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With two weeks left in conference play the contenders have started to pull away from the rest of the pack.  Winamac, LaVille, Pioneer, and North Judson will all have a say in how this conference championship will be decided.  This week we have some great matchups.  Pioneer has been red hot since a slow start.  LaVille keeps finding a way to win.  North Judson and Triton played a really tough 1A game that should prepare them both for the upcoming tournament.  Caston and Knox have not had the seasons they envisioned at the start of the year, but both are coached well enough to turn it around and rally these last few weeks before the sectional begins.  Culver has rebounded since the early issues with Covid to get a few wins.  With all that said.....who ya got!?

Caston @ Winamac

Pioneer @ Culver

LaVille @ North Judson

Triton @ Knox

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Yep, two weeks left in conference play.

I took a look at all the HNAC schedules and here is what I found:

Pioneer, Triton, and Caston will have played seven HNAC games if we can make it through the next couple of weeks. So no problem there.

However, we have LaVille, North Judson-San Pierre, Culver Community, and Knox that have played six.  One short of the maximum.

And, Winamac that has played five HNAC games.

That is six games that we are missing from the season.  Not as bad as last year, but we are still short.

Will those in charge of the HNAC agree to crown a champion?

Unless those in charge have already agreed, we shall see.

 

 

as always, the game is better

from_the_sidelines007

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, from_the_sidelines007 said:

 

Will those in charge of the HNAC agree to crown a champion?

 

From what I understand there will be a coaches meeting coming up to determine what the heck is going to happen at the end of the season.  

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I've got it finishing this way...

Judson 6-0 - They still have LaVille and Pioneer, so it's not a given by any means.  But from what I saw in games against Triton, I think Judson is better than both.  Their speed is a problem and their defense is good enough.

Winamac 5-0 - I haven't seen them yet, but they shouldn't lose to Caston or Triton.  (Although I could see Triton giving them a game if we have everyone back.)  But if you haven't beaten any other team in the top half of the conference (when at full or near-full strength), then it's hard to declare you're the best team.

Pioneer 5-2 - A strange year in Royal Center.  This team isn't nearly as solid as Pioneer teams the last 10+ years have been.  But Pioneer losing a step just brings them back down closer to the rest of the field.  Still among the best, just not head-and-shoulders above everyone else.  I don't think Pioneer's D is good enough to stop the Blue Jays.  Triton ran for 134 against them.  NJ will go for 200+.

LaVille 4-2 - I really have no idea how good LaVille would be at full strength.  Have they even had all their starters play a game together yet?  This week's game with Judson should be a good one!  LaVille D is probably the best in the conference, but I don't think they can score enough to beat the Jays. 

It's a shame we had to deal with this COVID stuff this year.  I would have enjoyed seeing these four teams battle it out at full strength for the conference title.  This is without a doubt the most balanced year we've had in the HNAC since its inception.

Judson and Winamac should meet in the sectional and that will determine the best team, though I realize they likely won't name a conference champion.  If I recall correctly, last year Pioneer and LaVille were both unbeaten in conference after the regular season and they met in the sectional as well, Pioneer coming away the undisputed better team.  

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35 minutes ago, FinePrint said:

I've got it finishing this way...

Judson 6-0 - They still have LaVille and Pioneer, so it's not a given by any means.  But from what I saw in games against Triton, I think Judson is better than both.  Their speed is a problem and their defense is good enough.

Winamac 5-0 - I haven't seen them yet, but they shouldn't lose to Caston or Triton.  (Although I could see Triton giving them a game if we have everyone back.)  But if you haven't beaten any other team in the top half of the conference (when at full or near-full strength), then it's hard to declare you're the best team.

Pioneer 5-2 - A strange year in Royal Center.  This team isn't nearly as solid as Pioneer teams the last 10+ years have been.  But Pioneer losing a step just brings them back down closer to the rest of the field.  Still among the best, just not head-and-shoulders above everyone else.  I don't think Pioneer's D is good enough to stop the Blue Jays.  Triton ran for 134 against them.  NJ will go for 200+.

