The Iowa High School Athletic Association last week released new football districts for all classes, giving the gridiron a new look this fall.
The changes will be in effect for each of the next two seasons, starting with the 2014 campaign.
For the first time, all of Class 4A will compete in district play, a change from the past when only the western half competed in division play while the eastern half clinged to conference play. Waukee’s District 4 includes Fort Dodge, Indianola, Marshalltown, Mason City and Urbandale.
In Class 3A, rivals A-D-M and Dallas Center-Grimes were reunited in District 8 after two years of playing as non-district opponents. District 8 also includes Atlantic, Creston/Orient-Macksburg, Glenwood, Harlan and Winterset.
Fresh off its trip to the semifinals, Van Meter will retain its Class 1A status but will battle in a newly assembled District 8. Joining the Bulldogs will be Woodward-Granger, which climbed one level from Class A. The rest of the district includes Central Decatur, Des Moines Christian, Interstate 35, Panorama, and Southwest Valley, the latter a result of the whole-grade sharing agreement between Corning and Villisca.
The next step in the scheduling process is establishing non-district opponents to fill out teams’ schedules. The final schedules are expected either late February or early March, said Todd Tharp, IHSAA’s assistant director.