Fall sports season isn’t over just yet. It’s definitely winding down though as the postseason continues in two sports and begins in a third.
And there’s a big weekend ahead in local high school sports. Six Greene County cross country runners will compete in the Brown County semistate. One area volleyball team is still alive, playing in Saturday’s regional.
And football sectional play begins Friday.
Let’s begin with cross country. Shakamak’s Jacy Collins, Linton’s Cameron Parola, and Sierra Ford and Dustin Lester of Eastern Greene advanced from last week’s Bedford regional. They’ll be joined this Saturday at Brown County’s Eagle Park by White River Valley’s Dakota Sparks and Christiane Davis, who made their way through the Brown County regional.
Good luck to all. I hope to see all of you at the State Finals next week!
The postseason of course is my favorite time in every sports season. Except for one thing - the scheduling.
Every spring and fall it seems there are multiple sectional or regional events scheduled the same day. And at least in the fall, Saturday seems to be a convenient day for everyone involved…
Except the media.
Us folks who cover sports for newspapers, television, web broadcasts, etc. are placed in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between sports.
And if anyone deserves media coverage it’s cross country runners. Those kids grind it out in a sport most wouldn’t dare attempt.
I’d like to make a suggestion to the IHSAA to alleviate the scheduling conflicts. But I can’t think of a workable solution.
More on the IHSAA later…
One volleyball team is still competing. The Linton-Stockton Lady Miners repeated as Class 2A sectional champions for the first time in 12 years. The Lady Miners will take on the Evansville Mater Dei Lady Wildcats Saturday morning in the Mitchell regional.
In the Class A sectional Bloomfield pushed Clay City to the limit before falling in five sets.
Nevertheless, coach Laura Rose and the Lady Cardinals have to feel good about their prospects for next season.
Rose expected freshmen Malea Ramsey, Kylee Shelton and Brooklyn Bucher to contribute immediately. And they did. They’ll only get better as they continue to reach their potential.
Rose said before the season began sophomore Elizabeth Combs improved by leaps and bounds over the summer. That much was evident on the court this fall.
And the Lady Cardinals will have Malea Toon for one more year.
I expect Bloomfield to be a team to watch next season.
Just once I’d like to see the Lady Miners get Mater Dei. And they have a chance.
The Lady Miners took a set from Mater Dei in the Barr-Reeve Invite earlier this fall. And in last year’s regional the first two sets went 25-23, 25-23.
The Lady Wildcats have essentially the same squad this year. As I was researching for the regional preview I noticed a lot of familiar names.
Go Lady Miners!
However, should Linton-Stockton get past Mater Dei they’ll face a small-school juggernaut in Christian Academy of New Albany.
Christian Academy, a 1A State Finalist a year ago is competing in 2A under the IHSAA’s tournament success factor. Given the program’s track record of success, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in 3A in a couple of years.
I promised you more on the IHSAA and here it is - the Tournament Success Factor.
Everyone knows why the TSF was instituted. It was put in place to punish the privates and parochials for punishing the poor little public schools in the tournament.
Since then though quite a number of public schools have also “factored up.”
The way I understand it the Indiana Football Coaches Association originally pushed for a four-year reclassification period. The IHSAA settled on a two-year bump in class.
I’m with the coaches on this one. I am a proponent of the success factor. I’d just like to see it in effect for a longer period.
One reason is it would give coaches and their programs more time to get “up to speed” in the higher class - a class they probably should be playing in anyway.
Let me cite you a recent example close to home - Barr-Reeve basketball.
Barr-Reeve moved up to 2A after winning the 2015 Class A state championship.
The Vikings were assigned to Sectional 47 - one of the most, if not the most competitive 2A sectionals - along with Linton and Eastern.
Barr-Reeve never won a sectional in 2A, losing to South Knox both years. I guess South Knox coach Mark Rohrer has his old mentor Bryan Hughes’ number come sectional time.
So back to 1A they go.
But you can’t tell me Barr-Reeve wasn’t competitive in 2A. Both years they were ranked near the top of the class. And they beat everyone in the sectional field in the regular season. Had they somehow managed to escape the meat grinder that is Sectional 47 we’re probably talking about a semistate team, maybe even a state finalist.
B.J. Hargis has always believed it should be tough to win a sectional. I agree.
Speaking of sectionals, football’s “second season” begins Friday.
Eastern Greene hosts North Daviess in its first-round sectional matchup. Somehow I doubt the Thunderbirds will have any difficulty dispatching the Cougars a second time, considering Eastern won 63-7 in the regular season.
Hopefully it’s just the first step in a long postseason journey for Eastern Greene. I see big things ahead for the Thunderbirds. Wouldn’t it be great to see Eastern Greene at Lucas Oil Stadium in late November?
Linton-Stockton has a tough road to navigate in another meat grinder sectional, 2A Sectional 40.
Yep, there’s that success factor again.
It starts Friday when the Miners host the North Posey Vikings. Should they get past the Vikings - in a game that looks like a toss-up - a potential rematch with season-opening foe Southridge looms. And there’s sectional favorite Mater Dei waiting in the other bracket.
As B.J. and I both said, it should be tough to win a sectional.
Terry Schwinghammer is a sports writer for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at (812) 847-4487, ext. 27. He can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.