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ZACH JAMES COLUMN: How cool is it that all three city football teams won this week?
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ZACH JAMES COLUMN: How cool is it that all three city football teams won this week?

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Wipe away the date of Oct. 13, 2006, from the chalkboard.

That’s the last time that the three city high school football teams — North, West and East — all won the same night.

It happened for the first time in nearly 15 years on Friday night.

Here’s how it went down: East defeated Le Mars 42-13, West won its second straight game with a 40-12 victory over Des Moines Hoover, and the Stars beat the Des Moines North Polar Bears, 20-0.

It’s a sign that the Sioux City schools are starting to turn the corner to be more competitive.

East has been there for a couple years.

North has won a couple games per year, but has seen progress both on and off the field.

West had a 24-game losing streak entering last week’s contest at South Sioux City, but with the two straight wins and a chance to beat Council Bluffs Jefferson on Thursday night, it seems like the corner may have been turned.

Each “corner” is different, no doubt. Everybody’s climb up the hill is different.

The milestone for East to turn the corner is a deep playoff run.

North’s milestone may be reaching the .500 mark.

West may have already turned its corner.

The fact that all three won on the same night since 2006 is a cool milestone and it’s a fun conversation to have.

North coach Mitch Mohr was a high school student the last time all three city schools played their victory song after the game.

Mitch Mohr

Mohr

Mohr said that the wins among the three schools should garner respect among teams on the eastern side of the state.

“Hopefully it can show to the rest of the state that the west side can be competitive as well,” Mohr said. “For that to continue to happen, the way the (Iowa High School Athletic Association) has changed up their scheduling to make us more competitive, that’s why I believe our numbers have grown, West’s numbers have grown and East has just kept getting better.”

After West beat South Sioux, West senior running back Drew Benson — who had 260 yards rushing Friday night against the Huskies — hoped his team gained more respect.

“I really do hope so,” Benson said. “We showed we can play good football. We have the athletes, we have the talent. We want to keep proving ourselves.”

The change in scheduling happened last season, where the IHSAA put Class 4A (now Class 5A) schools in groups with other teams who are similar in competition.

It just didn’t make sense for the state to hypothetically pair any of the three schools with a Des Moines-area school like Dowling Catholic or Southeast Polk.

So, the state placed the city schools in pods where the Stars and Wolverines can see more success.

“Having those districts where those first two weeks were, the district schedule could be daunting,” Mohr said. “I think the state is doing their best to continue to evolve to make schedules more competitive for us.”

Mohr pointed out two other reasons why the Stars — and perhaps the Wolverines and Black Raiders — have seen recent success.

The seventh-year Stars coach said that the roster has increased and that the Stars have suffered less injuries throughout the last couple years.

“That’s due to being in a more competitive schedule,” Mohr said. “It allows for the kids to continue battling for positions and knowing that there’s an opportunity for them to win a game. That increases depth.”

Mohr said there are about 85 kids on the North roster, compared to the upper 60s just seven years ago.

The football players among the three city schools are simply more excited. That should make parents, alumni and fans eager for the rest of the football season, too.

By the way, a special thanks to former Journal sports editor Terry Hersom for helping me with research on finding the exact date of the last time North, West and East won on the same night.

Zach James is the sports editor of The Journal. He can be reached at zjames@siouxcityjournal.com and on Twitter @ZacharyWJames. 

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