SOUTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE
Pana, Greenville set for league title battle
Hillsboro, Staunton, Vandalia in the running
BY JACK BULLOCK
The ten team league that calls itself the South Central Conference consists of some very evenly matched programs in all sports.

Year in and year out, the battles are usually pretty intense with the standings usually being a reflection of how balanced the talent is.

Five of the ten squads were over .500 in 2017-18.

The Greenville Comets ran the table a year ago, winning the SCC title at 9-0 for head coach Todd Cantrill.

He enters his 21st season in charge of the Comets' program, having won four regionals in his tenure and he is a win away from victory number 300.

With four returning starters and some other seniors in the mix, Greenville looks to be the favorite for yet another league championship.

Piasa Southwestern and head coach Jason Darr finished the SCC at 8-1 with just the loss to Greenville.

The Birds went 21-8 overall, dropping out of the regional at the hands of Trenton-Wesclin, 45-37 at East Alton-Wood River title tilt.

Coach Darr has just a single starter back from the club and will work to “keep the fire burning” as Piasa Southwestern will look for the third 20-win season in Coach Darr's ninth year in charge.

Vandalia ended up 18-12 while finishing 6-3 in conference play.

Head coach Brian Buscher's club dropped a tough decision at home to Shelbyville in the 2A regional semifinals to end the year.

The Vandals lost their top scorer to graduation and another important senior starter but there are some young kids ready to move up.

Hillsboro will be missing four senior starters who lost to Nashville in the regional title game at Staunton last February to close the book at 17-14.

Coach Joe Vanzo enters season number nine with some spots to fill in the lineup for the Hiltoppers (spelled with one “L”).

The Pana Panthers will return four starters and some reserves from last season's 5-4, 10-18 run.

Head coach Adam Metzger will enter his third season at the helm, having replaced a good coach and friend of ABV, Gary Bowker.

The Panthers appear to be the most experienced of the teams heading into the SCC race.

Staunton and head coach Troy Redfern lost one starter, the top scorer from last season, but return the other four starters as they hope to “hop” into the title photo in 2018-19.

The Bulldogs were another of the teams that finished above .500 (15-13) and they are looking for even more improvement this winter.

Coach Mark Briggs had a young Roxana team last season and it showed with just a 1-8 mark in the SCC and just 6-24 overall as they ended the season with a regional loss to Trenton-Wesclin at EA-WR.

The good news is they are all back for another round.

Litchfield, on the other hand, and head coach Drew Logan must replace six seniors from a team that played very well at times last winter.

However the Purple Panthers have some other experienced kids returning for 2018-19.

Carlinville finished at 3-6 in the league and 10-20 overall for Coach Alan Cooper.

The Cavaliers always get a late start because the football program is “top shelf” each year.

Coach Cooper will get his troops some rest and then tackle the hardwood season to try to improve on those numbers from a season ago.

Gillespie went 5-22 overall last season and 2-7 in the conference.

The Miners are one of the few, the proud, schools that never send me any information.

ABV projects a battle for the top with Greenville and Pana fighting for top spot with a lot of other battling for the top tier.

For complete team-by-team previews, click on the team links below.

ABV Projected Order Of Finish