2017 Eastern Iowa prep football preview

2017 Eastern Iowa prep football preview

August 26, 2017 | 12:30 am
Marion lines up for a play during practice at Marion High School in Marion on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Chapter 1:

Feature: Cost of the game

By Jeff Johnson, The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — It’s a beautiful fall Friday night, and you’re watching your favorite high school football team play its homecoming game.

A player is substituted for and runs off the field. As he stands on the sideline next to his head coach, you begin to wonder just how much he is worth.

Not in the human sense. That answer is priceless.

Not in a pure football sense, either.

More when it comes to the equipment he is wearing.

You might be surprised by the answer.

“Probably close to $500 a kid, I would think,” said North Linn activities director Mike Hilmer.

 

“You’re probably looking at somewhere around $700 worth of stuff on every kid,” said Iowa City Liberty AD Mike Morrison. “You’re talking game pants, game shirts, helmets, pads, you can easily spend $700 per kid.”

“Head to toe, my guess at the average cost to outfit a kid would be $800 to $850 to $900,” said Cedar Rapids Prairie activities director Rocky Bennett. “That’s not even including cleats. That’s just from the hip pads, to the knee pads, to the shoulder pads, to helmets, the jersey, pants. All of that is provided by the school.”

Football is an expensive sport, one that continues to increase in expense as technology advances for helmets, in particular. It’s about preventing or slowing down the number of concussions in the game.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy provides helmets for each member of its freshman, sophomore and varsity programs that run between $180 and $200 apiece. But it tells parents to feel free to purchase higher-end helmets if desired.

Those can sell for as much as $350 each.

“Coach (Brian) White brought up a great line when he talks about helmets to parents. One I’d never thought of until I heard him bring it up,” Kennedy AD Aaron Stecker said. “He’s like, ‘We don’t think twice about buying a $300 bat for our kids. Why do we bat an eye buying a $300 helmet?’”

 

Marion activities director Corby Laube provided The Gazette with a full list of costs for his football program. See if you can do the quick math here.

Helmet: $250-$400. Pads: $120-$200. Cleats $50-$120. Practice jersey: $15-$25. Practice pants: $15. Practice belt: $3. Girdle with pads: $50. Home and away game jerseys: $160. Home and away game pants: $110. Game belt: $7. Knee pads/thigh pads: $20. Socks: $7.

You want more? Game balls: $75 apiece. Practice balls: $50 each. Linemen chute: $2,700. Two-man sled: $2,400. Five-man sled: $5,400. Kicking nets: $180. Tackle dummies: $500. Hand shields: $200.

Helmet reconditioning or purchasing new helmets and shoulder pads if needed: $10,000 a year. Coaching headsets run $6,000, coaching equipment and gear $1,000.

All of that doesn’t even include transportation, coaching staff salaries and facility grounds. Or officials.

“For a JV-varsity double-header, you are talking probably $750 a night there,” Hilmer said.

Bennett and Stecker said they figure they’ll need to have $20,000 to $25,000 a year to pay for a season, by the time everthing’s said and done. At smaller schools like North Linn, obviously, it won’t be as much simply because there are fewer players.

Liberty is a new school that is starting a football program from scratch. Lightning freshmen began playing last season and sophomores will do so this fall.

Varsity competition starts in 2018.

“We’ve probably got about 50 kids right now, so we’ve got probably $50,000 invested right there in (equipment),” Morrison said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t have $150,000 into it (overall) with that opening piece, just to get everything situated.”

 

Funding of prep programs almost always comes from multiple sources. There is the school’s activities department, of course, and a general activities booster club.

Some schools, such as Kennedy, have a specific football support parent group as well. Programs many times also do their own fundraising.

“Our coaches, if they want something, they go to the booster club and present what they want,” Bennett said. “Then you piece it all together. Sometimes the booster club steps up, ponies up and buys all of it, sometimes I buy all of it, sometimes it gets split into thirds. You get it done that way. It is definitely a joint effort.”

Football certainly pays for itself, or part of itself, at most schools with gate receipts and concessions. It is a sport that brings communities and student bodies together.

That makes it worth the costs, according to these guys.

“It is an expensive sport,” said Lone Tree activities director Tom Squiers. “But you look at a couple years back when we were in a football sharing agreement with Highland Riverside, I thought that hurt us a little bit. I thought we lost our identity. Then we split and brought football back to Lone Tree, and we got more community support at games because it was our team once again. Football is definitely a community sport that brings our town together.”

