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Mallard Native To Be Honored

By Staff | Nov 19, 2009

BOONE?- A Mallard native will be among six former football greats and four coaches that will be honored at this year’s State Championships in the UNI Dome. The Hall-of-fame players and coaches will be introduced at the halftime of the Class 4A Championship, Friday, November 20.

Mark Kacmarynski of Mallard and West Bend-Mallard football fame will join the late Bill Reichardt of Iowa City; the late Reggie Roby of Waterloo East; Sioux City North standout John Arnaud; Jeff Dole of Grundy Center and Matt Whitaker of Ankeny in being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Coaches being honored in the ceremonies by the Iowa Football Coaches Association are Mike Dirksen, Newman Catholic, Mason City; Rick Pogemiller of Bellevue; and former Norwalk coach Dave Mineart. Darrell Schumacher of Oskaloosa will receive the IFCA’s Walt Fiegel Coaching with Character Award.

When you mention the name of Kacmarynski in a converation about football around West Bend and Mallard, a mental picture of a battle-scarred running back, with ball tucked in his grasp, running over tacklers, comes to mind.

And it should be that image.

With five brothers out of a family of nine children preceeding him in football, Mark Kacmarynski fit the mold of a football warrior, just like his older brother Rich, a 2005 IHSAA Hall-of-Fame member.

Mark Kacmarynski, Mallard & West Bend-Mallard (1992) is arguably one of the top running backs to play the game in the state of Iowa during an era that produced several outstanding running backs.

After helping the Mallard Ducks advance to the playoff semifinals in 1990, Mark helped lead his school to runner-up title in the 1991 Class 1A Championship game. During that 1991 campaign, Kac rolled up 2,454 yards and scored 41 touchdowns to lead all classes in Iowa high school football.

His three-year career totals of 4,881 rushing yards, 81 touchdowns and 490 points were the best of any Class A or 1A performer when he hung up his prep cleats. He was selected to the first team All-State selections in 1990 and 1991.

Kacmarynski was sought after by several larger colleges after graduation, but he opted to follow his brothers to Central College in Pella, where he continued his outstanding play on his way to a storied career for the Dutch.

Playing for the legendary Coach Ron Schipper at Central, Kacmarynski established 26 current Central records including virtually ever game, season and career mark for rushing yards, touchdowns and points scored.

His accomplishments at Central were outstanding enough that years after his graduation from Central in 1996, Kac is still eighth in the NCAA’s Division III all-time rankings for career rushing yards (5,855) and eleventh in career points (434), as of the start of the 2009 collegiate football season.

He was twice a finalist for the Gagliardi Award, symbolic of the nation’s best Division III performer. He twice earned All-American honors and was a rare three-time First Team All Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player.

Kacmarynski graduated from Central with a degree in Mathematics/Computer Science and went played in the NFL Europe for the Frankfort Galaxy, the eventual World Champions.

Today, Mark works for Kadeth Network Solutions, an IT consulting firm, in Knoxville.

Other inductees are as follows:

BILL?REICHARDT, Iowa City (1948) – Bill Reichardt was a four year regular and three-sport standout at Iowa City, earning all-state honors in 1947. He became the Big Ten’s MVP and an All-American in 1951. He passed away in June 2004.

JOHN ARNAUD, Sioux City North (1979) – Mr. Arnaud starred at Sioux City North in football and track. He went on to play four years at Iowa State and after graduation, he played three seasons in the newly created United States Football League. He is in private business and resides in Ames.

REGGIE ROBY, Waterloo East (1979) – One of Iowa’s first great prep punters and field goal kickers, Roby opted to play college football at Iowa, where Hayden Fry used him exclusively as a punter. As a junior he broke a 32-year old NCAA record averaging 49.8 yards per punt and led the nation again his senior year. His career average of 45.4 yards per punt still ranks as an NCAA best. . He was drafted by Miami in 1983 and had a brilliant 16-year career also playing with Washington, Tampa Bay, Houston and San Francisco. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and named All-Pro seven times. Mr. Roby unexpectedly passed away in February 2005.

JEFF DOLE, Grundy Center (1985) – A three-year, two-way starter he helped lead Grundy Center into the playoffs in 1983 and 1984, when they capped a perfect 12-0 season with the Class 2A title. He took his football interests to Iowa State, walking on and evolved into one of the Big Eight’s top defenders. After twice earning All-Big Eight honors, he was a 1988 honorable mention All-American. He later played two seasons with the Chicago Bruisers in the Arena Football League. Since 1992 he has been with Farmers’ Insurance and currently is the claims manager for Iowa. He resides in Grundy Center.

MATT WHITAKER, Ankeny (1988) – He was his school’s first sophomore to play an entire varsity football season. In 1987 he was accorded prep All-American honors by USA Today. He was a three year letter winner at the University of Iowa and played in the 1991 Rose Bowl. He was a three-time All Big 10 Academic pick and earned Academic All-American honors in 1992.

He received his MBA in 1995 followed by his law degree. Since 2004, he has served as a United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. He and his family live in Urbandale.