By Andy Amey
TERRE HAUTE — Today, students, we are going to study population shifts in the greater Indianapolis area.
Or, if you will, why Class 5A Sectional 6 is looking like a high school football minefield.
You may remember a few months ago, when the high school football tournament was realigned, that I made the statement here that moving to Sectional 6 from Sectional 7 could be a boon to Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South, if for no other reason than the lesser amount of travel involved.
Yes, the longest possible trips are to central Indianapolis or to just northwest of Marion County, and yes, avoiding Center Grove and the Columbus schools (both of them now 5A) might be a good thing for more than just the mileage involved.
But no, this tournament doesn’t look easy either.
The reason for this is the Hoosier Crossroads Conference, which in this book has surpassed Conference Indiana as the second-best football league in the state.
The state’s emerging powerhouse looks to be Fishers — which makes you wonder what Hamilton Southeastern would be like right now if that district hadn’t split. HSE and Avon have established themselves among the state’s best, Zionsville — which not that long ago was in West Vigo’s sectional, hence the study of population shifts — is another up-and-comer, and two of the three most improved programs in the state, from futility to way better than mere respectability, are Harrison (West Lafayette) and Westfield.
Now North and South’s new sectional doesn’t include all the Hoosier Crossroads teams, but it does have Avon and Brownsburg — with whom the Patriots and Braves have sectional histories already — and also Zionsville.
It also has Pike, which has a chance to be Conference Indiana’s best (and maybe a chance to prove me an idiot). Oh, and also that school from Wayne Township that doesn’t have a lick of high school football tradition (sarcasm alert). What’s its name? Ben something?
n In other sectionals — Northview’s Knights look to be competitive in Class 4A Sectional 16, and as always they’ll get a chance to study the state’s geography as well.
In addition to almost a 50-50 chance of getting sent to Evansville (or Boonville, which is pretty much the same ride), Northview now can add a potential trip to Seymour (which, from scores so far, is one they might enjoy).
West Vigo’s Class 3A sectional field has Indianapolis Chatard back in it, which pretty much sums it up. In Class 2A tournaments, South Vermillion and South Putnam have joined the list of contenders in Sectional 30 (with Speedway no longer part of that equation), while Sullivan looks to have a four-pronged problem in Sectional 32 including Southridge (the Golden Arrows have already seen the Raiders), South Spencer, North Posey and, of course, Evansville Mater Dei.
In Class A, Fountain Central and possibily Attica — we’ll know after Friday night — could challenge Rockville’s reign in Sectional 39, with North Daviess looking ready to battle Linton and Perry Central in Sectional 40.
Oh, and remember I said that Harrison and Westfield were two of the three most improved programs in the state? And you were wondering about the third?
Take a bow, South Vermillion Wildcats.
Andy Amey can be reached after 4 p.m. for comments or news items at (812) 231-4277 or at 1-800-783-8742; by e-mail at email@example.com; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.