(Lead to 1A regional advance … entire story is at iowaprepsports.com and in Thursday’s Gazette)
Top-ranked. Defending state champions. The bull’s-eye. All that stuff.
For the Springville Orioles, it’s a burden of pleasure.
“I told our kids to enjoy this,” said Springville Coach Brian O’Donnell. “This is a pretty special thing. We’re lucky to be in this situation. It may never happen here again.”
The Orioles (20-1) have won 24 consecutive games against 1A competition — the last defeat was a 2007 regional-final loss to Andrew.
They claimed the 1A state championship last year, and begin their bid to repeat tonight at home against Central City (7-14) in one of 64 small-school first-round contests tonight.
Tipoff is 7 p.m.
O’Donnell knows the Orioles will get Central City’s best effort tonight. They’ve seen nothing but opponents’ “A” games all season.
“Both times we saw them in the regular season, their kids have gotten after us,” O’Donnell said. “We know they won’t back down from us.”