The Battle for the Boot is officially back without ever really leaving.
It became official Friday that the annual meeting between City High and West High will continue when the Iowa High School Athletic Association announced schedules for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
The continuation of the series was never in serious doubt but also was no longer guaranteed when it was announced that the eastern half of Class 4A would do away with conference scheduling and adopt a district schedule model in 2014.
City High and West found themselves in different districts when assignments were released in January; however, both City and West administrators and coaches expressed little concern in the state of the series.
The game will be played Sept. 19 at West High in 2014 and on Sept. 18 at City High in 2015.
“That game is too special to not play,” City coach Dan Sabers said. “It’s been a very positive thing overall for the community, and it’s really a special night for the kids and coach Sauser, and I have both experience winning that game and that great atmosphere that goes along with it. So we are going to keep that; there is no question. It was never in jeopardy in my mind.”
West’s 2014 schedule features seven teams that qualified for the Class 4A playoffs last season.
The Trojans nine-game slate includes four teams that reached the quarterfinals and a pair of state semifinalists in Bettendorf and West Des Moines Valley.
West High travels to West Des Moines Valley on Sept. 5.
The Tigers have won five of the past 12 Class 4A state titles and are coming off a 10-3 season last year.
City will face six teams that qualified for the Class 4A playoffs a year ago, highlighted by a home game against Ames on Sept. 12 the night before the Iowa-Iowa State game in Iowa City.
Ames finished 11-1 last season, falling in the state quarterfinals.
City High will open the season against Cedar Falls on Aug. 29, setting up another doubleheader as Iowa host Northern Iowa on Aug. 30.
“I think we have some good games with a lot of interest with teams like Bettendorf and Cedar Falls, and this whole idea with Ames is certainly something that’s exciting,” City coach Dan Sabers said. “
Regina raised some eyebrows around the state with its schedule as the Class 1A Regals will travel to Class 3A Cedar Rapids Xavier on Oct. 17.
Xavier is the two-time defending Class 4A runner-up and has gone 25-3 the last two seasons in Class 4A before dropping to 3A this season.
Regina has won a state-record 56 straight games and four consecutive state titles.
The Regals will open the season against Class 3A semifinalist Solon on Aug. 28.