Clear Lake and Garner-Hayfield/Ventura were both assigned to Class 2A District 2 in new football pairings released Thursday by the Iowa High School Athletic Association. The pairings are in effect for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Clear Lake, a perennial power in Class 3A, is dropping down a class size to join GHV, along with Clarion-Goldfield, Estherville-Lincoln Central, Forest City, Hampton-Dumont and Osage.
Clear Lake Head Football Coach Fred Wieck said he was not surprised by the move.
“We were pretty sure, looking at our enrollment, we would be 2A,” said Wieck. “It will be fun to play some different people.” The coach added that he has “no real opinion” about the change, but joked “will be nice to not have to play Heelan!” Bishop Heelan is another fixture in the Class 3A State Playoffs and knocked the Lions out in the semi-finals on their way to winning the 2013 championship.
Wieck added the change in class assignment does not present any changes in the Lion football program, merely a new schedule.
GHV Head Coach Scott VanDusseldorp said the 2A district is honored to have the opportunity to participate in a district that has such strong traditions.
“The entire district has storied programs with very good football. Clear Lake and Hampton-Dumont have to be the early favorites,” said VanDusseldorp. “We will have to work very hard in the off seasons to be prepared to compete in such a strong district.”
GHV, Hampton-Dumont and Forest City all qualified for the Class 2A State Play-offs in 2013.
In other IHSAA business last week, the Board of Control acted on football recommendations coming from the Iowa Football Coaches Association and the IHSAA Football Playoff Committee. The recommendations had been tabled by the Board of Control from their December meeting.
At the center of discussions and action was a proposed eight-game regular season which would allow the playoffs to fold into a weekly format. Since December, Board members had contacted constituent groups and in a unanimous vote agreed to stay with the nine-game regular season format.
Other football items that were approved included: (1) discontinuing “sister districts” for the regular season and post season classes in eight-player through 3A and to have a 125-mile limitation for first round games; and (2) no preset pairings will be made for the playoffs and pairings will be determined after each round of the playoffs. Reasonable attempts will be made to find non-district playoff opponents for the first and second round games, but district match-ups could reoccur if an opponent cannot be found within a reasonable distance.
The Board of Control also approved allowing one practice session of no more than four hours during the heat acclimatization period with nor more than three hours of physical activity allowed. The Board also granted an allowance of up to four teams to be at a scrimmage site, with each team only being allowed to scrimmage one other team. All current scrimmage rules would remain in effect.