In just three short days, the calendar turns over to October, an exciting month for sports fans.
There’s nothing quite like attending a sporting event in the crisp, cool autumn air, surrounded by all the green, auburn and golden leaves.
High school football season is really kicking into high gear, with just three weeks left in the regular season after today’s games.
Numerous area teams still harbor hopes of earning those top-four positions in district play to qualify for the playoffs.
Murray won a colossal matchup last week against Adair-Casey and looks to be rolling, heading into the final stretch of regular season games.
Also in Eight-Man District 6, East Union still has a chance at securing a top-four spot, but with a 1-2 record in the district, every remaining game becomes a playoff game for the Eagles.
Mount Ayr faces a tough challenge tonight at home against Van Meter. Both teams are undefeated in district play, and so is Pella Christian — Mount Ayr’s opponent in the final game of the regular season.
Those two games, along with the Raiders’ game with Central Decatur next week, will go a long way in determining how Class 1A District 7 shapes up.
Corning, in Eight-Man District 8, also clings to playoff life, but sits 1 1/2 games back of CAM for the fourth-position heading into tonight’s games. The Red Raiders still have district games against Villisca, Lenox and CAM remaining on their schedule.
Meanwhile, Lenox sits in the third position in the district currently, at 4-1 — trailing Fremont-Mills and Sidney, both at 4-0 until they meet tonight in Sidney.
Then there’s the Creston/Orient-Macksburg Panthers, third in the treacherous Class 3A District 1 heading into tonight’s battle with Harlan. The Panthers finish with district games against Lewis Central and Glenwood, with a non-district contest with Winterset mixed in.
Volleyball is also heading into its final stretch of the season. East Union is putting together yet another stellar season and looks like it could be a contender in the postseason.
Creston has shown a lot of improvement, and just gave Lewis Central all it could handle Tuesday night.
And the area continues to churn out outstanding cross country runners as Tiffany Shepherd has led the Corning girls team to a fantastic season so far. Maria Mostek and Emily Wignall have led a young Creston girls team to one of its best seasons in several years.
On the boys side, Timmy Settlemoir, Colton Graham and TJ Bower have put the Nodaway Valley boys in position to contend for a state meet berth once again. And the Creston boys have steadily improved throughout the season.
Add to that the fact the college football season is in full swing right now, and the NFL season is off to a controversial start, and things couldn’t get much better, could they?
How about throwing some postseason baseball into the mix, as well. I love the chess matches that postseason baseball games turn into, and with the addition this year of a one-game Wild Card playoff, things are only going to get more interesting.
I’ve always felt the one-game playoff in baseball is one of the most intense, pressure-packed events in sports as teams pull out all the stops in an all-or-nothing attempt to advance.
Just the thought of postseason baseball in October throws me back one year ago when I went for the ride of my life living in St. Louis and experiencing first-hand the Cardinals’ run to the World Series.
It’s time to bust out the “happy flights” and rally squirrels, and whatever else it takes to advance.
There are still a couple of races coming down to the wire to determine postseason teams, and that can be just as exciting as the actual postseason.
How great was the final day, nay final hours of the MLB regular season last year? When the Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays snatched postseason bids away from the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox in the closing moments of the season?
That was some of the most intense baseball, and channel-flipping, I’ve ever experienced.
• Believe it or not, I’m kind of disappointed the regular NFL officials are back. When things boiled over Monday night with the replacement officials at the conclusion of the Green Bay-Seattle game, I realized how much more interesting the replacement officials had made the games. It was total chaos. It added a bit of unpredictability to the games that wasn’t there before.
• Clarke Community High School has started a high school girls rugby team. It is one of only three teams in Iowa. If you’re interested in checking out something different, Clarke hosts both Valley and Southeast Polk at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Clarke Community High School.
• After my last column about traveling to Michigan to see the Air Force football team, a reader contacted me about a local tie to the Falcons team. Jacob Ehm, son of Gary Ehm, a 1975 graduate from Creston High School, is an offensive lineman at Air Force.
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