HAWARDEN, Iowa | Jake Lynott could always rely on his film study.
The West Sioux senior running back felt he owed it to his teammates to spend that extra time preparing each week of the season, and it probably kept his coaches on their toes, too.
"Anything that can help make us better because we were becoming a really good team so I was doing my part to become the best player I could be," said Lynott, who began getting serious about film study as a sophomore. "I am trying to look at what I could do better and what other teams would run toward my position."
It also helped Lynott, who said he watched about an hour of film a day during a game week, know what those opponents wouldn't be running.
"Once and a while we would be running scout team defense or scout team offense and we will throw a little wrinkle in there that maybe we haven't seen on film yet, just thinking a team might run a counter out of this formation or they might run something a little different," West Sioux Coach Ryan Schwiesow said. "Jake watches so much film he would be like 'but they don't do that.'
"It almost frustrates him a little bit because he wants to be so prepared and we throw that wrinkle in there. That is how well prepared he is."
All that preparation helped the Falcons to a 13-0 season while claiming the school's first state football title when it beat Hudson 35-14 for the Class A crown. Lynott finished second in the state with 2,620 yards -- the Class A leader -- while adding 36 touchdowns.
So the single-season and career rushing leader for the Falcons amassed a four-year varsity total of 4,129 yards. He capped an impressive final season with a title and Tuesday is named the Journal's Football Player of the Year.
Lynott impacted the game on a team full of impressive playmakers by making the most of every opportunity he had with the ball. He finished the year leading 11-man football with an eye-popping 12.1 yards per carry average.
"When he got the ball he definitely took full advantage of it, and I think that was a tribute to our offensive line that he was able to break those big ones," Schwiesow said.
Lynott is not a pure speed running back, but a couple of Hudson secondary players learned the hard way that he is an incredibly effective runner as he rolled up 184 yards and three second-half touchdowns against the Pirates.
"People take terrible angles (on him), just absolutely horrible angles," Schwiesow said. "He is not a real shifty break-your-hips-down kind of guy, he just gives you a little look inside and that is all it took for a defensive back to slow down a little bit and he didn't have the angle anymore.
"I have seen some fast kids but I don't know if I have ever seen anybody that ran so well with pads on. It doesn't seem to slow him up with the ball in his hand or pads on."
Lynott can process things on the football field well which dovetails with a demeanor that seemingly remains the same regardless of what is happening. The 4.0 student with an eye on the medical field is also a standout baseball player with the ability to turn in game-changing plays in multiple sports.
Lynott is still deciding on his future and if that will include any sports at the college level.
Lynott played wide receiver his first two seasons with the Falcons before doing a little bit of everything as a quarterback, running back and receiver a year ago. He put all that knowledge together as a senior.
"I think it gave me a perspective about what needs to be done at each position," he said. "I could help younger players and all those other guys out, and also it made me more versatile to help the team. Whatever is needed."
Lynott finished tied for the team lead with three interceptions and was second in fumble recoveries with three from his defensive back position where he took on the role of mentor.
"I was one of the older kids ... so it was a learning experience for some of the younger guys, and I tried to guide them along as much as I could in practice," he said. "We will be tough again next year and I wanted them to know what is going in."