History in the making: Pleasant Valley football reaches the semi-finals for the first time in 24 years

The+Pleasant+Valley+football+team+celebrates+in+the+locker+room+after+beating+Iowa+City+West+on+Nov.+6.

Jason Viel

The Pleasant Valley football team celebrates in the locker room after beating Iowa City West on Nov. 6.

Michael VanDerSchaaf, Sports Editor

It has been 24 years since PV football has competed in the semi-finals of the state competition. This year, they changed the narrative with their remarkable undefeated season and will play the Southeast Polk Rams on Nov. 13 at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The Spartans have maintained a perfect record during this unconventional season, acquiring 10 wins and zero losses en route to the Dome.

Although many spectators did not expect this success from the Spartans, the players recognized their own abilities from the start. Starting quarterback junior Barrett Lindmark talked about the team’s confidence heading into the year. “We knew we had a talented group of guys during the offseason,” noted Lindmark. “We truly believed that we could make history this season.”

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the playing format of this year’s season. Teams only played seven games, two less than a regular season, and playoffs were extended from four games to six games to give every team a playoff spot and shot at the state title.

The Spartans did not seem to mind the change and dominated every opponent thrown at them. They topped two semifinalists in North Scott and Iowa City Regina, and also beat Iowa City West and Bettendorf.

The team is humbled to have this experience that many Spartans have not had over the past couple decades. “Being one of the last four teams in 4A is an amazing feeling,” said Lindmark. “It’s truly an honor to play a part in this historical season.”

Historical is the only way to describe this season. The 2020 team achieved PV football’s first undefeated regular season since 2013 and are the first team to play at the UNI Dome since they won their lone state championship in 1985.

The Spartans have put an emphasis on enjoying every moment and having fun during their season. Running back senior Caden Kipper thinks the team has had more fun with every win. “We just try to soak in every moment and have fun every week,” stated Kipper. “We understand that the job is not done yet and we treat every practice like it’s our last.”

Pleasant Valley is the underdog in their upcoming contest, but they feel confident in their players to give themselves a chance. “We have a hard-working group of players that I think can get the job done,” explained Kipper. “If we go out there and execute, we have a real chance at winning this thing.”

Only time will tell what the boys will do on the field against Southeast Polk. Regardless of  the result of the Spartans playing at the UNI-Dome is, they will have achieved something that Spartan Nation has not seen in over 20 years while attracting buzz from all over the state.