LaVille 4-2 - I really have no idea how good LaVille would be at full strength.  Have they even had all their starters play a game together yet?  This week's game with Judson should be a good one!  LaVille D is probably the best in the conference, but I don't think they can score enough to beat the Jays. 

It's a shame we had to deal with this COVID stuff this year.  I would have enjoyed seeing these four teams battle it out at full strength for the conference title.  This is without a doubt the most balanced year we've had in the HNAC since its inception.

Judson and Winamac should meet in the sectional and that will determine the best team, though I realize they likely won't name a conference champion.  If I recall correctly, last year Pioneer and LaVille were both unbeaten in conference after the regular season and they met in the sectional as well, Pioneer coming away the undisputed better team.  

Challenge accepted

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35 minutes ago, FinePrint said:

  If I recall correctly, last year Pioneer and LaVille were both unbeaten in conference after the regular season and they met in the sectional as well, Pioneer coming away the undisputed better team.  

LaVille lost to North Judson 9-7 last year, but I get what you’re saying.  

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Caston @ Winamac  -- Warriors fairly easily at home.  

Pioneer @ Culver  -- Interested to see if Culver can grind out some drives and keep it somewhat close.  In the end, Pioneer should win by a couple scores.

LaVille @ North Judson -- Laville's defense and offensive line will keep this game close.  Think NJSP has too much in the end , especially at home.

Triton @ Knox  -- No idea what to expect with Knox.  Think Triton has progressed their program enough to go on the road and pull out a victory.

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Caston @ Winamac - Winamac should control the game. I look for them to win by 30. 

Pioneer @ Culver - Culver will do their best to control the clock, but I think Pioneer's D will have something to say about that. They fly around and are physical enough to hang with Culver's big boys. Pioneer by 21. 

LaVille @ North Judson - This is the most enticing game this week in the HNAC. Jays & Lancers both come in with big wins last week and look to stay hot approaching the tourney. I like the Jays by 17 this week. 

Triton @ Knox - I was impressed with how physical Triton played last week against the Jays. Their RB is a load and I look for their run game to have success on "The Knox Football Team". Triton by 10. 

Edited by footballer_02
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6 hours ago, footballer_02 said:

Triton @ Knox - I was impressed with how physical Triton played last week against the Jays. Their RB is a load and I look for their run game to have success on "The Knox Football Team". Triton by 10. 

Kind of difficult not to get excited about this kid and the Triton offense in general for the next couple of years.  QB and running back are both sophomores.  Offensively, seniors make up only 7% of total offensive production with no seniors on the O-line.  Schuh is 3rd in the state in rushing in 1A.  We've had a key junior 2-way lineman out with an injury for a few weeks now.  

I realize several other HNAC teams are young this year, but I anticipate the Trojans being pretty competitive the next couple of years.

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23 hours ago, FinePrint said:

Pioneer 5-2 - A strange year in Royal Center.  This team isn't nearly as solid as Pioneer teams the last 10+ years have been.  But Pioneer losing a step just brings them back down closer to the rest of the field.  Still among the best, just not head-and-shoulders above everyone else.  I don't think Pioneer's D is good enough to stop the Blue Jays.  Triton ran for 134 against them.  NJ will go for 200+.

So with Triton's 134 yards producing 6 points, do you anticipate NJ's 200+ to produce 12-14?

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Did a little digging on Herrell's site and saw that since the conference's inception in 2015, Caston has only won one conference game in football versus Triton in 2016. If you are Caston, why not look at a move to rejoin the Midwest Conference where they will be much more competitive year in  and year out? I know this goes beyond football, but holy cow that's a lot of non competitive football and from what I've seen from the new regime I don't see it improving anytime soon.

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31 minutes ago, FarmerFran said:

Did a little digging on Herrell's site and saw that since the conference's inception in 2015, Caston has only won one conference game in football versus Triton in 2016. If you are Caston, why not look at a move to rejoin the Midwest Conference where they will be much more competitive year in  and year out? I know this goes beyond football, but holy cow that's a lot of non competitive football and from what I've seen from the new regime I don't see it improving anytime soon.

What's crazy is in regards to football, they would be one of the top two teams in that conference... maybe even at the top with North Newton having a down year. 

