Minimal adjustment for NWI teams in IHSAA sectional realignment
By Mike Hutton 613-0141 or firstname.lastname@example.org April 29, 2013 11:22PM
Portage Head Coach Wally McCormack talks to the officials during a time-out about the calls being made during the game at Portage Highs School on Friday August 31, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 2, 2013 9:33AM
The surprises with the announcement of the new football sectional realignments were that their really weren’t any surprises.
With the exception of the placement of a few teams, all the Class 5A and 6A schools that were clustered together knew about what was coming.
In Sectional 1, one of two 6A sectionals, the only minor unknown was whether Portage would be in it.
They, in fact, are grouped in Sectional 2 with Valparaiso, Penn and Chesterton.
Sectional 1 consists of Merrillville, Crown Point, Lafayette Jefferson and Lake Central.
Lafayette Jefferson is the smallest school in 6A while Chesterton is the second smallest school. Both were hoping they’d be in 5A when the classes were announced.
Chesterton coach John Snyder wasn’t at all concerned with the new sectional, which essentially consists of almost half of his old sectional (three of the eight schools).
“In my opinion nothing has changed other than the number of games we play,” he said. “Obviously, Penn is a perennial power. It’s better for us that we don’t have to play Merrillville. I feel worse for Lafayette Jefferson.”
The Trojans play Merrillville in the last game of the season, which is why he didn’t really want to have them in their sectional.
“It’s just nice to have something new and refreshing,” he said.
Lake Central coach Brett St. Germain pretty much knew what was going to happen with his sectional.
“It is what it is,” he said.
Munster coach Leroy Marsh was just happy to drop down a class and finally, officially have a sectional to call his own. Marsh was one of the driving forces behind the addition of a sixth class.
Munster had always been one of the smallest 5A schools in the tournament. The Mustangs will now play with LaPorte, Michigan City, Mishawaka Marian and South Bend Adams in Sectional 9.
The only question Marsh had was whether Marian would be the fifth team in the sectional.
Marsh is glad the process is complete.
“That’s a heckuva lot better than what I’ve been facing,” he said. “It’s good for our size and a move in the right direction.”
Marsh said that the best thing about changing the format is that not one team is in a more difficult position than they were under the old format — and some have a better chance to win in the tournament.
“No one is worse off than they were four years ago,” he said.
In basketball, the only major change from Northwest Indiana came with the addition of Bowman to 3A. The Eagles will play in Sectional 17 with Gary Lighthouse, Roosevelt, Lew Wallace, Griffith, Hammond, Clark and Gavit.
Wheeler, which moved up from 2A to 3A, will play in Sectional 18 with Andrean.