Teams on the move
For Josh Goeringer, checking for emails Monday on the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s sectional realignment was like an anxious kid waiting to tear open Christmas presents.
The IHSAA announced who’s going where for basketball, football, soccer and volleyball in the next two-year cycle and the changes were sweeping for La Porte County schools, where everybody either changed sectionals or had the field change, from the top on down.
In Class 4A, Michigan City has been moved to Sectional 3 in boys and girls basketball, boys soccer and volleyball, where it will join La Porte, Mishawaka, Plymouth, South Bend Riley and South Bend Clay.
“It’s a dramatic change,” City athletic director Craig Shaman said. “It’s a completely new sectional. It’ll be interesting.”
Michigan City essentially replaces powerhouse Penn, with the Kingsmen shifting to Sectional 4.
“Penn’s the best program in this region of the state,” M.C. girls basketball coach Mike Megyese said. “In the world of the success factor, we don’t have the typical sectionals anymore the way they used to be 25, 30 years ago. To be honest, I always enjoyed playing conference teams in the sectional. It’s so strong, you feel like you achieved something in winning. Probably the first team we’ll look at that we’ll have to beat is La Porte. Hopefully, one of the two of us wins to do the job for (Duneland) conference. I’ve said it every time, no matter where we’re at, we have to play to win.”
Michigan City girls soccer will remain in Sectional 2 and football stays in Class 5A Sectional 9, which will include Valparaiso in 2020, when Elkhart Central and Memorial consolidate.
New Prairie’s 4A football sectional remains largely the same with the exception of Hobart shifting west. The Cougars move that direction in boys basketball, becoming part of a geographically broad Sectional 18 field that has Hanover Central, Wheeler, Knox, River Forest and Kankakee Valley, while leaving the likes of Mishawaka Marian, South Bend Washington and South Bend St. Joseph.
“I’m definitely not sad that I won’t be seeing (Marian’s) Jaden Ivey and (St. Joe’s) JR Konieczny next year,” Cougars coach Kris Davis said.
Westville and South Central will debut in 2A boys basketball in Sectional 34 with North Judson, Hebron, Boone Grove, South Bend Career Academy and LaVille.
Career Academy also moves up from A while LaVille was in Sectional 35 in the present cycle.
“It’s certainly going to be a tough sectional, but I think there are seven teams that will be capable of winning it any given year,” Blackhawks boys coach Drew Eubank said. “As long as the Edisons are there, LaVille is capable of 20 wins a year and deep runs. Hebron, Boone and SC are all going to be pretty tough next year, too.”
The girls field is eight teams with North Newton, Rensselaer and Winamac in and Career Academy and LaVille elsewhere.
“Not my ideal setup, but we like the challenge, competition,” Westville A.D. and girls coach Josh Goeringer said. “With the groups put together, I’ll definitely take this one.”
Satellites girls coach Wes Bucher was two thumbs up on the move.
“Personally, I guess I’m pretty excited about the jump,” he said. “I like the idea of having a sectional in which there will be a lot of people attending. It feels more like old-school Indiana basketball when it’s heavily populated. There will be some great games in our sectional. That is what it is all about.”
Marquette has a Class A enrollment, but will be in 2A as a result of the success factor, the boys staying in the class and the girls entering it. The boys, winners of six straight sectionals, are bound for Sectional 33 with a field led by 2A state champion Andrean, Bowman Academy and Bishop Noll.
“There you have it, the IHSAA beefed up Sectional 33 with the privates,” Blazers coach Fred Mooney said.
LaCrosse basketball and volleyball remains in Class A Sectional 50 with a field of Oregon-Davis, West Central, Argos, Culver and Triton.
South Central stays in Class A in football, where two of last year’s best teams in Sectional 41, Triton (Sectional 44) and LaVille (2A), are gone, replaced by Gary Roosevelt and South Newton.
“Can’t get much better than that,” Satellites coach Buzz Schoff said.
For a complete list, go to http://www.ihsaa.org/Portals/0/ihsaa/documents/news%20media/2018-19/042919SectionalAssignments.pdf