A new rivalry is born in the city of Ankeny on Friday night as the state’s newest high school Ankeny Centennial plays Ankeny. The new school split up the defending class 4A champions and long time Ankeny coach Jerry Pezetti is the co-coach at Centennial with his son, Ryan.
Brad Zelenovich takes over at Ankeny and says after all the hype surrounding the split he is ready for the season to start. “We’ve been here about six months now, the staff, and been around the kids and have been at it pretty hard and it’s time to go at it,” Zelenovich says.
Officials say the crowd could top 15,000 for the inaugural game. He says there is a lot of excitement over the new high school in a town with a history of success in all athletics.
The split will mean both schools will have smaller rosters and Zelenovich says there may be some playing both ways. “Philosophically we believe in trying to platoon to try and give kids more opportunity to contribute,” Zelenovich says. He says that may give kids who didn’t play last year more of an opportunity to contribute.
Players who were teammates last November will now be lining up across from one another. The last time a school district opened a new high school was back in 1985 when Davenport opened North High School.