It is THAT time.
Yes, that time.
Playoff that time.
All (5) of our Coaches' Corner teams (and their coach, of course) will be participating in the postseason beginning with this evening. Each team is heading into the promised land a bit differently, and we will look at that right...about...now.
BOOK ENDS - The Little Hawks are indeed champions of the Mississippi Division of the Mississippi Valley Conference...albeit a co-champion. Something happening along the way to the playoffs: City lost its final game, 35-14 to Cedar Rapids Kennedy. After dropping game 1 of the season to Cedar Falls, the Eastsiders had found an identity. Most of it was in the face and form of hard running ball carrier Xavier Washpun. The bad news: the Little Hawks lost last Friday. The good news: every team that is still alive and kicking has a 0-0 record. Well, that is how I see it.
BACKING IN WITH COMMONALITY - Do not tell West High head coach Brian Sauser that an asterisk should be placed on this year's co-conference title with City (the Little Hawks defeated the Trojans in week 7). "We will take a title no matter how it happens." the coach said on last week's Coaches Corner show. I agree with him. That was then, this is now. The Trojans will play Dubuque Hempstead, a team they defeated 39-35 in week 6 of the season. However, the field of play with change: the game takes place at West this time around.
KEEPING THE STATUS QUO - Solon clinched its 9th consecutive district title with a win on Friday over Benton Community. The Spartans are playing very spirited football since their week 2 loss to Iowa City Regina. Home field advantage is definitely at play for Solon as they will host Western Dubuque on Wednesday. A strong offensive performance from the Spartans, led by quarterback Jacob Black and a very powerful line. Look for success early and often if you are a spectator.
CHASING HISTORY - All season long we have heard about the Regina Regal winning streak and how they are chasing the all-time consecutive games won benchmark of Waterloo West. Do not tell that to Head Coach Marv Cook, however. He acknowledges the streak, but is always quick to acknowledge that the team is only looking at the next opponent. In the first round, it will be a conference foe: Tipton. The Tigers lost their final game of the season against Alburnett, fumbling the ball an astonishing 11 times in that contest...and lost 9 of them. The rain may slow the Regal passing game, but Riley Dixon, Jake Brinkman, and their teammates are licking chops in wait to hit the field...running.
IT'S OUR TIME - That has been the West Branch Football motto for the 2013 season. A year that began with many football 'experts' saying the Bears would finish near the bottom of District 6 (I will admit, however, I projected the Bears to finish 6-3...and they finished? 6-3) and not be a part of the postseason fun. 47-0 was the final score last week against Cardinal (Eldon), and that punched the Bear ticket into the promised land. West Branch will travel to Maquoketa Valley (Delhi) to take on the District 5 champion. Ryan Parmely leads the Wildcat offensive attack. He is the 3rd leading rusher for the entire state of Iowa with just under 2000 yards, and he has scored 19 touchdowns. WB back Michael Gould led District 6 rushers with 1160 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns.
Listen LIVE to the West Branch vs Maquoketa Valley game right here on AM800 KXIC beginning at 6:30. We talked with Bear head coach Butch Pedersen and Gould and you can hear those conversations during the pregame festivities.
Also, be sure to listen on Saturday to the Coaches' Corner as we break down all the playoff action.