The IHSAA regular football season went by quickly, and tomorrow marks the beginning of the first round of the Sectionals. Before the games kick off, we wanted to share our SISN Predictions for the Southern Indiana sectionals, given our familiarity with the teams participating.
We might get a few predictions wrong, and we’ll likely upset some people, as we’ve chosen a few underdogs to win. But at the end of the day, this is all in good fun. We’re no more clairvoyant than the next guy.
We’ll provide a brief overview of each sectional. Some highlights will be more detailed than others, but our aim is to shine a positive light on the teams and their performances this year. We wish we could have offered more extensive coverage, but with real-world responsibilities and life’s surprises, it’s been a whirlwind season.
Let’s dive in. We’ll begin with the smallest schools and progress upwards. So, we’ll kick off with 1A Sectional 48.
1A SECTIONAL 48 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
We’ve had the opportunity to observe every team in this group, with the exceptions of Providence and North Daviess. This group boasts spirited teams, with numerous players showcasing their versatility by playing on both offense and defense. Providence stands out as the strongest contender in the section, and they are poised to challenge Lutheran for the 1A Southern Indiana title. Their prowess is such that they could easily compete in the 3A or 4A sectional championships. While Springs Valley and Eastern Greene boast two of the region’s top running backs and other talented athletes, they’ll find it challenging to rival Providence’s strength. Frankly, I doubt even 2A teams could match them.
2A SECTIONAL 40 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
I expect some criticism for this selection, with many readers suspecting bias. If you’ve been following our site, you’d know I have a soft spot for the Paoli Rams. My journey here began simply by taking photos at a Paoli football game for my aunt. This evolved into what we’re doing today. While I aim to be balanced in my coverage, I admit to leaning towards Paoli at times. The Rams fan base has been our most ardent supporter, and our only sponsor so far. However, my objective remains – to highlight the achievements of various teams to the best of my ability.
For a while, I was leaning towards picking Mater Dei to win Sectional 40. Given they’re the reigning state champs, and the common consensus gravitates towards them or North Posey. But deep down, much like Ted Lasso’s unyielding mantra, I BELIEVE this year’s Paoli Rams can clinch the sectional. If I don’t stand by my beliefs publicly, how can I inspire the same confidence in these young players I’ve been tracking, and who have been following my words their careers to this point.
Despite my efforts to remain impartial, my varied school affiliations, from Mitchell to Southport to Bloomington and then on to Eastern Greene, have given me a wide perspective and a home at many different places. Interestingly, up until about four years ago, I used to root against Paoli, and now today I feel like I live down there. Today, my allegiances span multiple schools, some I haven’t even visited, and I hope to expand our coverage in the future, but sometimes the fan does come out. Now on to the other teams for a bit.
If Paoli is going to win, they’re going to have to play the best football they’ve ever played to win over North Posey or Mater Dei.
North Posey, with their formidable 8-1 record, seems to be a crowd favorite for Sectional 40. Perry Central will challenge them with their running game, but North Posey likely has the edge. Mater Dei’s recent performance hasn’t been stellar, but their competition has been top-notch. Meanwhile, Tell City, sporting a respectable 6-3, might just have a few surprises up their sleeve.
I’m picking Paoli because they’re a different, scrappier team compared to previous years. They narrowly missed a win against Triton Central two years ago, losing 35-37 in the Sectional Championship. Both teams retain key players from that game, growing and evolving over the years. Many are praising Triton this year, with the Rams flying under the radar. This year’s Rams exhibit a changed mindset, with Rominger’s senior leadership guiding them. Their resilience, both on and off the field, stands out. These guys are fighters, adapting dynamically to on-field challenges.
While I back the Paoli Rams for Sectional 40, the outcome is unpredictable. This sectional is a tough battleground, and the winner stands a solid chance at the State level. However, with the talent saturating 2A, the title is anyone’s game.
2A SECTIONAL 39 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
I anticipate some feedback on this next sectional, the good ole’ tantalizing private message or two. In Sectional 39, Triton Central and Brownstown Central emerge as undeniable favorites, with Eastern Pekin battling their way towards the Sectional Championship game. Most experts are favoring Triton Central. However, I envision them facing Brownstown Central in a high-scoring final. Given the unpredictability, the outcome might hinge on capitalizing on mistakes. I’m placing my bets on the Braves pulling off an unexpected victory. In the end, I foresee the Braves securing their win over Eastern Pekin in the finals by a margin of two touchdowns.
