FARINA – South Central High School has joined the National Trail Conference this season, coming into the NTC at the same time Teutopolis is leaving.
South Central has previously been in the Midland Trail Conference for many years.
Prior to each sports season, The Leader-Union will be asking South Central’s coaches how they think the conference switch will affect their team.
Though South Central is new to the NTC, the boys basketball team has played many of the conference’s teams in the past.
Altamont, St. Elmo, Brownstown, Beecher City and Cowden-Herrick, along with the Cougars, are all in the St. Elmo Holiday Tournament every season, but there are still several teams that coach Rick Simmons hasn’t seen too often in recent years.
“Being new to the conference, it is difficult for me to give a reasonable guess as to who the tops teams will be this season,” he said. “The best I can do is guess that St. Anthony, on paper, looks like the team to beat, and that there will be several teams throughout the conference capable of competing for a shot at the NTC crown.”
The conference season begins for the Cougars on Nov. 27 at St. Elmo.
“We will take each game one at a time and try to make our mark on the conference as quickly as possible,” Simmons said. “We realize that this will be a step up for us in overall competition, and are eagerly awaiting the new challenges that lie ahead.”
With a move to the NTC, the Lady Cougars will get an early look at all of their new opponents with the conference tournament beginning next Tuesday.
“The early tournament over Thanksgiving is going to help us gauge where we are at,” said coach Gary Kapper. “Usually, we had that time off, and that will show us what we need to work on early in the season.”
Kapper said that the Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City co-op is the conference favorite, but after that, he believes there will be some close competition.
CHBC defeated South Central, 50-14, in the season-opener on Monday.
“Cowden is definitely the favorite,” he said. “With everybody else, I think it’s going to be a toss-up, because on any given night, those teams can probably play with each other.”