• Preseason rankings: Statewide Top 10s for all six classes

“OK, you talk about the increased costs and the increased talk about concussions and such, is it still worth it to have high school football? Can schools still afford to have high school football programs?” Stecker said. “You know me, I’m a football guy. The life-long lessons learned through that sport, the engagement we get out of some really tough, at-risk kids who love the sport and the relationship they have with their coaches that keeps them engaged in school, makes it well worth the money we have to spend to make sure they are safe while doing it.”

Morrison agreed.

“I know football has gotten a lot of heat with the concussion stuff, but football is its own unique animal,” he said. “It certainly promotes a lot of teamwork, camaraderie. You’ve got to count on each other, everybody has got to be in the right place at the right time. Overcoming adversity, all of those things are important to that game. Then you look at how huge it is to your community. How it helps set a tone for the rest of your school year athletically ... With all of that in mind, you really can’t put a price tag on it.”

Chapter 2:

Class 4A

District 5

A three-way tie in this district (between Cedar Rapids Washington, Waterloo West and Cedar Falls) produced a game of musical chairs, and the Tigers were the team left without a chair when the music stopped, missing the playoffs.

Washington went on to reach the 4A semifinals. Paul James stepped down at Washington in the offseason, and is succeeded by Maurice Blue. He inherits the district’s top returning quarterback in senior Bryan Kunde, who passed for 1,821 yards and 19 touchdowns last year.

Cedar Falls handed the Warriors their lone regular-season loss and will be their primary challenger this fall. They meet Sept. 29 at the UNI-Dome.

How they'll finish:

1. Cedar Rapids Washington*
2. Cedar Falls*
3. Waterloo West
4. Cedar Rapids Jefferson
5. Mason City
6. Waterloo East

*=Playoff qualifier

Pair of D-I tackles hope to lead Washington to more success

The Cedar Rapids Washington football program has developed a lot of NCAA Division I players over the years.

 

A lot.

But this season could produce a first. This is the first time the Warriors have had two D-I senior offensive linemen on the same team.

They are bookend senior tackles Andrew Todd and Nolan Potter.

“It’s been rumored I have been notoriously hard on offensive linemen, but now I’ve got to be nice to them,” first-year Washington head coach Maurice Blue, a longtime defensive coordinator, said with a laugh. “We’ve got a good group to be nice to. Two Division I offensive tackles, are you kidding me? Who gets that? We’ve had our fair share of Division I linemen over the years, but I don’t think we’ve ever had two on the same team, playing at the same time, from the same grade.”

Read more.

Jefferson relies on quality over quantity

Quality over quantity.

 

Cedar Rapids Jefferson doesn’t have much depth, but head coach Brian Webb likes the players who will suit up this season.

“We don’t have a large squad similar to some other schools,” said Webb, starting his fifth year leading Jefferson. “We’ll have a lot of two-way players. The players we do have are quality.”

The J-Hawks will attempt to rebound from a 2-7 record and return to the playoffs after being a year removed from their first back-to-back playoff appearances in 2014 and 2015. Jefferson opens at Pleasant Valley on Aug. 25.

The roster consists of 34 players, including 22 seniors. The first string has plenty of experience.

Read more.

District 6

How they'll finish:

1. Pleasant Valley*
2. Dubuque Senior*
3. North Scott
4. Western Dubuque
5. Davenport West
6. Dubuque Hempstead

*=Playoff qualifier

District 7

Bettendorf was the class of the district last year, winning all five of its league games by 20 points or more. That included a 44-7 drubbing of runner-up Iowa City High in Week 8.

But the Bulldogs were upset victims (24-17 against Iowa City West) in the first round of the playoffs. The Bulldogs were hit fairly hard by graduation, but are significant favorites again.

City High appears to have the inside track to the second playoff spot, but will be challenged by an improved Davenport Central squad, along with Muscatine and Clinton.

How they'll finish:

1. Bettendorf*
2. Iowa City High*
3. Davenport Central
4. Muscatine
5. Clinton
6. Davenport North

*=Playoff qualifier

City High attempts to reload with new faces

The PA announcer for Iowa City High football games will have to do some studying.

 

Most of the names called will be different from last season.

City High returns an iota of its overall production from last year’s 8-3 team that reached the Class 4A quarterfinals. Despite the large first-string turnover, the same expectations come with pulling on that Little Hawk jersey.

“We don’t have the experience but we still have some really good guys that can get the job done,” City High senior Marquel Poole said. “I feel like we’ll have a good season.”

