Heading East: OHS Football Gets New District For 2014-15

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Sometimes, the rumor turns out to be true.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association on Thursday released its football district assignments for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and as it had been speculated, Ottumwa High was placed in a Class 4A district containing teams from the eastern part of the state.  The Bulldogs join Burlington, Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Iowa City High and Muscatine in District 6 of Class 4A.

Ottumwa’s district the previous two seasons had included only teams to its west, as the western half of 4A had moved to district play while the eastern 4A schools chose to stay in their conferences for football.  However, the decisions by Davenport Assumption, Dubuque Wahlert and Cedar Rapids Xavier to drop from 4A to 3A for football prompted the remaining eastern schools to vote in favor of switching to district play beginning this fall.

The IHSAA stated earlier this month that Ottumwa was a likely candidate to be placed in an eastern district if the conference format in the east was scrapped.  Some reports listed Marshalltown and Mason City as other possible western candidates for eastern districts, but in the end only Ottumwa was moved.

OHS can still schedule western 4A teams into the non-district portion of the schedule, which will remain at four games after the IHSAA voted this week to keep all teams at 9-game schedules.  Ottumwa and Indianola have already agreed to request each other as opponents for another two seasons.