KingSton Swayzer 27, Hattie Galloway 27, Cael Kongshaug 27, and Maeve Obermueller 27 are all named City Highs freshmen to watch
KingSton Swayzer ’27, Hattie Galloway ’27, Cael Kongshaug ’27, and Maeve Obermueller ’27 are all named City High’s freshmen to watch

Freshmen to Watch

Four freshmen are named City High’s “Freshmen to Watch”
Cael Kongshaug 27 is a standout freshman athlete.
Cael Kongshaug ’27 is a standout freshman athlete. (Megan Swartzendruber)
Cael Kongshaug

Growing up in a football family, Cael Kongshaug ‘27 has found passion in the environment and life lessons provided by the sport, and he’s ready to see where City High’s prestigious football program leads him. 

“I’m very comfortable in the varsity environment. We have a great coaching staff, which helps a lot,” Kongshaug ‘27 reflected on the Little Hawk Football setting, sharing experiences and how the program has helped him already. “I’m looking forward to getting reps and improving as much as I can [this season]. Because of injury, I’m the second string, so I get to play JV. I’m happy to get JV reps.” 

Starting in first grade flag football, Kongshaug ‘27, has “always been around football”. Getting reps has been built into who he is, whether it was playing catch with his dad in the backyard or joining seven versus seven leagues.

Kongshaug ‘27 spent some time down in Las Vegas, and as he would put it, his team “got destroyed, but had fun”. When commenting on his favorite football memories, he often goes back to last spring, “This past spring was a lot of fun. I’m a freshman but I got to play in the 18U division. Playing against hard competition and good players like Julian Sayin was an [incredible] experience.”

Football takes up a lot of time, but Kongshaug ‘27 always “trusts the process”. Hoping to reach the Division 1 collegiate level, he makes sure that he is always working hard and committing enough time to getting better.

“After practice every night, the coaches release practice film on Hudl, and I can just spend 30 minutes watching that.” Kongshaug ‘27 comments on his routine both on days he has to practice, and on the iconic FNL. “Before a game, I drive to the gas station and buy myself a coffee, and maybe a little meal. I warm up, and then after that, I put my earbuds in and start listening to music and getting into the right mindset.” 

Classic rock and country enthusiast, Kongshaug ‘27 takes after his dad in many things. His “biggest motivator” and “inspiration”, Kongshaug ‘27 remarks on the support he has received from his dad.

“My dad always played football,” Kongshaug ‘27 recalls. “He supports me so much, and he’s always there for me in so many ways. We can always ‘talk football’.”

With a long-lasting program behind him on top of the support from his dad and so many around him, Cael Kongshaug ‘27 has a bright future. The Grant Wood Elementary alum is always working to get better, and will continue to play a strong role in City High Football.

Hattie Galloway 27 in a match against Linn Mar at Xtreme Arena.
Hattie Galloway ’27 in a match against Linn Mar at Xtreme Arena. (Lili Moessner)
Hattie Galloway

With 36 blocks, 34 kills, and 16 aces in the middle of volleyball season, freshman Hattie Galloway is definitely a key player in the success of the City High volleyball team.

At only 14 years old, Galloway has made it as a starter and has played in every game so far.

“Volleyball season started off amazingly. I had a really good first game, which I was definitely nervous about. I started off with a lot of blocks, which is important to my position, so overall, it has been good,” Galloway said.

While being a younger athlete in a tough environment, Galloway still manages to battle the anxiety some may struggle with on that Varsity court.

“It was definitely nerve wracking at first, and now there’s still a little bit of those nerves, but it makes it more fun because then, once you kind of push through that and start playing, it feels like a really big accomplishment. I really like the competitiveness of the varsity environment. I think it’s just really fun,” Galloway said.

Starting basketball in third grade and volleyball in fifth grade, Galloway has loved both sports for quite some time and is becoming a force to be reckoned with on the court, with her energy, fierce mentality, and high stats. Galloway thinks of herself as a “very competitive person,” when asked how she finds passion in her sports.

“It’s nice to be able to work with other people to make myself better and to make us a better team, to be able to win stuff because I’ve really enjoyed that part of sports,” Galloway said.

While only being in the middle of the season, Galloway is looking forward to more team meals and playing harder and competitive teams.

Galloway is a multi-sport athlete and she plans to play basketball during the winter season. Specifically for basketball, Galloway has had one significant person to really inspire her throughout her athletic career.

“My dad has probably been my biggest athletic inspiration, because he played college basketball and he really likes it as a sport, so it was kind of always something I wanted to do. I know part of the reason I just play these two is because these are the two that I’m the best at, and then I’ve worked the most at, but honestly, it’s just really fun,” Galloway said. “I feel like bonding with your teammates is different than any other relationships you get in your life, so I really enjoyed that part.”