Only 12 varsity letterwinners are back, including seniors Bryce Hunger and Zach Jones and junior Jacob Murry. The Little Hawks are gaining confidence in being able to fill positions with competitive players.

Read more.

District 8

Cedar Rapids Prairie was the big mover and shaker of the Metro last season, assembling a nine-game winning streak under Coach Mark Bliss to finish 9-2 and win the district title.

Iowa City West got hot in the postseason and advanced all the way to the championship game, knocking off Bettendorf, Prairie and Cedar Rapids Washington along the way.

West’s Evan Flitz is one of the top returning quarterbacks in the state, compiling 2,237 passing yards and 22 touchdowns last season while completing 70 percent of his passes.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Prairie figure to battle for the other playoff spot, and veteran coach Paul James will try to push Linn-Mar up from its recent doldrums.

How they'll finish:

1. Iowa City West*
2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy*
3. Cedar Rapids Prairie
4. Linn-Mar
5. Burlington
6. Ottumwa

*=Playoff qualifier

West loses all-state playmakers, but still has options

When attempting to replace two of the most productive offensive football players in school history, an experienced quarterback is a good place to start.

 

Fresh off a 22-touchdown, five-interception season that ended in the Class 4A state championship game, Iowa City West senior Evan Flitz appears poised to lead a Trojans’ offense in search of new playmakers.

“He knows exactly what his capabilities are,” fourth-year West Coach Garrett Hartwig said. “He makes the smart decisions. He’s one of the smartest kids on the team, academically and football-wise. For him, it’s making the right play, not the big play that matters because the big play will follow the right play if done correctly.”

With four West players scoring at least a 30 out of 36 on the ACT college-readiness exam, “smart” is a common attribute of the fourth-ranked Trojans’ roster.

Read more.

Speed and toughness highlight Kennedy

Cedar Rapids Kennedy has its own version of the Fast and the Furious.

 

These Cougars can run and they also have a hard-nosed approach. You’ll get that when you tap into speed from accomplished track runners and draw from toughness of wrestlers.

“We probably have six, seven, eight guys that will be starting for us that have hung state or Drake Relays medals around their necks and if you’re wearing a medal from Drake or state you’ve got some speed,” Kennedy Coach Brian White said

Read more.

Despite graduating a ton of talent, Prairie expects success to continue

Head coach Mark Bliss’ sleight-of-hand, single-wing offense generated 3,503 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns last season at Cedar Rapids Prairie. Those were totals ranking second and first, respectively, in Class 4A.

 

West Des Moines Dowling surpassed the Hawks’ yardage only because it played two more games.

Players who accounted for 3,003 yards and 46 TDs graduated. Hyperventilating, yet, Prairie fans?

No one associated with the team seems to be sweating it.

“The people we lost, we have some guys who we think (can) fill their positions,” said Prairie senior linebacker-receiver Gavin Dooley. “The upcoming junior class, we have the guys and the size to fill back up for the seniors who left. We’ve just got to put the people in the right spots. So far, I think we’ve done that.”

Read more.

A new color and a new challenge await Paul James at Linn-Mar

Paul James sported a black shirt and a grin on the second day of football practice at Linn-Mar Stadium.

 

“How does it look?” he asked.

The smile appeared genuine. The black shirt looked ... different.

After 41 years serving Cedar Rapids Washington, James has changed schools — and colors. He’s a Linn-Mar Lion now, accepting the challenge of rebuilding a proud program.

“I like him a lot. He knows the sport,” said quarterback Trot Carey. “He’s easy to talk to, and he’s hilarious.

“Every now and then, he’ll throw out a short sentence, just three or four words, and it will make me crack up.”

Read more.

Chapter 3:

Class 3A

District 3

Cedar Rapids Xavier begins a new era without its two top offensive weapons; quarterback Bryce Schulte and running back Maliki Wilson have graduated.

Still, the Saints are heavy favorites to blast through the district unscathed for the third year in a row. Junior Quinn Schulte moves to quarterback after hauling in 52 passes last year.

It appears to be a four-team race for the other automatic playoff bid among South Tama, Benton Community, Waverly-Shell Rock and Decorah.

Two rushers of 1,000-plus yards are back — seniors Maurice Williams of Benton and Jake Muhlbauer of Decorah.

How they'll finish:

1. Cedar Rapids Xavier*
2. South Tama*
3. Benton Community
4. Waverly-Shell Rock
5. Decorah
6. Vinton-Shellsburg
7. Charles City
8. Independence

*=Playoff qualifier

A new year, a new Schulte at QB for Xavier

Duane Schulte has a term for athleticism, elusiveness.

