Newton’s football team was in lock step with seven other programs when it came to organizing the non-district schedule for the next two seasons.
The Cardinals will play in Class 4A District 4 in 2023 and 2024.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association released full schedules of every football team in Iowa recently and the Cardinals will play some familiar opponents the next two seasons but also welcome challenges from a few new foes.
“We feel good about our schedule,” Newton head football coach Andy Swedenhjelm said. “We are returning an experienced team so we feel like they are prepared for some early-season challenges to help make us better.”
Newton’s strength of schedule in the non-district portion of the season improves overall.
The lone carry over from recent seasons is Marshalltown. Newton will go to its long-time rival on Sept. 15 this fall. That’s the fourth game of the season.
The rest of the non-district slate includes the season opener at home against ADM on Aug. 25, a road trip to Dallas Center-Grimes on Sept. 1 and a home date with Norwalk on Sept. 8.
The IHSAA also released the schools each program in the state of Iowa requested as potential non-district opponents.
All four of the teams Newton was given were requested by the Cardinals. DCG and Newton had each other No. 1, while Marshalltown had Newton first and Newton had Marshalltown second.
Ballard, ADM, Norwalk, Indianola and Winterset were the other teams Newton requested. Those same schools also had Newton on their requested list.
Newton loses PCM, Knoxville and Saydel from last year’s non-district schedule. PCM did have Newton as its No. 1 non-district request.
“It should help our strength of schedule, but to get to where we want to be as a program, we need to be able to beat good teams,” Swedenhjelm said. “We might as well see where we’re at and where we need to get better.”
The rest of Newton’s schedule features 4A District 4 teams. The Cardinals host Bondurant-Farrar (Sept. 22), Pella (Sept. 29) and Gilbert (Oct. 13) and travel to Carlisle (Oct. 6) and Des Moines Hoover (Oct. 20) next season.
The Cardinals will have four home games in 2024 as the schedule flips the 2023 home and away games.
Some Jasper County schools have plenty of long bus trips the next few seasons. Newton is not one of those programs. The furthest trip in 2023 is the 45-mile trek to Little Hawkeye Conference rival DCG in Week 2. The 64-mile drive to Gilbert is the furthest regular-season trip in 2024.
Lynnville-Sully, which advanced to the UNI-Dome and played in the Class A semifinals last season, will be in Class A District 6 for the next two seasons. The IHSAA granted two teams which L-S requested for its two non-district games.
The Hawks will once again play Pleasantville as part of their non-district slate. That will be on the road on Sept. 8. Both of those schools listed each other as their No. 1 requested opponent.
L-S opens the season at home against Danville on Aug. 25. Danville did not request L-S, but the Hawks had Danville as their No. 6 team.
Their other requested schools were Colfax-Mingo, East Marshall, BCLUW, North Tama and Earlham.
The rest of the Hawks’ schedule will be district games. Those contests start on Sept. 1 when L-S hosts conference rival North Mahaska. The Hawks also host Madrid (Sept. 15) and Mount Ayr (Sept. 29) and travel to Wayne (Sept. 22), Martensdale-St. Marys (Oct. 6) and Central Decatur (Oct. 13).
“We expected something like this,” L-S head football coach Mike Parkinson said. “It’s all right. Should be a good district.”
Lynnville-Sully will make a pair of relatively long trips in each of the next two seasons. The Hawks will drive 75 miles to play Wayne and 112 miles to face Central Decatur this fall. In 2024, L-S opens the season with a 123-mile trip to Danville and also has a 132-mile trek to Mount Ayr.
Contact Troy Hyde at email@example.com