AMES - The name Ferch is becoming quite familiar in Marshall County. Whether you are connected to West Marshall High School or just follow area football in general, Ferch has become synonymous for success on the gridiron.
Drake Ferch and Dalton Ferch took different paths but still found a way to unite at Iowa State University as both will continue their football careers as preferred walk-ons on the Cyclones' roster.
"It has been a little bit of a stepping stone going from Class 2A football to Iowa Western and now to Iowa State," said Drake Ferch, who will be a junior on this year's team.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Former West Marshall High School stars Dalton Ferch, left, and brother Drake Ferch will both be members of the Iowa State football team this season. Drake, a junior, began his collegiate career at Iowa Western Community College before transferring in, while Dalton is a true freshman. Both will start their Cyclone careers as preferred walk-ons.
Drake Ferch wowed football fans for four years at West Marshall. As a senior for the Trojans, he rushed for 1,538 yards and scored 18 touchdowns but also was instrumental on defense and as the team's kicker.
He took his career to Iowa Western Community College the past two seasons where he was a first-team all-conference defensive back as a sophomore and a second-team honoree as a freshman. In his first year at Iowa Western, he had four interceptions and 53 tackles. He had 44 tackles as a sophomore, but his interception total improved to eight.
Drake played a total of 21 games at Iowa Western, but is really unsure as to what his future holds at Iowa State. He said he was able to attend classes this spring and participated in spring practice but has not really talked to the Iowa State coaches about what his role will be.
"They haven't said much to me about playing time or expectations or anything," the eldest Ferch brother said. "We just got started so I just want to work hard and see if I can find a way to get on the field. I am sure special teams will have some opportunities."
Dalton Ferch was like his brother at West Marshall in that he played significant roles on both sides of the ball. While Drake will play in the defensive secondary at Iowa State, Dalton will try to find playing time at running back.
"I want to help the team anyway I can, but I haven't even had one practice here yet, so it is hard to know exactly what to expect," Dalton Ferch said. "I just want to get bigger, pick up some tips from the older players and try to get faster."
The younger Ferch did not yet know if he would redshirt, but with three juniors at the top of the tailback depth chart, the chances are pretty good.
Dalton Ferch rushed for 2,219 yards and scored 42 touchdowns last year for West Marshall, leading the Trojans to a 12-1 record. He also had 12 catches for 408 yards and three scores and had seven interceptions on defense. As a junior, he rushed for 1,586 yards and scored 20 touchdowns.
Drake and Dalton will be roommates this season. In fact, Drake said what he missed most during his time at Iowa Western was that Dalton was not there with him. They will both enjoy playing together at Iowa State. And Drake said they can now lean on mom for a few things, too.
"If we have an empty fridge, we can count on mom driving over and filling it up," Drake laughed.
Duncan Ferch will be a junior on this year's West Marshall football team and has a chance to be bigger and maybe even better than his two older brothers. Drake said it is still unclear if his youngest brother will play football or basketball in college.
"Right now, he's focusing on football and basketball and just seeing what he wants to end up doing," Drake Ferch said. "He is unsure at this point. He is getting bigger and bigger though so football may be in his future, too."
The Ferch brothers are two of three West Marshall graduates on the Iowa State roster. Kody Sjoblom is a redshirt sophomore defensive lineman and a walk-on with the Cyclones.
South Tama County graduate Brandon Horbach will is a walk-on quarterback, while Marshalltown High School's Chanse Creekmur, also a quarterback, is expected to walk on after leaving the Arizona State men's basketball program to come back to central Iowa and scratch his itch for football.
Creekmur quarterbacked the Bobcats to an unbeaten regular season, the CIML Iowa Conference title and a 13-0 record before falling to Iowa City High in the Class 4A state championship game.