Columbus East will be facing teams a second time next season when it plays in its football sectional.
The Olympians have been paired with four other Hoosier Hills Conference schools in Class 5A Sectional 15 in the IHSAA realignment, which was released late Monday afternoon. They are joined by Bedford North Lawrence, Floyd Central, New Albany and Seymour, which moves up from 4A.
“I’m kind of surprised that’s where we ended up, but that’s OK,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “One of the things I’ve always thought about the tournament is, it’s just an opportunity to play somebody you haven’t seen in the regular season, and this time, it’s going to be a familiar opponent.”
The Olympians reached the 5A state title game last season, but their road this year likely will be a little tougher. They would meet the winner of Sectional 16 (Castle, Evansville North, Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South) in the regional but could then meet perennial power Cathedral — which moves down from 6A — in the semistate.
In 6A, Columbus North remains in Sectional 8 with longtime nemesis Center Grove and Jeffersonville.
Franklin Central moves into that sectional to replace New Albany, which moved down to 5A.
“Franklin Central is someone we are somewhat familiar with, being a conference (Indiana) contemporary,” North coach Tim Bless said. “Center Grove is the sectional champ until someone proves otherwise.”
Jennings County remains in Class 4A Sectional 23. Brown County moves from 3A Sectional 31 to Sectional 30, where it will be with schools north and west of it instead of south and east. Edinburgh and South Decatur move from Class A Sectional 47 to Sectional 46, but with mostly the same teams.
No change for city hoops
Meanwhile, the boys and girls basketball and volleyball sectionals involving East and North remain unchanged. The Bull Dogs and Olympians still are in Class 4A Sectional 14 with Bloomington North, Bloomington South, East Central and Shelbyville.Hauser had a slight change in its Class A Sectional 60. Morristown replaces South Decatur, which moved up to 2A. The Cougars now are in Class 2A Sectional 45 with Milan, North Decatur, South Ripley, Southwestern (Hanover) and Switzerland County.
Also in Class A, Edinburgh will be in a new sectional and regional. The Lancers move from Sectional 59 to Sectional 62, where they are joined by Trinity Lutheran, Crothersville, Medora, Madison Shawe and West Washington.
Jennings County remains in Class 4A Sectional 15. Brown County stays in Class 3A Sectional 26.
Soccer sees seismic shift
The most seismic shifts in tournament alignments come in boys and girls soccer, where the IHSAA has expanded from two classes to three.The East and North boys now will be in a 3A sectional with Jennings County, Floyd Central, Jeffersonville and New Albany.
Contrastingly, the East and North girls will now be in a 3A sectional with Center Grove, Franklin, Greenwood and Whiteland. The Jennings girls will be in a 3A sectional with the same schools that are in the Panthers’ 4A basketball and volleyball sectionals.
Brown County’s boys are in Class 2A Sectional 27 with Beech Grove, Edgewood, Indianapolis Herron, Indianapolis Manual and Monrovia. The Brown County girls are in Class 2A Sectional 29 with Edgewood, Northview, Owen Valley, Sullivan and West Vigo.
Hauser, which has only a boys team, is in Class A Sectional 44 with Greenwood Christian Academy, Indianapolis Lutheran, Morristown, Oldenburg Academy and Southwestern (Shelby).
Trinity Lutheran’s boys are in Class A Sectional 47 with Austin, Christian Academy of Indiana, Henryville, Lanesville, Providence and Rock Creek Academy. The Trinity girls also are in Class A Sectional 47, but with Christian Academy, Providence, Salem and Southwestern (Hanover).
Baseball and softball realignments will be announced following the spring sports season.