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47 minutes ago, FarmerFran said:

Did a little digging on Herrell's site and saw that since the conference's inception in 2015, Caston has only won one conference game in football versus Triton in 2016. If you are Caston, why not look at a move to rejoin the Midwest Conference where they will be much more competitive year in  and year out? I know this goes beyond football, but holy cow that's a lot of non competitive football and from what I've seen from the new regime I don't see it improving anytime soon.

Who would backfill for them if they left?

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2 minutes ago, CoachDurham said:

Would that put the South Central in the same position that Caston is in now?

That's a good point. SC would be near the bottom if they replaced Caston in the HNAC this year, but years past I believe they would end up in the middle of the conference. 

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4 minutes ago, FarmerFran said:

I'd push for Glenn or Bremen. Maybe you could sway someone like Delphi or Lewis Cass over as well.

Agreed. I just don't ever see either one leaving the NIC. Although those two schools would bring some good competition to the HNAC on the football field. 

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37 minutes ago, FarmerFran said:

I'd push for Glenn or Bremen. Maybe you could sway someone like Delphi or Lewis Cass over as well.

I cannot envision a scenario where Bremen would leave the NIC for the HNAC. The NIC is a greatnmix of competition for football, soccer, baseball, softball and the country club sports (swimming, tennis). The NIC is a killer for the boys basketball program though. I a change in administration occurs soon, a change of conference may be more realistic.

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1 hour ago, Football Guru 25 said:

I could see SC before Glenn... NIC is more consistant with gate money across the board in sports.. thats why Glenn wanted in that conference from day 1.   Just my Thought

From people in the know, the gate money from the NIC is down compared to the old NSC days.  Some of that goes to the fact that they don't play Plymouth or New Prairie any more, and they generally had good crowds.  But Washington, Clay, and Riley somewhat, don't bring good crowds.  

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On 10/6/2021 at 2:12 PM, MarshallCounty said:

From people in the know, the gate money from the NIC is down compared to the old NSC days.  Some of that goes to the fact that they don't play Plymouth or New Prairie any more, and they generally had good crowds.  But Washington, Clay, and Riley somewhat, don't bring good crowds.  

Blow everything up!!  Start a new NSC 2 divisions in football, one all other sports. Get Glenn, Rochester, Valley, Bremen, Fairfield, Wawasee.  Then LaVille, Triton, Pioneer, Winamac, Judson, Knox.  Let Caston and Culver join Midwest.  Wawasee is not competitive in the NLC, but they will never leave that cash cow.

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I have really enjoyed the discussions this week.  I do not think Caston will be leaving anytime soon.  While Caston has had some struggles with winning conference games in football in other sports they have been pretty good.  Last years Caston softball team was excellent.  Sometimes we get tunnel vision forget that there is plethora of other sports that a team can find success in.  As for this games this week we have some good ones.  

Caston @ Winamac-  The warriors will see some speed on the edge from Hickle and Smith.  Winamac will have an advantage everywhere except running back.  It'll take a quarter for them to figure it out.  Winamac by 28.  

Pioneer @ Culver-  Pioneer keeps rolling this week.  Pioneer by 35.

LaVille @ North Judson-  The last two times these teams have played the game was decided in the fourth quarter.  LaVille helps every team in this conference get ready for the tournament with their size, physicality, and defensive mindset.  It'll be a tough game for 4 quarters.  Aldric Harper leads the conference in passing yards for the Bluejays.  Cheyenne Allen has been Mr. Everything leading the conference in receiving yards, and return yards.  If LaVille tries to key on Allen look for other players to step up big tonight such as Ellis, Frasure, Sanchez, or Benson.  The Jays have a lot of depth.  More than most teams in the conference this season.  They have shown to be a great second half team the last few weeks, even in their losses to Tippy Valley and CMA the Jays were fighting to the bitter end.   I have the Jays pulling away late and winning by 21.

Triton @ Knox-  Another long night for the team from Knox.  Triton has a great young group of physical hard-nosed kids.  You can win a lot of games with that kind of grit on your roster.  Triton by 14.  

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