The Iowa High School Athletic Association released the full 2014 and 2015 football schedules Friday morning.
The new districts were released earlier this year and Estherville Lincoln Central landed in Class 2A District 2 for the third straight year. Other teams remaining in District 2 are Garner-Hayfield/Ventura, Clarion-Goldfield and Forest City. Joining them are Clear Lake, Hampton-Dumont and Osage.
ELC is the western-most team in the district.
On Friday, the Midgets learned who the non-district opponents are. ELC will play Spirit Lake in the first game of the regular season, Algona in the second game and North Union in the ninth and last game.
"I'm excited to play Spirit Lake in Week 1," said ELC coach Andy Umthun. "We're ina tough spot with the district line between us and Spirit Lake."
In 2014, ELC's road trips are Spirit Lake, Clear Lake, Hampton-Dumont and Osage. In 2015, ELC's road games are Algona, Clarion-Goldfield, Forest City and Garner-Hayfield/Ventura.
08/29 @Spirit Lake
09/19 @Clear Lake
09/26 Forest City
10/24 North Union
08/28 Spirit Lake
09/18 Clear Lake
09/25 @Forest City
10/23 @North Union
"I'm happy with the state's scheduling and how they put home games between each long road game," said Umthun. "Last year, we had two long road trips in a row. This scheduled couldn't have been done too much better."
Looking at the new district, Umthun points to Clear Lake and Hampton-Dumont as a pair of strong teams.
"But we've been doing a lot of things in the offseason," said Umthun. "I think we can do some decent things in this district."
Meanwhile Spirit Lake will play in District 1. Besides ELC, the Indians' non-district opponents are Forest City (Week 2) and Spencer (Week 8).
Spirit Lake's road games in 2014 are against Forest City, Central Lyon/George-Little Rock, Cherokee, Sheldon and Spencer.
North Union undergoes the biggest scheduling changes of the area teams as it drops from Class 1A to Class A. The Warriors are in District 1 with Belmond-Klemme, Bishop Garrigan, Nashua-Plainfield, Newman Catholic (Mason City), North Butler (Greene) and West Hancock (Britt).
Besides ELC, North Union's non-district opponents are Okoboji (Week 1) and Sioux Central (Week 2).
Of this year's opponents, North Union has played only ELC, Okoboji and Bishop Garrigan the past two years. All others will be new to the Warriors, especially since moving back into 11-man after Armstrong-Ringsted, Sentral and North Kossuth began sharing football two years ago.
Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire only has two non-district games and will play at Northwood-Kensett in Week 1 and host North Iowa (Buffalo Center) in Week 2 in 2014.
The Titans' new 8-Player District 2 includes Clay Central-Everly, Harris-Lake Park, Laurens-Marathon, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn, Remsen-Union, St. Mary's of Remsen and West Bend-Mallard.
West Bend-Mallard, Laurens-Marathon and North Iowa all were in the same district as the Titans in 2013. But GT/RA played both Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn and Remsen-Union in non-district play last season.