By Mike Deak
INDIANAPOLIS – The draw is out for the fourth annual IHSAA Unified Flag Football state tournament.
The tournament, which is up to 41 participating teams this fall, is the biggest yet. The inaugural tournament had just 25 teams.
With the expansion, some area teams are moving around a bit. Central Noble will host a sectional, which will open with games between East Noble and NorthWood along with DeKalb against Wawasee. Those two winners will meet in one semi-final, opposite Goshen and Central Noble.
Warsaw will also host a sectional involving area teams, the seven-teamer seeing Manchester and Fort Wayne North Side meet, that winner taking on New Haven in the semis. In the other pod, Warsaw and Homestead will battle opposite Tippecanoe Valley and Fort Wayne Carroll. The Valley-Carroll matchup pits two programs with a combined five sectional and two regional titles in the young lifespan of the sport. Valley was a state runner-up in the 2018 season, Carroll the state runner-up last fall.
Unified Flag Football sectionals at all eight sites will get underway at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 and play until its champions are determined. Regional sites will be determined by sectional winners, games to be played Saturday, Oct. 9. Area regionals will have the Central Noble and Wabash sectional champions meeting, opposite winners from Valparaiso and Warsaw.
The IHSAA State Finals are Oct. 16 at Grand Park in Westfield.