Prep Football

Projecting the 2019 Iowa high school football playoff field

Who will be the 96 qualifiers? The 24 Dome teams? The 6 champions? Here's one take on it

Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Cade Parker (35) celebrates after a tackle in 2017. The Cougars are the pick by The Gazette's Jeff Linder to win the Class 4A District 5 football title. (The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Cade Parker (35) celebrates after a tackle in 2017. The Cougars are the pick by The Gazette's Jeff Linder to win the Class 4A District 5 football title. (The Gazette)

We have reached "Week 1 Eve," the night before the first big week of high school football in Iowa. Soon, district play will begin, then RPI calculations, then — in nine short weeks — the first round of the playoffs.

Here is one guess on the 96 playoff qualifiers.

Class 4A

Automatic qualifiers:

District 1 — West Des Moines Dowling

District 2 — Ankeny Centennial

District 3 — Cedar Falls

District 4 — Iowa City West [West still has high expectations despite smaller roster]

District 5 — Cedar Rapids Kennedy [Kennedy setting the bar high for 2019 season]

District 6 — Waukee

District 7 — West Des Moines Valley

At-large qualifiers:

Ankeny

Fort Dodge

Bettendorf

Cedar Rapids Prairie [Prairie's single-wing offense feels natural in year 5]

Muscatine

Davenport North

Johnston

Des Moines East

Southeast Polk

Dome-bound:

West Des Moines Dowling

West Des Moines Valley

Waukee

Cedar Falls

Champion:

West Des Moines Dowling

 

Class 3A

Automatic qualifiers:

District 1 — Spencer

District 2 — Dallas Center-Grimes

District 3 — Independence [Mustangs have something new: High expectations]

District 4 — Western Dubuque [Bobcats fueled by 2018 state championship game disappointment]

District 5 — North Scott

District 6 — Solon [Spartans have high-powered offense with 3 D-I recruits]

District 7 — Pella

District 8 — Carlisle

District 9 — Lewis Central

At-large qualifiers:

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Cedar Rapids Xavier [Saints look to reload following back-to-back state titles]

Clear Creek Amana [Clippers out to prove last season wasn't a fluke]

Iowa City Liberty [Lightning expect to keep making strides with first full senior class]

Denison-Schleswig

Harlan

Sergeant Bluff-Luton

Waverly-Shell Rock

Dome-bound:

Western Dubuque

Lewis Central

Spencer

Independence

Champion:

Western Dubuque

 

Class 2A

Automatic qualifiers:

District 1 — Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley

District 2 — Algona

District 3 — Crestwood

District 4 — Waukon [Waukon's expectations run higher after state semifinal trip]

District 5 — West Liberty

District 6 — Williamsburg

District 7 — Benton Community

District 8 — Monroe PCM

District 9 — Greene County

At-large qualifiers:

Clear Lake

Waterloo Columbus

Garner GHV

Iowa Falls-Alden

Chariton

Des Moines Christian

Mount Vernon

Dome-bound:

Waukon

Crestwood

Algona

Monroe PCM

Champion:

Waukon

 

Class 1A

Automatic qualifiers:

District 1 — West Lyon

District 2 — South Central Calhoun

District 3 — Osage

District 4 — West Branch [Bears expect to field another stout defense in 2019]

District 5 — Mediapolis

District 6 — Dike-New Hartford

District 7 — Woodward-Granger

District 8 — Van Meter

District 9 — Treynor

At-large qualifiers:

West Sioux

Mount Ayr

East Sac County

Sigourney-Keota

Western Christian

Underwood

Bellevue

Dome-bound:

West Lyon

West Branch

South Central Calhoun

Van Meter

Champion:

West Lyon

 

Class A

Automatic qualifiers:

District 1 — South O’Brien

District 2 — Alta-Aurelia

District 3 — West Hancock

District 4 — Saint Ansgar

District 5 — Edgewood-Colesburg

District 6 — Durant

District 7 — Hudson

District 8 — Central Decatur

District 9 — Council Bluffs St. Albert

District 10 — Woodbury Central

At-large qualifiers:

North Tama

Wapsie Valley

Westwood

Hinton

Alburnett

Earlham

Dome-bound:

Hudson

South O’Brien

Council Bluffs St. Albert

West Hancock

Champion:

Hudson

 

8-Player

Automatic qualifiers:

District 1 — Remsen St. Mary’s

District 2 — Don Bosco

District 3 — Turkey Valley

District 4 — New London

District 5 — Ackley AGWSR

District 6 — Lamoni

District 7 — Fremont-Mills

District 8 — Audubon

At-large qualifiers:

Glidden-Ralston

Newell-Fonda

Iowa Valley

Harris-Lake Park

Lenox

HLV

Coon Rapids-Bayard

East Mills

Dome-bound:

Audubon

Remsen St. Mary’s

Don Bosco

Turkey Valley

Champion:

Audubon

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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