Wrestlers, coaches, and fans across the state have waited to see the new sectional and district assignments for the upcoming season. Today the Iowa High School Athletic Association released the post season assignments and I have some very mixed feelings about class 2A. I do applaud the efforts to try to make a more conscious effort to evenly distribute the top teams. Overall it does look a lot better but I think that they could have done a better job in some districts.
With West Liberty and Davenport Assumption both in district 3 does that make a team like New Hampton or Ballard the favorites to win the team title come February? Could a team like Dubuque Wahlert, Atlantic, West Delaware, etc… make a run at a trophy?
Here are my instant reactions while looking at the pairings.
New Hampton is one of the pre-season favorites in class 2A and they return some serious firepower to go with maybe the best depth in the class. After facing a brutal district last season (and quite frankly most years) I would imagine that they couldn’t be happier about heading to the west this season. While teams like Clear Lake, Osage, and Charles City have some tradition they will not have their strongest squads this year. Outside of the Chickasaws there is only 1 returning place winner (Eric Faught) in this entire district! New Hampton should win this district going away and should qualify a large number of wrestlers for state.
This looks to be a very solid district with some very good and evenly matched teams. Solon is coming off their first team state title last season but they lost a lot in that senior class. They will still be tough though and should qualify a handful of kids. Dubuque Wahlert will be LOADED in the upper weights from 160-285 and could score a ton of points in Des Moines. Dyersville Beckman has shown a lot of promise over the last few years but hasn’t made that jump to a contender yet. They are certainly capable of making some noise and sending a good number of kids to state. Mt Vernon is always tough and nobody likes seeing them in the district.
While the overall depth of this district isn’t the greatest, putting West Liberty and Davenport Assumption in the same district AGAIN is a real head scratcher! West Liberty returns the most state points in class 2A and Assumption is 3rd in that category. I don’t see how it would have been that tough to split them up either. Throw in a strong Washington squad and this will be a district to watch and will have big implications for the team race in Des Moines.
This is a fun district out in western Iowa. Atlantic will be good again this season and I expect them to do well here. Creston Orient-Macksburg is expected to be down but one thing I’ve learned is to never doubt coach Frain and that he will have some guys ready come February. Don’t sleep on Winterset or Red Oak as I expect them both to have strong squads this season. Throw in a few tough kids from schools like Woodward Granger and Harlan and I expect this to be a really solid district.
The Northeast Iowa district is always among the best in the state, however, with New Hampton heading west and Denver dropping to 1A it will be interesting to see who steps up here. That team may very well be West Delaware who will be loaded with young talent. If all of those talented freshmen wrestle the way they are capable of to go along with some really good upper classmen this team will be a tough out. Crestwood always has a tough squad and returns a couple of state place winners and will have some say in this district as well. There will be a lot of strong individuals from teams like North Fayette Valley, Union Laporte City, Independence, and Vinton-Shellsburg but not the depth for the whole teams.
The Williamsburg sectional might be as good as any in class 2A. South Tama is probably the favorite in this district and a top 10 team for sure. Williamsburg will give them all that they want though and Albia and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont will also be strong this season as well. The North Polk sectional does not have a great team but PCM Monroe and Chariton will bring in a few really strong individuals.
I look for Spirit Lake Park to be the team to beat in district 7 this year and I think they could get a good number of guys to Des Moines. Central Lyon and Sergeant Bluff-Luton are always good and will have some tough individuals again this season. I think that there will be talent spread around this district and a number of teams could have a representative at state.
Ballard returns the 2nd most state tournament points in class 2A and they are definitely one of the favorites to bring home a team trophy in Des Moines. Webster City and Clarion-Goldfield-Dows will be really good though and will not make it easy on them. There are some other solid kids in this district as well and I believe that there will be a lot of state place winners coming out of district 8.