North, South Putnam drop, Clovers rise in IHSAA
The road to postseason success just got tougher for the Cloverdale football team. The Clovers have been moved up and will join the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 2A tournament beginning this fall.
Cloverdale will now be one of the smallest 2A football schools in the state.
On the opposite side of the pendulum, both South Putnam and North Putnam were helped out by the new IHSAA classifications, which were released Tuesday.
The Eagles will now compete in the Class 1A football tournament, a huge advantage for a team that has come to expect postseason success.
Sectional groupings will be announced later in the spring.
In both boys' and girls' basketball, North Putnam has been dropped from 3A to 2A. The Cougars have been put in a difficult sectional the last few years, matched up with teams from schools like Frankfort and Lebanon that have nearly twice the student body of NPHS.
North Putnam has also been moved from 3A to 2A in both baseball and softball, though changes in the spring sports won't take effect until the 2014 season.
Greencastle High School will remain in Class 3A in all sports.
For Cloverdale, the advancement from 1A to 2A in football may become an obstacle.
Former Clovers' football coach John Butler said a big reason he accepted the Cloverdale job was because the team competed against larger schools during the regular season and then went to the postseason in a 1A sectional.
That advantage is now gone. This could be one more stumbling block for the team, which has already failed to find success in recent years.
Cloverdales' yet-to-be-named next football coach will have his hands full.
South Putnam and North Putnam are the clear winners here, though it remains to be seen how much the reclassification benefits the two schools.
That much won't be known until sectional groupings are announ-ced and the seasons play out.
Even with the drop in class, it doesn't necessarily mean North Putnam and South Putnam will immediately benefit.
The talent in an individual lower-level sectional can potentially be even greater than the talent in an individual higher-class sectional.
Getting an advantageous sectional can be the difference between losing in the first round of the postseason and advancing to the regional round.