Dylan Diveney has only spent a little more than a year in Marshalltown. But in that short time, he left a long impression competing for the Bobcats in football, basketball and baseball.
After moving to the community from Clarke late last year, Diveney served as the baseball team's center fielder and a starting pitcher, was the quarterback on the football team and led the Bobcats' basketball squad in scoring and rebounding.
He is the ultimate competitor.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
Marshalltown High School senior Dylan Diveney, seated center, signed to play football and baseball at Central College. With Diveney are his parents, Jarrod and Michelle Leffler, along with Marshalltown football coach Aaron Shipley, standing left, and baseball coach Steve Hanson, standing right.
And that will need to continue when he gets to the next level because Diveney will try to compete in two sports when he gets to Central College in the fall.
Diveney signed two National Letters of Intent Wednesday and plans on playing wide receiver for the Dutch football squad as well as potentially roaming the outfield or pitching for the baseball team.
"The fact that he's willing to try and compete at the college level in two sports tells you something about Dylan," said MHS baseball coach Steve Hanson. "He doesn't shy away from competition and he's willing to put his nose down and get after it."
Playing two sports at the collegiate level won't be easy. But Diveney had extensive conversations with coaches at Marshalltown to figure out how tough it would be. And for the most part, Diveney came away from those conversations with confidence that he can succeed at both sports.
"It is always tough doing more than one sport, but Central has had multiple players who have done it," said Diveney. "I talked with Coach Furlong about it because he played football and baseball at Central, too. It's definitely possible."
Mike Furlong is the defensive backs coach for the Bobcats and a teacher at East Marshall High School. He played football and baseball at Central College. Wide receivers coach Allen Mann also played both sports for the Dutch. Jordan Judkins and Blake Judkins are currently on the Dutch baseball rosters, too.
"We've had a good relationship with Central over the years, and Coach (Adam) Stevens is getting a diamond in the rough with Dylan," said Hanson. "We're confident that with another year at MHS, Dylan will position himself to get to Pella with a good chance to contribute as a freshman."
During his junior year, Diveney hit .220 and had an on-base percentage of .330 for the Bobcat baseball team. He also had 11 RBIs, 18 steals and 16 runs. On the mound, he was 3-3 with an earned run average of 4.32 and he held opponents to a .220 batting average.
Diveney batted .357 at Clarke during his sophomore campaign and tallied 14 steals. He also was the team's ace on the mound during his freshman and sophomore campaigns.
"Baseball this season should be exponentially easier for him simply because he's been through all the 'new stuff' associated with joining an unfamiliar program," said Hanson. "We're excited to see how Dylan can grow and progress now that he has his feet on the ground."
Diveney is unsure how the Central baseball team will use him. He covers an immense amount of ground in center field and could be a capable pitcher as well.
"He's got the athletic ability to do whatever he wants," said MHS football coach Aaron Shipley, who also is an assistant for Hanson on the Bobcat baseball squad. "He has a live arm and will see the most success where he can use his arm strength."
As a senior on the Bobcat football team, Shipley used Diveney at quarterback because his athletic ability was too good to pass up. He was a heavy part of what the Bobcats did offensively, finishing with 1,139 passing yards and 404 rushing yards. He tallied 13 total touchdowns.
At Central, Diveney expects to play wide receiver, a position he played at Clarke when he earned third-team all-state recognition from the Iowa Newspaper Association as a junior.
That junior season, Diveney had 30 catches, 718 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 24 yards per reception.
"I think I will play wide receiver in college, and it's definitely the position I am most comfortable with," said Diveney.
Diveney said he chose Central College over an opportunity to play football at William Penn. Those are the only two schools he visited.
"Dylan is a smart kid, and I have no doubt that he is making the best decision for him," said Shipley, who played football at William Penn. "I just told him to listen to everyone that you can and take as many visits as you can."
Jeff McMartin is 73-23 as the Central football coach. Stevens' baseball program has averaged 25 wins per year in the last four seasons and has four top four finishes in the Iowa Conference in seven of the last 10 seasons.
"It'll be a challenge," said Shipley of Diveney playing two sports. "But they have two coaches that will do whatever they can to help him through that."
Diveney said that the friendly coaches and friendly people in the community along with the strong traditions of both programs were some of the reasons he chose to Central as his future destination.
"The campus also is very clean and they have a good variety of food in the cafeteria," said Diveney.