Iowa City West basketball player Jeremy Morgan has started to experience the effects of recruiting.

The recruiting trail has met up with Morgan, as the senior-to-be has received three scholarship offers within the last two weeks. This is coming off of the beginning of AAU season, which runs from spring and then throughout the summer. Morgan is a member of the Iowa Barnstormers squad, which also has fellow West teammate Dondre Alexander.

Morgan has heard from a bevvy of Division-I schools — including Iowa and Wisconsin, most notably — and has current offers from nearby Northern Iowa, Rice, and Weber State.

It will be interesting to see what other programs decide to reach out to the 6-6 Morgan, who helped lead the Trojans to a Class 4A state championship this past winter. The assumption is that more recruiting activity will pick up as the summer moves along.

Morgan, who has mostly played forward at West, is on record saying he envisions himself as a guard at the collegiate level.

In case you missed it Wednesday night, Johnson County Sports posted an entire multimedia package on the aftermath of West High’s athletic success this school year. There are three parts to the story, all of which go hand-in-hand. Check them out.

- The volleyball, girls basketball, and boys basketball teams all won state titles. That success has translated over to other portions of West High, including the overall aura and atmosphere of the school. Boys hoops coach Steve Bergman labeled West a “well balanced school” and also said “it was simply a great year all around.” Click here for that story.

- Junior Ally Disterhoft is a very heralded and decorated prep player. But even she has learned from the entire experience as a whole. Disterhoft, an Iowa commit, also highlighted West’s overall profile as an institutional success story. Click here for an audio interview with Ally.

- Over the last few months, some of West’s students — including the athletes — have taken to social media to share their opinions and jubilation over the emotions of winning a state championship. Using Storify to reveal some of their Tweets, juniors Dondre Alexander and Jeremy Morgan are some of the main highlights from this piece. Click here for it.

As always, thank you to those who’ve read, watched, and listened to content on JCS.

Five months. Three state titles.

And in three of the largest sports, no less.

For high schools around the country, athletics can be an important aspect of the overall experience. From the athletes to the coaches to fellow students and fans, it can become a big ordeal.

So that’s why when a school wins a state championship, the school takes pride in that success and finds a newfound support following that particular’s sports victory.

Or how about three state titles? Now that, is rare. A rarity that Iowa City West triumphed.

Within the last several months, West High athletics has been dominate — there is no other way to say it. Volleyball won a state championship. So did the girls basketball team. And add the boys basketball squad to that list as well. Five months, three state titles. Not too shabby.

“It’s an amazing thing when it happens,” girls basketball star Ally Disterhoft said. “West High has been so fortunate this year to have some great athletic teams … I think this year has just been a really special year in general and unlike any other the community or the school has seen before.”

She’s right.

Not many teams have banners hanging within the rafters of their gymnasium recognizing a state championship. But West High has three, and that is just this school year.

Disterhoft added she’s come to appreciate what has been accomplished, and not simply by the girls basketball team she was on.

“I really enjoyed being apart of it and we all feel very thankful that we’ve had such good fortune throughout the year,” she said.

Heading into the school year, the West High boys basketball team had seemingly the highest expectations. The Trojans were runners-up in 2010-11 and head coach Steve Bergman had his team prepped for another deep run into the postseason.

Then, the entire West High community was shaken.

In August, volleyball player and senior Caroline Found died in a moped accident. The volleyball team, coached by the legendary Kathy Bresnahan (537-159 in her 20 seasons at the helm), went on to win the state championship, albeit a bittersweet one. Bresnahan, who was not available for comment to Johnson County Sports, was named National Coach of the Year for her efforts.

“The most amazing story is volleyball and how that all unfolded,” Bergman said. “I don’t think most people would have picked us to win after some of the things that happened, and I think that’s carried over into everything else.”

Girls basketball head coach BJ Mayer agreed with Bergman’s sentiments.

Following volleyball’s triumph through a tragic situation, the basketball teams kept West High’s athletic profile on top.

Led by juniors Dondre Alexander and Jeremy Morgan — who expressed their emotions via Twitter a lot during the season — the boys squad went undefeated on its way to winning the Class 4A state title. Alexander and Morgan averaged 16 and 14.8 points per game, respectively.

Disterhoft helped lead the girls team, as the Women of Troy went 23-1 on their way to winning state.

“I wouldn’t have bet money ahead of time for us [to win the state championship], but it was plausible after the way volleyball unfolded the way it did,” Bergman said. “It was simply a great year all around.”

While West has had immense success athletically this school year, Bergman said that doesn’t necessarily transition to the entire school as a whole. He added that some students don’t know that he’s the basketball coach — Bergman has coached the Trojans for three-plus decades.

But the success has permeated into other aspects of prep school life. West has also had notable achievements in music, theatre, and in academia throughout this 2011-12 school session.

“We’re a very well balanced school, and I think that has shown up a lot this year,” Bergman said. “We have really strong drama, music, athletics, speech and debate, and the whole thing. I don’t think athletics drives the school, but the kids we have that show up are very supportive.

“I think it’s built up this year. No question.”


(West High guard Ally Disterhoft — Photo credit to The [Cedar Rapids] Gazette)

Ally Disterhoft learned a lot from winning a state title.

Cohesiveness. Comaradarie. The ability to adapt. The ability to respond.

Disterhoft, who committed to play collegiately at Iowa last month, helped lead the Women of Troy (23-1) to the Class 4A girls basketball state title.

In this brief interview, Disterhoft reflects on the past few of months, specifically on West High securing state titles in not one or even two, but three sports.


(West’s Dondre Alexander — Photo credit to The [Cedar Rapids] Gazette)

During West’s state title run, especially in boys and girls basketball, athletes and even some students went to social media sites to show their support and then ultimately revel in victory.

Dondre Alexander and Jeremy Morgan — the dynamic duo of the boys’ hoops squad — were perhaps the most proactive out of any players. They both took to Twitter to share their excitement and behind-the-scenes commentary during that memorable run.

Some of the girls team did as well, including senior Mackenzie Piper.

Using Storify, here is a link to some of the Tweets that were published before, during, and after the state tournament stretches.

Here is some of the latest goings-on in the Iowa City community as it relates to the three high schools in the area and their extra-curricular activities and athletics. The snapshot of the last week or so as it relates to West High, City High, and Regina is all social media-based using Storify.

Click on this link to find a combination of Tweets and YouTube videos as it pertains to the latest buzz within social media.

Iowa City West junior Ally Disterhoft committed to the University of Iowa last Monday.

Disterhoft is the second verbal commit for the Hawkeyes in the class of 2013. She had multiple offers from Division-I programs, including Iowa State.

A 6-foot guard, Disterhoft averaged 16.8 points per game last season for the Women of Troy as they won the Class 4A state championship. She earned first team All-State honors for her performances throughout the season and also helped lead West to a runner-up finish at state last year as a sophomore.

There is still a way to go before Disterhoft even steps onto the court in a Hawkeye uniform, but she figures to fit in well.

Head coach Lisa Bluder and her staff have relied on a lot of the offensive production to the perimeter, as Iowa’s bread-and-butter has become shooting 3-pointers. Disterhoft is proficient from beyond the arc; she shot 40.8 percent from that range this past season West.

While it’s an adjustment for any prep player to succeed at the same rate as a collegiate player, Iowa will have a combination of guards and forwards that will be versatile and pass-first oriented when Disterhoft dons the Black and Gold (see: Sam Logic, who was a first-team all-Big Ten freshman this winter).

The Hawkeyes will continue to rely on those 3s, and Bluder will be able to depend on Disterhoft some of those times. At first glance, it seems like a good coup for both parties.