Cedar Falls opens the season at the top of the Class 4A ratings. The Tigers were a state semifinalist a year ago, and return two of the state’s top playmakers in running back Barkley Hill and receiver James Harrington.

But Cedar Falls co-head coach Pat Mitchell says that the Tigers will be relying on a lot of inexperience players around Hill and Harrington. He says while they will depend on the veterans, it will be important to have the younger players mesh with them and that will determine how well they play as a team.

Mitchell says some first games make you wonder if you can run one play, but then you come back and work on it to improve as fast as you can. The Tigers are still unsure who will be taking the snaps when they open up at Dubuque Hempstead on Friday night. Mitchell says they plan to utilize both junior Ike Boettger and transfer student Grant Grainger.

Mitchell says with the heat they will play a lot of players and will have tape of what they did so they can make corrections.

Cedar Falls’ other co-head coach Brad Remmert says they know that Hempstead will test their players from a physical and a mental standpoint.

He says Hempstead is always physical and hard nosed and will test you with the Wing-T offense and you have to be locked in on the right keys and be disciplined.

As the preseason #1, the Tigers will be getting the best shot from every team on the schedule, but Remmert says that Hempstead always plays Cedar Falls especially tough.

By Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls