By J. Thomas McNamara
We now know where the 13 teams the Decatur Tribune covers have been assigned to play in their post-season sub-sectionals (regionals). We won’t know who they play until the coaches seed their respective sub-sectional teams in February. In 1A, Sangamon Valley and Central A&M are assigned to the same sub-sectional where Edinburg and Neoga are the regional sites. Nokomis is in the same sub-sectional with the Raiders, who will be heavily favored to win their regional site which will probably be in Findlay because Central A&M is expected to be the one-seed. They are undefeated at the present time and will be respected by the coaches regardless of what happens in their shootouts and tournaments. Other schools in the Storm and Raiders sub-sectional are Arcola, Beecher City, Okaw Valley, Buffalo Tri-City, Chrisman, Edinburg, Hume Shiloh, Ramsey and Stewardson-Strasburg.
The Raiders Rob Smith said, “Looks like the same as last year for us.” In a different 1A sub-sectional, Decatur Christian, LSA and Cerro Gordo/Bement are assigned with Farmer City/Blue Ridge and Cissna Park the regional hosts. With the Warriors, Lions and Broncos in sub-sectional A that feeds the Ridgeview sectional are Armstrong, Champaign Judah Christian (coached by former St. Teresa boys and girls coach Bill Ipsen, who is in his first season there), Danville Schlarman, DeLand-Weldon, Fisher, Heyworth, LeRoy, Milford, Mount Pulaski and Urbana University High.
Cerro Gordo/Bement’s Brandon Willard opined about the Broncos sub-sectional, “I think we have a lot of darn good teams in ours. Heyworth drops to 1A and joins us, that definitely makes things tougher. Blue Ridge is playing really good right now and will host. Judah is one of the best in the area. Leroy, LSA, Cissna Park are all really good. I’m excited for it.” Argenta-Oreana, Decatur St. Teresa, Macon Meridian, Maroa-Forsyth and Warrensburg-Latham are assigned to the sub-sectional where Monticello and Stanford Olympia are the regional hosts.
The other four teams assigned there are Bloomington Central Catholic, Champaign St. Thomas More, Downs Tri-Valley and Gibson City/Melvin-Sibley. LSA’s Tom Saunches said, “I have no issues with the assignment. Point me in a direction, tell me who we will play, and give me a game time.”
In 3A, Eisenhower, MacArthur and Mount Zion have been assigned to the same sub-sectional with regional sites at Olney and Rantoul. With these five are Champaign Central, Charleston, Effingham, Mahomet-Seymour, Mattoon, Paris and Urbana. Five of these teams are Apollo members–Indians, Hearts, Bulldogs, Green Wave and Braves. Central and Urbana are Big 12 members. Rematch Time for 4 Teams With holiday tournaments winding down this weekend in Decatur and other parts of central and southern Illinois, prep action for 2019 gets underway with a flourish.
On Wednesday, Jan. 2, Central A&M hosts Argenta-Oreana and then a plethora of interesting games are scheduled Friday night, Jan. 4th, including Meridian at Central A&M in a rematch of their county championship game that the Raiders won and St. Teresa hosting their rival to the northwest, Warrensburg-Latham. The Cardinals already defeated the Bulldogs in the county tournament’s third place game. These two are Central Illinois Conference tilts. DCS has two games sandwiched in between those dates with the Warriors welcoming Pana Christian on Thursday, Jan. 3rd, and then going to Danville First Baptist on Monday, Jan. 7. Those are just three of the first week of January games with the other small school ones finding Argenta-Oreana visiting Maroa-Forsyth, Arthur Okaw Christian entertaining Cerro Gordo-Bement, LSA journeying to Broadlands Heritage and Sangamon Valley traveling to Franklin. In large school Friday night action, Eisenhower visits Springfield, MacArthur goes north to Normal University High and Mount Zion greets Effingham in Apollo action.
We’re not through as there is a full card Saturday night with Central A&M playing Dieterich at the Effingham St. Anthony Shootout, DCS going to Cerro Gordo, Maroa-Forsyth playing Monmouth-Roseville and Sangamon Valley meeting the Maroons at the Clinton Shootout. That’s just the small schools. In large school action, Mount Zion travels to Jacksonville and MacArthur goes to St. Joseph-Ogden to play Danville in its Shootout game there.
We’ll have Tuesday, Jan. 8th, Friday, Jan. 11th, and Saturday, Jan. 12th, schedules in the Jan. 2 print edition.