 

“Swivel hips.”

And that’s the term he bestowed on his third son.

“Quinn has a lot of the same qualities that Reggie and Bryce had,” Coach Schulte said. “But he’s got a lot more swivel-hips than those two.”

In other words, he’s going to be a challenge to chase down in the open field.

For the sixth time in seven seasons, a Schulte will be quarterbacking the Cedar Rapids Xavier football team.

Read more.

District 4

Two games separated the top five teams last year, with West Delaware and Davenport Assumption sharing the title. Expect a similar scramble this fall.

Dubuque Wahlert is poised for a big move forward behind a defense that returns virtually intact.

West Delaware should be explosive offensively; Caleb Kehrli rushed for more than 1,100 yards — averaging 8 yards per carry — and Kabryn Cook netted 30 yards per reception.

Assumption (Jayce Levy/Ryan Wohlers) and resurgent Marion (Trevor Paulsen/Blair Brooks) will have dynamite pass/catch tandems. Clear Creek Amana gives this district five quality teams.

How they'll finish:

1. Dubuque Wahlert*
2. Davenport Assumption*
3. West Delaware
4. Marion
5. Clear Creek Amana
6. Center Point-Urbana
7. DeWitt Central
8. Maquoketa

*=Playoff qualifier

Marion looks to take another step forward after 5-year turnaround

On the heels of a breakout season, two words greeted the Marion football team as it began preparation for 2017.

 

“Earn everything.”

In the first season for Coach Tim Lovell, Marion dug out from a winless 2015 and won five of nine games, which got the Indians within a whisker of a Class 3A playoff berth.

“The first thing we talked about with our guys is, ‘Last year is over,’” Lovell said.

Read more.

CCA hungry for sustained winning with new coach, QB

A fresh season brings in many fresh faces for Clear Creek Amana.

 

But a bad taste still lingers from last season’s 7-2 finish, a season that saw the Clippers just miss the Class 3A playoffs. Clear Creek Amana rattled off six straight wins to start the year, but finished 1-2 and were spectators in November.

CCA lost 24 seniors from that squad, and while the names may have changed, the Clippers are hoping to shed the “rebuilding year” label.

New head coach Gabe Bakker is ready for the challenge.

Read more.

District 5

Ryan Reighard of Washington (Iowa) is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks around. Despite missing the final three games last season, he passed for 906 yards and rushed for 1,025 (with a combined 21 touchdowns).

His return makes the Demons a co-favorite for the district title, along with perennial power Solon. The key game is Week 4 at Spartan Stadium.

The Spartans welcome back feature back Kendrick Harris and linebacker Tyler Linderbaum from a squad that allowed less than a touchdown per game in district play last season.

Oskaloosa’s Alex DeJong picked off seven passes last year.

How they'll finish:

1. Washington*
2. Solon*
3. Fairfield
4. Oskaloosa
5. Mount Pleasant
6. Fort Madison
7. West Burlington-Notre Dame
8. Keokuk

Iowa commit Tyler Linderbaum leads experienced Solon line

Solon football coach Kevin Miller’s offense is going to look a little different this season.

 

The Spartans graduated quarterback Blayze Griffs and tight end Jacob Coons, who now plays at Iowa. After more than a week of practices, Miller still hasn’t settled on a starting quarterback, working through three different players.

But there are two staples in his offense that remain the same, and that likely will help the offense keep moving in the right direction when the Spartans travel to Mount Vernon for their season opener.

Senior Tyler Linderbaum, who is a three-year starter, is the biggest player Solon returns and will lead an offensive line that Miller expects to hold the offense together amid some changes elsewhere.

Read more.

Chapter 4:

Class 2A

District 4

Along with District 1 (the one in far northwest Iowa), this is the best 2A district in the state.

North Fayette Valley is the defending district champ, and Union advanced to the championship game before falling to Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley.

The Knights are a state-title contender again, but Waukon might be the team to beat in this district.

Mitchell Snitker is a stud on both sides of the ball. He rushed for 856 yards and 12 touchdowns, caught 34 passes for 462 yards, and picked off six passes.

Union lost 2,000-yard rusher Isaiah Vaughn to graduation, but brings back QB Troy Hanus, receiver Koby Alpers and many more.

North Fayette Valley doesn’t figure to slide far, and Dyersville Beckman should be greatly improved after a 4-5 season in 2016.

