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Your Prep Sports
Let the game planning and the film study begin.
Football coaches across the state found out their opponents for the next two regular seasons when the Iowa High School Athletic Association released football schedules for the 2018 and 2019 seasons on Wednesday morning.
Here are five things that stood out when looking over the 2018 slates for area teams.
There is only one first game in program history so it might as well be a big one.
It doesn’t get much bigger than facing a cross-town rival that just so happens to be one of the most decorated programs in state history.
That’s the scenario for Liberty High which will make its varsity football debut on August 24 at City High.
After two seasons of lower level competition the first varsity game for the Lightning comes against a City High team that will be hungry to erase the memory of a 2-7 season a year ago that ended with four consecutive loss.
City High will open the season by facing one cross-town rival and closes the regular season with another.
The annual Battle for the Boot between City High and West High will be the regular season finale for the District 4 foes and is set for October 19 at West High.
West High won last year’s meeting 52-6 at City High and the Little Hawks won the last meeting at West High 20-7 in 2016.
Regina has a history of challenging itself in non-district play.
The non-district foes will change for the two-time defending 1A runner-up Regals next fall but the tradition of lining up some of the best competition in the eastern half of the state will not.
The four non-district opponents for Regina combined for a 39-8 record last season with three of the four advancing to the state semifinals.
For the second straight year Regina opens the season by hosting Cedar Rapids Xavier.
Regina will face the defending 3A champion Saints on August 24 followed by road trips to Class 2A Anamosa (5-4) and defending 2A runner-up Williamsburg (10-3) and a home game with 1A semifinalist Pella Christian (11-1).
The Regals went 1-1 against those teams last season falling to Xavier 23-6 and defeating Pella Christian 37-35 in the 1A semifinals.
Solon opens the season with one Highway 1 rival but doesn’t have a second rivalry matchup on its non-district slate.
The Spartans host Mount Vernon in its opener on August 24 but for the first time in more than a decade doesn’t have Regina on its non-district schedule.
Following its opener against Mount Vernon Solon will travel to West Liberty, host Marion and end non-district play with a Thursday evening trip to Davenport Assumption.
Davenport Assumption was a 3A quarterfinalist a year ago, Marion went 6-3 while Mount Vernon and West Liberty were both 2A playoff qualifiers
Solon is coming off an 11-1 season that included a trip to the Class 3A semifinals.
West High won’t need to wait long to see where it stands after losing a number of key contributors from last year’s team that notched a second consecutive Class 4A runner-up finish.
The Trojans open the season with back-to-back games against teams that reached the 4A quarterfinals a year ago and all four of its non-district opponents won at least six games last season.
West High opens with North Scott before a week two trip to Bettendorf for the first meeting with the Bulldogs since a 23-0 shutout in the state semifinals last year.
The Trojans close non-district play by hosting Southeast Polk (6-4) and traveling to Dubuque Senior (6-3).