Galloway’s main goals for the rest of her athletic career are to go to state for a sport, get better, and hopefully go to college to play D1 basketball along the line.  

“I’m really excited to see what the rest of my City High athletic career looks like in the next few years!”

KingSton Swayzer 27 goes up for a layup in a City High Boys Basketball open gym.
KingSton Swayzer ’27 goes up for a layup in a City High Boys Basketball open gym. (Lili Moessner)
KingSton Swayzer

Since he was young, KingSton Swayzer ‘27 has “loved the grind.” Having a dad as a coach has led to a successful career in basketball that he hopes will continue throughout high school.

“I’m really looking forward to playing with the upperclassmen,” KingSton commented on the upcoming City High boys basketball season. “I’m excited to expand my competition by playing against some bigger schools in Iowa, too.”

His first game was played in the Mercer Recreation League, and since then he has come a long way. With ups and downs throughout his career, KingSton has always found a way to stay motivated. 

His dad, Coach Swayzer, leads the varsity team, but his coaching goes beyond the bounds of practice. While KingSton’s “obvious inspirations” are the all-time legends, he reflects on how his dad has had the biggest impact. 

“I definitely have to say that my biggest motivation is my dad,” KingSton said. “He motivates me in his own ways, saying I suck and other things. I like proving him wrong all day.” 

KingSton has one goal: a full-ride to a D1 school, with the possibility of a future in the NBA. His methods of achieving this goal include practicing morning and night. 

“The best advice I have received is that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. It’s stuck with me my whole life. I feel like I am gifted when it comes to athletics, but if you have talent and you don’t work hard, you don’t get anything out of it.” 

For KingSton, the hard work begins at the start of the day. 

“Preparing for a game starts when you wake up, getting your mind right, doing yoga, and stretching,” shares the point guard/shooting guard originally from Decorah. “Right before the game, I turn my country music on. I love Zach Bryan.” 

Getting hype is the key to a good season. KingSton is looking forward to playing in front of a student section here at City High, and he also hopes that this season brings more career highlights. 

With a long history of playing basketball, KingSton has already achieved the goals that many basketball players share. “My biggest highlight is easily when I got my first in-game dunk. It was in 8th grade, so achieving that before high school was pretty hype.”

Catch KingSton on the court this season with his fellow boy’s basketball teammates, and if you are planning to sit in the student section for these games, “get hype and be loud.”

Maeve Obermueller 27 prepares for an at-bat.
Maeve Obermueller ’27 prepares for an at-bat. (Amber Seaton )
Maeve Obermueller

Starting every game her eighth grade season, Maeve Obermueller ‘27 had the highest at-bats (106) and a .245 batting average. She found her passion watching her dad and brothers play baseball, reaching D1 college baseball and the Major Leagues.

Obermueller ‘27 started playing t-ball at a young age and has now worked her way up to varsity softball. She played travel softball for awhile too, saying its a competitive environment but had fun making so many friends along the way.

Going into the upcoming 23-24 softball season, Obermueller ‘27 is excited for the chance to play with all the returning players. “I always feel really good, and very comfortable, too. The others around you always help you and they all cheer you on,” She commented on City High’s varsity softball team. “Everybody wants the best for everybody.”

Obermueller ‘27 finds happiness in the game from having fun with teammates at tournaments and games, and overall winning as a team. She is excited for the upcoming season to meet new people and have fun.

When asked about the best piece of advice she has received, Obermueller ‘27 shared an impactful answer. “Trust the process and always work hard. I think effort and hard work is so important when it comes to improving,” Obermueller ‘27 talks about practicing in her off time “A lot of time. The time you put into it will pay off [in the end].”

To prepare for games, Obemueller ‘27 says “I like to sit down and warm up really well. I always take the time to get into the right mindset for the game.” Like many other athletes, she shares her favorite way to get ready, “Music always hypes me up for games and Molly Carlson always has a really good song rotation.”

Having a growth mindset, Obermueller ‘27, like a lot of student-athletes, is balancing many different sports and school. She says the best way to stay organized is making schedules for everything in order to make it to every practice or open gym that she can. “It gets busy, but when you care enough for something you make it work.”

Maeve Obermuller ‘27’s dedication allows her to set big, achievable goals for herself on the field. Next time you attend a city high softball game, watch out for number 3.

“I always want to try to get better and better every day, improving is always something I strive to achieve. I want to continue to make new friendships, too.”

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