CEDAR RAPIDS — About the only less-than-optimal situation at Kingston Stadium on Wednesday will be underneath the stands.
“The locker rooms (on the east side of the stadium), there are two on the inside and two on the outside,” said Cedar Rapids Kennedy football coach Tim Lewis. “You have to go through the outside ones to get to the inside ones.
“So how to accommodate one team and not interrupt another, I don’t know how that will work.”
That’s one minor headache in what will be a historic evening.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association assigned a Class 4A double-header to Kingston for the first round of the playoffs Wednesday; Cedar Rapids Washington (6-3) will face Cedar Falls (6-3) at 5:30 p.m., then Kennedy (6-3) meets Cedar Rapids Prairie (5-4) at 8.
It is the first playoff double-header at the old stadium.
“It should be a great night for fans,” said Washington Coach Paul James. “They’ll get to watch what should be a couple good games.”
Playoffs begin Wednesday in all six classes, with 32 teams in each class. Other Metro teams in action are Cedar Rapids Xavier (which hosts Clinton in 4A) and Marion (which travels to West Delaware in 3A). All three Iowa City schools qualified, including Regina, which carries a 51-game winning streak into its 1A game at home against Tipton.
Both Kingston contests will be rematches from regular-season games. East-side eighth-seeded Washington dropped a 21-7 decision to No. 9 seed Cedar Falls on Sept. 13. The Warriors haven’t lost since, rattling off six straight wins.
“The kids started getting some confidence that week,” James said. “We’re throwing the ball a lot better now.”
Kennedy, the No. 7 seed, came from behind to beat 10-seed Prairie at John Wall Field, 28-24, on Sept. 6. The Cougars tripped Iowa City High, 35-14, Friday behind a school-record 300-yard rushing night by Miles Moa.
“The ground game was really clicking,” Lewis said. “We threw effectively early, and we could have gone back to it. But we didn’t want to.”
WELCOME BACK, PANTHERS
Jon Kyte spent most of the past decade as a collegiate assistant. He was ready for something new.
“I always wanted to be a head coach. Then this opened up,” Kyte said.
A 2000 graduate of Monticello High School, Kyte returned to his alma mater this fall. And now, he has the Panthers in the playoffs for the first time since 1991.
He’s gotten some help from his family. His father Jim and his uncle Chuck are on his staff. Jim had a couple earlier stints at Monticello and coached with Sam Anderson at West Delaware and Urbandale. Chuck was a successful head coach at Iowa Valley.
“This being my first time as a head coach, it’s nice I can lean on them,” Kyte said.
“Getting to the playoffs, this is a great feeling for the guys. We’ve had some success here, but couldn’t quite make the playoff field.”
Monticello (6-3) qualified by finishing third in Class 2A District 4. The Panthers will play at Waukon (8-1) in a first-round game.
FIRE UP THAT GPS
The Rockets from Eddyville EBF will be leaving early for their Class 1A first-round battle with Clayton Ridge, and returning late.
According to mapquest.com, it’s a 194-mile, 3 1/2-hour trip from Eddyville to Guttenberg.
This journey was made possible by Clayton Ridge (8-1) finishing second in 1A District 5 and EBF (6-3) placing third in District 6.
Other long hauls in games involving area teams are DeWitt Central at Decorah (151 miles), Crestwood at Maquoketa (150) and South Hamilton at South Winneshiek (143).
* For Center Point-Urbana, playoff urgency began Friday. The Stormin’ Pointers rallied from a 13-0 deficit to edge Mount Vernon, 20-19 in overtime in a game that determined the final berth in Class 2A District 4. CPU (5-4) plays at New Hampton (9-0).
* After starting 0-4, Meskwaki Settlement School won its next five games and earned the fourth spot in 8-Man District 5 when it defeated Melcher-Dallas, 38-34. The Warriors will make their second playoffs appearance when they face Adair-Casey (9-0).
* We goofed in Saturday’s paper in our assessment of the qualifiers in Class 1A District 5. Despite a 29-21 loss to Alburnett on Friday, Tipton grabbed the district’s fourth berth. North Cedar, Tipton and Alburnett tied for third with 3-3 district records, with the Knights and the Tigers earning the berths based on point differential.
* The forecast for kickoff Wednesday calls for temperatures in the low 50s in Cedar Rapids, with a 30-percent chance of rain.
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