The Washington and Solon football teams battled in the Class 3A playoffs this past November. The teams are district opponents for the next two seasons. Photo courtesy of Susan Harshman/Washington Demon Football.

The road next season to the postseason for the Washington Demon football team includes several familiar opponents. The Iowa High School Athletic Association released the state’s district assignments for the next two seasons this week, and five of the seven teams in Washington’s grouping were gridiron opponents  last season.

The Demons will face the other four Southeast Conferences schools in Fairfield, Fort Madison, Keokuk, and Mount Pleasant. Washington didn’t lose a game to a member of the conference during the last two seasons.

Arguably the toughest opponent in Washington’s district is the Solon Spartans. The Spartans and Demons have met four times on the gridiron over the last three seasons, including twice in the postseason. Solon ended Washington’s recent campaign, beating the Demons 17-14 in overtime on a game-winning field goal.

The newcomers to Washington’s district include the Oskaloosa Indians and the West Burlington/Notre Dame Falcons. Both schools finished the recent season with records below .500. The Falcons went 4-5 in Class 2A last season, while the Indians were 2-7 in Class 3A.

Washington’s all-time record versus Oskaloosa stands at 9-14, but have won the last two meetings between the schools. Among the recent wins was a 28-7 second round victory in the 2013 playoffs, the year Washington played for its only state title. Washington and West Burlington/Notre Dame have never played each other in football.

Fewer teams will make this year’s postseason tournament. Last year, IHSAA voted to cut postseason bracket in half, eliminating 16 playoff teams from each class. Washington has made the playoffs every year since 2011.

The 2016 high school football season kicks off on August 25.