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Bobcats’ Baccam chooses Storm as college destination

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown senior Keaton Baccam, middle, signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Simpson College football program on Wednesday in the team room of the Roundhouse. Joining Baccam at the signing table are his mother Kong, left, and MHS head football coach Adam Goodvin, right.

Marshalltown senior Keaton Baccam became the latest Bobcat to make the jump to the college ranks on Wednesday when he signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Simpson College football program in the team room of the Roundhouse.

Baccam said the decision to join the Storm in Indianola next year was an easy one.

“I think they have a really good program,” Baccam said after his signing. “I like that [Simpson head coach Matt Jeter] told me that they don’t just pay attention to the seniors and juniors, he said they had some freshmen beating out some seniors and I feel like I can come in and compete and play at that level right away.”

MHS head football coach Adam Goodvin said Simpson couldn’t have asked for a better recruit.

“It’s very exciting, we are very proud of him. He is a hard-working kid that really bought in to the weight room and what we do as a football program,” Goodvin said. “I have no doubt that he will continue to keep working hard, that’s what he does and he will be exciting to follow over the next few years.

“He is going to work hard, Simpson is getting a good one. He has a lot of room to go and I think that’s his biggest upside right now.”

The Bobcats had one of their best seasons on the gridiron in nearly 10 years. They finished 4-5, their best record since going 7-4 in 2012, and a big part of that was because of a stellar running game.

Marshalltown finished with 1,936 total rushing yards and 23 rushing touchdowns in 2018, their most in at least the last decade in both categories. Goodvin said Baccam was a huge catalyst for the run game this year, which is part of why he was an Iowa Print Sports Writers Association third-team All-State selection this year.

“He influenced our offensive line greatly, all of the guys were looking to him to lead them as a senior captain, that’s his job and he did an outstanding job and we are very proud of him for that,” Goodvin said. “We had a lot of success on the ground this year and a lot of that was because of him.”

Like any offensive lineman, Baccam didn’t want to take full credit for the team’s rushing success this season, as he pointed to offensive line coach Doug Bacon and the running back stable like Derrick Garth and Giorgio DiIorio as integral parts of the Bobcats’ potent rushing attack.

“The O-line did well this year,” Baccam said. “We got a new coach with coach Bacon stepping in, and I think Giorgio stepped up to the plate and actually ran the ball like he wanted to.”

Baccam will also be featured in the Iowa Shrine Bowl Game on July 20, where he will once again be under the tutelage of Goodvin, who was chosen as an assistant coach on the South squad.

“I am very fortunate to be able to coach him one last time in July, very proud of him,” Goodvin said.

Baccam will be joining a Simpson team that finished 7-3 a year ago in the American Rivers Conference. The storm are a Division III team in the NCAA, and Baccam said he feels comfortable competing at that level wherever the Storm need him.

“Coach said they are going to put me in the position that is going to help the team the most. I can play anywhere on the line,” he said.

With yet another player heading to the college ranks from his program, Goodvin said he never gets tired of seeing one of his players decide to further their football careers.

“When kids decide to go on to play college football it’s always fun and exciting,” he said. “You never know what you are going to get, every kid is different and Keaton decided this is the route he wanted to go. I support him 100 percent and it will be fun to follow him.”

After being a part of a revival of sorts of Marshalltown football, Baccam said he hopes he and the rest of the seniors have laid the foundation for future success for the Bobcat program.

“I just want them to carry on the legacy of winning, we changed the culture this year so I just want them to continue that and make a better record every year,” he said.

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