IHSAA Football Sectional Changes for 2019 and '20
After approval by its board of directors on April 29, the IHSAA has made official its sectional changes for the next two seasons. By the time the football playoffs begin in late October and early November, the biggest of these changes within the southern Indiana area involves Jeffersonville.
As if a new head coach isn't enough of a matter, the Red Devils will be in familiar territory come playoff time. That's because, while both Jeff. (6A-Sec. 8 the last two seasons) and Columbus East (5A-Sec. 15 in that same stretch) were tied for 32nd in school enrollment, a promotion to 6A based on the Olympians' 2017 5A football championship meant the Red Devils got sent down to the 5A ranks.
And that familiar territory for Jeff. would be Sec. 16, alongside Hoosier Hills Conference rivals Floyd Central, New Albany and BNL. None of the four teams has won a sectional title since the Stars did back in 2011; the Red Devils', Highlanders' and Bulldogs' last such wins came in the 2000's. On paper, BNL would be a slight favorite to win 5A-16, with Floyd having the best chance of being runner-up.
In 4A, Silver Creek, also looking for a new head coach now that John Dablow has moved up to athletic director, stays in Sec. 23. Fortunately, Edgewood, the school near Bloomington that defeated the Dragons in last year's sectional semifinals, moved down to 3A-30, but four who are staying with Silver Creek in 4A-23 are sectional champs East Central; Jennings Co., Madison and South Dearborn. Martinsville joins them from 5A-14, while Greenwood and Mooresville come out of 4A-22. I'm thinking that a Silver Creek-East Central-Martinsville race wouldn't surprise me.
Charlestown remains in 3A-Sec. 31. If Pirates RB Marion Lukes can improve in his senior year this fall, the Pirates could be competitive with sectional champs Brownstown Central. Other carryovers in that section from last season are runners-up Batesville; Greensburg and Lawrenceburg. Joining those will be Franklin Co. and Scottsburg, both down from 4A-23, and Rushville, over from 3A-29.
2A-Sec. 39 will retain runners-up Providence, champions Paoli, and winless Clarksville, along with Eastern (Pekin), Mitchell and Switzerland Co. They're joined this time by 2A-37 runners-up Triton Central and, also from that section, Union Co. Brian Glesing, previously of Jeffersonville and Floyd Central, lucked into a great opportunity as Paoli's new head coach, while Providence could face rebuilding issues due to the graduation of multipurpose player Kaden Williams. 2A-39 could come down to any two of this Paoli-Triton-Providence trio.
Finally, in 1A-Sec. 48, Rock Creek is slowly but surely gaining ground as that new team on the block. But the Lions will still have their share of the familiar with sectional champs North Central (Farmersburg), Eastern Greene, N. Daviess, Springs Valley, Tecumseh and W. Washington, all joined by Perry Central, formerly of 2A-39. In spite of all the up-and-down movements throughout Indiana's six football classifications, a great degree of familiarity will still be what matters by tournament time.