How they'll finish:

1. Waukon*
2. Union*
3. Dyersville Beckman*
4. North Fayette Valley
5. Monticello
6. Cascade
7. Waterloo Columbus
8. Oelwein

*=Playoff qualifier

Versatile Mitchell Snitker headlines Waukon team with high expectations

Mitchell Snitker has a knack for finding the football.

 

With six interceptions last season, the Waukon defensive back was tied for fourth in Class 2A and tops in District 4, which made him a second team all-state selection.

“Last year, something that really helped me out a lot was coaches getting us in the right defenses at the right times and people making plays around me so I can make the easier plays,” Snitker said. “That’s just early in the week, watching film, going through stuff in practices and just knowing where I am supposed to be and what the situation is.”

Read more.

District 5

Mount Vernon lost its Big Guy (2017 Gazette Athlete of the Year Tristan Wirfs now is at the University of Iowa), but the Mustangs’ big-play tandem is back.

Quarterback Drew Adams (2.785 passing yards, 29 passing TDs) is among the best in 2A, and his favorite target — Cale Snedden — averaged 27 yards and scored 11 TDs in his 34 receptions.

The Mustangs were 2A runners-up in 2015, semifinalists in 2016, and another UNI-Dome trip certainly is possible.

If there’s to be resistance in this district, it will likely come from Williamsburg. Gage Hazen-Fabor (1,048 yards, 15 TDs) is the district’s top returning running back.

How they'll finish:

1. Mount Vernon*
2. Williamsburg*
3. Mid-Prairie
4. West Liberty
5. Mediapolis
6. Northeast
7. Camanche
8. Anamosa

*=Playoff qualifier

Mount Vernon installing new offense after 2016 run to UNI-Dome

Last season was a successful one for the Mount Vernon football team, without a doubt.

 

The Mustangs went 9-3 overall, making an appearance in the Class 2A state semifinals at the UNI-Dome. They went on a nine-game winning streak in the middle of the season and won another district title.

Quarterback Drew Adams set numerous school records en route to his nearly 2,800-yard season, one where he helped lead the Mustangs to a 78-point performance against Camanche.

So with Adams returning this season, many would think that Coach Lance Pedersen would keep things pretty much the same. After all, it worked very well last season.

That’s just not what Pedersen has in mind.

Read more.

Chapter 5:

Class 1A

District 2

How they'll finish:

1. Denver*
2. South Winneshiek*
3. Belmond-Klemme
4. Sumner-Fredericksburg
5. Lake Mills
6. MFL MarMac
7. Conrad BCLUW
8. Central Springs

*=Playoff qualifier

District 3

It’s hard to visualize West Branch without Luke Lenoch, who graduated after a brilliant career that featured more than 6,000 rushing yards.

Bellevue is the reigning district champ, though, and the Comets probably rate as a slight favorite to repeat.

Peter Kilburg and his 2,100 rushing yards have moved on, meaning Bellevue will be have more of an aerial look featuring QB Cade Daugherty and receivers Trey Daugherty and Zach Bullock.

West Branch's Jacob Graves picked off seven passes last year.

Clayton Ridge was the district runner-up last year and is the most plausible threat to the Bellevue/West Branch duo.

How they'll finish:

1. Bellevue*
2. West Branch*
3. Clayton Ridge
4. Tipton
5. Jesup
6. Maquoketa Valley
7. Durant
8. North Cedar

*=Playoff qualifier

District 4

Iowa City Regina’s state-title run ended at six last year (Western Christian knocked off the Regals in the championship game), but the Regals’ winning streak in district competition is alive and well.

Regina has won 46 league games in a row; the streak dates back to 2009.

Quarterback Michael Conlon (1,673 passing yards, 19 TDs) and running back Isaac Vollstedt (1,114 rushing yards, 15 TDs) are among the top returners.

The Regals open with two stiff non-district contests in Cedar Rapids Xavier and Solon, then their toughest district test figures to come Sept. 29 at Wilton.

How they'll finish:

1. Iowa City Regina*
2. Wilton*
3. Sigourney-Keota
4. Wapello
5. Highland
6. Louisa-Muscatine
7. Columbus Community
8. Van Buren

*=Playoff qualifier

Rare defeat in state title game motivates Regina in 2017

Iowa City Regina had won six straight state championships dating back to 2010 — two in Class 2A and four in 1A — winning 33 straight playoff games and 80 straight games against small-school foes.

 

They were seemingly unstoppable.

