The IHSAA released the sectional alignments this past Tuesday, and there are several “wrongs” in my Class 6A football guesses. You could say I safely qualified my forecast, though, with the following quote from February when I made a second round of predictions.

“This is all fine and dandy unless they do a pro-rata bump up because Cathedral won its second straight Class 5A title.”

Let’s jump in and see how I did in Class 6A football thanks to “the Cathedral shift.”

Sectional 1 actual – Crown Point, Lake Central, Lafayette Jefferson, Portage

Sectional 1 guess – Crown Point, Lake Central ,Lafayette Jefferson, West Lafayette Harrison

West Lafayette Harrison was knocked into 5A by Cathedral’s upward bump.

Sectional 2 actual – Carroll, Elkhart, Penn, Warsaw

Sectional 2 guess – Elkhart, Penn, Portage, Warsaw

You can see the shift from the effects of Cathedral’s bump here, too. Who gets to schlep to the Region in 2022? It’s unlikely anyone unless Portage hosts a first-round game. It’s notable Warsaw’s sub-varsity teams beat Penn in 2021.

Sectional 3 actual – Fishers, Fort Wayne Northrup, Hamilton Southeastern, Homestead

Sectional 3 guess –Carroll, Fort Wayne Northrop, Homestead, Noblesville,

“Toto, we’re not in (a Northern sectional) anymore.”

Sectional 4 actual – Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield, Zionsville

Sectional 4 guess – Carmel, Fishers, Hamilton Southeast, Westfield

There goes the North’s neighborhood. In 6A football we must now use the term “North” very loosely.

Sectional 5 actual – Avon, Ben Davis, Brownsburg, Pike

Sectional 5 guess – Avon, Ben Davis, Brownsburg, Zionsville

It appears we won’t see Zionsville-Cathedral, bump-ups from 5A, in a third consecutive state finals rematch in 2022.

Sectional 6 actual – Indianapolis Cathedral, Lawrence Central, Lawrence North, North Central

Sectional 6 guess – Ben Davis, Warren Central, Lawrence Central, Lawrence North

We learned about the San Andreas fault in geology, and now there’s the Cathedral shift in 6A football. The latter affected at least four sectionals. Will we see a Cathedral-Center Grove rematch at semistate?

Sectional 7 actual – Indianapolis Arsenal Technical, Perry Meridian, Southport, Warren Central

Sectional 7 guess –Indianapolis Arsenal Technical, North Central, Perry Meridian, Southport

Sectional 8 actual and guess - Columbus North, Center Grove, Franklin Central, Jeffersonville

Well, duh! The last sectional was the easiest to predict. “I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map….”

Maybe it’s time for *heavy sigh* seeding in 6A? At least at regional level? Nine 6A schools, including Lafayette Jefferson since it’s North of I-465, are true geographically Northern schools.

Class 5A alignments, now home to Merrillville and Chesterton, will make for a wide-open football title race in 2022, especially with Cathedral and Zionsville finding a new home in Class 6A.

Class 4A, with New Palestine (two-time Class 5A champ) returning to the mix, will likely put on another dominating performance in the Class 4A finals. Our readership area’s lone 4A team, the Wawasee Warriors shift to Sectional 18 with conference foes Northridge and NorthWood. Their sectional alignment for the next two years will not be as harsh on the transportation budget as it has in seasons past.

Tippecanoe Valley will see big changes in its Class 3A postseason gridiron journey. The Vikings will have a similar experience already discussed in Class 6A, the Southern creep into the North.

Valley’s sectional (28) now includes Guerin Catholic (Fishers), Hamilton Heights, and Bishop Chatard on the Northern *cough* half of the Class 3A alignment.

Former Warsaw assistant Matt Thacker’s Fairfield Falcons landed in Class 3A for the next two seasons. His program is on the rise, and the tests among perennial deep-tourney runners Jimtown and Marian await the Falcons.

Manchester and Whitko make a slight shift in sectionals from the previous year, but they remain in Class 2A. Their geographical locations among the opposition don’t shift much.

Triton makes the biggest geographic jump aside from Valley this next football season, moving from a Northeast/North Central field to the Northwest in Class A sectional 41. They’ll have conference opponents North Judson-San Pierre, and Culver Community along with Bowman Academy (Gary), North Newton, South Central (Porter County), and South Newton. It’s highly likely Triton will be playing at least one game in the Central time zone this fall.

Well, look at this. There is enough copy space to discuss basketball, too.

Let’s look at the boys’ and girls’ basketball sectional alignment for our 4A Tigers. There are no changes to Sectional 4. No mystery where the boys will be playing. However, the girls’ venues have changed now and then. I’m hoping the Tiger Den will be the 2023 venue for the girls’ sectional.

Concord, Elkhart, Goshen, Northridge, Penn, Warsaw… you can reel off the names standing on your head.

Valley, however, moves from one five-team field to another in 3A Sectional 18 with Fairfield’s bump-up into 3A Sectional 20, Valley’s familiar surroundings the last few seasons for boys’ and girls’ hoops next school year. Wawasee, in the other hand, stays put in Sectional 20 with familiar foes who among them include NorthWood.

The Vikings will keep company with Bremen, Culver Academies, Glenn, Knox, and - new to 3A, and archrival – Rochester next winter.

Manchester and Whitko are likely glad to see Blackhawk Christian return to Class 1A, but Bishop Luers will be in their sectional field along with other opponents Southeast of Fort Wayne scattered in the geographic area of bad cell phone reception (sorry Adams County). Triton’s sectional remains the same in Class 1A.

For those of you who have not seen the sectional alignments among football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer you can check them out on the IHSAA website, www.ihsaa.org.