September 27, 2023

Colfax-Mingo, Baxter football reside on opposite sides of non-district schedule release

Iowa High School Athletic Association releases football schedules for 2023, 2024

Football programs from Baxter and Colfax-Mingo had different experiences when it came to the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s schedule release recently.

For the first time in C-M head football coach Jeff Lietz’s tenure, the Tigerhawks were given exactly who the coaching staff requested.

On the other hand, Baxter head football coach Rob Luther and his staff requested seven potential non-district foes and were rewarded with exactly zero of them.

“I’m good with it,” Lietz said. “For the first time ever since I have been coaching, we get what we listed as priorities.”

Colfax-Mingo’s non-district request list included Wayne, Saydel, North Mahaska, Martensdale-St. Marys, Grand View Christian, East Marshall and Albia in that order.

All seven of those programs also shared interest in playing the Tigerhawks. North Mahaska actually wrote down C-M as its No. 2 team.

Colfax-Mingo won’t be playing North Mahaska in 2023 or 2024, but the Tigerhawks do move back up to Class 1A and will be in District 6 for the next two seasons.

The non-district slate includes road trips to Wayne and Grand View Christian to start the season on Aug. 25 and Sept. 1, respectively. Saydel comes to Colfax-Mingo for the final non-district game on Sept. 8.

The 1A District 6 schedule for C-M includes home games against Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (Sept. 15), Pleasantville (Sept. 29) and Pella Christian (Oct. 13) as well as road contests against Cardinal of Eldon (Sept. 22) and Sigourney/Keota (Oct. 6).

While Lietz and the Tigerhawks basically got exactly what they wanted, Luther and the Baxter Bolts did not.

Eight-man programs in Iowa will play two non-district games in 2023 and 2024.

The Bolts listed English Valleys, Mormon Trail, Melcher-Dallas, HLV, GMG, Murray and Iowa Valley as teams they were interested in playing.

Only two of those programs — English Valleys and HLV — also had Baxter on their lists.

The IHSAA though did not put a single requested team on the Bolts’ schedule. Instead, the organization gave Baxter a Week 0 game on Aug. 18.

The Bolts open the season on Week 0 with a long road trip to Springville (Aug. 18). The other non-district game will be a familiar foe from the past two seasons. Baxter hosts Montezuma for a non-district battle on Oct. 6.

“We have to play Week 0 and that’s not ideal,” Luther said. “We do get a bye in Week 1, and we get Montezuma in a non-district game that will be fun.”

The Bolts’ district schedule features home games against Coon Rapids-Bayard (Sept. 1), Glidden-Ralston (Sept. 15) and Collins-Maxwell (Sept. 29).

Baxter will go to Fort Dodge St. Edmond on Sept. 8, travel to Colo-NESCO on Sept. 22 and play at Audubon on Oct. 13.

“I have personally played every team except Glidden-Ralston, but it’s been a while for Audubon and St. Edmond,” Luther said. “There will be lots of travel. It has to be the biggest travel district in 8-man.”

The Bolts will make a handful of long road trips in 2023. Baxter’s season-opening road game against Springville is 105 miles one way. They also will drive 101 miles to Fort Dodge and 116 miles to Audubon in 2023.

The 2024 road schedule includes a 97-mile one-way trek to Gladden-Ralston and a 96-mile one-way drive to Coon Rapids-Bayard.

Colfax-Mingo’s longest trip in 2023 is the 85-mile one-way trip to Cardinal, but the Tigerhawks’ road trips to Wayne and Sigourney/Keota cover 73 and 71 miles one way, respectively.

The biggest reason Baxter likely didn’t get cooperation from the IHSAA is because only two of the teams the Bolts requested also listed Baxter as a potential opponent.

Baxter had English Valleys as its No. 1 target, but the Bears had the Bolts as their No. 7 option. And while Baxter listed HLV as its No. 4, the Warriors put down Baxter at No. 6.

Montezuma listed Baxter at No. 5 and Gladbrook-Reinbeck included Baxter at No. 7.

Colfax-Mingo was a popular request from teams around the state. While every team C-M had on its list also had the Tigerhawks on their list, AGWSR also had Colfax-Mingo at No. 7, North Tama listed C-M at No. 5, West Central Valley included the Tigerhawks at No. 6 and Ogden featured C-M at No. 7.

Wayne and C-M both had each other at No. 1 and Saydel and the Tigerhawks each were No. 2 on each other’s list.