2A SECTIONAL 37 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
In Sectional 37, our insights primarily focus on Linton, North Knox, and Sullivan. North Knox, with a 5-4 record, shouldn’t be underestimated. While Linton dominated them in a previous match, I expect a stronger performance from North Knox in the first round. However, Linton remains the popular choice to clinch this sectional. Sullivan, having lost to Linton 12-14 earlier, will aim for revenge in the title game. Their earlier encounter saw Linton’s lowest score of the season, hinting at a potentially riveting finals matchup.
3A SECTIONAL 32 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
Sectional 32 is brimming with exciting teams, many of which are located near the Ohio River. Heritage Hills has showcased their strength throughout the season, with their sole setback coming from Gibson Southern in a closely contested 28-31 loss. They’ll face off against Charlestown in what promises to be a dynamic game. However, Charlestown might find it challenging to execute their usual strategies against the seasoned defense of Heritage Hills.
While Southridge has shown promise, their early-season 45-13 defeat to Heritage Hills suggests the latter’s dominance. All signs point to Heritage Hills clinching the championship title in this sectional.
3A SECTIONAL 31 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
Upon revisiting my predictions, I acknowledge that some choices might be contentious among readers, notably my decision to not favor Lawrenceburg for the sectional championship game. Batesville, despite a commendable 8-1 record, has largely gone unnoticed this season. Their sole loss came at the hands of state leaders, East Central. Having already triumphed over their initial opponent, and likely the next, Batesville seems poised for a deep run in the state tournament.
Centerville, boasting an unblemished record, is up against the formidable Lawrenceburg, standing at 7-2. The latter’s challenging schedule gives them an edge, and I anticipate they might deal Centerville its first defeat in the opening round. Meanwhile, Indian Creek is expected to make a significant dent on the left side of the bracket, potentially clashing with Batesville or Lawrenceburg in the championship match.
3A SECTIONAL 30 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
In Sectional 30, all signs point to a championship showdown between Vincennes Lincoln and Gibson Southern. As the dominant forces in this group, few teams seem poised to challenge their supremacy. Sagarin ranks Lincoln just a notch above Gibson Southern in 3A, placing them second. If this anticipated face-off materializes, it promises to be a thrilling championship game. My money is on Gibson Southern clinching the title.
4A SECTIONAL 24 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
Traditionally, Sectional 24 has been dominated by Evansville-based teams. However, this year sees the addition of Bedford North Lawrence, who are gearing up to compete against some unfamiliar opponents. I anticipate they’ll secure a win in their first match and subsequently present a formidable challenge to Reitz—assuming Reitz can first navigate past a tenacious Boonville side. As the sectional unfolds, we predict a fierce rivalry match between Reitz and Memorial, echoing an earlier season game where Reitz had a resounding victory over Memorial.
Rumors suggest that Reitz might be missing a few key running backs, which could weaken their stance in the first round. This might explain why Mater Dei managed to remain closely competitive with them in their season-ending game.
Despite this, Reitz and Memorial emerge as the top contenders. Yet, teams like Jasper and Boonville shouldn’t be underestimated. Notably, Boonville came close to triumph last year, narrowly losing to Memorial and managing a one-point victory over Reitz. It’s entirely plausible we might see a similar dynamic play out this year.
4A SECTIONAL 23 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
The presence of the East Central Trojans in Sectional 23 speaks volumes. I firmly believe they’ll not only dominate this section but also clinch the 4A state title once again. In my estimation, they’re the state’s premier team. I’d back them to outplay Center Grove and give both Ben Davis and Brownsburg a run for their money. It’s a pity they might not face off against these teams. While Martinsville and Silver Creek have showcased moments of brilliance this season, matching up to East Central’s prowess remains a tall order for both.
5A SECTIONAL and Regional 15/16 SISN 2023 PREDICTION
As we approach the final stretch of our sectional predictions, our focus turns to the 5A brackets for groups 15 and 16. Given that each group consists of just four teams, I’ve also decided to delve into the Regional side. From my vantage point, nearly every team here displays top-tier prowess. Bloomington South, North, Floyd Central, and Evansville North all stand out as potential front-runners.
While my inclination is to favor Bloomington North as the eventual champions, there’s a lingering sentiment that Floyd Central might embark on a remarkable streak and steal the spotlight. The outcome remains uncertain, but fans can undoubtedly expect exhilarating football ahead.
Thank you for engaging with our predictions. As stated, we might not hit the mark on all counts, but that’s part of the fun. We eagerly anticipate cheering for each team as they strive to extend their seasons. Share your predictions with us, and always remember: Keep it Classy, Southern Indiana.