JUNE 27 SPORTS COLUMN — PETE TEMPLE
This is about schedules.
Some big ones have been announced recently for Monticello sports teams, including the softball and baseball post-season alignments, and the 2012 and 2013 high school football schedules.
The most immediate items are the softball pairings. Monticello, you may have heard, is now in Class 3A out of five classes in prep softball this year. As such, there are only eight teams in each regional, compared with 16 in the past.
Which means a 3A teams needs to win three games in order to qualify for the state tournament.
Even better for Monticello, the Panthers have the opportunity to host the quarterfinal and semifinal games in Region 4. The Panthers will open the post-season Tuesday, July 3 at 7 p.m. against Valley/Postville.
If they win, they would also host the semifinals on Friday, July 6 against either Cascade or Dyersville Beckman. The final is scheduled for Monday, July 9, 7 p.m. at a site to be determined.
Monticello could currently be considered the slight favorite to win the region, as the Panthers are ranked seventh in Class 3A. The only other ranked team in Region 4 is Crestwood, ranked 12th.
Maquoketa Valley is in Class 2A, Region 4, and will play a first-round game July 3 at Alburnett. The winner travels to Colesburg to play Ed-Co in the quarterfinal round July 5.
Midland is in 1A, Region 3, and will play at Springville July 2. The quarterfinal round is July 5 at Winthrop.
Baseball post-season information has also been announced. The official pairings were to be released after this issue of the Express went to press. But the Panthers are part of a six-team District 7 that also includes Bellevue, Mount Vernon, North Cedar, Northeast and Iowa City Regina.
It’s not a bad draw for Monticello. Notably absent are Dyersville Beckman and Cascade, both of which were placed in District 6. So there will be no visit to Commercial Club Park in Dyersville this July.
Maquoketa Valley, on the other hand, is in District 6 with Beckman and Cascade, along with Clayton Ridge/Central, Jesup and Wapsie Valley.
Class 2A district baseball is scheduled to begin July 7, with subsequent rounds July 10 and 14. The sub-state round for 2A will be July 17.
Midland is in Class 1A, District 7 with seven other teams, including Alburnett, Calamus-Wheatland, Cedar Valley Christian, Bellevue Marquette, North-Linn, Preston, Clinton Prince of Peace and Springville.
This will be the start of the latest two-year rotation of district play for high school football.
Things will be a bit different. For one thing, Class 2A districts will now have seven teams instead of eight, but the top four will still qualify for the post-season.
For the next two seasons, Monticello will be in District 4, which includes Beckman, Camanche, Cascade, Center Point-Urbana, Mount Vernon and Northeast.
The Panthers will open this season with two non-district games: at home against Anamosa Aug. 24, and at Maquoketa Valley Aug. 31.
Because there are only six district opponents, the state has also assigned a third non-district foe. In Monticello’s case, that will be West Liberty.
The Panthers’ 2012 slate:
2012 PANTHER FOOTBALL
Aug. 24 – vs. Anamosa*
Aug. 31 – at Maq. Valley*
Sept. 7 - vs. Cascade
Sept. 14 – at Mt. Vernon
Sept. 21 - at Camanche
Sept. 28 - vs. Center Point-Urb.
Oct. 5 – at Dy. Beckman
Oct. 12 – at West Liberty*
Oct. 19 - vs. Northeast
* - non-district games
Maquoketa Valley will be in Class 1A, District 5, which also includes Alburnett, Bellevue, Clayton Ridge, Durant, North Cedar and Tipton.
Midland will be in Eight-player, District 4, a nine-team district that also includes Cedar Valley Christian, Central City, Central Elkader, Lansing Kee, Preston, Springville, Valley of Elgin and West Central.