Richmond will be seeing some new faces when it comes to sectional opponents.
Some strong competition, too.
The Red Devils, now Class 5A for football, are in Sectional 13 with Anderson, Decatur Central, Indianapolis Cathedral and Zionsville. The IHSAA released sectional alignments on Monday for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
Richmond is one of two five-team sectionals in Class 5A. The other six sectionals all feature four teams.
“You have some pretty good schools in there,” said RHS coach Matt Holeva. “Anytime you head over to the Indianapolis area, you’re going to be playing some pretty good schools.
“I’m excited about it. We have a whole lot of football before we get there. For us to become the type of program we need to be, those are the types of schools we need to play.”
Cathedral has won four state championships in the past five years, including three state Class 4A championships. The 2013-14 season marks the first that football will play with six classes.
Richmond has been Class 4A in football the past two seasons, but the Red Devils rose back to 5A in that sport when school classifications were announced last month.
RHS finished 8-3 last season, advancing to the sectional semifinal round. The Red Devils also went 7-0 in the North Central Conference, claiming their first conference title in more than a decade.
“I think it’s going to be a hard-fought sectional,” Holeva said.
” … We’re playing schools our own size. We expect to be competitive and play with anybody at that level.”
RHS is Class 4A in baseball, softball, volleyball and girls and boys basketball. Mt. Vernon (Fortville) moves into their Sectional 9 in all those sports, with Yorktown also joining in volleyball.
Richmond’s sectional for baseball, softball and basketball will feature seven teams, along with Richmond, Mt. Vernon, Anderson, Connersville, Greenfield-Central, New Castle and Pendleton Heights.
“I think a good sectional, as good a sectional as any in the state, just got better in both boys and girls,” said RHS athletic director Chad Bolser.
Volleyball is now an eight-team sectional. Yorktown won the Class 3A state championship in 2011 and was state runner-up in that class this past fall.
“I was anticipating Yorktown, because I knew they had to move up (with the tournament success factor),” said RHS volleyball coach Matt Fisher.
“If you’re good enough to win our sectional, you’re good enough to move on in the tournament and beat anybody in the state. That’s our goal, and we’re trying to get to that point regardless.”
Mt. Vernon won the Class 3A state title in girls basketball this past winter, and the Marauders were state runner-up in 2012.
“I think you have to say they are the favorite until somebody steps up and beats them,” said RHS girls basketball coach Casey Pohlenz. “If you are going to win the state title, which is the ultimate goal, you’re going to have to beat them at some point.”
Both Mount Vernon’s girls and boys basketball teams played at the Richmond semistate at Tiernan Center this season.
For Class 2A football, Centerville, Union County and Winchester are in Sectional 38, along with Heritage Christian, Indianapolis Broad Ripple, Indianapolis Scecina, Knightstown and Shenandoah.
In Class A football, Sectional 45 is comprised of Lincoln, Eastern Hancock, Hagerstown, Monroe Central, Norheastern, Tri High, Union City and Wes-Del.
Class 2A Sectional 40 for baseball and basketball will be Frankton, Lapel, Muncie Burris, Shenandoah, Wapahani and Winchester, while Sectional 41 is Lincoln, Centerville, Eastern Hancock, Hagerstown, Knightstown, Northeastern and Union County for those sports, plus volleyball and softball.
Class A Sectional 56 is Cowan, Monroe Central, Randolph Southern, Tri High and Union City for softball. Sectional 56 is Blue River, Randolph Southern, Seton Catholic, Tri High, Union and Union City for basketball, volleyball and baseball.
Class 2A Sectional 25 for boys and girls soccer includes Richmond, Connersville, Franklin County, New Castle and Rushville. Class A Sectional 54 is Centerville, Knightstown, Seton Catholic, Union City and Union County for boys soccer. Class A Sectional 41 is Centerville, Greensburg, Knightstown, Morristown, Triton Central and Union County for girls soccer.
“I’m glad that it’s out and we’re ready to go,” Bolser said. “The next portion of that is the process of selecting sectional sites and all that stuff. We play in the best sectionals in the state of Indiana and I don’t think there is any question again that football will bear that out.”