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Football sectionals won’t have any byes

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The IHSAA announced its sectional alignments Monday for all class sports for the next two years, including the new six-class football system.
With the addition of the extra class for really large schools, there will be 32 schools in Class 6A, with each playing in a four-team sectional.
There will be 34 schools in Class 5A and exactly 64 in each of the four smaller classes.
That means first-round byes, which have been available for area teams in Class A and 2A sectionals in recent years, will no longer exist.
The Class 2A football sectional that Tell City plays in remains the same except for the addition of Eastern Greene, which is moving up from Class A.
Because of the distance to Eastern Greene, which is near Bloomfield, Tell City fans no doubt will hope that if the Marksmen draw the Thunderbirds the game will be played at Tell City.
Tell City may want to draw the Thunderbirds, though, as Perry Central beat them 47-20 in a first-round game last fall.
With Eastern Greene moving out of Perry Central’s sectional, Springs Valley has moved back into it after a two-year absence.
That should be good news for Commodore fans, as Springs Valley is the closest Class A football school to Perry Central, approximately 33 miles from it.
It never made sense for the Blackhawks to have been moved out of Perry Central’s sectional in the last realignment.
In other sports, Tell City and Perry Central will play in a five-team Class 2A girls basketball sectional next year after being in a seven-team one in recent years.
That’s because Southridge is moving up to Class 3A in all class sports except football and soccer (which Southridge does not have) and Mater Dei is moving up to Class 3A in girls basketball only based on the new success-factor rule, as the Wildcats won the Class 2A state title in that sport the last two years.
Mater Dei’s exit from the 2A sectional may be a year too late for Tell City and Perry Central, though, as each of them will graduate their best center ever this year.
Perry Central made it to the sectional championship game this year and almost certainly would have won the sectional with the new lineup.
Based on the players each team has returning, North Posey should be the favorite in that sectional next year.
Mater Dei has moved to girls basketball sectional 32, with Boonville, Bosse, Evansville Memorial, Gibson Southern, Mount Vernon and Princeton, which had one of the state’s top freshman players this year.
That should be one of the strongest Class 3A sectionals in the state next year. But with 6-foot-2 star center Tori Schickel (the best girls center I saw this year) and 5-11 all-state guard Maura Muenster-man returning, Mater Dei should be a heavy favorite in it.
In fact the Wildcats should have a good chance to win the 3A state title.
Maybe that will convince the IHSAA that they never should have been in Class 2A and it should use a multiplier for counting private schools’ students when assigning classes, as they do not get the deadbeats that public schools have to take.
As for the other four-class sports, Tell City and Perry Central will compete in six-team sectionals in all of them. That will mean two first-round byes instead of one, which could give teams that don’t have a lot of depth a better chance to win titles.