PLYMOUTH – The postseason has arrived for local footballers, no not those footballers. Soccer sectionals start around the state this week and several local teams are hoping to bring home some hardware this year.
Most fans will have their attention focused on the Plymouth Sectional as both Warsaw and Wawasee will start their postseason journey in Big Red Country.
The Tigers finished their regular season campaign at 7-4-5 and will play in the tournament’s opening game. Warsaw, a six-time defending sectional champion, did not get an breaks with its draw. Warsaw will start by playing a very challenging Culver Academies team that finished the regular season with a 12-4 mark.
CMA gave Warsaw all it could handle during last year’s sectional before the Tigers stormed back, erasing a 3-0 Eagle lead to win 4-0. The rematch will take place Monday night at 6 p.m. If they win Monday, the Tigers will play at 7 p.m. Wednesday night against Plymouth.
“We certainly have a tough draw,” said Warsaw interim head coach Frank Courtois. “I certainly don’t like that we have to play on Monday but that’s the luck of the draw and we will be ready to go against a tough Culver Academies team.”
When asked if the Tigers were still the team to beat, Courtois knowingly played the part of a seasoned politician with his response.
“Everybody has a chance to win,” Courtois said with a smile. “It’s a good group of teams. We struggled with the teams we played last year. It won’t be easy, but we will be ready for the challenge.”
While Plymouth, CMA and Warsaw will fight it out to represent the bottom half of the bracket in Saturday’s title match, Wawasee and NorthWood will be in the always favored “win and you’re in” game as the winner will advance to Saturday’s championship.
The Warriors finished the season 4-7-5 with their biggest issue being offensive production this season. Wawasee had one win in the Northern Lakes Conference and that was fittingly over NorthWood (4-9-3), 1-0. If Wawasee manages to down the Panthers once more, then a rematch with Warsaw or Plymouth is likely.
Wawasee fell 1-0 to the Tigers and 4-1 to Plymouth in the past two weeks. Despite the poor record in the NLC, Wawasee head coach Jordan Sharp knows his team has being strong defensively and that it has a good shot and bringing home the program’s second sectional title all-time and first since 2002.
“I really like our chances,” Sharp stated in an interview on Friday. “Our guys have a lot of confidence going up against NorthWood. I really believe that if we beat NorthWood that anything can happen in the sectional title. We just need to take it one game at a time but I think that it’s our time. I really do.”
Wawasee will take on NorthWood at 5 p.m. on Wednesday evening.
Whitko will take on Fort Wayne Blackhawk in the opening round of the sectional tournament being hosted by the Fort Wayne school. The Wildcats struggled at times this season, finishing 4-7-3 and will have a tough draw against a traditionally strong Blackhawk team. Whitko will begin its postseason journey at 5 p.m. Wednesday night.
The winner of Wednesday’s first game will play the winner of the 7 p.m. game between Manchester and Fort Wayne Concordia. Manchester defeated Whitko earlier this season, 4-0. No team in the Blackhawk sectional posted a winning record in 2014.
Lakeland Christian Academy will play in the Argos sectional. The Cougars finished the season with a 1-14 mark and will have its hands full with 11-5 Bremen in the opening round of the sectional. The Cougars and Lions play Wednesday at 5 p.m. with the winner playing Winamac, Argos or Culver.
Culver and Argos play the opening game on Monday night with the winner playing Winamac on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The championship will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. at Argos High School.