Coaches always tell us that the ratings don't matter. But there are twelve teams that will play for Iowa high school state football titles this week in the six classes and only one is not ranked. That's Hinton, who will play for the Class A title on Thursday.
The Blackhawks had a tough district and went into the playoffs with a 6-3 record. In the postseason, Hinton has beaten the fourth, sixth and seventh ranked teams to get into the championship game for the first time.
The ratings might not be important but confidence is and the Blackhawks have it.
"We're definitely confident," said Hinton quarterback Morgan Wenzel. "Beating West Lyon was obviously was one of our biggest things. Once we beat them, we all got pretty confident but we never got too cocky. We know when we play a good opponent we have to go in and play all four quarters throughout the whole game."
"We've won games but we want to prove to ourselves that we can be the best and so far that's not true yet because we still got one more game," said Hinton fullback and linebacker Colin Poss.
Hinton will face second-ranked Wapsie Valley in the finals. Wapsie Valley has been one of the small school powerhouses in Iowa, with four state titles and 25 playoff appearances.
Hinton had never even won a second round playoff game before this season and went 2-7 last year, but the seniors have led the way.
"You have to be a little bit surprised," said Hinton co-head coach Steve Diediker. "We always thought, we got nine seniors and you win football games with seniors. It's not a surprise that those nine guys have really stepped up and each one of them has taken their game to a new level and that's why we are where we're at."
Hinton and Wapsie Valley play at 1:30 PM on Thursday in the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
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