This fall, the Maquoketa and Easton Valley football teams will see a lot of new faces as they play on some fields they have not been to in a long time or, in some cases, have never been to.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association announced district assignments for the 2020 football season, and because of Maquoketa’s decreasing enrollment, the Cardinals will move down a class next season and play in Class 2A District 5. Teams in that district will be Maquoketa, Anamosa, Camanche, Monticello, Tipton, and West Liberty.
The 2020 season will feature nine regular-season games, which has been standard practice, and 16 playoff qualifiers in all classes. In the playoffs, district champions earn automatic berths; the remaining at-large qualifying rules will stay the same in 3A, 2A, 1A, A, and eight-person.
The IHSAA board of control decided to shift football to a one-year district scheduling cycle. This is the first time a one-year schedule has been structured. In the past, athletic directors organized a two-year schedule with alternating home and away games.
The new one-year schedule could lead to some issues for the athletic budget, according to Kevin Bowman, assistant principal and head football coach at Maquoketa High School. He said a school may play only four home dates for three consecutive years, which may equal lost revenue from ticket sales for the district.
Easton Valley will take on some new faces as well. The River Hawks will stay in eight-man District 3, which will increase to a total of eight teams this fall. Don Bosco and Dunkerton will join the district this fall; Turkey Valley has been reassigned.
The IHSAA will monitor the changes and continue to work out flaws that may arise.