Area teams adjust to new districts
With football camp starting on Monday, the 2012 Iowa High School Football Yearbook arrived right on schedule on Friday.
The 33rd annual edition gives a complete list of 2012 high school football schedules and returning letter winners.
Billy Snyder and the Estherville Lincoln Central Football Team open the season on Friday, Aug. 24 at home against the North Union Warriors.
EDN file photo
It also includes 2011 statistics, playoff scores, postseason honors and all-time coaching victory leaders.
Estherville Lincoln Central will play in Class 2A District 2 this season, which features several new opponents.
The Midgets, who finished 1-8 last season, has Algona on its non-district schedule. ELC defeated the Bulldogs 14-7 for the one victory in 2011.
The Midgets will also face the newly formed North Union Warriors in the first game of the season. North Union, a combination of two 8-man teams-Armstrong-Ringsted and North Sentral Kossuth-returns to the 11-man game and jumps to Class 1A.
North Union starts the year in search of a head coach. Steve Waldstein, an assistant coach for the Mustangs last season and who planned to lead the team this season, took a job elsewhere and submitted his resignation. Assistant coaches are Troy Adams, Tommy Elliott and Tyler Wirtz.
Back to the Midgets' 2012 schedule, ELC's new opponents and their 2011 records are South Central Calhoun (9-2), Forest City (8-3), Clarion-Goldfield (7-5), Garner-Hayfield/Ventura (4-5) and East Sac County (2-7).
The lone familiar foe is rival Spirit Lake. The Indians will likely be the favorite this season as they return several players from last year's 2011 2A state runner-up squad.
Along with Spirit Lake, South Central Calhoun, Forest City and Clarion-Goldfield were all playoff teams a year ago. South Central Calhoun lost to Spirit Lake in the second round 42-7. Forest City lost 44-29 to Clarion-Goldfield in the second round.
Clarion-Goldfield ended its season with a 31-0 loss to Beckman, Dyersville in the quarterfinal round.
Garner-Hayfield and Ventura join forces for the first this season. Garner-Hayfield finished 4-5 in Class 1A last season while Ventura was 3-6 in Class 8-Man.
Coach Chuck Fandel returns for his fourth year as head coach. He will be assisted by Ryan Rezac and Lee Evans.
ELC entry in the football yearbook lists five returning starters on offense and six on defense. Offensive starters are split end Matt Burrell, quarterback Evan Hansen, running back Billy Snyder, wingback Derek Nieland and fullback Tucker Milburn.
On defense are Milburn at linebacker, Nieland at corner, Snyder at free safety, Hansen and corner, Bryce Hansen at outside linebacker and Andreas Blanco at outside linebacker.
North Union outlook
North Union's first season back in 11-man football will be interesting-even without the concern for finding a head coach.
The Warriors are in Class 1A District 1 which includes perennial football power Emmetsburg.
The E'Hawks had a perfect 2011 season until losing 24-6 to St. Albert, Council Bluffs in the Class 1A semifinals. The district also includes Gehlen Catholic of LeMars. The Jays were also a playoff team and finished the year with a 10-2 record.
Other teams in the district are South O'Brien (6-6), Western Christian (3-6), Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn (3-6) and Okoboji.
The Pioneers return to the gridiron after canceling their 2011 season.
A year after Ruthven-Ayrshire had to forfeit its games midseason, the Raiders join forces with Graettinger-Terril and the two teams will be called the Titans.
GT/RA finished the season with a 3-6 record.
While the Titans will not have to contend with Armstrong-Ringsted year, the district picked up another perennial 8-Man power in Northeast Hamilton.
Also back is a strong squad from West Bend-Mallard that went 10-2 a year ago. Newell-Fonda brings its 2011 record of 9-2 to the district also.
Other teams are Laurens-Marathon (6-6), North Iowa (5-5), Corwith-Wesley-Luverne (1-8) and CAL, Latimer (0-9)
Todd Hough, son of long-time Graettinger coach Rod Hough, takes the helm of this year's team. Karlton Hector, who coached the team for five years, has left the district.
Hough will be assisted by his bother Lucas Hough and Austin Simmelink.