INDIANAPOLIS—The 40th annual state football tournament hosted by the Indianapolis Colts held its sectional pairings show over the weekend featuring the placement of all 315 football teams (63 in each class).
Five teams earned a bye, one from each class, with Adams Central and Bellmont preparing to defend their titles from last season and South Adams aiming to make noise in their own 1A sectional in the last season under coach Jason Arnold.
Bellmont enters sectional play alongside Blackford, Eastbrook, Maconaquah, Mississinewa, Peru, Western, and Yorktown. Peru travels to Eastbrook in the top bracket with the winner facing either the Braves or their draw, the Y-town Tigers who likely still remember their loss in last season's sectional semi-finals at the hands of coach Larry Getts' Braves, 22-7.
The Braves have already ensured that they will enter the tournament with more wins than they did last season as they sit at 4-4, a mark better than the 3-6 record they brought last year in their sectional title run. The Braves will travel to face a Yorktown team ranked 33rd in 3A (BHS is 23rd) who has not won a marquee game this season at 3-5. They have bested a 1-7 Indianapolis Northwest squad, a 3-5 Greenfield team near the bottom of 2A, and snuck out a 27-20 victory over New Palestine who also finished 3-5 in 4A.
Peru is 3-5 facing a 5-3 Eastbrook team who is one of the more talked about in this sectional with a big win in week two over fellow sectional squad Western, 33-16, a team that the Braves secured a 21-20 win in the title game last season. Bellmont will most likely see Eastbrook in the second week of sectionals should they get past Yorktown.
On the other side of the sectional, Mississinewa is the favorite in the group to advance to the finals with a pairing against winless Blackford, while Maconaquah takes on Western. The Indians will likely move on against Blackford and will probably see Western in the other semi-final game. Bellmont will more than likely see Mississinewa in the finals for a chance to repeat.