Tickel your Fancy: Stretch run for prep season is here
October is upon us and with that the climax to the autumn sports season.
It’s time to determine the haves and have nots.
By the end of the month seedings for the football state playoffs will be set with the last regular season game taking place Friday, Oct. 25, a district joint state qualifying meet for cross-country takes place Thursday, Oct. 24, and regionals for volleyball begin Tuesday, Oct. 22.
These next four weeks will bring heartbreak or glory for many.
Here are five local teams to track in the run-up to the state tournaments in November.
1. Washington football
Head coach Randy Schrader hasn’t shied away from saying that his team is a run-first offense.
That style came to fruition in just more than two quarters of play as Washington rushed for a season-high 439 yards in a 48-0 win over Keokuk. Senior Alex Coker was the catalyst with 188 yards.
He has been the featured tailback this season with 493 yards on 70 carries and nine touchdowns.
This has put the 4-1, 2-0 Demons in position to contend for a No. 1 seed. It is three wins away from the playoffs just two games into district play.
Williamsburg stands in Washington’s way. The two teams will square off, Friday, for all the marbles. The winner will have an inside track to a district championship.
A favorable route to the state championship starts Friday.
2. Mid-Prairie football
The Golden Hawks are the hottest local football team right now. They have a four-game winning streak intact after dropping its season opener against Washington.
Mid-Prairie is one of three unbeaten teams along with Mediapolis and West Liberty in District 5 play. It plays both of those teams in two of its final three games.
The Hawks can rest easy that it controls their own destiny for a playoff berth and a district crown.
Including the playoffs, the Hawks need four wins to equal last year’s total.
3. IMS Volleyball
Iowa Mennonite is undoubtedly the top current local volleyball program.
In the latest Associated Press State Rankings, IMS was 12.
In the SEISC tournament it got a high No. 4 seed that it failed to live up to with a runner-up finish in Pool play. It lost to Winfield-Mount Union, a team it had previously beaten twice, and to New London 2-0.
It shouldn’t have any problems sweeping its next five games and possibly winning another tournament in Washington. It won the Wilton tourney Saturday, Sept. 14.
4. Mid-Prairie cross-country
The Golden Hawks have a lot of potential and they showed it at the Invite they hosted, last Tuesday.
Sophomore Ryan Errthum placed third at the event with a time of 17 minutes and 48 seconds. He has the potential to place into the state meet.
Junior Jared Draper was 11 seconds behind. He also has the chance to line up for the state meet.
It’s pretty clear the talent is stocked for now and years to come. Freshman Abby Tornow has put up a time of 16:42 this year. Another underclassmen, Hannah Van Roekel, will be a force in the future; she is a minute behind Tornow.
5. Sigourney-Keota football
The Savage Cobras are the most improved area athletic program.
They have posted back-to-back 4-5 seasons the past two years and now just five games into the season have equaled their win total.
A district title doesn’t look to be in the cards after a 41-13 blowout loss to co-leader Wilton.
It still has a chance to finish second and play spoiler against 5-0 Regina, Iowa City, Friday, Oct. 25.