Realignment shakes up sectionals

    Bellmont will go south and will be in the same sectional with Yorktown, while South Adams will be shoved in with nine-time state champion Sheridan as a result of the latest IHSAA two-year realignment plan announced Wednesday afternoon.
    New tourney plans were issued for football, as well as the grouping of baseball, basketball, softball and volleyball, and a new two-class soccer tourney was unveiled.
    "The locations of schools and their proximity to other schools were given the greatest consideration when forming sectional groupings," added Commissioner Bobby Cox, who pointed out an effort to eliminate five and seven-team sectionals.
    At least one big hiccup in the proximity plan was Sectional 35 in Class A football. Adams Central is grouped with old tourney rivals Southwood, North Miami and Fremont, but also LaVille, which is located on the border of Marshall and St. Joseph Counties not far from South Bend. Also in that tourney are Central Noble and Triton.
    South Adams and Southern Wells were bumped to the west and south and will be grouped with Bud Wright's Sheridan squad. Wright is the most successful coach in the history of Indiana High School football with nine state crowns, including three since 2005.
    Bellmont loses its Fort Wayne area connection and goes South in 3A, keeping Eastbrook and adding always strong Yorktown, plus Peru and Western. Blackford, Maconaquah, and Mississinewa are also in that eight-team tourney.
    Norwell was bumped up to 4A in football, and is now pitted with Bishop Dwenger, Marion, Leo, Jay County, Columbia City, Logansport, and New Haven.
    Also in Sectional 36 with the Stars and Raiders are new program Monroe Central, Tri-Central, Union City, Wes-Del and Lapel.
    In the baseball-basketball tourneys, Bellmont is in Sectional 23 with Eastbrook, Heritage, Mississinewa, Norwell and Whitko. It should be very competitive for all schools in most sports, though Bellmont will be the perennial favorite in volleyball.
    Adams Central and South Adams are 2A in basketball and baseball, and are in Sectional 23 with Bluffton, Churubusco, Eastside, and Bishop Luers. Woodlan shiftes to 3A and is in Sectional 22 with Leo, Woodlan, Garrett, Dwenger, Concordia and Angola.
    Bellmont will play in the 2A soccer tourneys, sectional 12, with Fort Wayne South, Wayne, New Haven and Norwell, a five-team field.
    South Adams is in Class A, Sectional 37 with Heritage, Bishop Luers, Blackhawk, Canterbury, and Concordia, in both boys and girls tourneys. That will be a very tough sectional.