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'I'm a high-standard player': Mason City's Peters a tackling machine

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If you want to see the leading tackler in Class 4A of Iowa high school football, all you have to do is turn on the tape and watch Mason City's defense.

Branson Peters is everywhere. You can't miss him.

The senior linebacker leads the state in total tackles (69) and solo tackles (58). The next-closest in solo tackles is eight behind Peters.

Mason City football vs Waterloo East 10-01-21 (7).JPG

Mason City middle linebacker Branson Peters (#6) lines up for a play earlier this season at Mohawk Field.

After Mason City's 35-0 win over Charles City earlier this season, in which Peters recorded 15 total tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles, an interception and a fumble recovery, even Mason City head coach John Lee couldn't believe what he just witnessed.

"Branson Peters is an absolute maniac," Lee said. "He's unbelievable."

Lee and the Mohawks experienced a tough loss on Friday night in a 64-20 road loss to Class 4A, No. 4 Waverly-Shell Rock.

However, Peters still managed to record 8.5 total tackles.

Peters is one of the top players in other categories as well. He has 10 tackles-for-loss, five sacks and four fumble recoveries.

But what does he think sets him apart? 

"My hustle and my mentality," Peters said earlier this season. "My mentality is different from everyone else's mentality. I like to hold my mentality to a higher standard. I'm a high-standard player."

At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Peters possesses the speed to make open-field tackles with relative ease. He also has a knack for finding the football.

And he's not afraid to get physical, too.

"Mainly, I like to talk with my pads and not with my mouth," Peters said. "These do way more talking than my mouth."

Mason City football vs Waterloo East 10-01-21 (15).JPG

Senior middle linebacker Branson Peters (#6) finishes a tackle against Waterloo East earlier this season.

Lee described Peters with words like "maniac" and "unbelievable."

Peters' teammate and fellow senior Carter Thomas, who also leads the state in fumble return yards (68) and defensive touchdowns (3), described Peters in a similar manner earlier this season.

"I feel like Branson is the craziest guy I've ever met," Thomas said. "He's all over the place. I make fast plays, and he does, too."

Currently 2-5, the Mohawks have had their fair share of ups and downs this season. In the two wins, Mason City gave up just six total points.

In the five losses, the defense has surrendered an average of 40.4 points.

But Peters has been a bright spot in the wins and the losses. A senior on the team, he's hopeful his play on the field, and personality off it, will leave a lasting impact on a Mason City program that's in the process of a rebuild.

"I'm just going to do my thing every game," Peters said. "Every time. Every play. Every snap. I'm going to do my thing."

The Mohawks (2-5, 1-2) will play Marion in Class 4A, District 2 play at 7:15 p.m. on Friday at Marion.

Mason City beat Waterloo East 35-6 at Friday's homecoming game at Mohawk Field. Read the full story here:

Gunnar Davis covers sports. Reach him via email at or by phone 641-421-0598.


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