Coaches, athletic directors, and principals met up with the media at the Back 40 Junction on Wednesday afternoon to draw for the 91st annual ACAC tournament slated once again to have its semi-finals at Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne.
Bluffton will be the team everyone has their eyes on this season on the boys side as the returning champions from last year's season with coach Bill Leising returning to the helm once again this season.
"Coach Leising has had some success in this tournament but there are some quality teams on that side of the bracket and we'll just have to see how it shakes out," AC coach Aaron McClure commented at the draw.
The Jets and Stars are set on the other side of the draw as Bluffton will host Heritage and Woodlan drew a home contest against Leo. Central earned a favorable slot at home against Southern Wells, while SA coach Andy Brown will be forced to go on the road for the third time in his tenure in Berne, this time to Garrett.
"I think it'll be the drive that is the worse part of it for us," noted Brown. "I haven't had a home game since I've been here at South Adams."
Coach McClure was happy about earning a game at the Hangar after dropping a contest at Woodlan last season.
"You always want to draw a home game and we got a team we just handed a solid loss to in Southern Wells," noted the AC front man. "We'll end up playing them three times this year as it turns out but it feels like we have a good opportunity to get back up to the Coliseum again."
The Jets were winners 62-23 in their recent contest over the Raiders. Central has not won the opening round of the tournament since three seasons ago.
"It was a turning point for our team a few years ago to get beat in the first round by Heritage. Last season we lost to Woodlan so we're itching to get back to Fort Wayne."
McClure's Jets would go on to win a sectional title despite the early exit at the hands of the Patriots.
For coach Brown and his Stars, the answer may lie in the scoring talents of Derek Wanner and Marco Vasquez.
"We've gotten a lot better in our offensive skills and we're staying competitive in big games this year to this point. It could snowball into a lot of positive things for us going forward," noted Brown.