Initial Observations on the 2023 Football Schedules for All Seven Your Prep Sports Area Teams
Your Prep Sports
The first full football Friday night of 2023 is still more than four months away.
On Friday teams across the state got their first look at their full list of 2023 opponents when the Iowa High School Athletic Union released schedules for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.
The 2023 season will kick off for Your Prep Sports area teams on August 25.
There will be plenty to dissect with the schedules for the next two seasons but here are a few initial thoughts on the slates for area teams for the 2023 season.
Another High Interest Opener for City High
Last season City High had one of the most anticipated season openers in school history hosting cross-town rival Liberty High at Kinnick Stadium.
The 2023 opener for City High doesn’t come with the cache of playing in a venue like Kinnick but is no less intriguing with the Little Hawks hosting perennial Illinois power Joliet Catholic at Bates Field.
City High is coming off a 6-4 season in 2022 that featured an opening-round playoff loss to Johnston.
The home game against Joliet Catholic begins a four-game stretch to open the season for City High that includes a week-two matchup with Liberty High, a trip to Ames for the Little Cy-Hawk series before hosting West High in the Battle for the Boot in week four.
A 5A Gauntlet for Liberty High
Welcome to Class 5A Liberty High.
After spending two seasons in Class 4A Liberty High makes the jump to the state’s largest class this season following the most successful season in program history.
The Lightning went 9-2 last season and won the first postseason game in playoff history to advance to the 4A quarterfinals.
The inaugural 5A schedule for the Lightning opens with meetings with cross-town rivals West High and City High and features a string of six consecutive games against 2022 playoff qualifiers.
After travelling to West High for the opener the Lightning face six consecutive teams that went to the postseason a year ago including three teams that reached the 5A quarterfinals.
Liberty High hosts Pleasant Valley, travels to Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids Prairie before hosting Cedar Rapids Washington and traveling to Ankeny.
A Familiar Finish for West High
There are some new teams on the 2023 West High schedule.
Five new opponents from the previous two seasons to be exact.
However, if the Trojans are to snap a two-year postseason drought it may come down to a familiar end of the season stretch for West High.
West High will once again close the season with back-to-back games against traditional eastern Iowa 5A powers Pleasant Valley and Cedar Rapids Prairie after falling to both teams last season during a three-game losing skid to end a 4-5 season.
The Trojans open by hosting Liberty High and have matchups with CIML opponents Urbandale in week two and Ankeny in week five after week four trip to City High.
Clear Creek Amana’s WAMAC Warmup
At first glance what sticks out about the 2023 slate for Clear Creek Amana is the two monsters at the back end of the Class 4A, District 3 slate.
Defending 4A state champ Cedar Rapids Xavier and 2022 semifinalist North Scott are both in District 3 and Clear Creek Amana will face those two perennial powers in back-to-back games in week seven and eight.
The key for the Clippers improving on a 3-6 record from a year ago will be how it handles an all-WAMAC non-district event.
Clear Creek Amana will again open the season against Marion after defeating the Wolves in season openers each of the past two seasons.
The Clippers then face consecutive rivalry games on the road at Solon in week two and at defending 2A runner-up Williamsburg in week three before hosting Benton Community which was a 3A playoff qualifier a year ago.
Early Tests for Solon
The previously released district groupings revealed what should be a challenging final five games for Solon including matchups with defending 2A runner-up Williamsburg and 2022 3A postseason qualifier Benton.
Solon will have its hands full early on with a solid four-game non-district slate as the Spartans break in a new quarterback coming off an 8-3 season a year ago.
The Spartans open at Davenport Assumption, a team Solon has defeated three times in the past two seasons.
Solon when hosts Clear Creek Amana and 2022 3A playoff qualifier Central DeWitt before a road game at defending 3A runner-up Mount Vernon.
A Non-district Challenge for West Branch
Coming off an 11-1 season that featured a trip to the Class 1A semifinals West Branch will be tested early with an exciting non-district schedule.
The Bears open with a road game at defending 2A runner-up Williamsburg before hosting perennial 1A power Dike-New Hartford.
West Branch travels to Waterloo Columbus for its final non-district game after defeating the Sailors twice last season including in the second round of the 1A playoffs.
The three non-district opponents for West Branch had a combined 25-8 record last season and all three advanced to at least the second round of the playoffs.
Regina’s Run Through the River Valley
Conference football has been a thing of the past for years.
There won’t be an official River Valley Conference football champ though with seven of eight regular season games coming against RVC foes Regina could make a case for conference supremacy this fall.
Regina will open the season with back-to-back home games against West Liberty and Mid-Prairie before traveling to Mediapolis for its final non-district game and only game against a non-RVC foe.
Class 1A District 5 is an all-RVC slate with Cascade, West Branch, Dyersville Beckman, Durant and Wilton.
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