With football camps just over a week away and the first football practice about two weeks away, area coaches' thoughts have been on the upcoming season for a while.
With that, the 2014 Iowa High School Football Yearbook arrived in the office this week.
The 35th annual edition gives a complete list of 2014 high school football schedules and returning starters and letter winners.
It also includes 2013 statistics, playoffs scores, postseason honors and all-time coaching victory leaders.
As is the case every two years in Iowa, many teams find themselves in new districts, facing different opponents than the previous two years.
In 2013, Estherville Lincoln Central finished with a 2-7 campaign under first-year head coach Andy Umthun. The Midgets Class 2A District 2 opponents are all to the east.
Spirit Lake is on the non-district schedule this season as the Midgets meet the Indians in the season opener on Aug. 29. The midgets lost to the Indians 47-26 in 2013. ELC's other non-district game is also a familiar foe of the past couple years as ELC takes Algona on Sept. 5 in the home opener. ELC lost to the Bulldogs 31-6 last season. The Midgets' third non-district game comes at the end of the season as they host North Union on Oct. 24. The Midgets won last year's contest 39-28.
Three of ELC's district opponents remain the same from the past two years-the Clarion-Goldfield Cowboys, Forest City Indians and Garner-Hayfield/Ventura. Cardinals
New opponents this season are the Clear Lake Lions, Hampton Dumont Bulldogs and Osage Green Devils.
North Union drops down a class from 1A to A in 2014.
The Warriors only see three of the same opponents that they have the past two seasons. Okoboji and Estherville Lincoln Central remain as non-district foes while the Warriors are now in District 3 with Bishop Garrigan.
The new non-district foe is the Sioux Central Rebels. New district opponents are the West Hancock Eagles, the Nashua-Plainfield Huskies, the Newman Catholic Knights, the Belmond-Klemme Broncos and the North Butler Bearcats.
Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire will try to improve on its 7-4 campaign of a year ago. The Titans will see a few of the same opponents as a year ago. Class 8-Man District 2 includes Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn, West Bend-Mallard, Remsen-Union, Harris-Lake Park, St. Mary's of Remsen, Laurens-Marathon and Clay Central-Everly. The Titans did not play either Harris-Lake Park or St. Mary's of Remsen last season. A familiar non-district foe is North Iowa while the Titans take on new foe-Northwood-Kensett-in the season opener on Aug. 29.
Spirit Lake looks to the west for all its Class 2A District 1 opponents. Non-district opponents are Estherville Lincoln Central, Forest City and Spencer.
In district play, the Indians will see the Central Lyon/George-Little Rock Lions, Okoboji Pioneers, Cherokee Braves, Sioux Center Warriors, Sheldon Orabs and MOC-Floyd Valley Dutchmen.
Class 2A District 2
Estherville Lincoln Central 3-6
Class A District 3
Class 8 Man District 2
Harris-Lake Park 4-5
St. Mary's, Remsen4-6
Class 2A District 1