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This is the real Hot Stove League
February 21, 2008 - Dan Voigt
The off season for baseball, before Spring training starts, has always been referred to as the "Hot Stove League", as the story goes, because people would always sit around and talk baskeball over a hot stove during the cold winter months.
But around these parts, the real truth about the hot stove league is this - it's all about the new football district announcements that came out on Feb. 20. Around our neck of the woods, there had been a lot of talk, a lot of speculation, and a lot of "Well, I tell you what" guessing. Of course, there's been a lot of "aw, them people at the state don't know nuthin..." talk as well. But, when the new district assignments came out, I must confess I was impressed by how things shook out. The biggest change locally is that Emmetsburg drops to Class 1A, but as it turns out, the E'Hawks are the third or fourth largest school in Class 1A, which is about right with where they were at for the last district go round, when they were just three schools from the bottom of Class 2A. With all of the Class A schools that elected to shift to the Eight-man game, some adjustments downward were to be expected. For Emmetsburg, I think the district will feature some great football the next couple of years. There's plenty of old foes - West Hancock, Belmond-Klemme, Garner-Hayfield, St. Edmonds, among others, to keep the E'Hawks challenged each and every week. Of course, we'll still see Spencer the first week out of the box, so there's another great rivalry that will remain in place.
For our friends in West Bend-Mallard and Graettinger/Terril, along with Ruthven-Ayrshire, their lives are going to become a lot less complex, at least travel-wise. For the last couple of years, Ruthven-Ayrshire had to travel to far off places like Whiting for games. Now, they will travel to Armstrong, Lake Park, West Bend, Graettinger, etc. For the Wolverines and Knights, they will be facing teams of similar size, not the West Hancock or Belmond-Klemme's of the world.
Granted, there's always some apprehension about something new, but for area football fans, I've got to believe that folks are pretty up about the upcoming season.
I sure am, if anything, just because it means there's no snow on the ground and it isn't -15 outside at this moment in the time-space matrix.
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