Class 2A District 6 is bound to be a toss-up in 2016, as we continue our look at all the districts in our listening area.
In this district, Albia is the no-doubt headliner. The Blue Demons went 12-1 last season, falling to Mount Vernon in the state semifinals at the UNI-Dome, 24-21, to end their year.
While Albia should always be in the mix, Head Coach Jerry Staton will be needing to address the losses of All-State players Blake Bayer and Carter Isley. The loss of the senior class is sure to bring Albia back to the field at least a little bit.
Central Lee was a surprising contender last season, going 9-2, falling to Mount Vernon in the second round of the playoffs, 41-28, at home. The Hawks will also be looking to address some big-time holes on offense and defense, but could again be in the mix at the top of their district.
These two teams from different districts in 2015 will join PCM, who competed in Albia’s district last year en route to an impressive 7-3 season. The Mustangs were 7-2 in the regular year, before losing at home in the first round of the playoffs to Mid-Prairie. PCM was led by Logan Gilman, who was one of the best quarterbacks in the listening area last year. He’ll need replaced, as will several other important spots for the Mustangs.
With those three teams needing players to step up to continue their success, the other five teams are looking to build on non-winning seasons.
Chariton bounces down from Class 3A to 2A after a 5-5 season. The Chargers lost in the first round of the playoffs to Gilbert, and lost five of their last six games. They also have to deal with losing tight end TJ Hockenson, who rewrote the record books in receiving in the state.
Centerville had a tough 2-7 season in 2015, but return QB Brett Kauzlarich and the Big Reds could see at least a doubling of their win total. Clarke, Davis County, and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont all finished last year at 1-8, and are going to battle each other to stay out of the basement of this district in 2016. EBF went 1-8 in Class 1A last year, and now will have to contend with a Class 2A district.
From week-to-week, this district could be unpredictable until the dust settles in the last third of the season.
Until then, we’ll be paying close attention as the jockeying should be unpredictable from start to finish.
Next week, we’ll continue to look at our area districts by highlighting Class 1A District 4, which features Sigourney/Keota.