Goodbye, Huntington North. Hello, Indianapolis Tech.
Richmond’s North Central Conference opponents largely remain unchanged from last season, with one exception.
The same cannot be said for the sectional.
Richmond is now in Class 4A for football, and with that comes a new crop of potential postseason paths.
The Red Devils are now aligned in Sectional 22, along with Connersville, Delta, Greenfield-Central, Jay County, Mount Vernon (Fortville), former NCC member New Castle and Pendleton Heights.
“You have some very good football teams,” said RHS coach Matt Holeva, whose team opened sectional play last season against eventual Class 5A state champion Indianapolis Cathedral. “It’s very solid, but it could be a pretty balanced sectional, as opposed to one or two top dogs in the deal.”
Richmond scrimmaged against Pendleton Heights this past Friday and will play Connersville this coming Friday. But the Red Devils will not see another sectional foe the rest of the season.
“Our goals and expectations are to play hard and compete,” Holeva said. “We’re always vying for the top of the conference and to make a run in sectional. I think early on the biggest thing is going to be for us to play to our potential. We’re not very deep in some spots. I think if we can keep people healthy, we’ll give a battle to whoever we play on Friday.”
Richmond won outright NCC titles in 2012 and 2013, but finished fifth last fall as McCutcheon posted a perfect 7-0 record in its first season in the conference.
The Red Devils’ first NCC game this season is Sept. 4 at home against Indianapolis Tech. Tech is in its first season since rejoining the conference as the replacement for the departed Huntington North.
“Conference is the first thing,” said RHS senior quarterback Jordan Christian. “We want to win conference as a team, and next is the sectional.”
Added fellow senior Tanner Coyle: “It’s a big deal. We don’t want to do a downgrade. We’re always trying to take steps forward. We don’t want to go down. We’re looking for that next high step to keep it all going.”
RHS also faces Muncie Central, Marion, McCutcheon, Lafayette Jeff, Anderson and Kokomo in conference play this season. The Red Devils will not see Harrison or Logansport.
“There is some very good football played in the conference,” Holeva said. “We’re going to have to play week by week and give it our best effort every week if want a shot at getting a piece of the crown back again.
“We’re going to have to be ready to go every time.”
Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463 email@example.com or twitter.com/JoshChapinPI