
Grant and Scott Koerselman both eventually walked on at Iowa State to play for Coach Dan McCarney.
Grant later left the ISU program to play football and baseball at Simpson College in Indianola. Scott Koerselman the all-state quarterback at Pleasantville, who lit up the skies with his passes left ISU to play football at Central College.
Grant reflected on his high school days.
“Coach Danks was and still is one of the best coaches you could ever want to play for. He helped shape a lot of young men in Pleasantville. He was very approachable and played a father-role for many of us on the team,” Grant stated.
“Years later, I’m proud to say Coach Danks is now a friend,” Grant added.
The Pleasantville assistant coaches over the years were tremendous people to play for as well. The list includes Rich Thomas, Coach “K”, Tim Koerselman, Jeff Cook, Ted Myers and Dan Calhoun.
Grant included the junior high coaches who helped put players into positions at a young age, Duane Harken and Tom Adreon.
Coach Koerselman, is currently the athletic director at Pleasantville.
“It was a great honor for Grant to be named to the team. Considering the company on that team, it is pretty awesome,” Koerselman said.
“Grant is still at the top in yards and touchdowns and played in a time when we still ran more than we threw and with the 50-point rule, he didn’t always play that many quarters. It is hard to imagine what his numbers would have been like in the throwing offenses of today,” Koerselman replied.
Grant’s high school varsity coach, John Danks, who is in the Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame replied, “Grant is really a good kid. It’s a great honor for him, his team and teammates. That was an awfully good era of Pleasantville football,” Danks said.
“It’s also a great honor for the community and the school. It’s almost overwhelming to be considered for that team.” Danks added.
One thing both Danks and Grant McGraw agreed, “It’s a team game, it’s not all about individual honors.”
Danks was the head football coach in Pleasantville for 25 years.
A panel of seven selected the All-Century Football Team along with readers of the newspaper, who made their selections online.
The panelists who made the selections of the team include, Jerry Staton, head football coach at Albia. Staton has a record of 255-178-1 coaching in 46 years. He previously coached at Oskaloosa where his 1996 squad won a state title and at Pella Christian.
Coach Keith Hanks, Des Moines North. He previously served as head coach in central and northwest Iowa.
Chuck Bredlow, a former coach who led Grundy Center to back-to-back state titles in 1987 and 1988. He currently is a principal at S.E. Polk High School.
Chuck Schoffner, sportswriter, who worked 34-years in the business including 26 with the Associated Press in Des Moines.
Bruce Clement, director of Clement Sports Recruiting Service, was also on the committee.
John Naughton, Des Moines Register sports reported for 25 years has selected the Des Moines Sunday Register all-state teams since 1994.
A total of 76 players were named to the All-Century Football Team.
Some of the big names listed to the All-Century Football Team at quarterback include Kenny Ploen, Clinton (1952), Randy Duncan, Des Moines Roosevelt (1954), Ed Podolak, Atlantic (1964) and Kurt Warner, Cedar Rapids Regis (1988).
A few of the top running backs listed include Nile Kinnick, Adel (1933), Roger Craig, Davenport Central (1978), Tavian Banks, Bettendorf (1991-92), Jerry Moses, Waterloo East (1968-69) and Tim Dwight, Iowa City High (1991-93).
Tyler Sash, Oskaloosa (2005-06), made the team as one of 10 defensive backs.
Grant has his wife Jana (Langstraat) McGraw, have four children, son, Lane is 9, daughter, Josie is 7, son, Easton is 5, and daughter, Julia is 3.