Caston realignment: Comets back in hoops sectionals with North White
Also in volleyball sectional with Southwood, boys soccer sectional with Argos
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Caston will see many of the same schools from Pulaski, White and Newton counties in the realigned sectionals that the IHSAA released Tuesday.
The exception might be volleyball, where Caston will be the westernmost team in their sectional.
Here is how sectionals will look for all of Caston’s fall and winter teams covering the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years:
Caston lost in the sectional final to eventual regional champion North White and again finds themselves in the same sectional with the Lady Vikings.
The other four teams in Class 1A, Sectional 52 are Frontier, South Newton, Tri-County and West Central.
The sectional is the same as last year except West Central is added to increase the field from five to six teams.
Caston beat Frontier and Tri-County twice each last year but also lost to North White twice.
Caston has not won a sectional title since 1985.
Like girls basketball, the Caston boys are also in Class 1A, Sectional 52 with Frontier, North White, South Newton, Tri-County and West Central.
The sectional is identical to the last cycle except that West Central replaces Pioneer, who moved up to Class 2A based on increased enrollment.
Caston and defending sectional champion North White are the only teams who had winning records last year, and both Caston and North White are losing all five starters to graduation.
Caston carried an 11-match winning streak into last fall’s sectional before losing in three sets to eventual sectional champion Southwood in the Class 1A, Sectional 52 final.
This time, Caston will be in Sectional 53, and Lakeland Christian, Northfield and Southwood will join them from the previous sectional. Southern Wells is the fifth team.
The sectional champion could advance to Wes-Del for regional play. Previously, the regional site was Culver.
Pioneer and North Miami, who were in last year’s sectional, move up to Class 2A based on increased enrollment.
Caston currently has a coaching vacancy.
Caston stays in Class 1A but will move from Sectional 41 to Sectional 43 for coach Will Porter’s third season. Caston is the only Hoosier North team in their new sectional.
West Central makes a similar move to Sectional 43, but the other six teams are all new: Carroll (Flora), Frontier, North White, Taylor, Tri-Central and Tri-County.
Carroll (Flora) is a reigning sectional champion.
Caston beat West Central and North White in nonconference games last fall.
Caston has never won a sectional title in football.
The Comets won their first sectional title in school history last fall for coach Narciso Sanchez before their season ended with a loss to Westview in the regional semifinals.
Caston will again be in a sectional with Culver, North Miami and Winamac, but their new sectional expands from four teams to seven with the addition of Argos, North White and Whitko.
Caston won Sectional 36 last fall, but their new grouping is Sectional 37. Caston is the only defending sectional champion in Sectional 37.
Argos won 10 straight sectionals from 2011-20 before being bumped up to Class 2A based on the IHSAA Success Factor.
Meanwhile, North White was ranked No. 7 in the final Class 1A coaches poll of last season, and they won a sectional title as recently as 2019.
Whitko did not field a boys soccer squad last fall.