By ANDY HEINTZ
Courier Sports Writer
OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa football teams schedule has been released and it contains some familiar names along with an abundance of new ones.
The Bulldogs, which finished 3-6 in the now-defunct Class 4A, Division 3 last season, have joined the new six team Class 4A, District 6 conference. Aside from Ottumwa, the division includes Iowa City High, Cedar Rapids Washington, Muscatine, Burlington and Cedar Rapids Prairie. The teams, excluding the Bulldogs, finished with a combined record of 33-23 last season. Iowa City High boasted the most impressive record of 8-3, while Burlington was the least effective with a uninspiring record of 2-7.
“We’re happy with it,” Pfantz said about the schedule. “I think our schedule is overall more challenging, but a little less top-heavy. No game is going to be a sure win, but if we play well and come together we will be in a position to be competitive every week.”
Ottumwa’s conference road games will be at Cedar Rapids Washington and Cedar Rapids Prairie, while the Bulldogs will play their home conference games against Iowa City High, Muscatine and Burlington in the friendly confines of Schafer Stadium.
In non-conference play, Ottumwa will take on Mount Pleasant and Marshalltown at home, while hitting the road to face Oskaloosa and Indianola.
The Bulldogs thrashed Mount Pleasant 46-3 last season and defeated Marshalltown 28-17, but they were soundly defeated by Indianola 34-7.
“Marshalltown and us are two programs in similar spots,” Pfantz said. “Indianola has been on her schedule the last two years and we’ve been disappointed with the way we’ve played against them but we’re excited to play them in the next two years.”
Meanwhile, Osky finished with a 7-4 record last season. Although the two teams haven’t clashed in a number of years, at one time the two teams had the longest running rivalry in the state.
“There will be a lot of people in both communities who would have played in those games,” Pfantz said. “They have done some really good things in the last couple of years so it will be a challenge for us.”
To follow Andy Heintz’s Twitter feed, go to @heintz23.