We’re baaaack! The Gazette’s Iowa highschool soccer employees poses and solutions questions in regards to the present season. Jeff Linder, Jeff Johnson, Okay.J. Pilcher and Nathan Ford arrange an enormous return for 4 Downs:
1st & 10: What program will likely be most impacted by a change of lessons as a result of new socioeconomic issue?
Linder: I believe you must begin with Cedar Rapids Washington. The east-side college was the final 5A crew this yr at No. 36, and any additional decline will put Washington into 4A, and subsequent time, it could be for good.
Johnson: Cedar Rapids Washington. Warriors had been fairly aggressive in Class 4A, however nonetheless proper round .500. Transferring as much as 5A won’t be fairly, a minimum of not proper now.
Pilcher: WIlliamsburg is among the college’s that moved up a category. In Class 2A, I believe the Raiders would have been a certain wager to be again within the state title recreation. The bump to 3A places them in with Mount Vernon and Harlan and different Japanese Iowa groups like Davenport Assumption, Independence, Solon and Benton Neighborhood.
Ford: The Class A championship race that opened up with Grundy Heart’s bump to 1A is attention-grabbing. The Spartans would have been an apparent favourite to repeat, but it surely seems to be extra up for grabs now with groups like East Buchanan, Lynnville-Sully and Woodbury Central within the combine. After all, West Hancock remains to be right here and the second- “smallest” Class A college might simply make this level moot with a 3rd title in six years.
2nd & lengthy: What consequence(s) stand out from Week 1?
Linder: I’m a believer in Maquoketa Valley, and the Wildcats’ 33-12 win over Cascade, to me, legitimizes them as a Class A top-10 crew.
Johnson: Cedar Rapids Jefferson ending its lengthy shedding streak. Certain, Muscatine all-state operating again Ty Cozad received harm after simply two carries (that went for 85 yards and a landing), however that shouldn’t take away from what the J-Hawks achieved. Couple others that will have been missed: North Cedar and Starmont every gained one recreation final season and gained their season openers this previous Friday night time.
Pilcher: So many to select from Week 1. Cedar Rapids Jefferson was spectacular, scoring 33 factors in a win at Muscatine. It was the J-Hawks’ highest level complete in a recreation since tallying 37 in a loss to Muscatine on Aug. 31, 2018. They confirmed playmaking skill with Ishara Kalolero (15 carries, 251 yards) and L.J. Lyenow (9 catches, 109 yards). Cedar Rapids Prairie beating then-No. 3 Cedar Falls was notable in Kyle Knock’s debut as Hawks head coach. Sumner-Fredericksburg’s win over East Buchanan grabbed my consideration and the way about Ankeny’s OT win over Ankeny Centennial? What a end!
Ford: I used to be curious to see how Adel ADM and North Polk would fare in opposition to ranked Class 4A groups of their first video games as 4A faculties. Each impressed. ADM dealt with Newton and North Polk knocked off a Bondurant-Farrar crew I pegged No. 1 within the preseason (whoops). This class already that includes the likes of Cedar Rapids Xavier and Lewis Central seems to have added much more contenders in 2023. Within the space, Cedar Rapids Prairie’s win over Cedar Falls opened my eyes.
third & brief: What’s the most intriguing matchup of Week 2?
Linder: Within the space, I believe it’s undoubtedly Williamsburg at Cedar Rapids Xavier. Can the Raiders compete? (I believe they will.) Additionally, Iowa Metropolis Liberty and Iowa Metropolis Excessive are each attempting to keep away from 0-2, they usually collide at North Liberty. Marion at Benton Neighborhood needs to be an in depth battle. Statewide, it’s arduous to prime Dowling at Valley.
Johnson: Actually curious to see if Williamsburg can grasp in any respect with Cedar Rapids Xavier. That’s a tricky ask. The Iowa Metropolis Excessive-Iowa Metropolis Liberty recreation intrigues me after Liberty gained final yr’s Conflict At Kinnick in a shock. In comparison with Week 1, it’s sort of a tamer Week 2 total.
Pilcher: At first look, Williamsburg at Cedar Rapids Xavier. The Raiders scrimmaged Cedar Rapids Kennedy and opened with West Department. Curt Ritchie loves to check his crew and we’ll see how they will grasp with one other greater college. Iowa Metropolis Liberty and Iowa Metropolis Excessive play one another, whereas Kennedy travels to Nice Valley. These pique my curiosity. All 4 misplaced in Week 1. Who would have thought two of these 4 could be 0-2?
Ford: Compulsory Dowling-Valley point out. I’m fascinated by Williamsburg taking over Xavier. And I’m excited for the Cedar Rapids Jefferson J-Hawks, who will attempt to begin 2-0 for the primary time since 2000 after they face Marshalltown on Thursday.
4th & purpose: Waterloo Christian is in its first season. What are affordable expectations of a first-year soccer program? What college would you prefer to see add/resurrect a soccer program?
Linder: I believe essentially the most affordable expectation, truthfully, is to get by way of the season with out being pressured to forfeit video games. Think about numbers are low, so preserving all people wholesome and engaged is essential, so this system can develop. Wins are secondary.
Johnson: Calamus-Wheatland lately began up a varsity program. To me, being pretty aggressive in some video games is cheap. In the event you win one, even higher.
Pilcher: The one affordable expectations are to complete the season, enhance and generate pleasure to extend future participation. Wins needs to be the least essential gauge. Soccer is a beast onto itself. A lot goes into it, even earlier than athletes get into highschool. New packages ought to respect the chance to be a part of the Friday night time ritual. Fear about on-field success in a couple of years.
Ford: Affordable expectations: Have enjoyable, hold youngsters and construct up participation numbers for the longer term. Now, when it comes to including packages, this former 130-pound, football-loving cross nation runner desires of bringing sprint football to the state of Iowa. For the uninitiated, that is the sport of American soccer as you already know it, with a most weight requirement of 172 kilos. Certain, we’d must persuade the faculties to purchase some new, measurement extra-small gear however you gained’t have to fret about our packages taking over house within the weight room.