Pack the pitch: crosstown rivalry

Boys Hawks soccer team takes on Centennial Jaguars


Published with permission by Drue Wolfe

Ankeny boys and girls soccer go head to head with a crosstown rivalry showdown for both the Hawks, Hawkettes, and the Jags. Hawk boys senior forward Lucas Newhard (left) and senior starter Connor Wahlburg (right) celebrate against Marshalltown.

For the end of this school year, Ankeny High School looks to witness a historic run from their boys soccer team. A couple weeks into their season and the record stands at 13-0. Following one of the best starts in school history, the boys team will go up against their crosstown rivals, the Centennial Jaguars.

The Jaguars, in possession of their own intimidating record, are sitting at 10-1. Both Ankeny boys teams currently have 3-0 records when going up against in-conference opponents, which adds to the anticipation of this upcoming matchup. The two powerhouse, crosstown rivals will go head-to-head on Tuesday, May 3 at 6:15 p.m. with a large attendance expected at the Northview Stadium.

Ankeny Hawks are led by  senior forward Lucas Newhard, who leads the team in goals with 27. Newhard is second in all of class 3A in goals. He is also second in class 3-A in points. Newhward broke Ankeny’s single season goal record with five  games remaining. Newhard has committed to Grand View University to further his athletic journey.

Ankeny is also led by four-year starter Connor Wahlburg.

“He [Wahlburg] is a perfect team leader and he makes sure everyone is doing their job and keeps everyone calm and cool,” senior forward Jace Ward said.

Jaguars are led by sophomore midfielder Ty Duax. Duax leads the team and 3A in assists. Centennial is also led by junior forward Rashidi Ishibwami who leads the team in goals with 16. 

Following the boys matchup, the Hawkettes and the Jaguars girls team will face off at 7:30 p.m. Both teams have met and exceeded preseason expectations. The Hawkettes enter the game with a 12-0 record, and have yet to allow a goal this season. The Jaguars come in with a 10-2 record, but currently hold a six game winning streak. 

The Hawkettes defense continues to be top ranked in the state, and their offense is climbing the standings as well. The Hawkettes are led by senior leaders Kennedy Macke and Eden Gibson. Macke and Gibson were named to last year’s All Tournament Team.

Also contributing to the team’s success, is sophomore forward Emma Gott who leads the team with nine goals. Ankeny Centennial’s star is  junior forward Alanna Pennington who leads the team with nine goals. 

The game between us and the Jags is definitely a huge rivalry that everyone looks forward to every year. It allows us to compete on a larger platform in front of the Ankeny community creating an awesome atmosphere for everyone,” junior defender Jenna Pitz said. “Obviously with the severity of the rivalry and how dominant each team is this year, it creates an intense atmosphere that the players can easily get caught up in. It is important for us going into this game to go out and do what we do and not change how we play just because it is a rivalry game.”