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  • Val T.

Caston sectional alignment: Comets retain familiar rivals, add Pioneer

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

If the two-year IHSAA cycle ending this year has lacked a zesty postseason meeting between Caston and rival Pioneer, then the association has done something to address it.

That is because Caston will be in the same sectional with the Panthers in football, volleyball, girls basketball and boys basketball, according to the IHSAA sectional alignments for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years released Tuesday.

In addition to Pioneer, Caston also gains DeMotte Christian and North Newton as new volleyball and basketball rivals and Winamac as a new football sectional rival.

Football

Caston retains Carroll (Flora), Frontier, North White, Taylor and Tri-County from their previous sectional while adding Pioneer and Winamac. The sectional number also changes from Sectional 43 to Sectional 42.

Carroll is the three-time defending sectional champion. They defeated Caston 49-6 in last year’s sectional semifinals.

Caston and Taylor have never won a football sectional, and Frontier, North White and Tri-County have sectional droughts of 17 years or longer.

Volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball

With the newly implemented 20-25-25-30 plan, Class 1A has expanded for the sour-class sports of volleyball, girls basketball and boys basketball from 98 schools to 116.

That means Caston goes from a five-team volleyball sectional  and six-team girls basketball and boys basketball sectionals to eight-team sectionals for all three sports.

They keep rivals North White, South Newton, Tri-County and West Central for their new sectional while adding DeMotte Christian, North Newton and Pioneer.

Pioneer and Tri-County both won volleyball sectional titles last fall while South Newton won a sectional as recently as 2022.

While Caston is a reigning regional champion in girls basketball, the only other schools in the new sectional to have won a sectional title within the last decade are Pioneer, who won the Class 1A state title in 2021, and North White, who has won five sectionals and a regional since 2015.

The boys basketball sectional has two reigning sectional champions in Tri-County, who beat Caston in the sectional final two months ago, and DeMotte Christian, who won Sectional 49 before falling in the regional.

Boys soccer

Caston keeps Argos, Culver, North Miami and Winamac in their Class 1A sectional, but it changes numbers from Sectional 37 to Sectional 36.

The new team in the sectional is Lakeland Christian. They replace North White.

Lakeland Christian went 9-8-1 last year.

Argos has won 17 sectional titles in their history; the other five schools have won six sectionals combined.

Caston sectional lineup (2024-25 and 2025-26)

Class 1A, Sectional 36 (boys soccer)

Argos, CASTON, Culver, Lakeland Christian, North Miami, Winamac

Class 1A, Sectional 50 (volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball)

CASTON, DeMotte Christian, North Newton, North White, Pioneer, South Newton, Tri-County, West Central

Class 1A, Sectional 42 (football)

Carroll (Flora), CASTON, Frontier, North White, Pioneer, Taylor, Tri-County, Winamac


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