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Bobcats’ football schedule adjusted amid COVID-19

T-R FILE PHOTO - Marshalltown High School head football coach Adam Goodvin walks off the field after meeting with his team during a game against Ankeny Centennial on Sept. 27, 2019, at Leonard Cole Field.

Marshalltown football coach Adam Goodvin was caught off guard by a noon Friday announcement from the Iowa High School Athletic Association which detailed changes to the length of the 2020 high school schedule.

The changes shortened the window for the regular season to seven weeks, with teams having the option to play five, six or seven games. It led to the revised season schedule that Marshalltown announced Monday afternoon.

Goodvin said the decision left the Bobcats scrambling a little to drop games and add others to make their season work.

“This kind of hit us pretty hard,” Goodvin said. “We were waiting on some guidance from the state, we weren’t expecting a revised schedule.”

The new schedule has the Bobcats playing seven games in the seven-week window, starting on August 28 with a home game against Mason City. Marshalltown visits Newton September 4, then hosts Ames Sept. 11 and Des Moines East Sept. 18. A trip to Ottumwa on Sept. 25 ends the month. In October, the Bobcats host seven-time defending champions Dowling Catholic on the 2nd for Senior Night before ending the regular season with a Thursday night road game at Sioux City North on the 8th.

The Class 4A playoffs begins Oct. 16 and all teams will make the first round.

Goodvin was very complimentary of school athletic directors for being able to make changes and announce a concrete schedule in less than three days.

Marshalltown’s new schedule drops previously scheduled games against Grinnell, Waterloo West and Linn-Mar due to conference/district play requirements. Des Moines Lincoln was also dropped. The schedules are as local as can be, Goodvin said, with Eastern teams playing Eastern teams and CIML teams playing in Central Iowa as much as possible to limit travel.

There’s a chance it’s not to be the final adjustment of the season as the state and IHSAA try to navigate the current pandemic while meeting a stated goal of playing high school sports in the fall.

For Goodvin, the schedule change is welcome in one way.

“I don’t think our goals change at all,” Goodvin said. “We’re just happy to have a plan to play football.”

2020 MHS Football Schedule

(All games start at 7 p.m.)

Friday, Aug. 28 — MASON CITY

Friday, Sept. 4 – at Newton

Friday, Sept. 11 – AMES

Friday, Sept. 18 – DES MOINES EAST

Friday, Sept. 25 – at Ottumwa

Friday, Oct. 2 – DOWLING CATHOLIC

Thursday, Oct. 8 – at Sioux City North, (at Elwood Olsen Stadium)

Friday, Oct. 16 – State Playoffs, TBD

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