Pairings will be drawn for the 2008 Indiana high school postseason football playoffs on Tuesday night, and it’s probably safe to say that most of the teams around here are looking for some good luck.
Rockville is the closest to being a sure thing in sectional play in the Wabash Valley, and the Rox might be interested in getting the toughest draw they can. That will put them in the minority, of course. Here’s how the tournaments look with three regular-season games left.
• Class 5A, Sectional 7 — There are a lot of really good teams in the state this year, and three great ones. One of the great ones is Center Grove, which makes the Trojans the team to avoid.
Either Terre Haute North or Terre Haute South has a shot at some sectional wins by avoiding Center Grove’s bracket, however. Bloomington South seems to be easily the second-best team in the sectional, but Columbus North and Decatur Central are down from a year ago and Martinsville and Bloomington North are competitive but certainly not unbeatable.
• Class 4A, Sectional 16 — Northview would probably like another shot at Owen Valley, and for that matter Owen Valley probably wouldn’t mind getting the Knights again either. Otherwise, both schools are probably hoping for Evansville Harrison.
The other alternatives are Evansville Reitz, the defending state champion; Evansville Central, which lost 7-6 to Reitz last week; Jasper, never a picnic; and an improved Boonville team.
• Class 3A, Sectional 21 — Brebeuf has been ranked much of the season, but might not be the best team in this sectional. North Montgomery is ranked now, and might be, but Danville and even Crawfordsville are other potential champions.
West Vigo is familiar with North Montgomery, which doesn’t mean the Vikings want the Chargin’ Chargers early. They might rather have Greencastle, Southmont or Western Boone.
• Class 2A, Sectional 30 — Greg Barrett’s first season as a head coach should end with a North Putnam sectional championship, although Speedway and Tri-West are potential spoilers.
South Vermillion and South Putnam, the latter a team better than its record indicates, could make some noise too. Monrovia is inconsistent, and Cloverdale and Cascade are probably hoping to play each other.
• Class 2A, Sectional 32 — Sullivan got no favors when its enrollment dropped to this class. Southridge and Evansville Mater Dei are very good; North Posey, South Spencer and North Knox aren’t far below that level; and first-year varsity program Forest Park has been playing people tough. Tell City’s having problems, but no one wants to draw the Marksmen on the road.
• Class A, Sectional 39 — All the games that don’t involve the Rox should be competitive, but the winner of this sectional goes on the road for regional play, and …
n Class A, Sectional 40 — is loaded. Linton and Perry Central are the usual powerhouses, but Tecumseh and North Daviess are also extremely dangerous. Union, if the Bulldogs don’t have to face the big guys back to back, might also be a threat, and West Washington might be as well.
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• Southpaw to southpaw — From one old left-handed pitcher to another, congratulations to Jerry Arnold. The former — at least I haven’t seen his name in the linescores this year — pitcher for the Wabash Valley Animal Hospital Astros will be inducted today into the Richard M. Fairbanks Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.
Others in the class of 2008 are gospel singers Bill and Gloria Gaither; retired CBS correspondent Phil Jones; broadcast executive Arthur Angotti; Sam Simmermaker, already in the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame; Chuck Marlowe, former Indiana University telecaster; and Hal Fryar, whose broadcast name was Harlow Hickenlooper.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.