IA High School Football Shake-Up; QC Teams Reassigned - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

IA High School Football Shake-Up; QC Teams Reassigned

Posted: Updated: Jan 23, 2014 09:12 PM

UPDATE:  Changes will be coming to area football match-ups this fall. The Iowa High School Athletic Association has released new districts that will replace the Mississippi Athletic Conference, or the MAC.

"I think this is exciting," Todd Tharp tells us. The Assistant Executive Director of the IHSAA says, "I think this is great for football." And most school administrators in our area seem to agree, following the western side of the state into districts versus conferences, introducing new life into the game and on local football fields. Tharp says, "Instead of thinking okay, here's our schedule again. Boom, boom, boom. Weeks three, four and five, this is who we have on our schedule and we're gonna start out oh and five. And the only possibility we have to win is this game."

Reps with the IHSAA say this will help balance teams based on school enrollment. "I think also there were some athletic directors in the MAC conference that were looking at the bigger picture," Tharp tells us, giving the entire state competitive balance.

Many of you are concerned about long-standing competitions. Kim Cook writes on Facebook, "What the heck???? That's not right to split up rivals!!! West vs Central was a tradition!!" And Amanda Greer says she's "Not a fan of this at all. When local schools, especially those with rivalries, no longer play one another, something is wrong." She writes, "These schools have been playing one another since I was a kid at least. It's good for the fans, the schools, and the community."

IHSAA reps say they don't have to stop. Teams like Bettendorf and PV can still play, just not in district competition. "It'll just be discussions between the two ADs and say hey, we want to put you on our priority list. Ya, we want to put you on ours too," Tharp says.

There are still details to be worked out like who will use Brady Street Stadium when, and which teams will travel. Tharp says, "If Davenport and Clinton are playing each other on the same night, maybe that will be the Thursday night game, and the school traveling the farther distance will be the Friday night game." Kathy Springer writes on Facebook, "Not as far to travel is great." Players we talked to agree, also excited about the potential travel to playoffs. North Scott Junior Ricky Grimes says, "It might be a little easier to get to the playoffs 'cuz the coach told us the top three of the new district go."

Meantime, now that the districts have been determined, schools have two weeks to request the teams they'd like to face for non-district play during the football season. These changes only affect football. The MAC remains in place for all other sports.


ORIGINAL STORY: From long-standing rivalries to where to play, there will be lots of changes in high school football next fall in the Quad City metro. The IHSAA just released the districts that will replace the MAC (Mississippi Athletic Conference). The conference is being replaced by smaller districts after Assumption High School decided to compete with schools of similar enrollments instead of against larger schools in 4A. The Catholic school in Davenport moves to class 3A in the fall.

Changes by Assumption and two other schools set into motion the decision by the IHSAA to end all conferences and move the remaining MAC schools into districts. As a result, some high schools in the MAC will no longer play each other as conference rivals, like Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley. Two Davenport high schools (Central and North) are in one district while West is in another. Muscatine and Burlington will now play against schools in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

As for Assumption, it has now been assigned to play against schools as far away as Fairfield and Keokuk. Since the districts are smaller than the MAC, the schools have two weeks to request teams they would like for non-conference play during the football season. The changes only affect high school football and the MAC remains for all other sports.

New IHSAA districts:

Class 4A:

District 6

Burlington; Cedar Rapids, Washington; City High, Iowa City; Muscatine; Ottumwa; Prairie, Cedar Rapids

District 7

Central, Davenport; North, Davenport; Hempstead, Dubuque; West, Iowa City; Pleasant Valley

District 8

Bettendorf; Clinton; West, Davenport; Dubuque Senior; North Scott, Eldridge

Class 3A:

District 5

Assumption, Davenport; Clear-Creek, Amana; Fairfield; Fort Madison; Keokuk; Mt. Pleasant; Washington

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