The Indiana High School Athletic Association could have copied and pasted the first-round sectional pairings from last season for Jeffersonville, New Albany and Floyd Central.
The state’s governing body conducted the annual draw for the 42nd annual state tournaments Sunday night, and the three Hoosier Hills Conference teams face rematches — at the same sites — in the opening round.
In Class 6-A Sectional 8, Columbus North (3-5) will visit No. 6 Jeffersonville (7-1) while New Albany (1-7) will travel to No. 8 Center Grove (5-3) on Oct. 24. In 5-A Sectional 14, Jennings County (1-7) will journey to Floyd Central (4-4) on Oct. 31.
The Red Devils competed in 6-A for the first time last season and started with a 30-22 victory over the Bulldogs.
“I’m happy,” Jeffersonville coach Lonnie Oldham said. “It’s fantastic. We get another home game, and it’s advantageous for us to play on grass. I know they’ll have the revenge factor on us, and they know a little about us now. The expectation of surprising them won’t be there.”
The Bulldogs drew the toughest assignment. They suffered a 70-14 loss to the Trojans last season. Center Grove went on to beat the Devils 35-0 in the final. The only difference in a possible Center Grove-Jeffersonville rematch would mean that game would be played at Center Grove.
Jeffersonville is chasing its first sectional title since 2007, while New Albany’s last crown was won in 2002. New Albany is ranked 31st out of the 32 teams in 6-A on the Sagarin computer power ratings.
The Highlanders (4-4) also got a favorable draw. They stopped the Panthers 27-0 last week, and they own 16 consecutive wins over Jennings County, including last year’s 27-0 victory in the sectional opener. The winner of this rematch will face either Whiteland (5-3) or Franklin (3-5) in the championship.
Whiteland is the defending champion after beating Floyd Central 41-20 in the 2013 final. Floyd Central’s last sectional title came in 2009.
Justin Sokeland can be reached at (502) 582-4059.
All games start at 7 p.m.
CLASS 6-A Sectional 8
Friday, Oct. 24 – Columbus North (3-5) at Jeffersonville (7-1); New Albany (1-7) at Center Grove (5-3).
Friday, Oct. 31 – Championship, Columbus North-Jeff winner at New Albany-Center Grove winner
CLASS 5-A Sectional 14
Friday, Oct. 24 – Whiteland (5-3) at Franklin (3-5); Jennings County (1-7) at Floyd Central (4-4).
Friday, Oct. 31 – Whiteland-Franklin winner vs. Jennings County-Floyd Central winner, site to be determined.