CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Your thoughts today are about the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Armistice Day.
There’s some space for sport, though, however insignificant.
#The sports section of the newspaper you’ve all depended upon for 130 years or so no longer (space limitations) runs the Fearless Football Forecast so we’ll reprise the award-winning Triple F, however briefly, for Iowa’s prep football playoff title games.
It remains a mystery as to when Sioux City will return a public school team to the Class 4A semifinals so we’ll shift those picks to a post-script and commence with 3A.
Cedar Rapids Xavier is clearly the favorite over Western Dubuque in the championship game.
As mentioned previously, Xavier just has too many weapons beyond slick quarterback Quinn Schulte.
Western Dubuque has a Division I quarterback of its own in Calvin Harris, who will play baseball at Southeastern Conference power Mississippi. He’s a calm and cool customer, much like Schulte, whose father and Xavier Coach Duane Schulte, once coached girls basketball at Bishop Heelan.
It’ll be up to Western Dubuque’s superb linebackers, who outquicked Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s speedy running backs, to slow Xavier’s polished offense.
Xavier pummeled Council Bluffs Lewis Central in a semifinal in which Schulte clearly outplayed publicized Lewis Central quarterback Max Duggan, a TCU recruit.
In the 2A semis Saturday, our picks were Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley over Waukon and Monroe PCM over West Liberty. With the final prediction BH/RV over PCM.
In the 1A semis Saturday, it was difficult to pick one of Siouxland’s own, Hawarden West Sioux over defending champ Van Meter, home of legendary baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller.
But, as a perfect and only 20-0 Triple F weekly winner back in the day, how could we go wrong.
The other 1A semi featured what will be the eventual runner-up, either Pella Christian and Dike-New Hartford. Christian was the choice.
Incidentally, Pella is becoming a source of talent revenue for burgeoning NAIA program Dordt in Sioux Center.
The Dordt roster lists seven players from either Pella High or Christian with the majority from Christian. Christian, of course, has a reach beyond the city limits and students from surrounding communities like Lynnville and Sully attend the school.
Lynnville-Sully, coached by former Akron-Westfield and Briar Cliff quarterback Mike Parkinson, lost a first-round contest in Class A at Hudson, 44-22.
Hudson will outscore AHSTW, down there in Southwest Iowa, in the Class A final.
In the madcap eight-man final, Rockford will bridge any gap in talent while making certain New London will come falling down.
Rockford is most famous for being the boyhood home of a pretty darn good athlete – and writer -- “Bridges of Madison County’’ author Robert Waller, who was once a second-team all-state basketball player at the school in the late 1950s.
Rockford blitzed previously unbeaten Southeast Warren in the semis, 52-19.
Adding another exclamation point to its dominance of Class 4A will be West Des Moines Valley in 4A,
Valley stepped on Bettendorf in a four-overtime thriller here Friday 41-34 classic.
Valley will now win its sixth straight crown by beating Cedar Falls in the title game.
#Cedar Falls’ 26-12 win over Southeast Polk in the 4A semis here was only fitting.
Southeast Polk, which concluded 6-6 season, entered the playoffs with a 4-5 record and stunned top seed Ankeny Centennial in the first round and No. 8 Johnston in the quarters.
By reducing the playoff field from 32 to 16 teams in each class this year, the Iowa High School Athletic Association instituted a Rating Percentage Index (RPI) to determine playoff qualifiers.
In that procedure, the excellence of opponents figures prominently.
Consequently, SEP, the only losing team among 80 qualifiers, advanced at 4-5, winning its last three regular-season games against teams with a combined 9-18 record.
Props to SEP for its playoff grit, but did the team deserve to make the final 16?
Several coaches in the UNI-Dome didn’t think so.
SEP gained RPI strength by losing to playoff qualifiers, all with winning records, Centennial, West Des Moines Valley, Iowa City West, Waukee and Fort Dodge.
Bottom line, losing to winners was more advantageous to Southeast Polk than beating losers.
#It remains to be revealed today as to which team gets the short straw and might be destined to travel to Billings, Mont., to face Rocky Mountain College in the first round of the NAIA playoffs.
Rocky was ranked only 11th prior to Saturday’s clash with Montana Western but would have wrapped up the Frontier Conference title and an automatic bid.
Rocky likely would bid to host a first-round game, but if it doesn’t the NAIA would likely ship the Battlin’ Bears east.
Top-ranked and unbeaten 11-0 Morningside was looking to host Concordia (Mich.) or Dickinson State of North Dakota in a first-round game, but NAIA wisdom is a little tricky.
Dickinson State, the North Star Conference champ, has an automatic berth and the No. 16 ranking, but was idle Saturday.
Concordia (Mich.) is second in the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League to second-ranked Marian (Ind.) and faced a must-win clash with MSFA foe Siena Heights Saturday.
St. Xavier of Illinois may have been leapfrogged a notch or two to 16th and final ranking too.
Two automatic conference champs, Kansas Wesleyan and Langston (Okla.) seemed a geographic first-round matchup. Wesleyan, regardless of the foe, would be trying to become a rare Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference playoff winner, ever.
The NAIA doesn’t traditionally like three-time losers in the playoffs, but two or three were on the horizon going into Saturday games.
#The Prince family of Sergeant Bluff could be found in force Friday to watch the Class 5A girls state volleyball championship match in Cedar Rapids.
Ankeny Centennial, led by Kenna Sauer, upset top-ranked Cedar Falls, which had won 75 straight matches, including 46 this season, in a stunning three-game sweep.
Sauer, one of 11 Centennial seniors, was named captain of the all-tournament team.
Sauer’s grandfather, Tom Prince, was the longtime girls softball coach at SB-L; her mother, Mindi Prince Sauer, was a standout multi-sport athlete at SB-L and Morningside; and sister Melanie also starred at SB-L and Morningside.
Kenna’s father, Matt, an superb prep athlete at Woodbury Central, defeated Cary Meyer of Britt West Hancock, 9-3, to win Iowa’s Class 1A state heavyweight wrestling title in 1992.