Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Together at last!
Mt. Pleasant football rejoins Fairfield, Washington in Class 3A
The past two years have been a little funky in the longtime football rivalries between Mt. Pleasant, Fairfield and Washington.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association’s decision to add a new class to football separated the Panthers from the Trojans and Demons in 2021, but a new rule and some lucky math has the three rivals all back together again.
The IHSAA released its preliminary football classifications for the 2023 and 2024 seasons on Monday, and by just a hair, the Union area’s big schools are all in the same class.
Mt. Pleasant came in just under the line to get bumped down to Class 3A. When combining a 437 BEDS number with a 0.45 free and reduced lunch number, the Panthers ended up 73rd biggest out of the 262 11-Man football schools. That makes the Panthers the highest school on the Class 3A list.
On the other end, there were chances that Washington and Fairfield could possibly bump down to Class 2A when the FRL numbers came in. Instead, the Demons and Trojans are each just a couple of spots away, but still in Class 3A.
Washington’s BEDS number was 353, and the FRL percent was 0.48. Fairfield’s BEDS number was 340, with an FRL number of 0.42. That made Washington the 105th-biggest school in Class 11-Man, and Fairfield comes in at No. 106. The cut off for Class 3A was South Tama County, at 108.
Although Mt. Pleasant was not in the same class as Fairfield and Washington in the last two season, the Panthers did play the Trojans and Demons in the first two games of the year. Fairfield and Washington both had a 2-0 record against Mt. Pleasant during that time.
Although the three teams are in the same class, that doesn’t guarantee anything about the district. Districts in Class 3A are divided into groups of six, but those are not yet put together. Among other area teams to land in Class 3A are Keokuk and Fort Madison.
The next Union area team down the list is Mid-Prairie, which comes in as the 120th team in 11-Man, which keeps the Golden Hawks squarely in Class 2A.
Sigourney-Keota and Cardinal will both be competing in Class 1A again. Van Buren County is down to Class 1A, along with Pekin, Highland and Columbus. Danville, which ended its sharing agreement with Mt. Pleasant this year, also will be rejoining the fray at Class 1A.
Sticking in Class 8-Player will be New London, WACO and Winfield-Mount Union.
Hillcrest Academy does not have its own team. The Ravens will co-op with Clear Creek-Amana, which is a Class 4A school.
The full classification list can be found on the IHSAA’s website, or by following this link: https://www.iahsaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Football-Prelim-Class-3.13.23.pdf.