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Football teams have some interesting postseason recordsPosted Tuesday, October 4, 2011, at 5:57 PM
With the postseason in high school football set to start two weeks from Friday, I thought it would be a good time to talk about an interesting set of statistics I discovered at www.johnharrell.net.
John Harrell has the sectional and tournament football records of all the schools in Indiana, dating back to 1973, when the Indiana High School Athletic Association football tournament began.
According to the IHSAA, there were four schools in each of three classes that qualified for postseason play based on regular-season records.
The tournament format was expanded several times in the first 10 years, with a fourth class added in 1983.
In 1985, the current format with five classes was adopted. It allows for every member school to enter the tournament regardless of its regular-season record, just as in all other high school sports in Indy.
In the 70s, you had the computer system, which was less than ideal. Many very good and even undefeated teams did not get to play a post season game.
Dan Galbraith's 1976 Miner team finished 9-0, but did not have enough points (a more complicated system than passer rating I think) to earn a trip to the playoffs.
The Miners were 9-1 under coach Charlie Karazsia in 1981, but were not invited to the post season party.
Linton-Stockton's first trip came in 1982, when they lost to Southridge 40-0 in Huntingburg in a district playoff contest.
The infamous Cluster System was used in the early 80s, which had to be the worst way the IHSAA ever used to determine playoff qualifiers. Teams were assigned to a cluster of about five teams, much like a conference.
How you did against the teams in your cluster determined whether you went to the playoffs. You could go 4-0 and win your cluster but lose the rest of your games and still qualify.
Mooresville and Plainfield were in the same cluster and they happened to meet in week two. Plainfield won 42-35 in five overtimes. Mooresville went on to finish 9-1, but their season was over after that loss.
But since '85, it has been "all in free" as everybody makes the playoffs and plays at least once in the sectional.
Harrell lists some very interesting sectional numbers.
The Miners are 41-28 overall in the tournament, a .594 winning percentage. They are 35-19 during the sectional (.648).
Perry Central's numbers are almost identical at 34-19 in the sectional and 42-26 overall.
Tecumseh is the only other member of Class A Sectional 40 with winning numbers -- 27-21 and 30-28. Some might forget that the Braves have won sectionals in 1987 (A), 1991 (A), 1994 (A), 1995 (A), 2003 (A). They won the regional in 2003 and finished 11-3.
Those 1994 and 1995 teams were dominating. The 1994 team (11-2) outscored opponents 108-22 in winning the sectional.
The 1995 Tecumseh Braves outfit gave up just one touchdown in its first four tournament games as they cruised to sectional and regional titles, scoring 187 points in those victories. After receiving a first-round bye, North Central lost 56-7 at Lynnville. The Braves lost to Tri-West at the semistate.
North Daviess (19-25, 20-27), Wood Memorial (9-24, 9-25), North Knox (8-26, 9-27), Union (5-26, 5-26) and Eastern Greene (0-8, 0-8) all have losing tournament records, meaning half of the eight teams in Sectional 40 single-digit tournament victories.
North Knox played for a state title in 1974 under coach Jim Beery, but only had to win one game to make the championship game. They lost at Garrett 20-6 in the Class A title game. NK finished 9-3 that season, which featured just four teams in of three classes in the state tourney chase.
The Warriors may be the only team in Indiana that has never won a sectional championship, but has appeared in a title game.
But there are several other teams across the area and state that have not had much success in the postseason.
Edinburgh is 3-27 and has never won a sectional in its history.
North Central is just 6-25 and also has never celebrated a sectional championship in football.
Covington, who Union beat 20-13 in a sectional game at Dugger in 2003, also sports a 6-25 record in the tournament.
Indiana Deaf has won four sectional games and lost 20 in its history.
Cambridge City Lincoln, a school located west of Richmond, has a .188 winning percentage (6-26).
Northeastern (8-26), Wes-Del (8-28) and Tri-Central (8-26) also have single-digit victories, but Wes-Del and Tri-Central each have one sectional championship on their resume. Wes-Del actually was state runner-up in Class A in 1975.
Sullivan had some great teams under Hall of Fame coach "Spike" Kelly and even a mythical state championship, but the Golden Arrows have never won a sectional title, losing to Monrovia in a Class 2A title game 3-0 in overtime in 1989. They have a 10-26 tournament record.
But in fairness to the Arrows, they have been in sectionals involving Evansville Mater Dei, Jasper, Heritage Hills, Indianapolis Roncalli, Zionsville, Avon, South Spencer, North Posey, Tell City, Evansville Memorial, Gibson Southern, Danville, Beech Grove and Edgewood to mention a few.
Bloomington South (49-26) and Bloomington North (16-26) have been at opposite ends of the spectrum in the history of the football state tournament.
Penn (94-27), Fort Wayne Snider (80-28), Carmel (97-28), Warren Central (70-20), Indy Ben Davis (87-20), Zionsville (58-24), Griffith (66-28), Hobart (90-28), NorthWood (80-28), Fort Wayne Dwenger (87-27), Indianapolis Cathedral (85-21), Indianapolis Roncalli (88-22), East Central (61-26), Jimtown (86-25), Indianapolis Chatard (95-21), Indianapolis Roncalli (88-22), Heritage Hills (66-25), Andrean (60-25), Fort Wayne Luers (102-19), Indianapolis Ritter (64-24), Evansville Mater Dei (70-27), Adams Central (65-27) and Sheridan (83-22) all have won at least 70 percent of their postseason games.
Luers, Chatard, Cathedral, Roncalli and Ben Davis all have a winning percentage of at least .800.
The pairings for this year's tournament, the 39th annual, will be announced at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9 on the IHSAA Champions Television Network.
The sectionals will take place the weekends of Oct. 21, 28 and Nov. 4.
The regional title games are set for Friday, Nov. 11 with the semistate Friday, Nov. 18. Tournament games can be moved to Saturday depending on distance between schools, but usually not until at least the regional.
The Class A and 2A title games will be Friday, Nov. 25 at Lucas Oil Stadium and the Class 3A, 4A and 5A games are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 26.
Good luck to all area teams, players, coaches and fans.
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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