NFV football to face Decorah
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NFV football to face Decorah
By Mike Van Sickle
Fans of TigerHawk football got a treat late last week as the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) released the 2014 schedule.
North Fayette Valley knew it would be a tough year as it moved up from Class 1A to Class 2A. state runner-up Waukon, and New Hampton, the only team that beat Waukon during the regular season, was in the District 3 with NFV. Also competing will be Beckman, Columbus, Oelwein, and Center Point-Urbana.
Now TH fans know that the three non conference foes for the next two years will be Decorah, Independence, and Osage.
In the first game of the season on Friday, Aug. 29, Class 3A Decorah will be coming to town. The Vikings are just two years removed from a state title. The last time a team from North faced a Decorah team was in 1973.
The second game of the season will be against another Class 3A school as NFV visits Independence. The Mustangs have a new facility but haven’t had much success on the gridiron in recent years. The last time a North team played Indee was way back in 1969!
The final non-district foe is Osage, which the TigerHawks have faced the past two years in Class 1A. Like Decorah, the Green Devils are just two years removed from a state title.
NFV head coach Bob Lape asid of the schedule, “Top to bottom, it’s a pretty tough go; we’ll have our work cut out for us.”
Teams can select up to five schools they wish to face; NFV got one of the five on its list.
“We would have liked to schedule a conference foe,” stated the TH head man, “but it is what it is, and we move on.”
The IHSAA also used to have cross-district foes. The past two years, NFV faced Aplington-Parkersburg. However, that will not be the case for the next two years.
According to Lape, “Too many coaches complained because the system set up too many rematches in the playoffs.”
While the state association did not give NFV much of what it asked for, Lape said of the schedule, “I’m excited. Our philosophy has always been to prepare for the playoffs and, hopefully, make a little money at the gate.
“This schedule allows us to do all of that. Those first two games will provide us with a lot of valuable information about our team and what we need to work on. In a way, it’s no different than the days when we faced Waverly-Shell Rock and New Hampton every year.
“If we beat a team like Decorah, it doesn’t mean we’re the best team in the area, and a loss doesn’t mean we can’t win the district. We need to test ourselves, find out what kind of team we have, and get ready for what’s really important – the postseason,” Lape explained.
The highly successful TH coach also added, “Of course, we need to get through games pretty much injury-free. But it’s an exciting schedule that fits our philosophy.”