But last season in the Class 1A state championship game, that run came to a close. The Regals were stunned by Western Christian, 47-34, snapping Regina’s historic run.

A year later, the Regals have used that loss as fuel to the fire. Ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll, they’re hungry, ready to get back to the UNI-Dome and win a seventh state title in eight years.

“It’s definitely hard not to think about it every day going to lifting, but it’s definitely been a great motivation,” quarterback Michael Conlon said. “I think for the guys that did play (in the game), it just showed us how much effort and how much work it takes to get there.”

 

Read more.

Chapter 6:

Class A

District 4

Three teams (Lisbon, East Buchanan and Wapsie Valley) finished in a first-place tie last year, and all three made it to the playoffs, with Lisbon reaching the quarterfinals.

The same cast of characters figure to duke it out again, and North Linn could be a factor as well.

Kent Allison has stepped down as coach at Lisbon, but the Lions don’t expect to miss a beat. Quarterback Jake Jennett threw for 1,642 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.

Wapsie’s Jake Kuhlman is a 1,000-yard rusher, and East Buchanan possesses a strong defensive secondary spearheaded by Jake Ohl and Max McGraw (9 INTs between them).

How they'll finish:

1. Lisbon*
2. East Buchanan*
3. Wapsie Valley
4. North Linn
5. Alburnett
6. Edgewood-Colesburg
7. Postville
8. Starmont

*=Playoff qualifier

Team speed developed on state champion track teams aids Lisbon football

For the last three seasons, the Lisbon track and field team played a major part in the Lions’ football success.

 

And the Lisbon football team has returned the favor.

The Lions, bolstered by speed from the track and field team, made the playoffs each of the last three years. Over that same span, the track and field team won three state titles. However, three major players during that run — Jack Butteris, Derek Bova and Blake Langhurst — are gone. They took nearly half of the offensive yardage (1,853 combined rushing and receiving yards) with them.

Read more.

District 5

One way or another, this is probably Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s last run in Class A. There’s a chance that the school district will dissolve, and if that doesn’t happen, the Rebels will likely be an 8-player program when the next cycle begins in 2018.

The two-time defending state champions will be strong again behind quarterback Hunter Lott (1,771 passing yards, 18 TDs).

Hudson will be a formidable rival, then a significant dropoff.

How they'll finish:

1. Gladbrook-Reinbeck*
2. Hudson*
3. Belle Plaine
4. BGM
5. North Tama
6. Colfax-Mingo
7. Garwin GMG
8. Grand View Christian

*=Playoff qualifier

District 6

How they'll finish:

1. Lynnville-Sully*
2. Pekin*
3. New London
4. Montezuma
5. Cardinal
6. Winfield-Mount Union
7. North Mahaska
8. Danville

*=Playoff qualifier

Chapter 7:

8-Player

District 2

How they'll finish:

1. Turkey Valley*
2. Riceville*
3. Janesville
4. Ackley AGWSR
5. Northwood-Kensett
6. Clarksville
7. North Iowa

*=Playoff qualifier

District 3

How they'll finish:

1. Don Bosco*
2. Elkader Central*
3. Dunkerton
4. Central City
5. Lansing Kee
6. Tripoli
7. West Central

*=Playoff qualifier

District 4

How they'll finish:

1. Midland*
2. Iowa Valley*
3. WACO
4. Lone Tree
5. Springville
6. Easton Valley
7. English Valleys

*=Playoff qualifier

District 5

How they'll finish:

1. Twin Cedars*
2. HLV*
3. Colo-Nesco
4. Melcher Dallas
5. Meskwaki
6. Moravia
7. Tri-County
8. Seymour/Moulton-Udell

*=Playoff qualifier

Follow @iowaprepsports on Twitter

Like Iowa Prep Sports on Facebook

Bookmark our Friday night football page for live scores, updates and video breakdowns throughout the season.

Highlights from this story


Prepare for another year of high school football in Eastern Iowa with our comprehensive preview.
Jeff Johnson's cover story explores the cost of running a program, from equipment to fundraising.
Scroll through each section for Jeff Linder's district predictions and links to team features and photos from our entire staff.

Highlights from this story


Prepare for another year of high school football in Eastern Iowa with our comprehensive preview.
Jeff Johnson's cover story explores the cost of running a program, from equipment to fundraising.
Scroll through each section for Jeff Linder's district predictions and links to team features and photos from our entire staff.

View Slideshow
All content copyright 2016, Gazette Communications, 500 Third Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401. Read more about us or e-mail us.