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It's that time...

August 26, 2008 - Dan Voigt
The other morning, there was just enough of a chill in the morning air that sleeves felt nice for a while, and the morning dew dripped off my vehicle as I left for a morning trip. I don’t know about you folks, but to me, those are little signs of the upcoming change of seasons. I’m not ready to concede that summer is over by any means. What I refer to is the change from the summer sporting seasons to the start of Fall sports – football, volleyball and cross-country for our high school athletes. Monday marked the official start of practice in Iowa for football players, and before everyone wants to know it, or realize it, Friday nights will be synonymous with football under the lights, as communities come together again to cheer on their young people on the gridiron. We’ll see the start of volleyball and cross-country practices next Monday, and those athletes will soon be competing in their respective sports as the school year begins next week. That in itself seems to be a bit shocking, when you look at the calendar. In Emmetsburg, classes begin on Wednesday, August 20. That does seem awful early, but when you stop and reflect, this year has seen lots of things come awfully early – State Wrestling was in the third week of February, Girls state basketball was earlier, as were all of the high school sports this summer, and in turn, now the new school year appears to be starting a week or two earlier than normal. But never fear, even though the Fall Sports are starting directly, there will be plenty of Summer left to enjoy, or mumble about, as the case may be. You can be sure that there will be some early dismissals from school due to excessive heat, and you can be sure you won’t need the winter coats for a couple of weeks, yet. Now how’s that for optimism? From the sporting perspective, this will be a very interesting Fall when you look at the football world. There will be a pair of new head coaches in county football programs and changes for three of the four teams here in Palo Alto County. Emmetsburg will venture into the ranks of Class 1A football this fall, after many years of strength in Class 2A. A new coach takes the reins at West Bend-Mallard, as Pete Kapustynski moves into the Head Coach’s position to lead the Wolverines. There is also a new head coach at Ruthven-Ayrshire, where Luke Miller takes over the controls from Larry Swingen to guide the Raiders. Add in the fact that the Knights of Graettinger/Terril and the Wolverines of West Bend-Mallard are moving into the ranks of eight-man football, to play along with Ruthven-Ayrshire, and football fans in the county will have lots of new and exciting play to view this coming season. - by Dan Voigt


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