High school football season off to peculiar start
Week one didn’t transpire how many assumed it would.
Trojan fans, of course, are pleased with their 21-0 win over Davis County. Pekin Panther and Van Buren Warrior fans are undoubtedly satisfied as well. However I can only assume that many fans across the state are extremely perplexed by what week one of the 2014 season on the gridiron presented us.
Traditional football powers throughout the state dropped like flies. Iowa City Regina, the program that was riding a 56-game winning streak and has won four state titles in a row, was defeated. Admittedly, the Regals played Solon, which is two classes above Regina’s Class 1A designation. However, in past years these two teams have played each other in the postseason as members of Class 2A. Could Regina’s reign be over, or will the Regals return to form once they’ve returned to playing their Class 1A competition?
Regina was not alone. Davenport Assumption and Wilton found themselves on the wrong ends of ugly defeats. Bishop Heelan Catholic, B-G-M (Brooklyn), Washington and West Lyon, each of which made a state championship game last season, walked away from week one winless.
Speaking of Davenport Assumption, every team in Fairfield’s district lost Friday. Washington, Mt. Pleasant, Fort Madison, Clear Creek-Amana, and Keokuk each have started their seasons 0-1.
The schedule won’t get any easier for the majority of them either. Assumption gets Cedar Rapids Xavier, who went to the UNI-Dome in the Class 4A playoffs last season. Washington plays Marion, a Class 3A playoff team in 2013. Mt. Pleasant plays state ranked Mediapolis. Even Fairfield will be taking on Albia, which is currently ranked No. 8 in Class 2A.
Before the season began, I asked the football gods in a column for more excitement and surprises (mainly what I asked for was close games, which I didn’t receive but we won’t talk about that). Surprises were certainly in abundance, and the new high school football rankings reflect how different the first week was from past seasons.
A potential down year for perennial state powers, coupled with close games, would result in one of the craziest football seasons to date. Then again, we’ll have to wait and see if week one was an abomination, or indeed a forecast of things to come.
Allyus Fritz is the Fairfield Ledger sports editor.