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2020 high school football schedules released

ELC schedule is more travel friendly

March 30, 2020
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville News

Area football coaches found out for certain for who they will have to prepare for this fall, as full schedules for each team were released on Thursday.

For Estherville Lincoln Central, the Midgets will play four opponents that they played a year ago-Sheldon in the season opener non-district game, and Spirit Lake, Garner-Hayfield/Ventura, and Algona in district play. The Midgets finished with a 4-5 record last season.

New non-district foes include MOC-Floyd Valley, Pocahontas Area and Emmetsburg with district play opening Sept. 25 against Okoboji in Milford.

ELC coach Ryan Rezac, who will begin his third season at the helm of the Midgets this fall, noted this year's schedule features familiar teams to ELC.

The Midgets open the season Aug. 28 against Sheldon. The two teams met each of the previous with Sheldon winning two years ago while ELC won 17-6 in 2019 on the Orabs' field.

"They're a team we have a good rapport with as a former Lakes Conference school," said Rezac. "Like a lot of teams on this schedule, they're within close proximity of us."

In Week 2, ELC will host MOC-Floyd Valley in the Midgets' home opener. "They were in our district previous to the past two seasons, so they're also someone we're familiar with," said Rezac.

In Week 3, ELC will play Emmetsburg. "We get to renew a rivalry with another former Lakes Conference team," said Rezac. "We're familiar with their players from playing them in other sports."

In Week 4, the Midgets travel to Milford to play Okoboji for the district opener.

"We've played them at the junior varsity level, but haven't played them at the varsity level for a while," said Rezac. "They have a new head coach and new facilities, so it will be nice to play on their new field."

ELC then hosts long-time rival Spirit Lake.

"We always enjoy playing them," said Rezac.

While the Indians have had the edge in recent years, ELC came up with a 20-14 upset victory in 2019, a highlight of the season.

In Week 7, the Midgets play an opponent they have seen often in recent years-Garner-Hayfield/Ventura.

"They return a couple good running backs and we look forward to playing them again," said Rezac.

The Midgets go on the road to play Algona in Week 8.

"They're a (2A) semifinalist team from a year ago," said Rezac. "The Wegenener kid went to Iowa, so we're glad he's gone. It's another team that we've played frequently since they dropped into Class 2A."

The Midgets end the season at home against Cherokee.

"They're a team that we don't see at the lower levels, but we see their players in baseball and basketball," said Rezac. "They graduated their big post player in basketball, who caught a lot of passes for them."

North Union schedule

In Class A, North Union will play five of the same opponents as the last two seasons in West Fork, St. Edmond, Lake Mills, Bishop Garrigan, and West Hancock.

North Union coach Matt Ernster provided his thoughts on the schedule.

"At first glance we're excited about it," Ernster said. "There are some familiar teams, but some new challenges as well. We would have liked more home games, but we can't control that. We truly feel that we can compete week in and week out given the schedule in front of us."

The Warriors start the season at Mason City against Newman Catholic.

"They're a young team, competitive," said Ernster. "Tough to go on the road week 1 against a new opponent."

In Week 2, West Fork comes to Armstrong.

"We've had some good battles the past two seasons," said Ernster. The Warhawks won 13-12 in 2019. "Looking forward to continuing that. They graduated their all-state running back."

Week 3 is in Milford against Okoboji.

"We're excited to play them again," Ernster said. "Played them in JV the past few years. A challenge defensively as they will have many looks."

Lake Mills is a home game in Week 4.

"They have a strong senior class led by Caleb Bacon-Iowa is looking at him," Ernster said. "They run the triple option which is hard to defend. Tough game before districts."

Week 5 is the start of district play as the Warriors head to Fort Dodge to play St. Edmond.

"We've played them competitively the past four seasons. Should be fun. They have great team speed and multiple looks on offense," said Ernster.

Week 6 is a new opponent for the Warriors in Manson-Northwest Webster.

"I don't know much about them. New coach. Spread offense," said Ernster. "Challenge to see someone new. Glad we get them at home."

Bishop Garrigan is a familiar foe in Week 7. The Golden Bears won 38-12 in 2019.

"They're a traditional power, but lose some talented players (to graduation). They bring back great size. Skill players will be new. Always a tough game."

In Week 8 is the defending Class A champion West Hancock Eagles, who defeated North Union 62-8 in 2019.

"Cole Kelly will be tough to stop," said Ernster. "They lose a lot from last year's team. Tradition will allow them to reload. Tough game."

North Union ends the regular season against the Warriors from Alta-Aurelia.

"Again don't know much about them, but they've had recent success though," said Ernster. "Usually pretty big. For what I've seen they run wishbone. Will be a physical game."


Ayrshire schedule

Meanwhile after two years of Class A football, Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire returns to 8-Man football-a chance to see opponents that they haven't seen for at least two years.

"We are excited about our return to 8 man and looking forward to our schedule this fall to renew some of our old rivalries," said GT/RA coach Todd Hough. " Our two non-district opponents will be good for us to help get us ready for district play, which we have played both teams in the past. Our district, which will be very tough, puts us with some familiar teams too. With Newell, HLP, and St. Mary's being traditionally tough."

Non-district opponents for theTitans are Glidden-Ralston and Coon Rapids-Bayard before the district opener against long-time rival West Bend-Mallard.



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