Sentinel Photo by Michael Haller
From the Grandview University football practice at the Le Mars Community High School practice field, A-W and LCHS line-up during team drills.
Over the past two weeks, I have visited six of the seven high school football teams. For the most part, I walked away impressed with what I saw.
In talking to all of the coaches, I received a lot of positive expectations.
Last season, Plymouth County football had an overall record of 26-40.
Considering that Hinton won nine of those 26, the 40 losses seems pretty abysmal.
No disrespect, but let me say that I am glad I wasn't around to cover most of that.
This season, I have noticed one common trend amongst nearly all of the teams in that nearly every squad is older and more experienced.
With the aging and growth on the field last year, that will help tremendously help translate to wins. Especially if other schools graduate big classes and go through their growing pains too.
If I had to put a number on wins/losses this season, I would bet that the county football teams win 30 games in 2015.
That may not sound like a huge improvement, but I am not counting playoffs in that guess.
I'll bet that Hinton sets the tone for Plymouth County again, while A-W and RSM come through with some pretty nice records as well. All three of those schools return essentially all their key pieces from last season.
With young squads amongst R-U and Gehlen, I still bet that a lot of people are surpised with a couple upsets here and there from these young teams.
With Gehlen having a new coach, the growing pains will be there, but never discount the fresh life that can be brought into a program with a new coach.
I would bet that not one team goes winless this fall.
The real wild card out of the area falls to LCHS.
Back-to-back 3-6 regular seasons doesn't bode well for the program, but in coach Tardive's third season, I bet that things fall into place better than in the past.
Part of what makes this squad so puzzling will be in that there are many kids stepping into roles who have little experience.
As I was told two weeks ago, they are 'inexperienced' but not necessarily young. So, with a potentially older group, a lot of surprises can happen and sometimes the bounce just falls your direction. I could see this squad going 6-3, or 3-6 again.
Don't get me wrong, I want every squad to go 9-0. I want everyone to comment on here how wrong I am about this.
Something I tell the kids who constantly see me with a camera and say "hey, take my picture!" I always respond with, "Give me a reason to."
So, prove me wrong, Plymouth County. Show me that I should never predict things like this ever again.
The safe bet: four teams make the playoffs in football from Plymouth County.
The bold prediction: three teams win their district.
My hopes and dreams: two teams make it to the UNI-Dome this fall.
With the seasons starting Friday, I could not be more excited. Football is the best time of the year and I cannot wait to continue blogging about the progression of the season.
And for those wondering, yes, I do plan on blogging about volleyball as well.
Feel free to comment or shoot me an email!